Many stories meet: an unexpected tea-party

Ari Lichtenstein


Both the tales we tell and the architecture we create seek to make a vast and frightening world familiar and homey. Our myths about the world create the realities we inhabit and affect how we represent them through drawing.

The only place that a self-respecting person can nowadays encounter a monster under the bed is on the pages of the children's picture book (CPB). Here, worldviews are constructed, illustrated in endless varieties of drawing styles, and consumed by child and adult alike. This is wonderful pedagogy: even as we teach our young what we know about the world, we acknowledge that their less biased view of the universe’s architecture is valuable. I want to reconnect architecture with mythmaking.

The story of this thesis project explores how, through storytelling, placemaking can help expand our accepted notions of reality. It tells the tale of a child whose tea-party is constantly interrupted by characters appearing from the books’s gutter. Each character introduces a story of their own. By coming face-to-face with these other stories, the protagonist comes to realize how we are all unique stories, and how a meeting of such worlds is an opportunity for exploration and discovery.