Creative Assignment 1 - Unseeing

September 7th, 2022 - Last updated: March 21st, 2024

You are asked to use your sketchbook/journal to start to ‘see’ an everyday object. To sketch it, describe it and to really see the lines, the shapes, the elements that make up that object and not the object itself as we define it. The purpose of this assignment is to see objects in a different light.

To be able to break it down and note the elements that make up this object.

This is the beginnings of de-constructivism or ‘unseeing’.


Class Summary Discussion and one page (medium of choice) submittal depicting your deconstructive process and findings with the object you 'deconstructed'.

Social + Physical Deconstruction of a Telephone


A Deconstruction of Zoning Systems and US Private Land

Zoning systems and land use rights have long been prevalent in my world, and in growing up in Northern New Hampshire. My Mom has always been a very active member for the local conservation trust, ACT. Aside from supporting outdoors programs and local natural resources the main aim of act is to manage and procure conservation easements on properties. The plot of land my parents own is under easement so that the land cannot be sub-divided for building of a new development (the plans for the property before they made the purchase. Growing up there was a large construction boom, and swaths of natural habitat were cut and suburbanized to make way for cookie cutter houses. The old farms, under easement, stayed put as scenic landmarks however and stood to show the power that easements could have on preserving areas of land.

Another memory is the large grassroot movement against The Northern Pass. Proposed in 2011, it would have been a 192-mile transmission line that would rise above tree lines, ruining much of the natural beauty my home area relies on for tourism. In 2019, the New Hampshire supreme count ruled that the project could not go forward because it would not benefit the people whose properties, views, and revenues may be harmed from its presence. This showed me at a young age the power that property holders have in the US. A large group of activists against the power lines were from my town, and through their protests I could see how zoning and property rights can protect communities.

It was, however, upon visiting Worcester for school that I saw a downside to this system that I had regarded fairly highly. In the suburban and urban landscapes the zoning system that I had seen used to protect wildlife and natural resources was instead used to create safe-haven communities, and empower gentrification. Certain zoning regulations would make it hard for people to live in neighborhoods, or have housing setups which they could comfortably live in with. It is obvious in walking through Worcester which neighborhoods have money, which are being built up, and those that do not. While not entirely zoning‘s fault, zoning plays a major role in our built environment, and also therefor plays a major role in who can live where.

This relates to some of my current work and interests as well. I‘m looking at the social housing crisis the US faces and found the Adaptive Reuse zoning, the purpose of which is to revive older sections of city’s for good. Part of the struggle we have come across is how to improve an area without gentrification, and keeping original community values intact.