Driftless/Drifting: Community Design in Times of Rapid Adaptation

Before the COVID-19 crisis unfolded in the United States in March 2020, Design for Community Resilience (DCR) – a program I lead at the Center for Sustainable Building Research at the University of Minnesota – began work in January on a project with partners, UMN Extension’s Southeast Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, for the community of…

Experiments inspired by Folk Art

Madhubani art, from the region of ancient Mithila, modern-day state of Bihar, Eastern India. Childlike forms, gods and goddesses, story glimpses flash in my mind. The landscape of Indian folk art is vast and Madhubani art is a popular artform, familiar, seen in paintings, on sarees. Now on Pinterest and You Tube videos, it is obvious…

Interstitial

I’m not quite sure how the word and the concept of ‘interstitial’ has come to the forefront of my consciousness since last week.  Perhaps it showed up in the interstices of my mind during one of my chanting meditations. Or perhaps it was in something I read. In any case, the word concept has captured…

Art Collab: Week 5

(The artist’s journey may be solitary on one hand but it thrives on camaraderie and inspired company. Cecilia Ramon is an artist and dear friend and we are continuing our collaborative exploration together. Every week that we can, one of us will send the other some inspiration in the form of an excerpt from a…

Deep Being

Last weekend two events I experienced converged in my consciousness. Have you experienced times when unrelated events you’ve experienced connect and together offer yet new insights,  new possibilities for action in connection to each other? In a busy life with so many activities, it is exciting when seemingly disparate events connect. The world is actually…

Designing for the Loons

The loon is Minnesota’s state bird. This aquatic bird is mysterious and intriguing for a number of reasons including its physical stark appearance with its black and white markings and red eyes and one of its sounds, the ‘tremolo’, that resembles maniacal laughter. I am currently facilitating, with colleagues, a community-engaged project to design a…