another furniture finale

This is the piece i built this summer in furniture studio. its a butsudan (literally means buddha house) but it is a Buddhist shrine as it were, which most Buddhists (particularly the Japanese sects with which i am familiar) maintain in their own home.. i was raised buddhist, although i don't exactly practice anymore, i still have all of my religious para that i should have in its 'proper' place. my buddhist upbringing is still a profound aspect of my ethos/values or way of looking at life and the world. i may go back to practicing at some point. anyway, this is what a traditional butsudan of this size would look like:

it has outer and inner doors. inside the inner doors in this sect of buddhism, is a scroll called a gohonzon which you focus on during meditation or saying the mantra (Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo)...you may remember this from the tina turner movie?!? anyway, the butsudan usually sits on top of a table which is the altar. the altar would have candles, lemon leaves, incense etc. for mine, i wanted to remain true to the tradition of what a butsudan is and does but adjust its design for my lifestyle. instead of sitting on a table it is wall hung. i wanted something that was minimal but also quietly beautiful and discretely spiritual. for instance when the outer doors (steel) are open, the inner door doesn look like a door. it just looks like a recessed panel of very figured walnut with 2 walnuts trapped inside! where the tree cracked or had a branch. it doesn't scream..."religious object!" but it looks special. (to me) like a work of art.

then with a little interaction...the butsudan can turn into the altar. that little handle can be removed and the panel/door slides down. to reveal the gohonzon (not shown here) and 2 shelves one opens out (the top one) and has the incense burner, two candles and a water bowl.the bottom shelve has two testtube/mini vases for single stems of lemon leaves and enough space to hold the sutra(prayer) book. so if i decide to practice i can.

its small (not tiny though 3 feet long when closed), but fitting for my lifestyle and household...my mom called it a starter butsudan! because a lot of the buddhists we've known for 20yrs have more monumental style butsudans and altars that can take up a whole wall. that just didn't fit for me. anyway, these ARE NOT the professional pictures. i think those will be ready next week. i'm sure they will be better, less washed out and blurry, i'll replace these with those.


cybele tv

i ran across the website of cybele clark mendes who i knew only briefly and peripherally at CU in the fine arts department. congrats cybele on the site and recent work! it seems she is using artifice in addressing her challenges with the perception of her identity. kind of reminds me of some oldschoolcindy sherman stuff but maybe not as shocking. interesting.

new sarah sze piece at macaw hall seattle

i just love her.


Guerilla Design Build

while flipping through an old archrecord2, i ran across this project and or organization Foundation for Art Architecture research and Making, dedicated to the cultivation of art, architecture, education and community. sounds like an interesting model worth replicating and or building on.


RIP Tombol

i mourn the tragic loss of a little brother. not my little brother but it easily could have been as sensless as this crime was. Tombol was the brother of a dear highschool friend Samil whom i deeply loved back then but was too immature to appreciate. i only knew Tombol as a little boy but i remember that he was a sweet as pie and too adorable for words. i always had tremendous respect and admiration for the Malik family...and i regret that our friendship disintegrated in my tumultuous college years. i learned of this tragedy several weeks ago but it keeps creeping into my mind and keep revisiting the blog in his memory, as if it somehow keeps him alive. today i read notes from his own brothers, samil and sati and wept for them and siblings and mothers in pain everywhere. in the midst of my random arty/archi/anti-archi musings, i just wanted to publicly acknowledge this terrible terrible loss.

update 9/29/05:
i debated removing this post to take care of all these*** unsolicited commenters*** from people unwilling to even identify themselves. after all my blog is not focused on this issue. for the most part i believe in free speech so you're free to have your opinion in my eyes...but make sure you're responding to the post please??!!? i didn't say who was right or wrong...i don't know. the point is whatever the case its still senseless for all involved and it is a loss. please be mature and have respect for my memory. i didn't place blame or speak negative on the other parties involved...b/c first off thats not me. and secondly I WASN'T THERE I DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. i'm speaking to my memory of a little boy that i never knew as an adult whatever the circumstances.


Space Hijackers

ever hear of "anarchitects"? see their their manifesto their mission sounds more compelling than the work actually manifests to me but interesting idea none the less.

what about OSA (office of subversive architecture). interesting kind of practice.


A place for remembering those who die homeless

a design competition sponsored by the AIA Seattle due 10.13.



not architectural or anything, but an creative and interesting way to capture people's attention and speak out on an issue. in addition to the street installations, i like the interactive map on the website with people's narratives under the "see all ghostcycles" link.