Make No Little Plans

Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. Think big. 
 - Daniel Burnham

It is Wednesday, which means no class. I am here at the school regardless, organizing my brain, files, calendars, papers, and due dates. For me, Wednesdays are the best day to come to school! Very few people are here to interrupt my thoughts and I can work on what I need to for as long as I need to. It's very productive.  

The weather has been GORGEOUS lately...not much rain at all and fairly warm. All you really need is a jacket and maybe a scarf, which is my preferred setting.  

I can't believe I have been here over a month. School started 1 month ago today and I can't hardly believe that the time has passed so quickly. Kind of makes me nervous for how quickly the other months will go by.  

Here is an excerpt from an email I wrote to a friend last night... 

"The school is amazing. The Inchbald School of Design is near Victoria Station. There are 8 full-time students and 5 of us are Postgrad. The age range is from 24-50ish with 3 males and 5 females from all over including England, Switzerland, Greece, the Netherlands, Ukraine and of course me from the States. We are all so different from each other, but are already great friends and very supportive and love learning different ways of seeing the world through each others eyes and thoughts.

The course work is challenging and enlightening. In some regards, I feel like I am having to take apart and deconstruct everything I had established in prior years and reconfigure my thinking as a designer and artist in a new way. This is very exciting to me. I feel a lot of empty pockets in my foundation are starting to fill in. The method of teaching at this school is refreshing and so different than my undergrad course work - I feel it is much more effective (though my undergrad was a great base to jump from). It's very hands-on - applied learning everyday. We go to museums and learn from the great painters of the past and present or to parks and plazas to interpret and analyze the mass and void created by great landscape architects and designers. We do lots of sketching, discussing and mental exercising to help our brains develop and see differently. This is such a unique experience, and one I feel I am meant to have. From the time I learned that this school existed, I knew I belonged here. I get to be saturated in gardens, art, architecture and design for a whole year which will surely go by too quickly!

I am currently working on the first design/project, a small residential garden. It is an actual site with a "client" whom we met with to practice effective questioning in order to obtain/create a brief. After we each created mood boards with images we felt were an interpretation of the brief - each students mood board was so unique, even though we all had the same experience with the client, very interesting - then we explored the design process based off a custom grid we developed by using the house and the boundary lines. We moved quickly into rough 3D models (scale 1:50 and I am not sure if that's m, cm, or mm) to work out mass and void and were inspired by watching a bit of a documentary on Frank Gehry. Today we went and laid out our designs in a large grassy area in a square adjacent the school. It was a wonderful learning experience and I was able to make changes to my design on paper as I realized some issues after "pegging" it out in the square, especially the ergonomic bit of it.

One thing I am having a time adjusting to is the metric system. I have never used it before, so that is creating some spatial issues. But I am so glad I am having to do this. If I ever want to design internationally I must be able to easily go from feet and inches to meters and centimeters, etc. and understand what they each mean in real life and how the space feels. I think I will be walking around London always with a tape measure on me...measuring rise and tread, handrails, walls, columns, etc, etc, etc!

I am so happy here. Always a park or garden to see, always a museum to visit, or a street to explore and wander down. I love the international presence of London and I always ride on the upper level of the big red buses. The fashion is very fun to observe as well."


Well, I am back to organizing... and making big plans.