We're giving ourselves a little vacation and only posting
on one blog right now...it saves on holiday cheer,
See you there!
Our boy's room, here.
"...Mr. Young, who trained as an architect, had such important things to say about environments. The first thing he said was that I needed to talk to Ashley Bryant, who lives near the shore and takes daily walks there and collects various things and writes poetry and turns his play into work. Mr. Y thought this was of great importance (these are my weak notes, written fast because I could not breathe and was trying to get it all down and nothing made sense to my hand 'tho it was all making the most primeval sense to my brain. When I look at the entry I made after talking to him, I know somehow I got it because, two entries later, I used a quote of Mr. Y's that I found, and realized--later, again--that they were remarkably similar) because...notes, finally:
- [children are] 'hungry for something that's not made already'
- 'branches | personal | imagination' (think this was in connection with the walks on the shore of A. Bryant, and his making things...play into work...as children love to do)
- 'express themselves through their imagination'...[by taking bits and pieces and making] "things out of them" (this might have been in connection with the statement--Mr. Y. talks softly, and almost lowered his voice to a whisper when he said this--and I didn't write it down, so this is paraphrased - 'do you know where children really love to get things? From the dump...')
- 'architecture' (I think this is when he told me that is what he had been trained in)
- [questions for architects should be] 'is it healthy?' | 'is it human?'
- 'when humans use it and play with it - it becomes beautiful' (this in thinking that architects want the things they build to be beautiful, and that the mistake they make, often, is that pure 'beauty' becomes the most important end result to them--but if humans don't use it, it isn't beautiful. Mr. Y. said that places that were supposed to be beautiful but are not used by humans, because they are not people-friendly, often become the most blighted areas of a city...)
- [for] 'creating a culture in' - (the highest use of architecture, I believe this was his thought)
- 'once it's used, it becomes healthy'
[The following were a few more of my own thoughts:]
Okay, so there you have it. The bottom line (literally) is that once it's used, it becomes healthy.
This, therein, is the problem I see with many designs created by decorators|interior designers today. They are beautiful (perhaps), but who on earth really wants to live in them? I've seen dozens of immaculate, awfully expensive houses that look like untouched museums. Nobody's home. Who would want to be?
Little ones, above all, are not supposed to be perched on the edge of a chair trying not to spill on it...rugs are not supposed to be pure white unless you are the boy in the plastic bubble...people need to be able to stretch and read and eat and play and write and be happy in a room, and this includes, most especially, children.
And I do believe, with all my heart, that this can be achieved: that we can begin to make beautiful spaces that can be lived in, and not just admired, so that we can function better as a society, and members of a society."
“No one, I dare say, no one was as original,” Mr. Sendak said of him. “Tomi influenced everybody.”There's a wonderful article and slide show on Tomi Ungerer and his work in the New York Times this weekend. "The Three Robbers" is now an animated film.
Burton Pike, a professor emeritus of comparative literature who became friends with Mr. Ungerer in the 1950s, said: “He’s never lost the feeling of how a child sees the world. And a child’s view is not really sentimental.”
"That's why the Vogels are so unique.
I drew and drew. The more repressive the outside world became, the more freedom I found in drawing, in creating a world for myself. I decorated the whole house we were living in from top to bottom, the light switches, the door of the fridge, the chairs. I drew at school, through all my classes, even math and physics (so don’t ask me about electricity, or how to count). My art highschool was a wonderful time of my life. Life was relatively freer than it had been, with the advent of the Beatles, the summer of love, and The Prague Spring. What wonderful synergy. Then the soviet tanks rolled in to Prague, and everything crashed down. It is hard to see what is happening as it happens in history. You go with the flow, and only see things clearly many years later.