I am a citizen of the Upper Arkansas River Valley. My wife, Vicky, and I are re-inhabiting the 40 acres of land and the adobe home and studio we built more than 25 years ago. Together, we are digging deep for the spring water that is living in place.
As a student of poetry who became a studio artist who then became a landscape architect, I still try to make poems. Only the medium has changed.
The resistance of stone and the constant pulsing of water has so shaped me, water and stone have swept me away. My attention, my creative work, has become more and more centered around an ongoing series I call Watermarks.
Explored in drawings, sculptural elements, and site design; I am seeking to make the movements and elusive character of water legible in the designed landscape while improving the ecological health of the site.
- Richard Hansen
I am committed to a design process that is attuned to the natural and cultural systems that flow through a site. Intuition and analysis must flow together as the forms and space evolve, and my passion for materials and detailing takes me beyond the conventional role of the designer. I must be intimately involved with each project as it unfolds - I become maker as well as designer. This gives me the opportunity to hunt for stones of character, and then during fabrication, improvise to assure that their uniqueness is carried through into a sculptural presence.
The stones for my sculptural projects are gathered from abandoned quarries, derelict gravel pits, or reject piles of large fabrication operations (never from native rock formations).
This aesthetic recycling was inspired by George Nakashima, the woodworker who collected unusual boards from around the world and turned them into beautiful furniture.
In the same spirit, I have begun a collection of boulders and slabs of unique character at my studio, and in time they will become sculptural elements.
My intention is to bring ecological thinking to projects of all scales. A keen awareness of the local hydrological patterns and their connection to the other natural systems flowing through the site can offer design cues that inspire forms and spaces that make nature visible while restoring the ecological health of the site. The materials and construction process can be chosen for low impact and ecological accountability.