Despite my conventional attire and congenial nature, I am secretly a ninja…..and I have just ninja’d (yes that’s a verb) my way into Village Well for three months. My mission during that time is to figure out what they mean when they practice “placemaking” with such excitement, and to understand the role it plays alongside architecture and urban design……oh and to do cool ninja things like disappearing in a cloud of smoke and rappelling into work. As the “American” in the office I am adjusting to the copious amounts of tea and coffee consumed as well as phrases like “good onya” and “suss it out” but it is great to be around such a diverse talented group committed towards creating meaningful places.
Most of what I have worked on in the past has involved transforming lines on a paper into a tangible object. Practicing Architecture and Urban Design in New York most recently, took me into the larger realm of grappling with greater forces at work in cities and how they might influence infrastructural systems and building typologies. At Village Well I see that there is a desire to bring the scale of the city down to meet the individual. It celebrates the playfulness, unplanned and messiness that embodies any authentic place yet employs a carefully crafted process when determining the right strategies to recommend.
As long as my ninja skills serve me well, I will keep you posted on what I find out. Ready go!
– Heinz von Eckartsberg