One of my earliest memories is climbing to the very top of the pine tree next to my family's house. Bostered up the tree by my big brother, I remember being fearless as I climbed higher and higher to get to the "treehouse" he had made, which was comprised of a couple pieces of scrap wood nailed to the branches.
Growing up on the edge of a small town in Illinois, I spent many afternoons climbing trees and roaming the cornfields near my house with the neighborhood kids.
Repeated viewings of the movie Swiss Family Robinson further fueled my fantasies of a life in the trees.
To this day, even from my small apartment in Brooklyn, I still hold on to this dream that some day I will have my own treehouse retreat where I can swing in a hammock and enjoy the breeze.
One of my favorite projects from graduate school was the design of Samara, an Arts and Crafts style restaurant named after the helicopter-like seeds that fall from Maple trees. Into Samara I put in everything that I love: a glass elevator, a revolving floor, and cathedral ceilings.
While I was designing the structure, I treated Samara as though it was an actual building that could stand, striving to create realistic dimensions and functionality. However, in my head, it was pure fantasy until one day a creative director that I was interviewing with stated that it was "completely possible" and that I "just need to find the right contractor." As a designer, there is no greater feeling than to have someone understand and support the creations that you bring life.
Although Samara exists only on paper now, I like to think that it will be revisited in my future.