PATRICIA JOHANSONReturn to Timeline Biography
Estuary / Maze House

"Nature, not mankind, is the measure of all things. This idea is perfectly expressed in the architectural drawings and sculptures of Patricia Johanson. Her works are literally models of how to use forms from nature—even the structures of organisms seen only under a microscope—in order to live unobtrusively on earth..." In designing any of her organic structures she faces "the same sort of challenge that nature does". And if her designs seem difficult to grasp, yet strangely familiar, it is because they are "pieces of an infinitely complex puzzle...the embodiment of an underlying order immediately recognizable, but not necessarily understood." Her sense of the place of the human in nature is indicated by her willingness to use the cerebral hemisphere as a plan for a structure called "ESTUARY/MAZE HOUSE", (1978). The brain's "gyri" or convolutions create "a shallow pattern of hummocks similar to salt marshes". That is, the brain is the pattern for the image, yet "the dwelling should look as much as possible like a tidal estuary with its low-relief network of creeks and marshes." Brain, house, marsh—the three are one.