Field Trip

FIELD TRIP\”Jewel and I come up from the field, following the path in single file. Although I am fifteen feet ahead of him, anyone watching us from the cottonhouse can see Jewel\’s frayed and broken straw hat a full head above my own.The path runs straight as a plumb-line, worn smooth by feet and baked brick-hard by July, between the green rows of laidby cotton, to the cottonhouse in the center of the field, where it turns and circles the cottonhouse at four soft right angles and goes on across the field again, worn so by feet in fading precision.The cottonhouse is of rough logs, from between which the chinking has long fallen. Square, with a broken roof set at a single pitch, it leans in empty and shimmering dilapidation in the sunlight, a single broad window in two opposite walls giving onto the approaches of the path. When we reach it I turn and follow the path which circles the house. Jewel, fifteen feet behind me, looking straight ahead, steps in a single stride through the window. Still staring straight ahead, his pale eyes like wood set into his wooden face, he crosses the floor in four strides with the rigid gravity of a cigar store Indian dressed in patched overalls and endued with life from the hips down, and steps in a single stride through the opposite window and into the path again just as I come around the corner. In single file and five feet apart and Jewel now in front, we go on up the path toward the foot of the bluff.\”In these first three paragraphs of As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner authors an encyclopedic insinuation of all those conditions essential to the shaping of an enduring architectural experience.Remarkably this includes: Time/timingInterior and exterior spatial sequenceProcessionContrastTactilityLight/light effectsPerspectival phenomenonHistory of placeCulture of placeStructureInterior and exterior formSpeed/cadenceGeometryTechtonicsDimensionSignifiersSite/sittingEven more remarkably, this episodic moment involves only two characters, (one observing, one observed), experiencing a one room structure set in a singular landscape along a lone path.A brief transition extraordinarily infused with deep meaning, spatial complexity and contextual exactitude.The purpose of this studio will be to make an architecture of transition inscribed with great meaning and power where experiences of spatial sequence, procession, contrast, tactility and sectional difference are defined by and employed within a radical but singular form and space.