Malcolm 'Max' DeRungs

For Barefeet Only

A structure for life

What began as a few inviting lines of ink on blank paper ended up a week later as my interpretation of the organic architecture phrase "out of the ground, and into the light."

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24" x 36" poster

The work imagined what it might be like to live inside soft, smooth, pearly shell-like walls and walking outdoors without shoes so as to not get the lawn dirty.

Loose, friable soil planted with ornamental and edible plants blanketed the house. These stabilized indoor temperatures and sponged up water to recharge the local groundwater aquifer.

The garden, orchard, meadow and forest surroundings grew rich from the black and gray waters leaving the house as liquid fertilizer. Indoor plants oxygenated indoor spaces. The sun and moon illuminated spaces intentionally through building shapes, openings, and sight-lines that tracked annual solar and lunar calendar events.

Inspiration

When cycling between classes at the University of Oregon and my refuge in a west Eugene neighborhood garage, I would often see a girl walking barefoot through the campus commercial district. Despite the cold hard streets, noisy crowds, and busy traffic, she carried herself with such ease that everyone around her looked out of place. She was either nuts, or powered by so many angels that the pavement softened to receive her feet. I never found out either way, but contemplating her fearlessness gave me the courage to imagine living in a place where hardness encourages rather than limits life.

Many of the ideas behind this artwork were informed by my experience with pneumatically placed concrete, stained-glass, landscaping, the work of James Hubbell and the writings of Frank Lloyd Wright.

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Meta

Role: Artist

Setting: Freelance

Location: Eugene, Oregon

Year: 1984

Media: India ink and Caran d'Ache watercolor pencil on Clearprint drafting vellum