Crystal castles. The stuff of our dreams. A fortress that is perfect in every way imaginable. The light refracting through every element, creating this astoundingly beautiful environment. In other words, our dreams. It's the purity that is required in our lives. The stuff that fills our minds at night, the stuff that pushes us to be the best that we can possibly be. Our dreams allow us to access our full potential in order to achieve them. Our dreams are reflected in this crystal castle.  The magnificent structure that has no imperfections, nor impurities. Essentially, the crystal castle represents our ideal world. Where everything that we believed to be possible had been achieved through pure imagination and creativity. It can stand up to the test of time and still remain a beautiful structure. It gives us, the architects, hope that such a structure can be built. It's a daunting task that is almost never quite completed.

And then we have the cardboard castle. Still a grand structure, though second rate to the crystal castle. While not quite as marvelous, due to the brown and textured appearance, it is very real. It's not tainted or malicious, but it reminds us that this is our reality and that our actions have consequences. Created out of an everyday material, the cardboard castle is an example of how fragile the mind is. It also represents the harshest reality of the human mindset. It can be destroyed with a gust of wind or a bit of rain. The simple struggles of everyday life can be daunting to this castle. While the crystal represents our dreams and the ideal outcomes of our actions, the cardboard castle is held up by our rational, and sometimes tough, decisions. It's not nearly as durable as the crystal, but it's more accessible and more easily constructed. It can be rebuilt easily, giving it a different type of resilience that the crystal does not have. It provides us, the architects, with the harsh realities of life while giving us the ability and confidence to innovate and recreate. And for those moments where our cardboard castle is able to stand up to the harsh environment, it gives us a reason to be hopeful. 

I'd imagine that everyone has three castles. Everyone has their own crystal and cardboard, but the most important one is that which requires both materials. The one that builds up throughout our lifetime. There are spots that are marvelous and intricate. There are spots that are vulnerable and fragile. The combination is what's most important. Everyone's looks different. I'd like to think, as the architect, you can create it how you'd like. 

I got asked what my inspiration was behind this. I've never gotten that question before so I guess I'll answer it. I was listening to a musical artist named Watsky last night, and he's got an album called Cardboard Castles. I remembered that there's a band called Crystal Castles and so I took the musical element out of the names and this what I ended up with.

- Jack

 

Published by Jack Beck