she works hard for the money

05Oct09

The title of this post is also the name of the piece above.  The song name (and tune) kept sneaking into my head while I was making the drawing, and I just couldn’t avoid calling it that.  It’s a sort of personification of architecture-as-ideal, and she does, indeed, work hard.  I’m so attracted to the idea of architecture as a tool toward the achievement of Utopia, even if the actual application of those principles through time tends to fail in a spectrum of extremes.  You know– like Utopian political ideas or intentional communities.  Anyone who has visited a celebrated building can attest to the tension between the transcendent and the pedestrian.  Richard Meier‘s buildings are lovely, white, clean things, but if you visit them in person, you’ll see that crane flies especially like to camp out on the reflective surfaces.  Dirt flecks and grass clippings defame the exterior at human scale.  Having been part of a couple of human community experiments, the latest of which is my own growing family, I can also attest to the real-life strain of working out life against ideals of peace, love and understanding.  (What’s so funny?)

So the building is also me, in a sense.  I’m enough of a romantic to enter into the challenge of building under the constraints of aesthetics and pragmatics with the lofty goal of achieving a harmonious finish.  And I’m enough of a realist to know that when you add people to the mix, and wily old nature, things fall apart.  May they be beautiful messes.

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