Developments of Interest

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Identity? Title? Themes?

I only recently started this blog, and a few others so I could share about the many different things I come across and find interesting. Much of what I stumble across are lesser-known ideas or real projects that could use more public support.

I started three blogs - but very quickly realized I needed to focus my efforts on only one, but that that ONE had to have content about ALL of my different interests. Which, over time, I'm sure you'll see, extend far beyond just the urban design and transportation issues I've been linking to on here so far.

There are some common themes though that I hope will emerge. Some of them I considered as names for the blog. "Genius Loci" was of them. It's a recurring theme in my thoughts that I'm sure will become apparent over time with my posts.

The "Genius Loci" translates to mean "Spirit of the Place." It's an ancient concept that goes back beyond the Romans from whom we get the term. The term featured prominently in my Architecture, Design and Landscape studies at my university. Each of my instructors (or "critics" as they're called in Architecture) was heavily influenced by the work and writings of Aldo Rossi, Robert Venturi and Lou Kahn. Each of these greats often spoke or wrote about finding something about the innate nature of the places or forms with which they worked. Those ideas really stuck with me, and 20+ years later - I still recall the words of and assignments by my instructors, and with each of my own new life experiences there is new light shed upon what I remember learning way back then.

What seemed like a quaint or cute concept back then is blossoming into something very real, very spiritual, awesome and more tangible with every day I combine my own experience, strength and hope with what the Genius Loci of each place has to reveal or inspire for me. The lessons of the Genius Loci can be easily lost in noise, ego or fear. It requires an inner peace, a quietude and patience to get to know a place and hear what the Spirit of the Place has to say.

I've lived in West Hollywood and Los Angeles for almost two years now. It's only very recently that I've been able to hear what this Genius Loci has to say. Why and how I came here, and why only now do I have the quietude, the presence and the stillness to listen will be the topics for future writings here. ...but for right now though, I'm content to feel and deeply understand why The Spirit of this place calls it the "The City of Angels."

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