Archives from France

Wednesday
May232012

done.

6 frames, 6 mattes, many pages of A3s and A4s, 3 boards, 1 process book, 1 critique, and 1 test later, I am DONE with my work for this quarter.  DONE.  Now all that is left to do, is drink up these last few days of Lacoste, meet and greet at the Vernissage, and celebrate all the wonderful times and wonderful friends I've made here!  Now I'm leaving the computer lab..let the celebrating begin!

Tuesday
May222012

Becoming More Beautiful as Time Goes On

This evening was the last evening my parents were in my area of France…my area, I like the sound of that.  We splurged and went out to a beautifully lit, wonderfully presented, gourmet French restaurant.  This restaurant was in a city unlike any we had been to before: it had a river running right down the middle of it.  The city also seemed like the antique hub of the world because there were back-to-back antique shops up and down the entire main street and our restaurant was even attached to an antique shop. 

 The restaurant was called "Le Jardin du Quai" and there were two fashionable young men who waited on us, one was French and the other was Canadian and spoke very good English.  At first we were the only customers in the restaurant because we are still crazy Americans who are ready for dinner at 6:30 (at least I am), but we were able to waste time weaving in and out of antique shops until our reservation at 7:30.  We were seated in a large room with round and square tables covered with crisp, white tablecloths and shiny clear glasses for wine and water.  We decided on a white wine for the evening, from the Luberon valley (the valley in my area), and it was the best white wine I've ever had in my life.  The waiter poured a small amount in my dad's glass and rolled the wrist of the hand with the wine bottle in it, smoothly splashing wine into my mom's and my glass at my dad's nod of approval. 

Each course was served to us with absolute precision, from the stacks of bruschetta crisps at the beginning, to the placement of raspberries atop the swirl of bright red raspberry sorbet and green pistachio mousse for dessert.  At the end of the meal I walked into the bathroom (one thing I must do at every restaurant, as an Interior Designer, and myself, is check out the bathroom) and the smell of a flickering, sweet gardenia candle drenched my skin and nostrils as I saw my reflection in the antiqued mirror of this secret place, as I saw my reflection in beauty.

 And as my parents and I left, exchanging many gracious words with the two men we were now close and cordial with, we stepped into the wonderland of the restaurant's garden.  No one sat there tonight, it was too cold, but still every corner of the garden twinkled.  We weaved in and out of each outdoor table, following the guiding vines of the ivy incorporating itself into the iron furniture, and I took one last look at the glowing place before the portal of the garden seemed to close forever, with me just walking away.

One the drive back to Lacoste the dark gray mountains were turning into deep blue sky.  The grape vines we had tasted were settling in for the night, and I said goodbye to my parents as I hiked up the steep stone hill, guided by the light of Café de Sad behind me.  On my way up to the dorm the voices of my friends Tyler and Carl called to me from a balcony above.  I looked up into the night sky and saw their silhouettes and the small red embers of their cigarettes fading in and out.  I told them of my wonderful dinner experience and they talked with me about the art installation they are working on for the Vernissage.  If I had to describe this experience of Lacoste, in one simple way could I do it?  If I had to, I would say: Lacoste is nothing but small twinklings in a black sky.  It is pink embers flying by, and glowing stones stacked on mountain homes.  Lacoste is grape vines sleeping and waking, and becoming more beautiful as time goes on. 

Tuesday
May222012

I was missing eichberg one day

For those of you who don't know, Eichberg is the Interior Design building in Savannah, a second home to many of us.

Inspired by the poem "Ode to American English" by Barbara Hamby

 

I was missing finals week one day,

the hot, sweaty heat of Savannah,

being soaked before I get out the door,

drenched by the time I reach class.

Carrying a presentation board,

rushing to get there early and pin up,

or squeeze into Creative Approach.

 

I was missing all the sleep deprived, pill-popping,

energy-drinking students, red in the eyes,

staring aimlessly at Photoshop,

or a perspective drawing on marker paper:

A sea of Prisma tubes fanning out from not one,

but two or three studio desks.

 

Yoga mats, pillows and blankets

planted under the desks for something in-between an all-nighter

and a good night's sleep.

 

I was missing the Eichberg woodshop,

tired students chopping their fingers off.

I was missing the smell of zap-a-gap glue, burning chipboard,

and fixative spray

holding towers and rooms and little fake trees

together to be destroyed the next day,

by a teacher's comments

or no=sleep slip-ups

or back-door swings.

 

I was missing waiving T-squares

to turn the motion-censored lights back on,

flushing out finals sickness with vending machine

lemon-lime Powerade.

I was missing midnight trips to Five Guys,

eating greasy French Fries,

despite our French lives:

the food cooked for us

and at restaurants they ignore us,

so we can merrily sit,

rolling gently back wine,

made from the vineyards

in the valley we look at.

To then wake up with birds chirping,

and stone streets calling..

 

I was missing Eichberg one day..

But really, I wasn't.

Sunday
May202012

It's all in the details

Today is the last day before our final presentations of our Residence Hall and Community Space.  I feel like in a way, Ben was my teacher this quarter.  He has a work ethic that is so effective, Brie describes it as “no concept of stopping.”  There is never a time when Ben doesn’t feel like working, where normal people get restless or tired he feels natural and continues to sit in front of his computer, designing away.  Sometimes he shuts down and takes a nap, but it’s more of a reboot, and then he starts right up again and continues to do amazing, detail-oriented work.  Over the past few days Ben and I have been examining our presentation board, tweaking margins, changing typefaces, rendering extra sketches to better portray our design.  I have learned more new tricks in Adobe’s Photoshop and Indesign in the past week than I have in my entire career at SCAD.  And I am pleased to say, I am very satisfied with what Ben and I will be presenting tomorrow. 

I may have already mentioned this in the blog, but the concept for our project is to “simplify your experience.”  Ben and I hope that if students were to inhabit our spaces, they would simplify their experiences in order to focus on what’s important to them.  This quarter, my partnership with Ben has taught me how to focus on what’s important, and convey my message in the most sincere and efficient way. 

As I prepare my mind for the presentation I think about our Community Space coffee shop, still without a name, which embodies ideas of warmth, festivity, and nature.  I think about how I must be sure to mention our materials, and how we chose materials common in the area such as wood, stone, concrete, and terracotta roof tiles.  Our materials are durable and will wear well; they make maintenance and interaction with the space simple and direct.

Ben and I both plan to wear “simple” black tomorrow, to carry our concept even into our wardrobe (my idea).  I figured this would be easy for Ben because he has about twelve black T shirts for some reason.  I feel as if I know every roof, stone, and fireplace of our design (yes, there’s a fireplace in the coffee shop).  I enjoy the way Ben and I both have detail-oriented minds, but have focused on different details: combining our architecture and interior design skills we have truly acknowledged each element and produced a striking, simple space.

Saturday
May192012

Roussillon, France

Hello everyone, it's finals weekend so I won't have time to write a long blog tonight, but here are some pictures from last night when my parents and I went to the city of Roussillon for dinner.  Roussillon means "Red City" and fits the place perfectly.  The reason Roussillon is called "Red City" is because all the ochre mines are around and within it.  There are tall, textured cliffs of piercing pink and deep yellow.  It was nice to have a change of aesthetics from entire stone cities of Lacoste, Gourdes, Bonnieux, etc.  In Roussillon, all of the buildings are pink, red, or yellow.  And if a building is stone, the grout in between the stone is pink!  Every corner I turned I was delighted with the sharp color of the city, and the different colors residents chose to paint the shutters to compliment their ochre-clad house.