huhtikuu 29, 2008


This presentation was nice, however it focused on the statistics and information rather than the implications and overarching concepts. I took detailed notes on everything they presented, however, I could not know which goal they are focusing on. While they seemed to have a good amount of quality information and knowledge about Dubai, they did not make any profound or tangible insights.

I would suggest more images and visual dynamic rather than text blocks.

I love the idea of using System of a Down as the house band for the Dubai Shiek's Neoxanadu.

huhtikuu 2, 2008

Millenium Jazz




I made these collages from magazines. My intention was to convey concepts or visual motifs that connect different worlds. I attempted to illustrate parralells between ancient/indigenous culture and modern culture as well as have a bit of irony. I also hoped to create a very disorienting and slighty abstract depiction of future technology and culture.

The collages are relevant to our Millenium Project where we will examine indigenous and older architecture and design practices that could inform new ecological and sustainable practices.

maaliskuu 6, 2008

Blog Prompt #5

My relationship with the built environment is love-hate. At times I am in utter joy to walk streets and explore structures and spots. At other times, especially around new condo/loft construction, I feel queasy, as if I am being cheated out of the 'real thing'.

Both of the images above are designed environments with a virtual world. However, they are extremely different in intention, content, aesthetic and depth.

I am extremely interested in archeology, light, science fiction and fantasy. Nearly all interaction I have with the built environment has this dynamic deeply embedded. My interpretation of space deals with the narratives I can weave around it, as well as the aesthetic qualities of the light and sonic environment. I love examining different layers of buildings and infrastructures that are revealed through different forces, such as degradation, modernization and time. I actively engage in video-making and I love the abundance of bleak and brutal architecture for making abstract science fiction. At the same time I understand the negative aspects of much of this architecture and style of design. I suppose that my relationship with the built environment (and world) is one of extreme duality. I take the actual, concrete implications of the world seriously, but cannot help to also fantasize and completely reconfigure and invent new contexts.

I had a wonderful time making a video of my self paying a parking ticket two days ago here. This is one of my favorite buildings to imagine with.

helmikuu 27, 2008

Blog Prompt #4

Freed from the constraints of "Architecture School", I would hone my programming skills and develop a software/hardware/mind/body interface that would allow the user to live indefinitely in a semi-abstract 3-dimensional universe. Aspects of the world would be controlled by thought, however many variables, such as smell and temperature, would be determined by ones location in the virtual environment.

The world would develop its own species and ecologies, perpetually existing even while no human is interacting/existing within. The laws of physics in terms of light and gravity would inform but by no means dictate the world. I can only imagine what could be constructed when freed from the constraints of economic, cultural, academic, physical and temporal laws and forces.

helmikuu 18, 2008

Blog Prompt #3

This original song has a strong influence of Gamelan musics as well as African Kora music. It reflects my understanding of the Millenium Goal of Sustainability in that older traditional native cultures are informing the use of modern composition/design and technology.

Directly above and below are images by Roger Dean, one of my favorite artists and architects. In many of his pieces the environments seamlessly blend with the architecture, often to the point where one cannot tell if the formation are natural or man-built. I find the deep integration and intertwining of architecture and the environment to be beautiful and psychedelic - yet full of compelling and practical lessons and possibilities.

"SECOND AJE" is a project me and a close friend recently worked on. An element of our intent was the developing a unique environment using a somewhat average location, Medicine Lake. We are both extremely interested in the native folk musics and cultures of the world, and this strongly influences our aesthetic choices in composing the video and sounds. I view this project as a stylized and abstracted representation of ancient/indigenous cultures and their technologies and arts informing futuristic, developed societies and environments.

helmikuu 14, 2008

Blog Prompt #2

There is a duplex in SW MPLS that a number of friends have inhabitated. It is a rare positive example of the effects of an absentee landlord or slumlord. While the home is barely maintained, with extensive water damage and somewhat troublesome appliances, a room rents for a mere $150 a month. With this group of people, this is a more than a fair trade off. If the house were ever to become hazardous, my friends have the ability to seek out other places.

After reading an article in the href=""> City Pages about the primary slumlord in Minneapolis, Spiros Zorbalas, I realized that many people are unable to easily move, due to lack of English skills, lack of money, children, etc. In the article, inhabitants of Zorbalas's reported that appliances broke, ceilings fell, utilities weren't paid, lead paint contaminated their children. When they would report issues they would be ignored and/or rudely treated. After some occupants claimed about broken appliances, Zorbalas threatened that he now had permission to enter without permission at any time. He raised rents past the guidelines and withheld deposits gratuitously. Those at the most risk are immigrants and families, were the resources and skills to move and organize resistance are very limited. With lead and mold, the health of the occupants is endangered.

I have been in the process of searching for a duplex with a realtor for aprox. 8 months, and in that period we have looked at standard MLS listings as well as some foreclosures.
One foreclosure property on Powderhorn Lake opened my eyes to the dangers of absentee landlord and dilapidated housing. When we first approached the property we noticed an unusual smell and a strong presence of refuse and coolers. Upon entering the first quadrant, a collection of tiny chopped up rooms filled with rotten food, dirty clothes and dishes, garbage, a man came in behind us and aggressively inquired what we were doing there. After explaining that we were checking out the property, where he presumably resides, he left. Going further through the house we saw extensive signs of mold and sewage coming through the pipes.
In the adjacent unit, the man took a moment to answer the door and remove the bars that were jammed between the doors and opposite walls, which he claimed kept his cat from escaping. The man was extremely overweight and extremely unhealthy from visually apparent drug addiction and the house. He explained in an idiosyncratic speech pattern how the landlord had never responded to any of the complaints of broken utilities and when he decided to stop paying rent, nothing happened.

While this may seem contained within the homes, negative effects ripple through the city. Spaces like this are havens for mass drug dealings and prostitution, several examples of this are given in the CP article. Environmental hazards can seriously damage and retard child development, creating a generation that is unable to take care of itself. It damages the nieghborhood by driving down property values and keeping potential resident-by-choice away. Also, it cheaper and healthier to maintain old homes consistently rather than causing cataclysmic change by massive bulldozing and rebuilding.

In the CP article, they discuss groups like, which can help tenants organize or find better housing. Caring landlords are crucial to maintaining the vernacular and mundane housing of a city as well as providing safe homes where people can prosper and build strong nieghborhoods.