Serendipitous, Productive, Creative
during the Pandemic 2020
David Dowell, principal at el dorado inc, an architectural firm in Kansas City, found himself living at his country home near Volland during the first months of the pandemic in 2020. His house in Kansas City had sold and closed before his new place was finished, and David and his wife Kathy Aron happily moved to the Flint Hills. Which was fine, except David needed a quiet place with good internet to work during the weekdays.
Enter the Little House.
photo by Mike Sinclair
David has a history with this house. His 5th year architecture students in the APD (Architecture, Planning, and Design) Department at K-State designed its makeover in 2018. This would a good time to see if the house worked… as an artist residence.
April 7, 2020
The Little House is amazing!!! Perfect in every way. Is this what an Artist Residency feels like? Connectivity is great.
April 10, 2020
During Zoom meetings, I take a break and show my colleagues my surroundings in the house – and the view out the big window. They say, “Where ARE you?”
photo by Mike Sinclair
May 19, 2020
The Little House has been great! I think I stacked the table and at least one chair with drawings today. I get more done here than anywhere.
June 22, 2020
We’re going to be out near Alma this week, through Thursday. May I continue my “residency” this week in the Little House? Mike [Sinclair] was thinking of coming back for one more day of photography, Wednesday or Thursday depending on his schedule and the weather.
July 12, 2020….
…working at the Little House during the pandemic, having internet calls with folks all over the world!! So many people are curious to visit when it becomes possible. I’d love to host an international gathering at some point, including the artists we’re working with in Riyadh, Portland and Minneapolis.
A few thoughts. I’m finalizing this year’s agenda for my 2020-2021 K-State studio. ….In the mix is Volland, Lone Oaks Farm in Tennessee and Sanctuary Farm in Botswana. All three share common ambitions and programming. I’ve been trying for some time to understand how they relate to one another and to promising trends in how new institutions are forming to capitalize on the best of humanity, current and future. The goal would be to start with big picture thinking – planning and defining the place of these institutions in the brave new world we are now living in, then lead into something tangible to connect dots between aspiration and the shared satisfaction of well-designed and well-built reality. I’m dealing with budding architects after all.
David made The Little House famous on Instagram and Facebook:
Photographed by Mike Sinclair, House No. 1 was a collaboration between Design+Make at Kansas State University, George Terbovich Design, and El Dorado.
Mike Sinclair, Otto Kratzer house with The Little House, 2020.