Some Closing Thoughts
For my final blog entry for 1701, I would like to comment on a few things I picked up on in this class that I found to be most important/memorable/applicable. From every lecture, guest lecture, film, and discussion session, I learned something valuable. Some were 'better' than others, but each was interesting, thought-provoking, and informative.
Perhaps the most important lesson that I took from the class was that, as Jennie Winhall's essay discusses, design is political; thus, designers are activists whose work embodies an ideology. One of my favorite quotes taken from the class is Jennie Winhall's assertion, "Design is not a neutral, value-free process." I think that this short excerpt sums up the "moral" of the course, so to speak, that the work of the architect can change the world for the better. Ozayr, James Wheeler, Della, and many of the readings and films outlined this lesson well for me. The coursework helped me to understand the real impact that design has on people's lives. It isn't, like I assumed coming into this course, simply another "profession," but in many ways a position of public service. The Millenium Development project allowed us to dig even deeper into a specific avenue in which design makes a difference. I thoroughly enjoyed the project. Researching our two-fold problem of a shortage of low-income housing in the Twin Cities and the current environmental crisis was a fascinating process. It was really exciting digging into books on sustainable design strategies written for architects. Overall, I feel that the course had a really good approach to defining architecture in a very real and human yet complex and sophisticated context.