Building a Wilderness with Louis Le Roy

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Louis’ living room has all the traces of an old man with an obsession: books, photographs, odd objects that may have been gifts from admiring fans.[1] It is a dark room, but in a bright way, with a wall-sized window looking out onto his garden, which is not really a garden. Louis and I have periodic conversations every few weeks while I stay nearby in Heerenveen, where I work at the Kennedylaan location and in the original Ecocathedral at Mildam, near where he lives. I have worked in Sydney as a gardener at a hostel where rural cancer patients stayed while they were being treated and I recognize his frustration at not being able to work, which I saw in the old farmers at the hostel. When Louis and I talk, his constant admonition is ‘just do it.’ Yet, because of his age and injuries, we are forced instead to ‘talk about it.’ He is a natural talker, and his work at the Ecocathedral is so interesting, because it is a very banal and thoughtless activity while at the same time it is a very abstract intellectual project. Louis and I like each other even though when I am with him he refers to me in the third person as ‘the stupid Australian.’
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Slow Reader
Subtitle of host publicationA resource for design thinking and practice
EditorsCarolyn F. Strauss, Ana Paula Pais
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9789492095015
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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