May 5, 2008

Reflection for MDG Presentations

First of all, this project really opened my eyes up to a lot of things that are wrong with the current state of living from a global standpoint. The MDG's really lay out a lot of the issues and open up opportunties for people to be aware and proactive about helping to improve standards and quality of living. It is also a big eyeopener for humanity as a whole. By doing research and discussing with each other these goals and issues, it really does help in a sense. It forced us to recognize what is going on and come up with ways to make things better.

I thought that the presentation about goal 8 was very interesting. I was not aware of the current status of Somalia on the communication forefront. I think that they had a very reasonable and realistic way to help with goal 8. I like that they made it into a very focused and concentrated solution instead of trying to solve everything at once and not getting anywhere. I think what sold me the most was their part about the one laptop per child organization. That would be a great way to get the younger generations started with technology early in their lives and therefore increasing their chances of continuing with communication at an older age.

The other presentation that i like the best was the one about goal 7. I liked that they showed examples of places within the twin cities that need work. I also liked their examples of existing buildings that incorporate sustainable techniques in their development. The Riverside Plaza is definitely a good place to start with. It is obviously in bad condition and a if the put some of their proposals into action, the place would improve dramatically. The Plaza is also a bit of a symbol for the area that surrounds it and it needs to be changed for the betterment of the community and Minneapolis as a whole.

April 2, 2008

Front Cover

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March 15, 2008


The United Nations Millennium Goal that has been chosen for my group to work on is number 2, to achieve universal primary education by the year of 2015. We have collectively decided to pursue the information of, and come up with ideas for a solution through the use of corporation and policy with respect to schooling in the Iraq area. I think that the best way to document and support our informational findings and ideas will be through the use of some kind of electronic presentation in the form of either Powerpoint or Keynote (for mac users). This will allow for the use of detailed and high resolution photos, charts and graphs, as well as a great base for text. Here are a few images and examples of what this might look like.

March 10, 2008

Shaped by my Environment

I would say that the environment and buildings around me absolutely affects who I am. Everyone in the world is affected by their environment whether they like it or not. In my case, however, i think it adds to my persona. Being a student athlete at a large D1 university, my life depends on the buildings that surround me. I wouldn't be a diver without the pool i practice at every day, nor would i be a student without the classroom buildings. My life right now is one giant framework with a series of clockworks within. There is also an underlying phenomena as well. Now what that phenomena is exactly, I'm not sure I can even begin to define because it would most likely require a brief history of my life thus far.

The framework of my life right now I would say is to go to college, dive every day, get a degree, get a job, find a wife, get married, have kids..... and so on. Now in terms of the buildings that help me achieve these goals, i've got a university. This pretty much sums it up, although I plan to move back to Denver after i'm done here, i can find all the things i listed as part of my framework on campus or near it. For the college part, i've got all the buildings and teachers i will ever need. For the diving part, I have one of the best pools in the country right on campus, as well as one of the best coaches in the country. Not to mention the fact that Minnesota is also ranked 8th in the nation. Now the rest will come eventually on it's own, but i've got all the right things and places to help me.

The clockworks in my life are also part of the framework. I have cycles that include:

1. go to classes
2. go to practice (whichever one comes first)
3. do homework
4. go to sleep
5. socialize and sleep on weekends
6. do it all over again the next week

These are repeated constantly throughout my life as a college student. These will change slightly as life goes on, however, there will always be a cycle or a clockwork. Unless i decide to become a nomad and travel the world with the clothes on my back, not knowing if I'll survive the rest of the day, but thats a separate issue. I plan on living my life the way i imagine it so I'm confident that my future does not include living as a nomadic bum world traveler.

The oppositions in my life are many. As i'm sure there are in everyones lives. One that i know for sure is meeting my own personal goals and expectations as well as others' expectations. Other oppositions make themselves present as I live my life, most are not foreseen, some are brought about by mistakes, etc... I think this is a summary of how phenomena, frameworks, clockworks, and oppositions add and detract from my life.

March 5, 2008

No Boundaries

"If you were completely released form the constraints of the 'architecture school' program, what would you do architecturally, artistically, bodily, lyrically, etc that would still have an impact on your environment? Describe a real or imagined place which might allow you to do this. Explore through images and text."

I have always imagined a place with no chaos and no problems that encompass many large cities today like traffic, homelessness, garbage in the streets, and poor use of space and architecture. I would like to see a city that functions more as a community than anything else and also serves as a beautiful home. I would also like to see places that use their space artistically in every way imaginable, from sidewalks to living rooms to gardens to rooftops, etc. I imagine a place that is created by and used by the same people, a purely creative and individualistic environment. When i envision this place, i see a place that is almost completely green. In color and in sustainability. I picture a sort of rain forest of living spaces and working places, where each place supports another place.

This picture is similar to the place that I envision. I like how it shows intertwining and weaving sidewalks that don't restrict movement. I also like how there is a sort of community area in the middle of the residences around it, and also the earthen roofs. One aspect that i want to elaborate on is the freedom of movement. Most cities are set up as a formation of rectangles and squares, there is no variation or surprises. I like how the picture shows walkways that are curved and unpredictable, the allow the person to take any number of paths instead of just one walkway to and from places. There is a place on campus that kind of does this and it is the walkway that goes in between the radisson and the aquatic center. It is very slight though, not at all like the picture above.

Another thing about my idealized city community is that i would like the only forms of transportation to be either walking, biking, electric mopeds, or perhaps a smartcar. Another thing that goes along with the transportation is that it everything would be shared within the community, so no body actually would own the bikes or mopeds, they would just by lying around for anyone to use. Now some people may be a bit skeptical about this idea since there is the factor some people might not follow the rules and actually share, but i think with proper enforcement and/or the willingness of people to cooperate, i think it would work out well.

And for the architecture portion, i imagine tall housing units for multiple people or families. Generally the whole community will be constructed on the basis of going up instead of out. Shanghai for example is full of skyscraper apartments, there are almost no single family housing units anywhere in the city or city limits.

February 24, 2008

Millennium Goal Influences


Transistor by 311 Download file
Capital G by Nine Inch Nails Download file
Voice of the Voiceless by Rage Against the Machine Download file
New Years Day by U2 Download file
Speed of Sound by Coldplay Download file
Timebomb by Beck Download file
Rush of Blood to the Head by Coldplay Download file
Strawberry Fields Forever by The Beatles Download file
Crying Shame by Jack Johnson Download file
Waiting on the World to Change by John Mayer Download file
Learn to Fly by Foo Fighters Download file

If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin. -Charles Darwin

In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. The young they keep out of mischief; to the old they are a comfort and aid in their weakness, and those in the prime of life they incite to noble deeds.

Poverty is the worst form of violence.
-Mohandas Gandhi

The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

When you warn people about the dangers of climate change, they call you a saint. When you explain what needs to be done to stop it, they call you a communist.
-George Monbiot

Our mission is, in truth, historic and world changing - to build, over the next fifty years and beyond, a global low carbon economy. And it is not overdramatic to say that the character and course of the coming century will be set by how we measure up to this challenge.
-Prime Minister Gordon Brown

Literacy is not a luxury, it is a right and a responsibility. If our world is to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century we must harness the energy and creativity of all our citizens.
-President Bill Clinton

Peace does not fare well where poverty and deprivation reign. It does not flourish where there is ignorance and a lack of education and information. Repression, injustice and exploitation are inimical with peace.
-Frederik W. de Klerk

February 20, 2008

Chivalry and Architecture

I am going to interpret the question of a social-design issue in the form of chivalry. I think it is appropriate considering the month as well as being a much disputed topic among colleges students and couples everywhere. One of the definitions of chivalry is the act of using courteous behavior towards women, which suggests that that chivalry is being done by men therefore making it a gendered subject. A typical example of chivalry that most people would think of at first though would be a man opening a door for his lady friend, or for an extreme, putting his coat over a puddle for her.

These two examples are just a general outline of the concept of chivalry. Now, another important question that many people ask is, "is chivalry dead?".

One can argue both ways about this subject, but it seems to me that the majority of the answers lead to the statement that it is, in fact, dead. Not so much erased from culture and society, but it is acted out much much less in daily life than in previous decades and centuries. Chivalry can also be defined as the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, esp. courage, honor, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help the weak. This definition expresses a different point of view as far as where the courteous behavior is being acted and to whom. This definition suggests that courtesy can be acted towards anyone and anything, not just women. So I will take this further and claim that chivalry can in fact be expressed through architecture. Architecture can do all the things that are defined in the definitions, and act them out in ways that people themselves cannot. One such example of chivalry in architecture includes the part in the second definition about justice. A building should serve it's occupants and onlookers in the exact same way a knight should act towards their civilians. A building should justify the three essential rules of building program which are durability, utility, and beauty. Architecture should therefore be courteous to the people who use it, and essentially, meet their every desire and more. The issue with this theory today is that unfortunately, very few buildings fit into this category.

February 8, 2008

Prompt 1

Minneapolis is very much a city of energy, flow, and movement. Since it is located next to the Mississippi River, the types of businesses and trades that come out of the city are in some ways related to the river. The city gets some of it's energy from hydroelectricity that is produced from the river. The energy and flows within the city are, however somewhat constricted due to the severe temperatures in the cold seasons. The city's climate also has an effect on the types of things that are produced from the city. Minneapolis has a history of being the nations top flour producer in the world. This may or may not be related to the city's climate or location but i just thought i'd trow it out there. When referring to movement in regard to Minneapolis, most of it is done either above or below ground, as far as people go. Now this isn't necessarily the case during the warm months of the year, but during the cold times, most people stick to the sky way's and tunnels that are connected throughout the city as well as on campus.

This sort of controlled movement plays a big part on how people view the city and the lifestyle of Minneapolis. It is seen as a more structured and purposeful city, rather than the way New York City is viewed as a metropolis of streets and buildings.