What this is about…

I have several goals in publishing this blog.  Herein I am interested in describing my experience as a thirty-seven year old graduate student seeking a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture.   It is about process.  Transformation.  Learning how to see, how to draw, and how to communicate about the landscape.  It is about developing my voice as an apprentice of landscape architecture and design.  It is about accepting my role as a student.  As someone who does not know but would like to.  It is about my learning to accept that there are so many things that I do not know but that I am privileged to have the opportunity now to learn from so many talented people.  It is about landscape. Interaction.  Way-finding.  Place-making.

A little about the phrase Desire Lines.  In 1958, Gaston Bachelard coined the phrase “desire paths” in his book The Poetics of Space.  He described those behavioral traces of erosion and trampled grass and bare earth caused by people “off the beaten path.”  It often demonstrates a failure on the part of the designer as people ignore the sidewalks that were carefully laid out.  In opposition to hard paths designed and constructed, these “social paths” are organic, anarchic, indirect; they meander along contours, through groves, out of the open.

I’ve arrived at this particular path through many detours and diversions.  I feel as though I’ve been coming to this place my entire life.  The last ten years in particular have been instrumental in guiding me to where I am.  From map-making of New Mexico’s wildernesses to my Bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology; from my work as an archaeologist to owning my own organic farm; and from my Volunteer experience in The Gambia to my travels in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Morocco, and Italy I have made numerous stops along the trail.

Now I embark on a new journey.

But it is just one more step.


About matthewtraucht

Graduate school student at the University of Minnesota's College of Design pursuing a Master's of Landscape Architecture, class of 2013.
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