Here's where we began- my Taiwan counterpart and I had a task before us...
To see THROUGH all of this to what could be. Sort of like Michelangelo, who could visualize a figure within the marble, we had to try and imagine what we could do with this under-used lot at the center of a mountain village in need of revitalization. Could we make it into a tourist attraction that ALSO brings separate villages together with a sense of unity and pride? In just over a month's time? This is our canvas!
First, I took my 'digital broom' to the lot and swept some things away so I could dress it up. Look at it now! It's already an inviting little respite, a cozy nook nestled in between a nice overlook and the beautiful mountains that make up someone's home. Some glowing art and a few tables and we'd be on our way! This is my best skill- SEEING through to what could be. Then I got on Google Street view and walked myself all over the village for a few hours before I started. What is life like for the people who live here? What do they need? How will this fit into their lifestyle?
Click this image below to walk around their home village yourself...
Then, it's time to put yourself in the shoes of someone who'd come here. What will they see when they enter the lot? How do we guide them through the experience? We wanted it to be an event, not just a 'thing to see.' An entire space filled with the ideals that the Tree of Light represents.
Great food to enjoy, art you can take home, a lighted path to bring wonder to the experience... Here's one of my earlier visualizations:
Then, I began to play with light and dark. Glowing things are nice and alluring, but without the dark they're really nothing. We're basically big moths- we're drawn to lights that stand out! Big areas of light (the tree) but also darker spaces, smaller lights to draw your eyes away and magical glows in simple things like tables or paths. Mystery in certain areas. When someone comes up to the big tree in this space, I wanted them to wonder- can I go INTO that? I wanted them to see the second floor window with people in it and get excited to go there themselves. Here's the image we created to pitch the project to investors and funders:
Don't you feel a certain sense of curiosity and a little bit of a thrill to see what could be here? It's even that magical time of night when the world of light and the world of darkness are coexisting for a moment.
Sometimes, an idea can come across by telling you JUST enough to fill in the rest with your own feelings.