Drafting a Bright Future

I find myself detouring through the studio whenever I can this week—stopping at a drafting table to look at a design in process or stepping back to take in anidea board of drawings, photos, and lists reading like so many prose poems. 
It’s the last week of the Core Program for the Sustainable Building and Design Certificate, and 12 students are deep into drafting and modeling their visions of a community-focused, multiple-use structure. Coffee, protein shakes, and other fortifiers flow freely as the studentsprepare their projects for Friday’s critique.
In theinterest of full disclosure, I must admit I have a soft spot for tissue—not the Kleenex kind, but the tissue you trace on and draft on and pull from a long roll with no seeming end.It’s a potent medium for brainstorming —a translucent invitation to dive deep intothe spring where the urge for creation is arising. And putting color to the paper makes those musings so crystalline and brighthow can you not believe their potency and raw potential?
But itwasn’t the paper itself that drew me in to the studio this week. It was the dreamsgetting sketched and “bubbled” on those tissues, the visions of many-use,multi-generational living and playing and working spaces coming into form. Andit was the students laboring over those plans: a fire jumper re-purposing old barns for community structures on his family’s land; aformer Marine studying sustainability following his tours of duty in Iraq; a high-schoolgraduate exploring design and building in this “gap year” before college; anarchitect and lighting designer committed to building a community “hearthcenter” in her town. People forging a future through the work of head, heart, and hands-on dreaming, learning and working and creating together in expression of their individual dreams.
As I foray into the studio this week I glimpse a hopeful future being scribed in pencil and in color, tissue by tissue. The future looks bright from here.