Monday, March 7, 2011

SPATIAL | P2: The Poetic — Culture Is...

So, in working through the initial brainstorm and conceptualization process of this project, I have continually asked myself 'what is culture' and impartiucular 'what is it to Kansas City'? I have found myself spending the weekend going back and fourth between concept ideas and questioning whether they capture a valuable portion of KC culture or whether the idea is somewhat arbitrary and does not lend itself to any real purpose.

I have been really inspired by Mya Lin's work so I have really been pushing myself to make deeper connections within the concept; finding something that has potential to resonate with the viewer and leave a lasting impression. This is what is so inspiring about Lin's work is everything she takes into consideration, from the environment it is placed in, to what the viewer takes away with them when they leave, to the significance of every element and how each interacts with each's incredible.

behaviors, beliefs, characteristics of a particular social, ethical, or age group...

values of people

ideas, arts + sciences, conventions, customs, civilization, lifestyles, mores, way of life, traditions

a particular form or stage of civilization

the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively

the attitudes and behavior characteristics of a social group

the arts; intellectual achievement

After additional brainstorming and further consideration of the meaning of culture, I have decided that the most sound direction to move into is that of the Crossroads and First Fridays, emphasizing the idea of celebrating art and the district itself.

The most informing research came from the Crossroads Arts District website as they immediately greet you with a welcome, describing the unique experience of the Crossroads. The most resonating mentions were that of the 'eclectic enclave of boutique shops, one-of-a-kind restaurants, creative businesses, studios, and art galleries...' which I found quite intriguing as it reveals the true locality of the Crossroads and it's uniqueness amongst other settings. Further justifying this point is the fact that the Crossroads District is a neighborhood, it is a place for work, creativity, and living.

The Crossroads is a very vibrant and diverse community that welcomes and attracts people from all different walks of life, that is most notably reflected in the artistic expression seen in the area. I felt that this area best expresses culture in KC because it is one-of-a-kind, there are no two alike. It's diversity is not only expressed by the people but also by its tenants; whether they are more traditional such as galleries, studios, storefronts, and restaurants, or more innovative such as design studios, architectural firms, or advertising agencies.

In what I have gathered so far, thoughts about my concept are to embrace the celebration of art and community with perhaps the reference to First Fridays, and embrace this idea of locality and uniqueness. I am also very drawn to the diversity factor; how there is a culmination of traditional more innovative artistic expression.

The most captivating idea I pulled from this is the idea of letting the 'sidewalks be your guide...' in the sense that their is no right or wrong, this neighborhood is organic yet dynamic in nature. It also gives this sort of wandering experience; the fact that their is no spatial way-finding system adds to the more traditional side of the experience and the expressiveness and interpretive nature of art in general...more to come soon!

01. Vibrant, diverse community
02.Traditional vs. Innovative artistic expression
03. Local, one-of-a-kind
04. Celebration of culture; First Fridays

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