May 13, 2008

Response to MDG projects(blog prompts 8&9)

Overall, I was impressed with other groups' work on the Millennium Development Goals. It seemed as if they had taken a lot of time to do careful reseach on their topic as well as the design of their presentation. Without naming names on people within my section I would like to discuss their presentations, seeing as I haven't read their entire documents- I wouldn't want to cut them short on work they had done.

One of the groups in my section had compiled all of their information into a PowerPoint presentation. This is not, at all, a bad idea, but there were a couple of flaws, that even someone as blind at graphic design as me could see.
In this certain presentation, the "extras" of PowerPoint were used far too much. I felt as if drop in pictures, sounds, fade-always and such are things meant for holding attention of 3rd graders. Especially because we’re in a design profession, a little more attentiveness to professionalism would have been advantageous. The information that the group presented seemed to be up to par, though the presentation didn't reflect a thorough sincere research. I understand that not everyone owns professional graphic design programs, including me, but if you’re at a loss of design magic, I guess I would just leave it blank or just what it was- without all the things dropping in and flying out, bouncing around.

On the other hand, there was a group in my section that had a very clean, sophisticated design that I could only aspire to do. The group was focusing on environmental sustainability, so a nice clean crisp design really reflected the tone of the presentation. They also were very attention-oriented towards the placement of their photos- not to place them all over, but in a grided line almost. Everything in their presentation seemed to line up and have a reason.

I know I don't know much about graphic design, but I think most of us can recognize good design when we see it. There's no need for what you called "overcooking." -Which is the perfect statement for what a power point can become. I suppose, personally, I am a minimalist. I would rather see blank white space then a bunch of images cluttering up a page. Better nothing than too much!

Again, I was still very impressed with everyone’s presentations. I felt as if everyone put a lot of time into their projects and even if it was unorganized throughout the semester, you'd never had known it by the information people had.

* just some interesting stuff in this book as well as the book, Design Like You Give a Damn.

March 31, 2008

Cover pages for Term project

Here are four cover pages. Two of them are in the form of a link due to their size.

Download file


Download file


March 12, 2008


As I have searched through the internet, I haven't quite been able to pinpoint one example of documentation/presentation styles that inspire me. Throughout my search though, I have been able to compile an inspirational series of images in which their collective tone creates ideas for my term project.

What I really like about this image is how crisp, vivid, and clean it is.






I guess, even though I couldn't find a perfect example of what I would like to see as inspiration in my term project, I would like to some how meld the overtones from the above images. I really liked how all the photos were very vivid, clean, crisp, and concise. It's like each one, by themselves, told a story.
When presenting the Millenium Developement Goals, I would like to adhere to these above principals. I think that when presenting our project, it will be imperative to stick to a very clean palette.I dont think that bright, flashy colors nor hopeless images of people suffering are any way to depict the Millenium Developement Goals.

March 6, 2008

Just a day

As I see it, from the very moment we are brought into this world until the time we leave, all that we do, interacts with the built environment. For me, the way I understand this best is just going through a regular day in my life.

Obviously, the very first thing I do in a day is wake up. But, right as this is happening, I can count on my cat Vinnie being right there to sit on my face or to fling his toy at me. This is one of the most apparent clockworks of my life. Vinnie knows when I wake up, he knows the sound of my alarm, and he knows that his life revolves around the time that I am awake. Therefore, Vinnie is one of the clockworks of my life. I can completely predict that Vinnie will always be there when I wake up, no matter what.

kittiesONLY 026.jpg

After waking up, I bum around my house a bit, take a shower, have breakfast, and get ready to leave. On many levels I see my house as a framework. It is the framework of my life. When I have had a long day at school, I can't wait to get back home. On weekends, my home is where I relax and catch up with friends. My home is a framework of my life. Much of my life depends on this structure being there.

Now that I have left my house, I am ready to go to school and walk to where I catch my bus. In a way, I see this as what Ozayr would call a Phenomena. The bus is also a framework, its a clockwork, and it interacts with many things. I depend on the bus being there in the morning so I can get to school. Just as Vinnie is always on time, the bus normally is too. It has a set schedule in which its arrival is always quite predictable. And, what I find the most interesting, is how the bus interacts with so many things. In this context I include people as things. So many people from different walks of life use the bus and let public transportation play a role in the frameworks of their lives. Ofcourse, the bus also interacts with more concrete objects as well.

Now, finally, I am at school. I see school as a very complicated built environment which is entangled in the frameworks,clockworks, and oppositions. There are so many different activities, people, and thoughts continuously flowing through the airwaves. None the less though, in my life, school is a very structured place which seems to deal with the opposition of time. I think that out of all the thoughts that go through my head in a day, time is the most frequent. Everything is about time- (Be on time to class, What time will the bus be here?, How long is it going to take to walk from W Bank to E Bank? Do i have enough time to stop and grab a water? What date is that paper due? What are my TA's office hours?). It may just be a personal thing, but I see time as something that is taking the life out of the world.

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) American naturalist, poet and philosopher



Now that the school day is over with, it's time to do homework and go home.

I think that clockworks, frameworks, and oppositions are happening everywhere around us all the time. I only mentioned a couple, but I feel that if we look deeper we can see more.


February 27, 2008

What I want to do when I grow up...

I am not going to lie, architecture school is very demanding and time consuming amongst my already busy life. Though, I hate to admit it, but if I were set "free" of this draining system, I would first, find myself miserbly lost. It seems to me, that it would be like looking forward to a fun, long summer vacation, but after the first week, find myself bumbling around ackwardly bored-not knowing what to do with myself. After realizing how worthless I am when I am bored, I would set out to do what I love most: travel.
Other than somehow being successful in my own mind (and parents' minds), my other goal in life is to explore the world as much as I can. With a growing love in architecture and a grounded drive for adventure I would set out to investigate the world I don't know. My plan (so far) is to purchase a one-way ticket to somehwere I have never heard of before. And once I land, start walking. I want to spend enough time everwhere I go to get to know the people of the land. I want to live with them, work with them, and play with them. I want to understand exactly how their lives play out from day to day.

This brings me to another interest of mine, though a bit obscure. I would like to understand how buildings evoke feeling and thoughts. People all over the world associate with buildings, of all sorts, on a daily basis. I would really like to understand through notes, conversation, and photos of how people think differently in different buildings.I'm sure I haven't said this in the most clear of forms, but in short, as an example, why do I feel more comfortable studying in the Minneapolis Central Library than studying in my own home? What kind of design can consciously evoke fear, stress, or serenity. Quite possibly these questions have already been answered, but its something I dont know the answer to in which im sure that there's always more to know.

After spending a lot of time..possibly even years within certain cultures I would like to move on, but ofcourse, always keep strong ties with those I meet. I would go along my way to find the next group of people. I imagine myself as a wanderer living off the good graces of the human spirit. Though, I would have to be careful. Not everyone appreciates a careless attitude toward life when you have been "given" everything. It would be very important to me to take the necessary amount of time to get to know people and allow them time to trust me, just as I trust them.

Anyhow, on this whirlwind lifetime of traveling, recording my life along with other cultures' in words and photos, I would hope to end by having a very detailed, descriptive narrative of every culture I had stayed with. In this written work, I would like to share with the rest of the world how other, less known, cultures interact with their social, mental, and physical environment. My hope would be to find that somehwere, somehow that the architecture of cultures intereacts mentally with everyone on some level, maybe completely unconsciously.

I guess in the end, I would ultimately hope that someone could look at the research and work I had done and be able to disect it, and understand why people react and feel the way they do. Does the architecture of a place even have an influence on creation of thought and feeling and can we apply the knowledge obtained to a much larger scale?

February 20, 2008


Of the Millenium Developement Goals set by the United Nations, ensuring environmental sustainability resonates the most with me. I understand that eqaulity and global developement plans are imperitive to our future, but I feel that we can't begin to deal with these problems until we deal with our deteriorating Earth. How can we improve maternal health or promise primary education when the mothers are drinking polluted ground water and children on their way to school are choking on the toxic air? Ok, so maybe I was being a bit sarcastic, but if we do nothing, we are not going to have an Earth to call home anymore. We need to change now before it's too late!



"We have a responsibility to sustain - if not enhance - our natural environment and our nation's economy for future generations." -Steve Johnson, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

One of the most polluting factors I see on a daily basis that makes me sick are plastic bags. Whenever your driving on the freeway, walking down the street, or even out in the country you will see herds of plastic bags either blowing in the wind, stuck in trees, or jammed down along highway ditches. I find this utterly repulsing because it takes a very long time for plastic bags to break down. One company thats devoted to changing the way we impact the world is BioBag.BioBag has invented a type of material that works the same as plastic, but is one-hundred percent biodegradable and compostable.


One way to see how your everyday actions impact our Earth is by taking the Consumer Consequences Quiz. This is short, fun quiz that is designed to inform you on how your actions are effecting the Earth.

So, now you have seen your impact, what do you think? Is it what you expected? When I first took this quiz I thought I was going to ace it. Low and behold, I turned out to not be as green as I thought! Just in case we don't know, here are some easy ways to help contribute to a greener future:
1.Re-Routing Commute-biking,walking,carpooling, busing...etc.
2.Buy Used
3.Buy Local-buying food that is grown locally reduces the energy it takes to ship it half-way around the world
4.Composting food scrap-helps reduce the amount of waste you send to the landfill
5.Pre-setting your thermostat and change to energy-saving devices
6.Instead of buying heaps of bottled water, filter your own-cuts down on container waste and saves you $$$
7.Making your own cleaning supplies. You can make your own cleaning supplies out of simple everyday staples such as baking soda, vinegar, and soap. Once again this cuts down on the container waste and saves you money, but also prevents harsh cleaning agents from possibly getting into local water supplies.
8.Cut down on meat consumption
9. Fix things rather than buying brand new
10.Use local library and other public amentities- instead of wasting paper on a book you may only read once, you might as well borrow the book for free!

Interesting Fact:The energy saved by recycling one aluminum can will operate a TV set for 3 hours.
"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous."- Aristotle

Continue reading "Change" »

February 12, 2008

Social flaws and attitudes...

While living in Minneapolis nearly my whole life, one of the most troubling realities I have seen almost on a daily basis is homelessness and the negative attitudes sorounding it. How many times have you been in a car with friends and pass by a homeless person. I bet your friends first say "oh..that sucks...I feel bad for them," then the other people in the car say something to the effect, "Why do you feel bad for them? They only did it to themselves. They're losers, they made bad decisions, and they do drugs." So many people say negative things about the homeless population with out even trying to understand the struggles they face daily.

The main reason people say they became homeless is due to high rent costs in which they could not afford. Another leading cause of homelessness is mental illness and addiction where people do not have the financial support to get help when they need it. Other reasons for homelessness include domestic violence and unemployment.

In response to this growing problem, Hennepin county has developed and passed a ten year plan which began in 2006 to make homelessness disappear. This plan is composed of over fifty steps which make up six major goals that will be completed; 1.) Outreach, 2.) Prevention, 3.)Housing, 4.)Improving service delivery, and 5.)System improvements.

Redesigning the way our government deals with "discretionary" funds and putting it to use will help put Twin Cities homelessness in the history books. Though, the plan sounds fine, I still wonder if it will really work? How long can a family receive welfare? Will this give a family the chance they need to get back up on their feet again or will it enable them to rely upon the government too much?

I personally think that the government should have more intense programs for rehabilitating families and preparing them for their future. I also think there should be more restrictions on welfare which would allow those who really need it to access it, but for those who have been enabled by it to be denied. There is also a severe need for more affordable housing. Single-parent families just can't afford expensive rent/mortgages. One of the most important aspects that would cut down on homelessness would be to treat the mentally ill and the addicts while educating them which could turn them back into successful, efficient citizens.

Changing topics a bit, back to one of my original statements, I believe people view the homeless population with a very negative eye. So many people (NOT ALL) think that they are cracked-out, good-for-nothing losers who have actively chosen to be where they are. I have added a couple of short videos which solidify my opinion further.

Continue reading "Social flaws and attitudes..." »

February 5, 2008

Energy, Flow and Transformation Through the City

After watching Andy Goldsworhty's film in class, the first idea that came to my mind was how people interacted with the environment around them. Through his art, Goldsworthy showed how natural energy lead to transformations. Whether it was water carving through rock or tips of plants darkening due to natural processes, Goldsworthy's work revealed the natural processes of earth. Through the city, I believe that natural energy affects flow and through that brings transformation. In a city I think that the unrelentless energy are the people. The people who live, work, and play in the city all unconsciously shape their environment just as a small stream can create a raging river with time. Over time in a city, landscapes change due to the growing needs of the population whether it be a new apartment complex or an addition to the interstate. One of the positive transformations that I have seen growing in cities is the shift from mass consumerism to conservation. Ofcourse, there are still many negative transformations happening everywhere, but there is a growing crowd of global conscious people.