Author: Jessica Pullen-Schmidt

DIY Fam and Home

My ideal family set up stems from a sort of DIY form of creation and assembly. By this I mean that I envision an organic, social formation of a family that both contains an element of mutual interest and choice to be together, as well as randomness and chance. It in no way would necessitate nor exclude biological relations, and different blood-related groups of people can co-inhabit the space so long as they viewed themselves as part of the same entity as the other members of the household. Everyone would share a healthy degree of codependency and inter-reliance, and there would be an emphasis on care, reciprocity, love, and respect. I think it is important that a family shares a sense of identity mostly in the context that they exist in relatively tight knit ecosystem(the family/house), in which everyone is valued and shares responsibility in regards to collective survival, well-being, and comfort. Other than that, I also think family members should invest in getting to know each other member on a personal, individual level so that they are able to best support and coexist with each other based on a deep knowledge of their unique chemistries and mode of inter-personality. My family would ideally be situated in a larger community where nature, cultivation/exploration of the outdoors, and sustainability is a significant component of everyday life. The family members would be critical of their own histories, the history of the land and larger ecosystem they inhabit, and conscious of their act of coming together to form a familial unit. Lastly, everyone or at least the adults in the household would ideally be queer and/or creative, and have a strong understanding of social and environmental issues and their place within them. I think these qualities would make for a more accepting, comfortable household and greater community. Aside from mutual interest fueling the familial assemblage, the community would have the desire to take in and nurture other beings and allocate them to households where they would be most compatible.

Name, age, pronouns:

Where do you come from/currently live and what’s your experience been there?

Describe your past and familial background.

What do you make? What’s your creative process like?

Do you have any other co-applicants/members that you intend to bring with you to live under the same roof?

What’s your love language?

How familiar are you with the local environment, and what is your experience in gardening/foraging?

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

How will you make sure to contribute fairly to the maintenance of the home and care of family members?

The DIY aspect of my family would also be reflected in the physical layout of the home. I imagine families in the ideal society as reinhabiting pre-existent structures and spaces and making it their own, with the ability to create new infrastructure as they see fit. There would be a strong sense of belonging and intimate connection to the greater community or land that one inhabits. My floor plan is supposed to reflect an older house that has been adapted to fit the needs of the household and organic development of the family living in it over time. Many of the windows have been redone to let in more sunlight and see the outdoors. There are differently sized bedrooms to fit the needs of different preferences and allow personal spaces. Walls on the second floor were built to create more bedrooms, and the attic was adapted to be another communal area for creating. The house would contain objects and furniture that were either found, salvaged, or passed on through others, or they would be created by people in the family or community. Each household has access to a large gardening space, as they are free to use or cultivate the land around their homes without any state hindrances.

Cultivation of Knowledge

Our monument emphasizes the notion of organicism that was frequently drawn upon in Wigley’s Network Fever piece. We wanted to show how the conglomeration of knowledge is ever-changing and fluid, thereby mimicking a biological structure. Our clay sculpture contains networks made out of stick supports and tied string to show how the cultivation of the earth runs parallel to the cultivation of different disciplines of knowledge. Yet this does not lead to mastery over nature, rather, it seeks to work with nature as a model, and to derive abstractions from it while not trying to rewrite it. Because knowledge is not finite, fixed, nor predetermined with a certain outcome or destination, we tried to illustrate this through the inevitable spillover of earth that has yet to be fully contained within the human-made receptacle. In this way, our monument aims to articulate the coevolution of human knowledge and the universe, and the degree of collaboration inherent in such an endeavor. Lastly, we included a mirror inside of it to show the self-reflexive ways that we interpret the world.

  • “..the central role of the architect was no longer just the form of networks but the connections between them….The architect is seen as a networked animal that networks networks that are themselves animate. In extending the body, networks have to extend its organic logic”(94, Wigley)


  • “Tange describes the project as an ‘organism’ precisely because ‘communication is the factor that gives organic life to the organization.’ The paradoxical rationale of the network is that the possibility of infinite extension actually produces density”(105)

The monument also functions as a kind of model for the creation of knowledge in the form of creating a theory attempting to describe a natural phenomenon but which is malleable and will fail to truly contain it. The monument is one to the generation and alteration of knowledge. Showing its nature as something changeable and imperfect but always subject to expansion and improvement.

River, Augusta, Alec, Mia