Drawing Conclusions in Paris

Sketching in Luxembourg Gardens

Sketching in Luxembourg Gardens

Pam Eddy and I attended the World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology (WASET) International Conference on Higher Education yesterday. We each presented a paper. When the activities wound up, we headed out in different directions. Pam went to hear a lecture at UNESCO that she’s received a special invitation to attend and I went to study the architecture of Paris.

I sketched in the Luxembourg Gardens and in a church that I’d discovered two days before.

Pam and I met back up for dinner with Pam’s husband Dave. After dinner, we strolled through central Paris–discussing things we’d concluded about the city on our earlier explorations.

Purchasing a Reflection

Circa 1835, Dublin, Ireland, March 2011

Circa 1835, Dublin, Ireland, March 2011

I’m posting the images from my photography show, for all of you who didn’t get to attend the opening and take a catalogue home. The title of the show is “Inter-Changes: Reflections from Dublin and Beyond” and it is on display at the O’Connell House at from 9-5 weekdays at 58 Merrion Square, in Dublin 2, from May 8-31, 2013.  I’ll be there next Monday, May 27 from 12-2 for one last “Meet the Artist” session.

If you’d like to purchase one of the works, please contact me via email at shannonchance (at) verizon (dot) net.  The images are currently selling for 80 Euros or 100 dollars each, plus shipping and handling.

The copyright for these images belongs to Shannon Chance.  If you want to use them for commercial purposes, please contact me. You may use them for personal or educational purposes as long as you cite me as the author.

My most sincere thanks to all who attended the launch of this exhibition.  You have helped make my time in Ireland memorable and worthwhile!  Thanks for reflecting on Ireland with me….

Exhibition Catalog

Colleen brought me a copy of the exhibit catalog.  It includes every image in the show — I’m ecstatic!

Mapping the Moving Dream

Venetikidis's dream for Dublin. (Image downloaded from http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2012/10/confusing-and-nonsensical-grandeur-dublin-transport/3657/)

Aris Venetikidis’ dream for Dublin transport. (Image downloaded from The Atlantic Cities.)

For an architect/urban theorist/planner like myself, Dublin’s transportation system seems to defy logic. I lack the adjectives to describe it.

But Eric Jaffe depicted the situation effectively in his October 2012 article in The Atlantic Cities.

His piece, titled “The ‘Confusing and Nonsensical Grandeur’ of Dublin Transport,” highlighted solutions posed by Aris Venetikidis, a skilled and clairvoyant graphic designer.

Apparently when Venetikidis arrived in Dublin, he was as perplexed as my sister and I about the lack of a comprehensive transportation network map. It’s a guide we look to in other cities when we want to travel around. We consider it essential.

Venetikidis let this frustration blossom into beauty. Like Colin Broderick, he too created a map of existing routes.

And then Venetikidis took this work a step farther.  He researched the history of past proposals. And he designed several new maps. They illustrate how various moves could improve transportation by making the network more coherent.

Jaffe’s article on the topic is worth a read… I thank Fulbrighter Amanda Burnhard for send it my way!

Fulbrights at “Work”

Because I blog about the experiences I’m having much more often than about than the research I’ve been doing, people sometimes ask me if I’ve been getting any work done at all.  The answer is, emphatically, YES!

The Fulbright program IS about doing scholarly work.  But it’s also about learning. It’s about making the space in our lives to get to know other people and how they do things… to remove ourselves from the ordinary humdrum long enough to learn something that’s radically new to us as Americans, but not new at all in other places.

Fulbright scholars DO have lectures to give, papers to write, and projects to conduct.  But in the end, the most valuable part of our experiences overseas rests in the friendships we make and the respect we build for each other’s culture.  That, I see, as my primary mission.

This type of cultural give-and-take is evident in the images I brought back from Tanzania — so I’ve decided to share a few here. Most are from the 2005 Fulbright-Hays program I conducted for college students from the US and Tanzania. You can also read about a lecture I gave on the topic of African architecture.  I’ll be delivering that lecture again in Belgium this spring….

Bringing Prague Home

Inside Outside Spaces

You can view the whole set of boards I produced after our one-week trip by clicking here.

Here are some photos of the exhibit that my Hampton University architecture students assembled after our 2008 spring break trip to Prague.  In addition to the exhibit, we also delivered a lecture on campus and another for the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).  Those talks were about the urban issues each of us studied on our one-week trip.

With the help of Lenka Schulzova, an alumna of our program who was born in the Czech Republic, I’d planned an itinerary that included lots of warm spaces inside where we could draw (Prague is chilly in March) as well as outside spaces.

It was truly amazing how this group came together during this trip.  Everyone on the trip embraced the challenge to practice sketching as much as possible.  Daisy Williams (a truly amazing teacher who is now working at the University of Oregon) provided instruction on drawing before and during the trip.

Each day of our trip, the students eagerly explored the city.  They frequently asked to stop to make sketches.  And they enthusiastically discussed and critiqued each other’s work.  We developed so much skill and knowledge during this trip!  And we brought what we learned home to share with others.

Prague is remarkable in that so many grand, public spaces are available indoors.  It also has lovely courtyards embedded inside the blocks of streets.  This is the case in many cities, but in Prague the courtyards are often accessible to the general public — which is a great treat for visitors and residents alike!

Discovering all this, I titled my series of boards “insideout|side spaces” and described different qualities of these Czech spaces on each board.

Learning from Prague

Jože Plečnik

The modernism of Jože Plečnik.

Cubism is one of the aspects that makes Prague’s skyline so energetic.  I’ve uploaded a gallery of boards I made following the week-long study abroad program I organized to the Czech city.

The travel group was energetic, too.  We had such fun sketching and learning.  I asked each traveller study one specific aspect of the urban environment.  My own assignment was to capture characteristics unique to Prague.

I made these boards for the exhibit our group posted in Hampton University’s Bemis Laboratories building.  We also presented the work at the Hampton Roads AIA Pecha Kucha Night.

Art Event in Dublin Today (and Beyond)

Graphic Studio Dublin & Graphic Studio Gallery -- image from invitation to the art show.

Graphic Studio Dublin & Graphic Studio Gallery — image from invitation to the art show that starts Thursday.

Susan Early, the architect friend of Joan Cahalin’s who I met at the Cobblestone, sent a message in response to the blog about missing Glen’s art party.  I’m not letting myself out of the apartment today until I’ve made major progress on this paper.  I’ll have to attend the show at a later date.  But perhaps you’d like to go?

Joan just sent me a link for today’s blog about the print fair which you are missing in Virginia and I think I can offer you an alternate event here! 
If you recall, I am a printmaker with the Graphic Print Studio (also an architect….) and today/tomorrow, Sat 01 December, we are having a fundraising event for the studio called ‘Sketchbooks’ in the graphic studio gallery on Cope St in temple bar, from 10till 6pm. The features pages from sketchbooks from our own printmakers and other invited artists including many of the top Irish artists, all for sale for €50 a piece. There are about 350 sketches for sale! 
I will be in the gallery in the morning and would live you to come along, sorry about the short notice! 
Our members Christmas show contains just prints and etchings which opens on Thursday in the same gallery.  I should be at that one also so feel free to drop in! 
Hope to see you at one or other or both! 
Location of the show that starts Thursday.

Location of the show that starts Thursday.

Art Party

Sketch from Ruben Fletcher's blog of and "Art Party" at "Glen McClure's downtown Norfolk studio." Uploaded December 9, 2007.

Sketch from Ruben Fletcher’s blog of and “Art Party” at “Glen McClure’s downtown Norfolk studio.” Uploaded December 9, 2007.

Glen McClure’s photo studio comes to life in downtown Norfolk, Virginia, this time of year.  I always enjoy attending Glen’s annual print sale, seeing the images I love laid out on the tables, and connecting with friends.

This is the first year in a long, long time that I’ve not been present for this festivity.

Fortunately, though, Dave keeps me posted by text.  It helps bring my memories to life.  Finding Reuben Fletcher’s sketch on line from the 2007 party also rekindled memories.

I have to admit that I got slightly teary eyed when the first of Dave’s photos rolled in!

Glen, Marshall, Dave, and our friends Jamie and Mark Lewis are all going to the Christmas Parade of Boats down the York River this weekend, and I’ll miss that, too.  Fond memories of people and places close to my heart….

Exploring Material Ethics

A progress review in Patrick’s 4th year studio at the DIT. Patrick, Shannon, and Connor are clearly captivated by this student’s presentation.

I asked the architecture students to tell me what interested them most from the lecture on Materials that I gave today in the studio coordinated by Patrick Flynn.  They said Dave Chance’s images!

I’d been asked to talk about materials in a way that would help students with designing schools.  So I started by downloading pages from Dave’s website.  He travels the world photographing materials in relation to light.

To prepare for this lecture I also attended a review of the class’s proposed designs last Friday.  Patrick invited me as a guest critic, but my primary goal was to find out how I could tailor today’s presentation to their needs and interests.

A slide using Dave Chance’s photograph from the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach in Normandy. (Copyright Dave Chance Photography.)

I decided to present my thoughts using: (1) Dave’s images to provide inspiration and (2) images of schools as a tool for conveying more pragmatic content.

I structured the talk around themes of Material Ethics, Teaching Capacity of materials, the need to Generate Knowledge regarding materials, Authenticity, and Sustainability.  I titled it “How an Architect’s Material Palette Can Enhance Student Learning” with the subheading “Cultivating an Ethics of Materiality.”