Signs of Life

Photographing architecture may sound quite specific but the truth is it affords me the broadest possible view on the world, allowing me to treat landscapes, the built environment and people with the same democratic eye. 

Ever changing and lasting at the same time, the built environment leaves some of the more permanent imprints on our world. When people move, buildings remain, they stand and acquire the mark of time. Decay is the very last layer of beauty: as a building shows age, the signs of life with which it has been embedded start to emerge. By decoding these signs left by time, we uncover stories, insights into the vitality of human life. The mark of time, trees growing, materials fading, the traces left by inhabiting a space.

That is the powerful stuff.

Time adds a layer of depth to photographs, buildings, and artifacts that cannot be faked, as the value it confers is unique in its unpredictability. Photographs are, by nature, made of time. Much in the same way as you start rather than make a garden, the photographer starts a picture and exposure to the natural alchemy of time gradually nurtures its growth, its context determining the way it is viewed and used.

Photographing architecture, I find myself igniting that alchemical process as I stand at the point of convergence of time and meaning and capture the aliveness, identity and genesis of each building, history concentrated in one spot.

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Simon Devitt PechaKucha Presentation 2020

Here Magazine: What Happens Now?

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In a post-Covid Aotearoa, what happens now? Hosted by Here Magazine, this live talk gave architects 10 minutes to answer that very question