As part of our relocation, I have rediscovered a large quantity of school work from my time at college. Architecture is unique in that the school work that is generated has a very particular set of storage requirements in order to maintain quality. In my case, a particular set of storage requirements I did not strictly adhere to. I knew at some point that I would probably be purging our storage rooms from the accumulated mass of Strathmore models and foam presentation boards that has gathered throughout the years, I just had to wait until the scars on my fingers and the vivid memories of communal all-night work parties had faded a bit more. I might have been able to hold out a bit longer too, if it wasn’t for the cardboard hammock.
As part of a sustainable design studio we were tasked with creating a “chair” using renewable resources. Without becoming a slave to the guidelines, I attempted to create a free-standing hammock-like structure, out of cardboard. The result was actually like a stiff recliner in the form of an over-sized prehistoric serpents rib-cage, but I was proud of it. I managed to tuck the hammock away into storage for a few years, but one fatal flaw in a cardboard hammock…it doesn’t fold. It was just too large and had to go. This ultimatum guided me to the revelation that now was the time to purge.
So I gathered as many flammable models, sketches, and presentation boards as I could bear to part with, gathered some wood, grabbed the camera, and got ready to send the symbols of countless hours of toiling and focus up in flames. It was easier than I thought to say goodbye to the only real tangible evidence of my experiences at college, perhaps it was the fire that helped.
To start things off right, I began the festivities with the oldest model around. This poor guy has been stuck in storage since I was in 6th grade. This was my first encounter with the Architecture profession as part of a school project to complete our “walkabout.” It was time to let it go…
Then I got down to business and I must say, there is something deeply symbolic about burning your projects. I felt release, gratification, and it was a ton of fun!
Finally, I ended it all where it began. The cardboard hammock was the last to be fed to the flames, and the most glorious. For the amount of grief over storage, handling, transporting, building, this piece has caused me, I was glad to see it ablaze so fantastically.