Daniel Ewald, landscape architect MNLA

Connect-the-dots

When growing up, I had some favorite games – board games, of course, and the video games later on – but among my favorites were simple, creative games and puzzle solving. I read somewhere that puzzle solving is a common trait among architects – certainly not exclusive to us, however – but problem solving never gets old, no matter the level, and some times even the tiniest of games can satisfy the restless mind. And of course, one must never stop playing.

A favorite of mine was a simple game of “guess-the-character” from a set of doodles. Me and my brother would sit down and toss out random, quick doodles on a sheet of paper or napkin and take turns making them into characters – monsters, more often than not, but occasionally interesting and strange pieces of absurdities would appear between the lines. Think of it as an advanced connect-the-dots game. As a small and fun creative game it’s suitable for anyone – try it our with your own kid and ignite a little love for doodling while at it.

Doodle before Doodle after

These days I doodle far less than I used to, much less than I feel I should. Most of my ideas and sketches stay in my head. Even so, every so often I amuse myself with small mental games while waiting at the train station and such. The only thing I need is a textured surface; be it a sort of paving or a wooden panel, anything with a bit of depth and variety to it – and I stare at it while making out shapes and figures (discreetly, not to be confused for a slightly off figure staring lidlessly at walls). I challenge myself to see how many strange characters I end up with after a couple of minutes of study, and how quick I can find them again after spotting some others. Take this image of a texture, for instance, and I’ll show you what I mean.

  

And so on. In other words, next time you see someone staring seemingly aimlessly at a surface somewhere and not being quite sure what to make of it: maybe this is what he or she is doing.

Or, of course, they might just be slightly disturbed – who knows.

Filed under: Reflections, Sketches,

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