On July 23rd and 25th I helped with some demolition as part of a program called Emergent Structures. The entire weekend was dedicated to collecting materials for reuse in constructing an Eco-camp for the Girl Scouts centennial celebration.
My reflections from those two days:
I was always a very imaginative child. I could create entire worlds in my mind and interact with them through objects that I would envision as something else. Clumps of grass became tree canopies for the smallest of characters. Discarded wood off-cuts became an entire city of skyscrapers. Boxes became elaborate houses for dolls and paper… paper has always been the most versatile material in my life.
I never grew out of this imagination; it simply began to evolve into something more based in practicality. I always see objects and materials as having another purpose and use. Throwing things away has always been a battle for me. The process of cleaning out a closet can take me twice as long as anyone else. I have the endless desire to find a new life for everything. A lot of times I succeed and actually complete the project. However, the projects and ideas just keep piling up waiting for the attention and time necessary.
The philosophy of Emergent Structures aligns amazingly well with the way I’ve always lived my life. I have never understood how people couldn’t see beauty and purpose in every object. Spending time on the site my mind was just spinning with all the ideas possible from all the material available. I love that through the process of seeing the wood boards pile up other people finally started to see the possibilities as well. Showing leads to believing.
But it shouldn’t be just about the wood boards. Society, as a whole, needs to learn to work with what is already in existence. The current belief is starting from scratch is the best way to start any project (buildings, interiors, furniture, etc.), but what if more people see the creative possibilities of reusing old doors, windows, cabinets? Is it just a matter of showing the different possibilities or do we need to re-learn the value of objects?
These are the materials I chose to take with me. I would have taken more if I had time and space to dedicate to the many ideas that came to mind. The project I am completing is actually rather simple and it has been on my to do list for some time, but when I saw these cabinet doors I knew instantly they were perfect. An instant frame for my bathroom mirrors and an extra piece of wood creates a simple shelf. To me it isn’t even that creative, but then I remember others would never look beyond these items as trash.