Where I grew up we have a phrase, “tough as an old pine knot.”
Resistant to splitting, knots are against-the-grain aberrations of sameness. When uniformity is sought, they are intractably difficult. From trees both native and abundant, they are surprisingly beautiful markers of growth, stubborn reminders of who we have been and from where we have come.
I believe that if we are going to craft a more beautiful world, we’re going to need to learn to work with our knots, to design collaborative ways of growing that gracefully celebrate the inclusion of our ecosystems, our histories, our communities — not to simply saw through them.
My projects are marked by many questions:
- How might our communities blossom, if we valued our particulars as much as our potential for commodification?
- How might we design with rather than against the natural world?
- What knowledge, solutions, and wisdom are already embedded, but overlooked, in the places we call home?
- How do pockets of resistance give rise to more gracious ways of being?
More than anything, my projects are informed by a belief that the broad strokes of our dominant socioeconomic paradigm are in urgent need of place-based, against-the-grain, and autonomous eddies of change.
These are some of those projects.