using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : September 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2011 74 KAT VLAHOS GREW UP on a ranch in Colorado that was set- tled by her immigrant Greek forebears. Her relationship to the land is deep. Like Schneider, she is a professor at the University of Colorado, and teaches studio courses in which students learn about “working landscapes”—places where people have worked with the land over time to create something such as a ranch, a place “where the buildings tend to be secondary to the land.” She calls her course “Dwelling Place of the Western Spirit.” Vlahos says that when she began this work in 1999 she taught a course called “Building in the Land.” Since that time, she says, understanding of land stewardship, resources, and sustainability has increased to the point where these considerations are enter- ing the mainstream of architecture and architecture education. Still, most of her students have grown up in urban or subur- ban environments, so they don’t have a strong connection to the land and its rhythms. To them, she says, the environment is an abstraction rather than “an ally and friend, one who supplies you with life and livelihood, and whose ways must be understood and counsel respected.” An essential element in her class, Vlahos says, is taking her students on field trips, overnight if possible. “We need to go to the land and experience sun, wind, earth, and water,” she says. In Vlahos’ training, if you are considering the quality of the sun— light, heat, reflection, shadow, and so forth—you sit in the loca- tion where the building would be sited and you quietly experi- ence the quality of the sun at different times of day. “What is the quality and the quantity of the sun as you are viewing the south?” she asks. “How does that shift when you turn to the east?” Vlahos often found that students’ designs were not sensitive to the envi- ronment and what people’s experience of the structure would be. “They would draw the same kind of window all the way round,” she says, “but maybe the openings to the east should be quite dif- ferent from the openings to the west.” Vlahos asks students to sit in sun and then to move to shade and pay attention to what happens to their bodies. In that way, she says, they begin to understand buildings as skins, systems that will have the same responses as one’s skin. From a shoji screen to a massive concrete wall, building materials are the skins that form the interface between outside and inside. In the same vein, she asks students to contemplate water, wind, and earth: noticing how the water works on the land and trying to discover ways to use it best, thinking of how structures will “Architecture can be violently disruptive, but the more that students connect with the land, the less they want to disturb it.” — KAT VLAHOS