Mud, Wood, Brick, and Stone
One of the pleasures of travel is discovering how other people live. I enjoy wandering off the normal tourist routes, through villages or the back streets of cities hoping to get a glimpse of ordinary people at work or play—winnowing wheat, gossiping with friends, walking to market with bundles on their heads.
If I can't see the people themselves, I can at least see their houses and places of worship. I like the way these traditional buildings—whether dwelling or temple—seem to grow out of their surroundings. I like that they generally use materials that are readily available—baked brick in arid regions like Bukhara, massive timbers in the forests of northern Europe, stone in mountain regions like Ausangate. I like that they are adapted to their climate—thick walls used in hot climates, steep roofs in regions with a lot of snow, light bamboo walls in humid tropical regions. I like that they are human-centered, reflecting the hopes and needs of the people who use them.
In my drawings of these buildings, I aim to celebrate the diversity of life, the myriad ways people adapt to the places they inhabit and make themselves at home in the world. As I work on the drawings, I try to imagine how it would be to live in such a place—what difficulties people face, what compromises they have to make, what pleasures they enjoy.Return to Architecture page.