Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pressure to be patterned?

Pastel homes saddle up daringly close to one another on lines mirroring topographic contours. The three-inch gap between them makes you wonder what exists in the space in between.

Of course, this is San Francisco. Every great city has a distinct feel, but who sets that pattern? How does a pattern get initiated? Who decides to follow the tradition of those that came before?

How does a city develop its coherency? In some instances, the thread is subtle yet prominent. A recent visit to London allowed me to marvel in striping. On a street with direct view of Big Ben, a structure with an honorable place in history and in the hearts of tourists, I felt that the clock tower was only a nice background for the fantastic coherency of stripes. Through various ages and styles of masonry, construction, and metalwork, the stripes permeate and persevere. The boundary between lead actors and supporting players is blurred. I wonder what sets the pressure to be patterned.

London, April 2009

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