So it takes a server failure, a new domain, a new host, a new blog name, a twitter handle, a new theme and plugins, and some traveling for me to restart what was formerly known as Landline into a new long-format blog under the name of Mutation Matter. Things are still being tweaked behind the scenes but my hopes for Mutation Matter are to take it far beyond what Landline was and to slowly evolve it into a kind of creative agency/publishing platform on landscape futures in fringe space, abandonment (willful or unintentional), mutative spaces (Oh! Much more powerful than "overgrowth"...), and one of my most favorite topics: ritual. Ritual as in something normal and not normal (mutative anyone?) where the landscape both designs this and is designed around it.
But, you may find that I stray from these topics from time to time. But I think that is acceptable, especially under this new name, which I think allows for a greater perspective on landscape futures and their associated issues and concepts. I would like to do more speculative postings and musings although this will be seldom since a longer amount of time is required for these intellectual desserts. And working in China does occupy a lot of my time. This was half the reason I stopped writing. But the other half was due to a post I had started writing in October 2011 on some strange path-finding in Taiwan based on, at that time, a recent visit, when I stopped to think about what was my intent. Yes, I was confoundedly confused on why it was so difficult to get around, but was I being insensitive? Had I become consumed with negativity about design or evolved into some great critic worthy of accolades?
So I spent some time looking at the history of Taiwan and the relationship of its frequent typhoons to its early Japanese colonial days and came to the conclusion that a) frequent destruction brought on by annual storms may induce a kind of reluctance to (re-)design things properly (if it's going to be destroyed again) and b), Japanese people have an inherent cognitive wayfinding method that excludes the use of signage as in the West. Should I then assume that Taiwan's wayfinding is influenced by these factors and let them off-the-hook? But you see, I can't help being critical and disappointed by failures and missed opportunities. On the other hand, I can't be expected, when visiting a place, to know all the factors of how it came to be realized. I can make assumptions based on what I observe and what I've learned about design, but is that enough when writing about a place? I now think it is. I am not interested in making Mutation Matter an <em>aggregator</em> or a <em>repost</em> blog where the information is told how it is or simply regurgitated from another source or format. Therefore, I would never be satisfied with a narrative without a story. Realistically, the practice of this is difficult and I will make mistakes or incorrect assumptions, but, dear Reader, I hope that you will be lenient with my observations and experiences and nonetheless find Mutation Matter an enjoyable and enlightening read.
Welcome to Mutation Matter.