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Background

Inspired by my late grandfather, a man remembered for his discipline and integrity, I engaged in a series of structured daily commitments during my thesis semester. I reflected upon myself, perhaps our generation, how information and technology often become excuses for a lack of focus and commitment, such that the slow, uneventful paths to the mastery of skills are often dismissed.

Among the commitments is to write a page of Chinese calligraphy every morning. Here is the progression of the 84 days out of the semester in which I've succeeded.

This is, without doubt, an ongoing project.


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Thoughts

When I first began the practice, I was focusing at the shape of each stroke, but then the structure of the characters were either too tight or too loose, and the scale among the characters inconsistent; then I learned that it was not only the stroke that I must observe, but the negative space between the strokes, and the characters. Then the characters looked better. However, by the time I hit the edge of the paper, I ran out of space, and the 'tracking' and 'leading' were all off; then I learned to zoom out and look at the whole page, visualize how I would plan my writing, to read the context, before I start my first stroke on the page. I learned that as I write each character, I had to pay attention to how it relates to all of its neighbors; The structure of each character and each sentence and each page, are all related. They only become beautiful when all of these elements are in harmony.

No better lesson for architecture – and life – than in the practice of calligraphy, I thought.