Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Doors! Of Rogers Park! - 2005

The next Ultra Local Geography booklet published was in 2005.  It focused on a somewhat random assortment of apartment buildings doors in the neighborhood.  But it had a pleasant introduction, which I'm inserting below with a few minor edits:

I’m sure you’ve seen these. Maybe in an airport gift shop, or at a poster shop… maybe at a museum? They’re fairly predictable—Doors of Dublin, Doors of Philadelphia, Doors of Berlin. And of course, it’s exactly what it claims to be- doors. Sometimes there are dozens of them, usually arranged in a grid pattern. They’re old, or architecturally distinguished, or representative of a particular regional style. And I have to admit, they’re fascinating. Sometimes the images are so appealing that they’re shrunk to the size of a postcard and the details approach illegibility.

But they seem to promise more than they deliver. I wonder why they look the way they do, how old they are, what their neighborhood is like… But they’re still fascinating. Maybe it’s the sheer creativity of applying unique solutions to the same problem again and again.

But there was another element about these posters that I began to resent. A door can be a work of art, but it’s also an example of the functional beauty that surrounds us every day. What would it be like to treat these elements as relevant aspects of our everyday life? Basically, this booklet is an alternative to those posters.

[I'll be posting some of the booklet pages in the future.]

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