Greetings from New Orleans…
Looking out onto the streets of the Lower 9th Ward gives you a veritable mishmash of sights. Some places are abuzz with swarms of construction and framing workers, bulldozers, earth movers and pickup trucks of all kinds weaving about to one of the many houses being thrown up or refinished. Housing construction is taking off here, led by Brad Pitt’s Make It Right foundation. Its raised experimental houses, designed by some of the world’s leading architects, sit uncomfortably amidst their surroundings on their concrete stilts like pastel blocks or children’s toys. In other places, only weed-covered foundations remain…here a still-standing stretchh of perimeter fence, there concrete steps that lead to nowhere.
Down here I’ve put up some street art and took a lot of pictures that I’ll upload once I get back home. I’ve also talked to some folks from Nola Rising who have been involved in some great community-building projects and have others in progress. New Orleans has become a destination of choice for some of the biggest names in street art, including Banksy, Swoon, and Dan Witz.
I’ve been doing some reading on vernacular sculpture projects to fill my head with ideas for the Champ-De-Mars redesign, and I’d like to introduce some of you to one of my all-time favorites- the Rodia Towers of Watts, CA. They were built over a period of three decades by one man from steel , mortar and scrap porcelain and glass tiles.
A short film
Rodia Towers Wiki
An incredible spherical panorama view of the Rodia Towers