Anna Fill Interviews
House of Cards
London-born Tom Saunders set up The Thomas Saunders Partnership, one of the larger architectural firms in London with over 130 staff, specialising in architecture, environmental space planning, interior design and the refurbishment and restoration of historically listed buildings. He left the Partnership in 1984 to pursue a growing interest in the built environment and the effect buildings have on people, by examining the works of master builders of the past and present.
The condition known as Sick Building Syndrome, the fatigue and respiratory complaints associated with air-conditioned building without openable windows, led Tom to write the Boiled Frog Syndrome, published in 2002 and referring to the inability of people to react to significant changes that occur gradually, whether it be in the food we eat or the environment in which we live. Tom drew upon his architectural experience of buildings new and old, to question the prevailing wisdom of modern life and relate the built environment to the debilitating sicknesses and ailments that afflict so many of us.
Tom's studies of architecture had led him into the ancient world of education and self-discovery, in which the Tarot played an important part in providing insight and guidance into our path through life. Often misused by fairground fortune tellers, the true purpose of the Tarot was to help draw from the person that which is already there, to help us make the best choices in our daily situations. Tom's book The Authentic Tarot, published in 2007, describes in detail the oldest known deck, the Ancien Tarot de Marseille, and shows how it can be used as a tool for self-development and self-realisation.
The Riviera Woman interviewed Tom Saunders at his home in Biot, on a blazing July day with the cicadas in full voice. When we first agreed to interview Tom, he told me that there would be some surprises in store and there were. His so matter of fact personality was captivating and fascinating and to discover that the distinction between science and art is purely artificial almost blew me away. I was intrigued about Tom's transition from architecture to Tarot and whether men were users of it... to find out, please watch the interview.