We are what we create:
We have been working hard this week towards the opening of our first public exhibition titled: #BuildingEast. The exhibition explores how the places we build today will shape our region’s legacy and become the identity of who we are for generations to come. #BuildingEast is as much an investigation as an exercise in challenging ourselves to think differently about how we define ourselves in Atlantic Canada through our built environment.
When we think about outports, like Burlington, they are places that are identifiable by the very built environments that are at risk of disappearing. Wooden fishing stages perched along the rocky shoreline are examples of structures beloved by visitors and locals alike, that evoke feelings of nostalgia. Today, like the majority of rural towns, a fast-paced industry and quick-building practices put the character and values of a place a risk. Where there are carefully crafted structures in need of repair, too often a vinyl box is destined as its replacement.
But there is the opportunity to build our cities and towns with purpose – to build with the same quality and care that is found in the buildings we celebrate from our history. Buildings that tie us together, buildings that carry shared values of craft, quality and which draw from local resources – giving them shared meaning. And key to this, is do so without simply imitating, but rather by working to understand who we are today as a people and build what we feel is prideful. For ultimately – we are what we create. Zita Cobb’s Shorefast Project project on Fogo Island, we see such examples that challenge building between traditional and contemporary ideals.
Michael Kiser, writer and photographer of the blog Good Beer Hunting, gets to the heart of the values of craft beer brewing and we believe that in his observations they relate to the process of architecture and what lies at the core. He says: “It’s not whether or not you can make a better beer – it’s whether you can make it matter.”