Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

King Creativity at Southwestern

Through the Webs of Haussmann

Christine M. Harris
Sponsor: Victoria Star Varner, Professor of Art

I propose creating a three-dimensional drawing composed of parts of drawings, support rods and thread exploring the interaction between orb spider webs and the urban planning designs and structures of Baron Haussmann as metaphors for the connections between natural phenomenon and human behavior.

In 1852 under the auspices of Napoleon III., Baron Haussmann reorganized the entire city of Paris into a grid system completely reinventing the pre-existing city.  

Spiders have been known to ban together to spin webs spanning two hundred yards and in particular, the orb spider builds a new web on a daily basis.

Here, the ambition in both these architects came from an underlying notion of creating a functional space for survival. In juxtaposing these two sources to create what amounts to dialogue between them, I will inspire others to broaden their understanding of the relationship to the natural world they cohabitate.

Photo: Shelley Dormont ‘11