Starting with nothing more than vague thoughts about a world of beauty in early spring 1984, I began creating some odd but inviting shapes with technical pen on a blank sheet of Clearprint drafting vellum and worked them until each felt fulfilled and complete. The result was this living structure rooted in rocky ground and surrounded by trees for a girl and her cat. No sketching or erasing - just going with the flow of ink and color, turning mistakes into something of value in the greater whole.
The work imagined growing moss on a roof . . . and then some. It imagined life inside the soft curves of a shell with smooth pearly walls. It imagined a lifestyle of walking outdoors without shoes, so as to not get the lawn dirty.
Earth blanketed the house for stable temperatures and sponged up rainwater to delay rain water runoff and reduce drought in summer months. Plumbing sent waste water through the outdoor ecosystem for nutrient rich soils.
Indoor plants oxygenated indoor spaces shaped by the natural flows of warmth and coolth. The sun and moon illuminated spaces intentionally through building shapes, openings, and sight-lines that tracked annual solar and lunar calendar events. The building's structure and abundance of old trees nearby sequestered atmospheric carbon.
When bicycling between classes at the University of Oregon and my dank cave in a west campus neighborhood garage, I would often see a girl walking barefoot through the campus commercial district. Despite the cold hard pavement, noisy crowds, and busy traffic, she carried herself with so much ease that everyone around her looked out of place. She was either nuts, or powered by so many Angels that the ground softened under her will. I never had a chance to find out, either way, but thinking of her barefeet while drawing gave me courage to work through my fears of life on the fringe.
Whimsical on the surface, this work grew from real places and details I'd seen. Though a seemingly impractical building concept, my experience with pneumatically placed concrete, stained glass and landscape maintenance saturated my mind with plausibly artful spaces surrounded by a diversity and abundance of native plants and animals.