We have a series of blog posts where each person here at Convergence shares an image that influenced and/or inspired them to join the architecture and design field. The image(s) can be whatever strikes the person’s fancy- a building, a park, a scenic image, a design motif or detailing… any visual representation that can help to share a bit of insight into how and why the person got into this field and the work that we do.
Today, Kristin is sharing her inspiration.
During my undergraduate study at Cal Poly, I had the privilege of spending a year in Florence, Italy as an exchange student. Coming from the United States, with a history so young by comparison, I was immediately drawn to the significance of the architecture surrounding me that had stood for centuries. Being immersed in the old-world culture and historic craftsmanship moved me to question my heavily concept-driven design approach. Until that point, I’d been influenced by more modern architects who were pushing the boundaries of construction with their vision, creating one-of-a-kind spaces and volumes that stretched the imagination.
It wasn’t until I stood in Mies van der Rohe’s German Pavilion in Barcelona, Spain that I realized why it was so impactful. The most minimal of spaces spoke more clearly to me than some of the loudest examples of modern architecture; distilling the elements of place-making down to the bare essentials of materiality, scale, light, and detail. It was the tangible manifestation of space that created presence and timelessness, grounding architecture on a personal level that we can touch, feel, and relate to.
The phrase “God is in the details” began to resonate with me throughout my travels, shifting my attention toward the everyday. The imperfectly beautiful examples that had weathered the test of time with distinction and character. History came to life for me through the hand-crafted labor of master artisans, who left their marks for generations to come. It changed my perspective and imparted an appreciation for the trades that led me to later specialize in fabrication.
I’ve selected some photos to share of my time abroad, and I hope that others will enjoy them as much as I do.