When I landed at Maryborough (Qld) airport 40+ years ago as a nine year old, I wondered what kind of special skills and interests people living in this kind of environment must have, and what they would do for fun. Having just travelled half way around the world from Holland, the landscape here is certainly very different to what I left behind. Obviously not every property along the way south to Gympie was like this, however on this particular day in winter, I was very struck and captivated by the wide open space and the different vegetation and the colour was so crisp and hauntingly vibrant. There was an odd palpable sense of nothingness about it which was really quite the paradox, as to those who live here this might have been everything.
I have spent most of my life assessing spaces and the relationship that various places have with those who occupy and engage with them in some way. As someone who has no experience living in this kind of home, I observe the unseen aspects of a space; the land and its unique attributes, and tune into what might be the dialogue it shares with those who traverse it.
Words that may articulate this kind of story include dry, challenging, barren, harsh, red, isolated and then resourceful, colourful, humble, gratifying, soulful, and simplistic
How is this different from other living spaces? What words and emotions would a suburban back yard evoke in you given your background? How would we describe the experience of spending evenings in an inner city apartment, or 9 hour week days in an office high-rise?
Then there are the rooms within a space. How do we design these given we all have differing lifestyle preferences, requirements, cultural values and budgets, and for some there is the added dynamic of significant others with whom we live and work.
From the basic wardrobe to the famous grounds of the Taj Mahal in India, defining spaces is a human construct useful in determining suitability, capacity and ultimately some level of resonance and connectedness with it. We choose and often invest substantially in what we surround ourselves with. There is an innate motivation to ensure it feels and functions to a set of criteria depending who ‘owns’ or leases the space.
I imagine the woman who might influence the activities on this property would appreciate the shade of the surrounding trees, the cooling breezes, and that it provides for her family and the dependent livestock. How does it harness the energies of air and water? What insights and resourcefulness enable her to be happy here? What motivates her to be here and will it be a long-term relationship?
Over the next few weeks I will share more about the essence of space, and how we can and do manipulate it to support our agendas. As well, we explore our relationship with the spaces we choose to be a part of, be they interior, exterior, residential, commercial, and landscape spaces, as together we’re making space make sense!