Archive for travel

i c e l a n d

Posted in architecture, art, beauty, iceland, landscape, light, lighthouse, mountains, scent, senses, symbology, time, travel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2014 by dacarc

the alchemy of a place

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indescribable, dreamy, mystical, stunning, disorienting

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the visible elements:

lush green fields rolling under jagged peaks, washed in swaths of violet lupine

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stark glaciers falling into the ocean’s horizon

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endless lava deserts, blanketed in thick moss

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split chasms, cracked earth fissures

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photo by tim girvin

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milky blue lakes of steaming minerals, thrusting from deep underground

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heavy timber structures emerging, of the earth, stone-walled, turf sheltered

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rushing waterfalls, slicing over sheer rock mesas downward to the sea

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mist-shrouded peaks, veiled mysteries

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never-ending light, midnight sun

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standing stones, cairns, and rock-circles

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ice-shards, crystalline boulders streaming over black sand shores

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ancient codes, runes, and magical sigals

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bands of wild horses, roaming over lush green valleys

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the people, shielded by the powers of their natural island-world

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the invisible elements:

the scent of green, wet stone, salt-waters

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the desolation of no-where

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the absence of night

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no-time

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dark histories, volcanic destructions

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the chilled misted, crystalline air

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the heat of underground forces

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a place of mystery

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photo by tim girvin

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a magic place

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and the enduring strength of the people

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i c e l a n d

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japan spring

Posted in architecture, beauty, japan, landscape, light, marketplace, travel, trees with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2014 by dacarc

endless reminders

that beauty is sacred

in the care of the natural world

in the fine details of architecture

in the elaborate displays of costume

in the bolting sleek speed of the the shinkansen

in the still fluidity of raked rock gardens

in the balance of shelter and wilderness

in the clear pathways of deep bamboo groves

where you feel the spirits gathered

in celebration of all that is

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world of wonders – soul of place

Posted in architecture, dreams, energy, landscape, memory, time, travel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2010 by dacarc

 what is a place of wonder? why are some places full of wonder. what makes a place wonder full? 

treasure cave - cliffs of taktsang monastery, bhutan

which is more full of wonder – the creations of humanity or natural wonders? how would you choose only seven?

great buddha at kotoku-in temple, kamakura, japan

how do some places capture the essence of a culture,  an era, a civilization, an empire?

great wall of china

do places of wonder hold the power of the dreams, the collective spirit of a people?

holding sun and ocean

where are the energy lines, the intersections of spiritual resonance, epicenters of power?

borobudur and mount merapi - java, indonesia

are there places where your dreams are entwined with those that have come before?

humayun's tomb - delhi, india

i’m wandering in the world of wonders, looking for the soul of place, seeking the spirit held within our dreams.

bamboo forest - kyoto, japan

journey into night

Posted in japan, landscape, light, mountains, time, travel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 5, 2010 by dacarc

mount fuji sunset

now finally, at day’s end, spent sun-chasing over the endless blue ocean

out here, finding a more heightened sense of the moment, and the beauty it holds

reaching farther – onward – the journey continues

into the night

city of contrasts

Posted in architecture, china, travel, Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 8, 2009 by dacarc

 over the big blue, to the other side of the earth..

accross the pacific

across the pacific

a series of intense experiences in asia during the past few weeks have left me with reflections on the people, the culture, and the work – and on developing a deeper sense about what is meaningful to those that i work with and design for in this community.  i asked a young chinese colleague about her hopes and dreams for her life and her community – her answer was “I do  hope I could leverage my knowledge to beautify our city by building better space for better living, working, make more money to help out more poor people, reestablish Chinese’s image by building a good image of  myself and influence the people that have bias on Chinese people gradually….. I wish my country could be clean like Swiss, sophisticated like French, polite like Japan, open like American…”

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flow, chaos and choreography

in this city of energy, a grand chaotic choreograpy of bicycles and carts, motorcycles and people mixing with taxis, buses, cars – 17 million people…somehow a grandfather and child make their way, weaving through an intersection of thousands..

 

temple of heaven

temple of heaven

on this cold, sunny – lightly hazy morning, i walk through the gate to the temple of heaven – the scale of the compound stretches out, and on – the grounds full of tai chi groups and badminton players, a gathering of singers at the temple gate

temple gate singers

temple gate singers

the ancient places of beijing are not small – the forbidden city, the great wall, the temple of heaven – even the names are big, yet the details are intricate, carved, gilded, and richly painted

heaven's column

heaven's column

a city where the most modern international architecture sits next to ancient ruins, where newly sprung high rise residences tower next to dwindling hutong – the few remaining traditional neighborhoods give a snap-shop of life from another century. 

this is progress, and it is fast – more than half of the construction in the world during the next 5 to 10 years will be in china, and more than half the particulate matter in the air here in beijing is generated from construction sites. it is a city taking shape before our eyes. 

construction site in beijing

construction site - beijing

in the past 5 years since i have been working on projects here, there has been a great transformation.  it is overwhelming to see the pace and scale – the realization of the vision of developers and architects – while wrestling with the demands – faster, cheaper, bigger. 

heroic collective achievements – yet struggling for relevance and re-purpose less than a year after completion..

bird's nest - olympic stadium

bird's nest - olympic stadium

or already destroyed before even being completed – the burned-out shell behind cctv towers..

cctv - construction and destruction

cctv - construction and destruction

in the old warehouse district 798 converted to art galleries, shops and cafes, the young and fashionable stroll past new imigrants, their sun-drenched skin and large woven-plastic duffle bags holding all the hopes and dreams of their families back home in the country
industrial re-use

industrial re-use

beijing 798 warehouse galleries

beijing 798 galleries

a stunning city of contrasts

the richness of the marketplace

Posted in architecture, bhutan, japan, java, morocco, mountains, retail design, scent, senses, travel, turkey with tags , , , , , on January 21, 2009 by dacarc

there are places that are powerfully magnetic –

forests, for their dark earthy scents, filtered light patterned canopies and mysterious layered sounds..

kyoto - bamboo forest

kyoto - bamboo forest

java - merapi

java - merapi

java - merapi jungle

java - merapi jungle

mountains for their high view, crystaline air and physical challenges – and the power and force of their creation and ongoing evolution..

himalaya

himalaya

mt. st. helens - 2008

mt. st. helens - 2008

merapi - march 2006

merapi - march 2006

spiritual places for the sacred energy, celestial light, soaring volume, echoing chants, and feats of architecture – from the mosques of istanbul and morocco, the temples of kyoto and bhutan, and the cathedrals of europe..

istanbul - 2008

istanbul - 2008

instanbul mosque

instanbul mosque

aya sofia - istanbul

aya sofia - istanbul

kyoto - kiyomizu temple

kyoto - kiyomizu temple

bhutan - takstang monastery

bhutan - takstang monastery

duomo di siena

duomo di siena

and in all this exploring that i love to do, i am always drawn to the richness of the marketplace. 

what makes these captivating places so dynamic, so full of energy, discovery, inspiration? 

grand bazaar - istanbul

grand bazaar - istanbul

the people – creatively displaying the fruition of all their hard work, and those that are seeking a discovery.  it is the public living room of the community – the best place to experience the diversity and connection to a culture in any place on the planet.

berber market - atlas mountains

berber market - atlas mountains

delhi - chandni chowk

delhi - chandni chowk

marrakech - nutshop

marrakech - nutshop

the craft – what is made, how it is displayed, the care in which the shop is curated.

instanbul - textile shop

instanbul - textile shop

delhi - chandni chowk shopkeeper

delhi - chandni chowk shopkeeper

the richness of the sensory experience – scents – food, leather, flowers, tobacco, spices – colors – brilliant arrays of fruits and vegetables, vibrant patterns and materials in a vast saturated spectrum – sounds – the shopkeepers calls, intimate chatting, collective sighs, calls to prayer – textures – woven textiles, hammered and etched metals, smooth pottery, ancient cobblestones. 

marrakech souk

marrakech souk

marrakech souk

marrakech souk

spice market - istanbul

spice market - istanbul

marrakech souk - blankets

marrakech souk - blankets

From the berber markets in the foothills of the Atlas mountains, and the souks of Marrakech, to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and Chandni Chowk in Delhi, from the Pike Place Market in Seattle to the food markets of central Java – there is a universal language.  From the line of time back to nomadic trade routes and crossroads, to the modern day markets of urban cities – it is the fabric of human life, the celebration of human connections, the epicenter of human creative spirit – the marketplace.

istanbul - spice market

istanbul - spice market

berber market - atlas mountains

berber market - atlas mountains

working on the design of retail spaces, i’m learning to infuse that sensorial richness, layered experience, and inspiring memory of these places.

dac @home in the pike place market

moroccan architecture – light, texture, color, and detail

Posted in architecture, light, morocco, time, travel with tags , , , , on December 14, 2008 by dacarc

In Marrakech, after a short flight and descent of looping figure 8’s from Casablanca, there is a small hint of what is to come – the wrapping envelope of light and shadow, layered textures on every plane – though the saturation of color has been stripped away, in a modernist move, to pure white.  The effect is a striking geometry, softened by the intricate cast of shadow and light on a heavy structural diamond web.

marrakech airport - arrival hall

marrakech airport - arrival hall

marrakech airport - exterior canopy

marrakech airport - exterior canopy

 Within the old city’s original walls, the medina, it feels like travelling back in time – in some places just a century or two, in others, thousands of years. This was a crossroads of trade routes – from the original Berber tribes in the nearby Atlas mountains, the blue-robed south Saharan Tuaregs, to the Atlantic.  Other than the city walls, only one small fragment of the original city remains – the mosque dome of Koubba El-Badiyin – the origins of Moorish building and the basis of North African architecture.

marrakech - koubba el-badiyin mosque

marrakech - koubba el-badiyin mosque

koubba el-badiyin mosque

koubba el-badiyin mosque

A series of dynasties have since left traditions of incredible richness in the skill and craft of architecture – in palaces, tombs, schools, and mosques.  Even today, the highly detailed cut tile mosaics, carved and painted wood panels and cut plaster are all created by hand.  There are an endless number of details and textures wrapping every surface, a complete enveloping of beauty in color and pattern.  The French also left a tradition that continues – all buildings are pink – and the variations of hue are infinite, and especially beautiful in the late afternoon sun, as the city and people glow in the reflected shades of cinnamon, rose and sienna.

ali ben youssef medersa

ali ben youssef medersa

ali ben youssef medersa

ali ben youssef medersa

ali ben youssef medersa

ali ben youssef medersa

 Diving in today – it’s vibrant, overwhelming in the riot and chaos of the souks and labyrinth of streets filled with hand carts, motorcycles, bicycles, donkey and horse-drawn carts, speeding Mercedes taxis, and people weaving through it all. Spice, smoke, incense.

marrakech souk

marrakech souk

marrakech souk

marrakech souk

marrakech souk

marrakech souk

 Behind the doors are the hidden calm – the riyads – traditional courtyard homes filled with hand cut mosaics, carved and painted wood paneling, lace-cut metal lamps, hand cut plaster ceilings – all with a level of intricacy that continually captivates and changes with the time of day.

riyad al moussika - marrakech

riyad al moussika - marrakech

jardin majorelle - marrakech

jardin majorelle - marrakech

 
Everything here feels like a powerful reminder of time – the line of ancient cultures, the traditions handed from generation to generation, and the light of this very moment, just for an instant.

Grateful, in Marrakech.