Lisa Robertson and the Shack

Rousseau’s solitude” is a reference to Jean Jaques Rousseau’s late period volume, “Reveries of a Solitary Walker”, where he expounds on the virtues of solitude while wandering the streets of Paris and observing nature.

“A shack describes a relation of the minimum to freedom.”

“A shack is the natural language of architecture. By natural we mean original.”

I love this idea of the shack as the ur-structure, and got me thinking about ice shacks, and how they’re made out of necessity, the reason being to shield those ice fishing from harsh elements. Thus they contain a spareness and simplicity of design that gets to the heart of what Lisa Robertson was talking about in her description, yet they also contain much variety between them, reflecting the personalities of their owners.

This excellent photo series by Scott Peterman comes to mind:

Ice Houses

As well as a project I made in Maine about ice fishing back in 2013:

There’s a certain elemental quality to the shacks, and the idea of them being these solitary oases dotting the landscape really captures the imagination. They are both symbols of solitude and community, of the presence of mankind and how man (in certain environments) is still dwarfed by nature.



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