Jessica Helfand + Claire Weisz | The Self-Reliance Project

On Architecture

The Self-Reliance Project began as a daily essay about what it means to be a maker during a crisis—to think through making, to know yourself better through the process of producing something—and to consider that this kind of return to self-knowledge might just be the entire point. Inspired by the 1841 essay by the American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote with astonishing clarity about the perils of conformity and consistency, these essays look at new ways of framing studio practice as an act of creative independence.

But the essays are just the starting point for a new kind of dialogue—us with you, and you with yourself—because even and especially in a year such as this one, we know that at the core of all creative enterprise lies a singular, beating heart.  What does it mean, right now, to be self-reliant—to trust your voice, heed your mind, and connect to your own sense of what really matters?

Herewith, the first in a series of conversations with artists, architects, photographers, cinematographers, designers and makers of all kinds, from all over the world.

Claire Weisz is an architect and urbanist, and a founding principal of WXY, an award-winning practice based in New York City. With her partners Mark Yoes, Layng Pew, and Adam Lubinsky, she focuses on innovative approaches to public space, structures, and cities. A co-founder of The Design Trust for Public Space, Claire has taught at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service and is a former Visiting Critic at Cornell’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning in New York. She received her professional degree from The University of Toronto and her Master’s in Architecture from Yale University.

A selection of these essays will be published later this year, in conjunction with Emerson’s original text. Pledge now and order your copy today!

Posted in: Architecture, Books

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