Today I truly understood after many many years that the act of submersing oneself in love means to drown out all the noise of the world. Inside this embrace of love, we find ourselves as one cradled by the knowledge of our potential happiness that each new day may bring. Stronger than ever, we stand together. Love.

the tear.

i feel the tug.

in just a few short weeks

it will rip.

just a phone call away

she says

with a subtle tinge of hopelesness

you’re leaving… anyway

she says

i need someone to take care of me

she says

as i selfishly walk out the door

get in my car and drive off

tears fall rolling off round cheeks

i plunge into the depths

where i all i hear are mumbles

words that mean nothing

swimming in my head

love. happiness. care.

blinded by the pools in my eyes

i seek shelter

wrapped in the lack of embrace

her arms nevermore

her cries fall upon straining ears

ears separated by time and distance

denial has been here too long

though it has taken root in my soul

tearing through the shreds of sanity

burying itself deeper inside

the fragile layers of my mind

she needs me

i say

with tears streaming down my face

hiccuping for air

as if my chest will never settle again

i never knew how much i needed her

she keeps me sane

now. NOW. it is madness that i feel

piercing pain shoots through my chest

the TEAR - the rip

the TEAR - the river of emotion

I gasp for air

and choke on saliva.

weeks until she may be gone forever.

construction of awareness. through disaster

May 11. 2027. 

It was the night of the storm I will never forget. Rains beat down on the shingles of the house with blue siding. Our steps that provided escape were blocked by the creeping water. Earth shook as the ground cracked open to reveal the depth of the urban surface. Layers of time, palimpsest, bricks rock and soil, that serve as markers of our existence. Waters rushed, carving way for the mass of flood behind them. On this night, we were thankful we lived on 236’. Everyone that lived on 234’ and lower… were submerged. The first floor became a cistern as the waters sent people scrambling for higher ground.

This is a story about a catastrophe and how it changed the face of Memphis, TN. We sit idly by and watch our natural systems get conquered by engineering feats. Controlled nature becomes angry and will revolt. This project is an attempt to reconcile this potential conflict with a responsive urban intervention that anchors us in the fluid landscape. Architectural solutions become the grounding mechanisms that connect deep earth to the ephemeral nature of the clouds. The architecture of the ground plane undulates to encapsulate space and weave through the series of rooted structures, breathing air back into the stifled city horizontally and vertically.

The project is a landscape of critique, an urban gesture of connection and a series of architectures of engagement. It questions the paradigms put in place over the past century that privileges the need for stability within the urban landscape and explores the potential of the fusion of many forces to create unified woven habitat for both people and urban fauna. A landscape of butterflies and birds, otters and tall grasses weaves through the urban landscape, holding, diverting and allowing water to soak into the porous ground.

1. Prepare the ground.

2. Resurface the city

3. Weave a new ‘scape

4. Connect earth to sky

Opportunities to observe these qualities have diminished as visible water has almost disappeared from everyday life, much of it diverted through pipes and culverts for domestic use and agriculture, or transformed into virtual water by the food processing and consumer products industries. The absence of water from the public realm has been accompanied by the realization that fresh water is itself a precious commodity, scarce or in limited supply throughout much of the world, and a growing awareness of the importance of conservation, as well as the preservation and restoration of water resources in natural ecosystems.

Charles Moore.

Water and Architecture

Orvieto Well.

a. St. Patrick’s Well. Photo: Getty Images

b. M. A. Ray, Orvieto, plan & section

c. M. A. Ray, Orvieto, photocollage.

Deep into the earth, the wells of the cities come alive. The walls glow with the light of reading lamps. Echoes travel up into the chamber and resonate, reminding us of our place within this world.

Wells. Towers. A perpetual archaeological dig. The earth erupts, cracks, collapses beneath our feet, water rushes past our feet, smooth stones silently rest slick with wear.

well. a place of deep engagement with the depths of the urban surface.

tower. our connection to the sky. the clouds. the heavens.

the dig. an excavation. a disturbance of the terra firma. a quake. collapse.

zone x is a liquid ground. the anchors are what root us in place. they allow us the freedom to move up and down within the city, to engage with the depths of place and the ephemera of the sky.


Life is a question of nerves, and fibres, and slowly built-up cells in which thought hides itself and passion has its dreams. You may fancy yourself safe and think yourself strong. But a chance tone of colour in a room or a morning sky, a particular perfume that you had once loved and that brings subtle memories with it, a line from a forgotten poem that you had come across again, a cadence from a piece of music that you had ceased to play… I tell you, that it is on things like these that our lives depend.
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (via bookmania)

It hides. Within.

It is a far wish, a spring wish,
and so the people of the parade let go of
balloons they dreamt were their minds,
not the minds they woke to find writhing in the gravel,
but rising tangerine minds, porcelain white, blue
of sky in which to be absolutely lost.
So much pleasure I remember
when mine slipped from sight
but could be imagined almost perfectly and gone,
warm on the string where I’d held it.
Katie Ford, from “Spring Wish,” in Colosseum: Poems (Graywolf Press, 2008)





    183.91’ - River Gage Level




  212’ - Low Tide

   218’ - Pumping Station Starts

220’ - Base Line

    224’ - Moderate Flood


    232’ - Flood Stage (1937, 2011)

    233’ - Zone X