Building Model Homes

Looks like something’s cooking in Marwa’s tiny kitchen!

I have not mentioned much about the Illuminated Stilt Village classes I have been running both at Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site, and Branscombe House. I was kind of saving any mention of that until I was done with the final drop-in workshop mural, the Edible Forest Floor. So now that the mural is complete and currently being printed for display at the Richmond Cultural Center, I can turn my attention to this epic project! The stilt village classes have been fun, full, and intense. Over three weeks, 26 participants built model houses, based on both relocated houses currently found in the shipyard site, and archive images of stilt houses that once stood along the Steveston shoreline. Using recycled packaging I have been collecting over the last 11 months from the recycling bins in my neighborhood, participants collaged contemporary print material together to create their own colorful stilt houses.

Exactly a year ago I was still living in San Francisco, but furiously packing and getting ready to move to Richmond and begin my year long residency. I was also working on a community collaborative, model house project based on local San Francisco architecture. It seems a lovely end to my adventure here—a year bookended by similar projects, but also bookended by furious packing to move on to another city, although this time to New York City!

Snow on palm trees; something you never see in San Francisco, unless you are looking at the community collaborative project I did there at Root Division this time last year.

The unveiling of the finished model stilt house village is this Saturday, December 10, at the Chinese Bunkhouse at Britannia Shipyards, from 1 to 3 pm. I’ll be there serving up my homemade marshmallows and hot chocolate as well as running a free mini stilt house workshop.

But I didn’t want to forget to mention, I am also doing a talk this Thursday at the Richmond Cultural Center, wrapping up my year at Branscombe. That is from 1–2:30 (I’ll just be talking for half an hour or so) with the unveiling of all four drop-in workshop murals, on display in the Minoru Hallway next to the lecture hall.

In the meanwhile, here is a sneak peak at some of the stilt houses in progress and some of the classes:

Participant Marwa made a lovely house in mauves and blues.
Jen and her son Edison putting the last touches on their beautiful little home.
A focussed start! No fooling around here it looks like.
Shan gave the Saturday class a great tour of the stilt houses found around the Chinese bunkhouse.
The end of the tour brought us all back to the Chinese bunkhouse, where participants could reflect on what they saw as they began making their own stilt houses.
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