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July 2, 2011 / Robert Ross

Incremental Change

As I approach the first anniversary of this blog, it seems appropriate to do some tweaking. The new graphic on the right side of the page is a detail from a triptych I created for a visual communications class in graduate school many, many years ago.  The piece is a deconstructed map of New York city and was created from balsa wood, sand, graphite and paint on masonite, tied together by three 8 foot long copper pipes. It is an example of my ongoing fascination with the urban form and the patterns that can be discovered within. (For those who have to know, the detail came from the center panel.)

Change in the urban form tends to happen incrementally and within an established framework. Every now and then long established patterns can be disrupted by a single massive intervention. Most of the time, these are the result of a major catastrophe such as fire, earthquake, or war. Some of the more famous examples are Baron Haussmann’s rebuilding of Paris in the mid 19th century and Christopher Wren’s unrealized plan for the rebuilding of London following the Great Fire of 1666. More recently the imposition of the interstate system on long established inner cities in the US created massive disruption to the established urban form. More often, successful urban transformation is quietly achieved parcel by parcel, block by block.

In this blog, change is incremental as well.  In anticipation of this anniversary, I considered totally changing the look of the blog as a way of celebrating the occasion (massive intervention). After some initial exploration, I determined it would be more appropriate to enrich it by personalizing the existing framework. In looking back at my original post, I think the content has managed to remain true to the original vision while maintaining a balance between the personal and professional. Not always an easy task!  Appropriately “Design” emerged as the largest label in my category cloud, closely followed by “Transformation” and then “Architecture”.  that seems about right. Change is good and quiet change is often best. I’ve got several ideas for entries percolating in the the back of my brain,  so for the future, look forward to more frequent postings – I’m starting to feel prolific!



Leave a Comment
  1. Life Should Be 3D / Jul 2 2011 5:16 pm

    Love the triptych. Blogging is kind of addictive, isn’t it? I’m only ~3 months into mine, and I love it! Here’s to change, quiet or otherwise.

  2. jeff / Jul 3 2011 6:16 pm

    “Like”………..change is good……………..

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