cupped hands

Person/Site-Specific Design

Edward Fleming, Architect<>Sculptor

3342 Bell Street

New Orleans, Louisiana, 70119

t: 504-377-8398 ~ e: efa@cybermesa.com

i: https://www.edwardflemingarchitect.com ~ http://edwardfleming.net  

 

Concept for person/site-specific design:                                                                                 Copyright, Edward Fleming, 2021                                                                                                               (2 pages)

Every person has a direct connection to a time of day or night and a season of the year, by virtue of their birthday and time of birth. And everyone has a story that involves other important dates and times relating to events in their own life and those of their loved ones. These times, dates and seasons all have celestial connections to the sun and moon as well as other planets and stars that are in certain positions in the sky at those specific times. This is an ancient tradition that can be seen and understood throughout history, around the world.

In a similar way, any site, from small to large, has a celestial connection. The sun rises and sets at different points along the horizon depending on the season, casting shadows across the site at varying lengths depending on the time of day and the season. The moon also does this but in an even more complex, long-range and subtle pattern. These two major celestial bodies as well as the other planets and all but one of the stars move across the sky as time and seasons change, creating points of direction in relation to the site. These points can create strong alignments that relate visually to natural and man-made elements in near, mid and distant ranges. For example, the sunset on the winter solstice could be viewed through a saddle in a distant mountain range that can be best seen from a particular place on the site. This event, once recognized, gives that specific place on the site significance that can be anticipated and celebrated.

A person’s birthday (or other event) can be celebrated in the same way. For example, a birth at 11am, October 23rd, will relate to a specific position of the sun that will direct light from a certain compass point on the horizon (azimuth) and from a certain elevation above the horizon (altitude). Knowing just this, a building or sculpture can do a number of things, including casting a shadow to a specific place or allowing a beam of light to align with another point at that exact moment. Either of these can mark that time of birth in a powerful way by connecting that time and place on the site with the sun. This creates a linkage between the center of our solar system and a site on our planet that honors the arrival of a particular person on Earth. There are literally as many variations on this theme as there are stars on the sky.

My central idea for person/site-specific design is to combine architectural, sculptural and landscape design with this understanding of the celestial connection between a site and a person. My intention is to create an environment in which to place a building and/or a sculpture that will celebrate important events for individuals, families and communities. Much more detailed information is available upon request.

Winter Solstice sunset: Galisteo Basin Preserve to the Ortiz Mountains, Northern New Mexico

Photo: Edward Fleming, Thursday, ‎December ‎21, ‎2006, ‏‎6:06:24 PM

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