Gardening Not Construction

Garden over Construction Andrew Conti


I’ve chosen recently to give up on construction as way of viewing how I work. All that time and and strength-sapping concern for the ‘right’ designs, and the ‘right’ materials, and the ‘right’ space to get about doing one’s work. It’s so easy to get lost in the processes of preparation and in patterns–like felling trees to build your own walls.

Construction is a focus on erecting some new thing while ignoring what is around you. It requires cleared spaces and over-refined notions of materials. It becomes in some ways a violent act of attempting to assume dominance while ignoring what is happening.

Instead I am embracing gardening in the studio and in my life. Simple acts of finding places to go with my work and my ideas and seeing what paths develop. Finding seeds and planting them, seeing where my feet go to determine where the aisles are, and always being careful to avoid trampling anything that might grow.

Gardening is to me about embracing what is and working with it in a long slow processes of interaction and growth. Its the act of removing the ideas of cutting, hammering, designing, and building, and instead elevating concepts of cultivation, pruning, watering, and letting sun shine. There is no forceful pushing through, instead it’s reacting and interacting, pushing and pulling. Mixing creative impulses that swirl through the world around us, and all the possibilities they present.

It is in the end about defining an approach to what one can hope to do and achieve. Finding the right words, and the right frame of mind can change everything within and about the act of creation. In gardens we grow, and we learn as we interact. Its a slower process, and I am more and more excited about what can be done when done slow.