An Unnamed Place for Work and Play

Photo taken by “hatta” and posted onto www.thespiralcage.com in 2009

There are often times when it is hard to find a pleasant place to just think. One’s home office might be a good place to get work done, but it can also be a little suffocating at times. As a student at Western Washington University, I was in need of finding a place where I could think creatively and not be confined to a chair in some computer lab. Luckily I was able to find such a place. If you are in Bellingham, WA then I highly suggest visiting the untitled art piece by Robert Morris on the WWU campus.

This art piece is a great place for letting one’s creative juices flow. It may just look like a pit full of rocks, but there are many features which give the area a distinct feel. The art is located in the middle of a rather hilly grass field. North of the sculpture is Academic West, a building full of computer labs and classrooms. The east is populated by trees and paths that lead into the Arboretum forest, a place where many joggers and hikers explore. To the west is a pathway that leads to the Fairhaven dorms. The rock square itself is much like a sand pit one would see in the playground. The difference is that the sand is replaced with many hand-sized rocks.

All of these come together to form a special environment for the visitor or student. The rock square encourages creativity with its structure. Stepping on the rocks and building up small piles with them is a good way to get blood circulating throughout the brain and body. Many students come by to play with the rocks like this, as I have seen new “towers” of three or four rocks appear in the garden throughout the week. It is a fantastic place to think or talk to oneself and get new ideas started.

Actually writing up a paper in the area can be tough however, especially if the surrounding grass is wet from the rain. For this purpose, Academic West is only about half a minute north of the area. After playing with the rocks to help the brain come up with new ideas, it takes no time to go to the AW building and use the computers to write a paper.

If the weather is nice however, the area surrounding the pit is great for relaxing. The area is a grassy field, with both flat and hilly zones. The flat zone is great for taking a break and playing Frisbee with friends, or even just lying down in. When it comes time to work, the hilly area makes “natural chairs” with its slope. Sitting there is comfortable when it comes time to read a book or write in a journal.

If one is tired from thinking or writing, just being in around the rock square can be relaxing. The pathways and the Arboretum forest can be used to just kill time. The concrete pathways link the southern WWU campus to the northern half, so it’s a popular place for people to walk through. It’s easy to go people watching here and see an acquaintance or perhaps just some interesting individuals. The Arboretum can be a valuable resource as well. If one enjoys nature, then exploring the forest can be refreshing, especially since it’s only a minute away.

There are many things that make this area a great place for everyone. The rock square is good for getting a start on one’s thoughts, and the surroundings make it easy to put onto paper. The field and forest are fun places to just enjoy oneself if studying gets too tedious. Students and visitors alike can enjoy the features of this area. If you are in Bellingham and need a place to just wander around, I would recommend the rock square at WWU.

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