UNCOMMON GROUND

Sometimes art does imitate life.  Check out the work by artist Jason de Caires Taylor. He creates life-size cement sculptures of people and submerges them into the waters of South America. As time passes the sculptures become part of the underwater landscape and slowly become artificial reefs ripe with marine life. His work brings up an interesting point about perceptions. Typically we think of architecture and the built environment as one that exists above ground, out in the oxygen filled landscape. Gravity plays a major role in what we usually define as a place or space. But why? Why not remove the shackles of reality for just a moment? Step outside the paradigm of perceived occupiable space and suspend belief. Isn’t this how truly innovative work starts? To steal a quote from Mark Twain, “To give birth to an idea — an intellectual nugget, right under the dust of a field that many a brain-plow had gone over before. To be the first — that is the idea.” So as you approach your next project, stretch the boundaries a bit. Reassess the program, question the non-negotiable requirements, put common opinion aside. Truly inspired landscapes require vision not always achieved by a consensus.

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