Living, working, breathing in Paris

Bassin La Villette a

Bassin La Villette in the snow, detail of panorama. J Clarke

I’m over half way through my post-doc residency hosted at the Laboratoire AMP
Architecture, Milieu, Paysage (landscape) as part of the Ecole Nationale Superieur de Architecture de Paris La Villette, here in the 19th arrondisement. I’m working on a book and exhibition project…around themes of liquid urbanism, biorhythmia and water vitality. The picture at the top of the page is the Paris La Villette Basin which I walk by every day and have been documenting on camera since my arrival here in February. The photo below is the Gare du Nord which I live very close to, literally on top of and so I’m very much immersed in the urban environment. I shake off the electromagnetic resonance from living near high-speed-rail on the dance floor which you can read about below in my post on urban rhythmn communities. I’m also working on a design concept for the exhibition Biorhythymia to be held at the gallery at Ecole Nationale Superieur d’Architecture du Paris La Villette in late October. The design concept is a kind of ecological retrofit of Parc Saint Cloud the grounds of the former summer residence of Marie Antoinette on the outskirts of Paris, very close to Versailles. Parc Saint Cloud has some 17th century water features that are truely decadent and magnificent.

I’m very much enjoying working alongside the great team of people, in the laboratoire. It’s a multi-disciplinary environment. We often work together in the same office in very close quarters, and so it’s intimate and then often very silent for hours, while we are all quietly working away but not separate. None of that Anglo Saxon isolating academic office thing here… It’s a great way to be in this crazy, beautiful, stimulating, indescribable city called Paris. I had the honour to be the moderateur for the arts sessions at the Landscape and Imagination conference here in May and I got to meet some great people from around the globe working to bring imagination to landscape. I think this academic area is the cutting edge of innovation in the 21st century, finally ecology and culture are mutually in conversation here, and in this field of work and research and community involvement we can find much hope for our future. Merci beaucoup to my colleagues Yann, Hamid, Alikki, Xiaoling, Rosa, Christina, Phillipe, Dimitri, Olivier et al…..for making me feel so welcome and part of this wonderful space.
Laboratoire AMP

garedunord

landscape and imagination

Thankyou to everybody that made this happen especially, Associate Professor Sarah Treadwell, Dr Michael Linzey, Professor Andrew Barrie, Dr Alexander Jayeun Lee, Judy Cockram in the School of Architecture and Planning in Auckland, my PhD examiners for their encouragement, Professors Yann Nussaume, Bruno Peeters, and Marc Bourdier and research administrator Nicole Ajjarai, here in Paris, Professor Brian McGrath from Parsons New School of Design in New York for a great reference, and Professor Victoria Marshall also of Parsons for hosting me in Cambodia, the administrative team in NICAI in Auckland, all of my students who it has been an honour to share my PhD research with along the way, and all my friends and family in NZ and around the globe, and especially my son Adrian.

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