Friday, May 31, 2013

Tall Tales: Creative Writing Inspired by Architecture

"Buildings became unusual to me and I realised this oddness was a lot more interesting... I wondered what would happen if I put my work at the service of the unusual."

Pip Adam, a student from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand has taken a novel approach to her Creative Writing PhD thesis by immersing herself in the world of architecture and engineering. 

She shares her experiences of the influence of architecture on the creative-writing process in an article, 'At the Service of the Unusual,' which appears in The Pantograph Punch, an online magazine reporting on arts and culture in New Zealand. 

The article is interesting for its insight into a creative person's attempt to understand and capture the essence of what constitutes a building, and as a fascinating outside perspective on the world of engineering and architecture. Pip describes how a meeting with an architect-friend shifts her focus from the people in her stories to think differently about the ubiquitous university buildings she sees on campus. She enrols in engineering classes at Victoria University School of Architecture and Design and becomes fascinated by the 'rhythm' of buildings and the relationship between individuals and built forms, bravely surrendering herself to the language and philosophy of an alien world!

A philosophically-complex piece of writing that challenges our thoughts and ideas about the building and the creative thought-process around trying to tackle the subject.We particularly enjoyed Pip's humorous observations and easy-to-read, conversational style. Who knew for example, that Dostoevsky, Robert Louis Stevenson, Kurt Vonnegut and Norman Mailer were all engineers!?