An exploration and investigation into the places we see. Drawing maps, building models, telling stories. Fall 2013.

What does an architect see when she walks down the street? What does a journalist listen for? How about a cartographer, or a historian? Within each of these disciplines lies certain ways of seeing the world -- ways of seeing that come naturally to children. Children are natural builders, seekers of treasure, detectives, and storytellers. They know that every place contains more than the eye can see, more than the ear can hear, and always a corner, a staircase, a story waiting to be explored.

Over the course of ten weeks, we’ll investigate and explore the hidden aspects of a landscape that we know well: the home of Kite’s Nest and its immediate surroundings. Together we’ll find the playful center of each of these fields of knowledge -- cartography, architecture, history, and journalism -- as we build our own layered understanding of our little corner of Hudson.


As cartographers we will measure and map our surroundings. We want to know the contours of our place, its heights and its landmarks, all of its smells and sounds and secret hide-and-seek corners. We’ll chart the terrain of Hudson’s old industries, and make a scavenger hunt of its remains.

As architects we’ll turn our maps and ideas into mini-objects, constructing a model of what we see. We will become popsicle-stick engineers and city-builders, diving into the detail of the buildings, trees, signs, and topographies that make up our neighborhood.


As historians we’ll uncover the histories of the buildings that surround us: the Basilica, the L&B Factory, the train tracks. We’ll imagine what used to be, and what could have been. What ghost stories exist in the walls of these old factories? And we’ll listen to today’s city as journalists: we’ll ask questions, conduct field notes, record interviews, tell and re-tell stories.

Our goal is to extend and deepen our perception of the urban environment, our sense of place, scale, and the connections between things around us -- and to play with the tools of different trades.

Each day we’ll engage with some of the cartographers, artists, architects, historians, and journalists who live and work nearby. And everyday, we’ll ask questions: How tall are these buildings? What stories have they seen? And how many cities can exist along a single street? (The answer: infinite!)

A workshop by Sara Kendall.

Sara brings to this workshop a long-time interest in urban development, and a passion for the ways young people can be participants and leaders in shaping the places they live. Over the past few years, Sara has spent most of her time investigating and exploring the city of Hudson as an oral historian and radio producer. Previously, she has worked under architect Teddy Cruz, researching and re-imagining urban development policies and architectural interventions along the US/Mexico border. She has run youth radio and journalism workshops at WGXC: Hands-on Radio, the Hudson Area Library, and at Kite’s Nest.