[nearly two months late, but written in (hopefully) present tense]
If I didn’t know any better, I’d think I was inside a spaceship.
Also, who the hell creates something like this metal tree with the expectation of observation and not interaction? Don’t make something this intriguing, in easy reach of small (and adult) children, then stick a big no-touchy sign on the front of it.
A change from the nostalgia, and we now venture to places I’ve never been to (or that I don’t remember going to). First, there is the spaceship (museum) with a section devoted to new innovations in renewable energy. I’m aware I might be losing you on that sentence alone, but bear with me for another four. Architects and designers were invited to envisage a future East Lansing for the HELIOcity project, and I can’t begin to explain why, but the New York development in particular seemed to resonate with me the most – maybe I’ll just leave the words to Levenbetts:
“HELIOcity posits a new way of planning cities…in direct integrated relation to the omnipresent movement of the sun and…deployment of electric light.
The dynamic nature of the sun…disrupts seemingly immutable urban and architectural organizational structures in order to sustain, collect and delight the inhabitants of a place.”
… Just me then?
I could bore you with why I thought the American Appetite exhibition on the country’s relationship with its food culture was weirdly fascinating, such as Coca-Cola needing to rethink an early image because of its sexual connotations (i.e. naked lady behind bottle + drinking Coke = get naked lady and Coke), but I can already envisage eyes glazing over and restless foot tapping as your brains begin to melt. But it’s interesting to think about, even as an outsider.
Next is a wee historical village, which was…quaint. Something about a series of locked empty buildings, tucked behind an ominous looking library, with only the mock chapel open and occasionally in use, feels a little eerie to walk around. On a sunny day and next to the glorified pond, it is an undeniably pretty space. But as I sit here, I can’t help imagining a bleaker day, mist above the water, and no one in sight. Just the sound of highway in the gloom… If I’m honest, I’m now starting to wonder if you could film an abridged tribute to Stephen King’s ‘The Mist’ here, all scenes in one location.
Among brief stints to stores, the Wharton Centre (a second failed attempt at getting a lookaround, in fact), and a visit to a four month old’s home (with hair anime could only dream of), our trip comes to a close. Time to wave goodbye to the resident robins under the balcony (so noisy), the lone rabbit and the Cardinal bird nearby, and begin our trek back to the Windy City. Quickly now, we have a show to catch – lets hope we don’t take the long route there or we’ll be late…