Thursday, February 18, 2016

In the news - "...Koosmann's Philippines community-architecture odyssey"

Featured on the front page of Hudson's Star-Observer Feb. 18, 2016, article by Chuck Nowlen

Walking into Hudson's butcher shop today to pick up this week's Star-Observer, I was surprised to find my face, in color on the front page.  I chuckled to myself as I tucked it under my arm, and strolled over to RJ's meat counter for tonight's dinner.   In that moment, I felt familiarly at home standing in front of the glass display and looking at the meat selection, in the same family-owned butcher shop I knew as a kid, when Hudson was still a small river town surrounded by farmland.

I enjoyed sitting with the journalist last week to share my experiences.  Chuck Nowlen wrote the feature playing on the adventurous title and relating it to Homer's Odyssey.  Reading the article and reflecting on my time in the Philippines, it was like being on my own odyssey, lured by a Siren's song, staying on longer in Dumaguete City, Philippines and the Estudio Damgo program than originally planned.   The Philippines is just one chapter in community architecture and public interest design.  I think about all the places that led to this international experience.  Starting in Milwaukee's architecture program and volunteering for Habitat's 10-day Collegiate Challenge for Pueblo adobe homes in Taos NM.  Moving onto the "White City" and impassioned by Chicago's flamenco scene.  Then, out West for grad school and awakening my spirit in Yakima's central valley tribal nations and Seattle's Tent City encampments.  I've moved residencies at least 18 times since high school.  But just as Homer's protagonist makes his epic journey, eventually Odysseus does find his way home.  Now, After 18 years and many adventures to exotic landscapes, I find myself nestled in the St. Croix river valley at the head waters from where it all started. I'm back home - for now.

The Star-Observer's feature article continue, by Chuck Nowlen.

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