Tree People Nov07

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Tree People

Great fire pit at the Friendship Circle

Islandwood could be summed up in just a few words, words like beautiful, wonderful and ingenious, but they wouldn”t be enough. It is, on paper, a camp for inner-city kids to experience and learn about the environment over the course of four days. Using science, technology and art, students and their mentors explore the 255-acre site composed of diverse ecosystems in order to develop a deeper understanding of the relationships between biological and cultural diversity.

 

Our affable guide Tom Bartuska showing us through Islandwood’s core buildings

Exploring the classrooms with their “nests” and the lodges where learning continues through features like the hearths, each of which represents a different type of rock or region.

Islandwood transports nbso online casino reviews its students and visitors to a world where human development exists symbiotically with its environs, a world were community is not an app on your super-phone but a gathering of souls around the great fire pit, sharing the days discoveries and achievements with fellow explorers. Quiet, serene venues like the bird blind offer a place of solace for silent contemplation and reflection. These architectural follies serve as extended classrooms that impart the ever-relevant lessons of nature to their visitors. Their form and construction is pure and absolutely elemental, evoking a genuineness and integrity of design that augments the wonder of your surroundings.

A few of the follies throughout Islandwood: bird blind with kid-friendly windows and a floating “classroom” that students can actually take out into the lake!

Harry Potter’s forest retreat/Tree House…which is different from a house in the trees which is pictured above

It has been two weeks since my studio-mates and I ventured out to Bainbridge Island to explore the grounds of Islandwood. We went there to study building connections, materiality and spatial relationships, and in the process gained something more. Even with our short visit to the camp, the magic of that place was made evident and after only a couple hours we were all pleading like excited children to stay, even forever.

Reluctantly making our way out of the forest

Over the last few weeks, I have been slowly loosing my drive to design this quarter”s project, grappling with my site and banging my head against my desk hopping that something good would fall out. Writing this post has helped me to realize and reflect on the lessons I learned at Islandwood, convincing me to begin anew and giving me renewed focus to provide the user with a sincere experience through my architecture a midst an otherwise insincere setting.

Nothing like a little “cognitive lubrication” to round out the day and talk about the ideas inspired by the day’s trek

Written by Eddie De La Fuente

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