b e w i l d e r
A spring rain has drenched the forest.
It’s cool and humid, smelling of Hemlock needles that cushion our steps on the forest floor. Bloodroot and Foam Flower wrap up for the season, and give way to bursting clusters of Mountain Laurel and the lone flower of the Trillium. Following the butterflies, we find more flowers but also birds singing from ground to canopy. Flashes of beaming bright yellow are birds darting against a background of every imaginable shade of green. Salamanders wriggle across dripping stones while Rose-breasted Grosbeaks sing at the tops of White Oaks and Broad-winged Hawks circle above.
Join us for an Inquiry in two parts.
We invite you to breach the boundary between the familiar and the unfamiliar. Let’s lead ourselves out of our human-centered worlds and into the forest—and then back again.
Between ancient trees and on moss-covered surfaces, plaster walls and glass windows, we’ll set up camp. And in this forest, we’ll collaborate. In- and out-of-doors. Through and behind, above and below, with and without a trace. To be. Thoroughly. Wilder.
Forest and building, non-human and human, wilderness and civilization; these and other dualities will emerge as we shift between realms.
Kitchen or fire pit, studio or bare ground—bewilderment, collaboration, and inquiry will continue.
How tall is the tree if there is no ruler?
Does night erase space?
Is the sky a ceiling?
“If a straight line is the shortest distance between two fated and inevitable points, digressions will lengthen it; and if these digressions become so complex, so tangled and tortuous, so rapid as to hide their own tracks, who knows—perhaps death may not find us, perhaps time will lose its way, and perhaps we ourselves can remain concealed in our shifting hiding places.”
Apply for our in-person gathering
Dates and location: June 12-18, 2022—in 2 parts:
June 12-15 tent camping at the Bear Run Nature Preserve where we will take a 1.5 mile hike to our campsite. You’ll need to bring your camping gear including a tent and a pack. There are no bathrooms or running water at the campsite. We’ll be digging holes and purifying water from the stream. As with any outdoor adventure, preparedness is essential.
June 15-18 staying at the High Meadow Residences within the Fallingwater campus where we will have access to familiar spaces like studios, kitchens, and bathrooms. The forest will still be there but we’ll reach it from the inside or our rooms.
Cost: $750 USD contribution toward onsite residency costs, groceries for shared meals, and some drinks. Limited scholarships are available. 15 applicants will be accepted. Proof of vaccination (including booster) is required.
Framers Nick Liadis, Steve Bowden, Kimmie Parker, Addy Smith-Reiman
bewilder accumulations / Miro board
1. How is it that “our thinking minds have grown estranged from the intelligence of our sensing bodies” (David Abram, 2010)? How might we refamiliarize ourselves with that intelligence?
2. How do non-humans (trees, birds, insects, fungi) communicate? What could communication design learn from this?
3. Does design always have to enframe nature? What happens when you take the frame away?
The Miro board is a place for our thoughts and ideas–in any form in any medium–that are fleeting or concrete, to exist but to also morph and take shape. This bewilder space will capture experiments as we move through the design process, enriching our understanding of the theme, place, and each other.
DesignInquiry invites you to participate from afar: Join us on our Discord server to contribute to the melee (ideas, critique, resources, articles, images, video, writing, etc.) and add your address to DI’s snail mail database to sometimes receive happy mail.
(If you are new to Discord, here’s a beginner’s guide).
DesignInquiry is a non-profit educational organization devoted to researching design issues in intensive team-based gatherings. An alternative to the design conference, it brings together practitioners from disparate fields to generate new work and ideas around a single topic.
Ongoing outcomes from recent programs:
DI would love to hear from you!
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