Le Corbusier's Cabanon

Creation’s Patient Search

Le Corbusier's Creation Patient Search

The title of this post references a book penned by the lauded Swiss architect Le Corbusier, first published in 1960. In all honesty, it’s more than a book; it’s a manifesto of everything the architect believed at the time he wrote it, and it is filled with depth and wisdom. I’ve owned Creation is a Patient Search since Alberto Alfonso, one of the architects featured in my book Four Florida Moderns, spoke of it so passionately when I interviewed him.

Creation is a Patient Search

I often find myself drawn to it when I am in need of inspiration so I’m happy I will be catching up with Alberto soon—touring his Streamsong Resort with him in late June. I’ll share with you how Corb’s ideas resonate in his work when I write a post about our day together sometime in July.

I decided to return to the pages of the book when I returned home from High Point Market because I had spied it on the shelves of the Bienenstock Furniture Library during my day spent researching there. One of my favorite chapters presents Corb’s beliefs about drawing. I’m not adept at the skill but I have always admired anyone who can draw or sketch ideas.

Finding Le Corbusier at the Bienenstock Furniture Library

It’s likely one of the reasons I am so fascinated with architects who maintain drawing and painting as disciplines that inform their work. Corb begins the chapter with, “We learn to see how things are born. We see them develop, grow, change, blossom, flourish and die…And the grain matures.” He maintains the fundamental principle to heightened creativity is “from the inside out,” stating, “Everything in life is in essence biological.”

I’m a writer who gets quite excited about conceptual ideas but when I first read the fact that he equates biology with the built world I had a tough time wrapping my mind around the notion. “Living, working, cultivating body and mind, moving from place to place, are parallel processes to those of blood, nervous and respiratory systems,” he writes, adding, “The value of all things lies in their purpose, in the germinating seed.”

I have spent a good part of this holiday weekend steeped in germination, attempting to tease out a direction for my work-life that holds as much depth as possible, and I have taken Corb’s words to heart. I am working “from the inside out” in order to identify how I can make a difference as an author and new media strategist in a world filled with chatter.

I am grateful that I came across the book at the Bienenstock because it has reminded me how important passion is as I go through this process of re-visioning where I am heading as a writer and strategist. “Certain things have to be thought out in the abstract, to be debated in the mind or aloud, alone or in friendly (or unfriendly) discussion,” Corb wrote near the end of the book.

Paired with his fluid drawings, the words filling the pages bring a holistic quality to his presentation of the creative process, which I find incredibly inspiring. He makes the point that he is 71 as he’s writing; that he’s been exploring architecture in some form or another for over 50 years having built his first house at 17.

Corb's Cabanon
The interiors of Corb’s seaside retreat, Cabanon.

“Poetry is in the heart of man,” he states. “I am a visual man, a man working with eyes and hands, animated by plastic endeavor.” As a writer, I believe that poetry could be at the heart of everything we do, including strategy for online platforms. This is what makes me want to push deeper into new territory as a content creator.

As I make a map stretching into the future, I am inspired to ask, What is it we are building on the internet if not legacies and why wouldn’t we want to create the highest quality, richest presence we could tease from the great creative spirit within each of us? This is where I am going. Come along with me?

Le Corbusier’s Cabanon in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin

The interior of Le Corbusier’s Cabanon, a getaway he designed for himself in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France, was one of the places he delved into his patient search for inspiration. The simplicity he achieved is very reminiscent of the Bauhaus Movement or International Style, though he was not formally associated with it, he worked in Peter Behrens’ office in Berlin with its founder in the early 20th century.

I’m designating Corb’s Cabanon a DesignStudio pick. The Diary of an Improvateur and this Leaving a Legacy entry © Saxon Henry, all rights reserved. Saxon is an author, poet and journalist, as well as a contributor to Architizer. Her books include Anywhere But Here, Stranded on the Road to Promise and Four Florida Moderns.

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