April 14, 2007



December 8, 2006

Relation to the Designed Environment

For the community service learning program, I was assigned to Jackson Street Village. Every group had their own way of discussing and showing the designed environment of Jackson Street. One that appealed to me the most was the one that created a brochure for Jackson Street Village to hand out to current residents in their housing units. They even created a website that Jackson Street could modify on a monthly basis to keep residents informed about events and facts about the housing units.

This relates to the designed environment because they decided to take the existing programs, housing units, and facilities as they were and created a way to inform people about it. People currently living there might not be aware of certain programs and by giving them easier access as to what is going on will help a great deal. It benefits the person themselves because they are utilizing the services that JSV gives them.

This new thing that this group has implemented will continue being used at JSV for quite some time because it is such a great thing to have. Lacking a newsletter before was hard to launch without backing. With this group starting this new newsletter JSV will be intrigued to continue creating up-to-date newsletters and keeping their website fresh.

November 30, 2006

Readings & Connections

The first article/passage that was in the book was the one written from a professor from MIT by the name of Neil Gershenfeld. He seems like a very intelligent man, and he shares his intelligence with readers by telling about a program he started at MIT. He started the class "How to Make (almost) Anything." He created this program for a small group of advanced students who would be using similar tools in their research. It came to be very popular among all the students and it gave them a chance to enhance their skills in making things. He talks about all the great projects he has had during the class. He pin points a scream box, an alarm clock, and a dress. All of the creators made the items for themselves. Personalized for only them since it isn't a big consumer demand on the market. The way the items were made is very interesting: altering the dress and the alarm clock to make them useable in a different way.

The second article is from a man by the name of Louis Kahn. Kahn talks about many things in this article. The majority of the things he discusses are things that already exist. He doesn't look ahead to new inventions all too often. He talks about aspects like light, space and the closeness to nature. He mentions that schools are built in today's world with little or no natural lighting. He continues by saying that it takes away moods and that the electric bulb fights the sun. Using many examples of gardens, he discusses the closeness to nature. Allowing things to grow natural and create genuine pathways in the future. He tells about an assignment he gave to his class where he asked what would need to be done to create a University if we didn't know what one was like. What are the important parts to a University? Kahn focuses on today's world and critiques concepts we currently have in architecture.

When looking at both articles and finding a link between them both, I feel it is somewhat difficult. Neil talked about a current class at MIT to create items that are personally made for the creator. Louis talks about our current situation in our world. Both of these men are, generally, talking about the same thing. They both discuss the creation of things, whether they are alarm clocks, dresses, schools, of the Pyramids of Giza. Neil states that the creation of far fetched items is now becoming a reality to construct. On the other hand we have Kahn talking about how we think of the Pyramids are gorgeous things but we don't see the deeper connotations. We overlook the slaves that were used as workers to make a structure such as this, where if they were to disobey they could be whipped, possibly to death. When the sand settles we are left with a beautiful structure depicting Egyptian life long ago. With both of these articles, they general hope is that both these authors want for there to be a better, brighter future on this planet. Whether it is making suggestions about current architecture or sharing ideas about the creation of useful things that are made personally.

November 27, 2006


As Americans we, above all, should know of technopolies. We are surrounded by them every day without even realizing the big impact they have in our everyday life. One of the most important technopolies that we have in our life, in my opinion, is the evolution of things. I realize that by saying ‘things’ is very broad and doesn't narrow down to one or two items in life. By evolution I mean in nature and in technology.

The first evolution example I find really intriguing is the evolution of animals, one in particular. On the Galapagos Islands, off the coast of South America, we find an iguana. Not just an ordinary iguana. Over time some iguanas went looking for food in the ocean by the coast. With evolution, this type of iguana developed different features that allowed them to swim better. Now if we were to travel to the islands we would find two different looking iguanas depending on where you go on the island. Land iguanas are lighter while the marine iguanas are darker. Not only is evolution found in animals, we also see it in human life.

Technology has been a big part of human evolution. Inventions began as early as cavemen. As time passed we invented the printing press, and even more time passed the car was invented. Day after day people tried to improve what had already been invented. Faster and easier printing presses were created, which helped newspapers to be printed quicker. Now we have machines creating our paper. It is all done with computers now, in comparison to no computers back when it was first invented.

The model T car has been changed quite a bit. There are more car companies now than just ford, whom invented the model T. Now we have Chevy, Mazda, and the list goes on. The body of the car has changed very much since that of the model T. New technologies allow for people to travel faster and easier. We have cruise control now to assist us with driving. Heaven forbid our foot may get tired. As time passes we make things better and better. More efficient. Easier. All things that humans want in an appliance.

Below, in the link, there are pictures of the examples of which I have told. All this is related to nature because nature does evolution in the same way. The way iguanas transformed based on their eating habits shows that very well. Nature has had to evolve to become accustomed to things like weather, organisms, and many other things. Where would this world be without evolution? I think we would still all be prime apes saying 'ooh ooh aah aah'. Evolution is a way for this world to continue its ordinary rotation.

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November 6, 2006

Mathematics and Architecture

Every building in today’s world shows the mathematical field. the mathematics can be as simple as the triangles formed in the trusses used for construction the shell of a building. It could be as complex as the many numerous geometrical shapes in the Seattle public library. All buildings in fact have some association to math. Some of them display it much easier than others do.

One building in particular that displays its mathematical ties very well is Villa Rotonda. This is a very beautiful building that is generalized as a classical plan. With being a classical plan, it should generally have many geometrical terms, such as; symmetry, axis, pure geometrics, and more. Looking at the pictures in the link below, it is very easy to see the many different ways math was incorporated into this building.

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We see well defined rooms in recognizable shapes. The common shapes throughout the building are rectangles, squares, circles, and triangles. On the section drawing we can see the use of arches and hemispheres for support and visual effect for visitors. A visitor can easily see that the building is very symmetrical and the rooms look identical to others they have already seen. The architect created these enclosed rooms to force this enfilade; or march from one room to the next. You couldn't simply walk around the structure freely. There is a path to follow which again allows you to see the geometry.

October 21, 2006


Here on Earth, we have been dealt many problems or oppositions that eventually we learned how to overcome. Problems as constant as night and day or as complex as elevation. Ever since the primitive times humans have faced oppositions and figured a way to simplify things. An example we see in modern days is when we have a dark city or dark street which resricts visibility. To solve this opposition one would simply have to add lights to the city or street to make them safer, comfortable, and more liveable.

Another opposition we see that correlates with man and land is elevation of land. Near the New Orleans area there is only 45% of the land that is above sea level. The city itself is the third lowest point in the United States. Being next to a large body of water where hurricanes are known to strike they needed a way to prevent water from flooding the city. Building a levee system created a wall around the city preventing water from entering. Recently, we see that a recent hurricane strike caused a lot of damage to the levee which caused the city to flood.

A different opposition we can find is opposition of gravity and movement. How would one get from the first floor to the eightieth floor? One of many methods to get from point A to point B, but one in particular would be putting in an elevator. This would be an easy way that would solve the problem and would solve the problem against gravity.

As shown here there are oppositions humans will face and it takes a simple modification or addition to solve the problem. These aren't the only oppositions in this world. There are way to many oppositions to list so I just gave you the basics.

In the following link we see a word document with pictures describing the oppositions listed above.

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October 6, 2006

Finding a "Thing"

Is a bottle of drift cologne from Hollister a thing? Indeed it is. The object exists, it has mass, matter, size, and is measurable. This object is easily found as a 'thing'. Now for the hard part: Is this bottle of cologne a framework? This glass bottle holds in the liquid itself acting as a container to hold this cologne. Therefore this bottle of cologne is very much so a framework.

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Looking closer at the bottle itself we notice this silver metal piece in which you push down to release the cologne. This nozzle (if you will) goes through changes in a periodic manner and continues to return to the original set of relationships. The up and down motion is constant and the nozzle will always end up in the same position. The nozzle is stable and completely predictable, because we know that it will always be there and will only go up and down. Finally, we can call this cologne phenomenon because it has to do with senses. The liquid, when released from the bottle, will release a strong and good smelling scent that attracts ladies. Smell is a phenomenon because it is one of the five senses that we have, allowing us to breathe through our nose and determine what something smells like.

October 1, 2006

Place That Moves Me

The place that moves me the most is Nielsen Tennis Arena. This tennis arena is in Madison, Wisconsin and was the place that I played for the 2006 State Tennis Tournament. A place like this is more than just a location. It reaches people on more than just one level. Walking in to the tennis arena you can find twelve tennis courts that are among the best that one as ever seen. Walkways are around all the courts with many bleachers allowing spectators a perfect view of the matches going on down below.

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Other ways a place like this will move you is how you feel really feel about it. What emotions exist when you walk into a meaningful structure like this. Walking in you can see the lighting coming from the ceiling that illuminates the whole arena. A person forgets all the worries that they had before entering. Good thoughts come to mind and a smile is seen on his/her face. A place like this can only be seen as heavenly. The atmosphere is rich with good emotions, which makes you want to dance and sing. Problems are left at the door and the real matter of business becomes the sport of tennis. For a high school tennis player, this is the end result they were looking for. This is what they have been striving for during the last couple of years. They can only contemplate how much farther they can take this exuberant run they are currently on. Looking above the courts red banners fill the place denoting the amount of success the Wisconsin Badger Tennis Team has had in the history. Looking back at the courts one realizes that this is the place the Badgers play their matches.

A place as meaningful as this one can be thought about on many levels. A level of just pure looks/design or also the thoughts that come to mind when you enter a great place like this. Playing tennis in this facility and winning in the first round puts my experience on two different levels. Technically we were among the top 32 teams in the state. Emotionally the experience was the best on I had ever had in my life.

September 24, 2006

social-design issue

This world faces many social design issues in this day and age. [Social design = is a process that contributes to improving human well-being and livelihood.] A major social design issue is the exploitation of third world work forces. Outsourcing, off shoring and a variety of other economic forces are leading to the exploitation of cheap labor by corporations looking to cut costs and increase profit. While these forces are building up third world country's workforces, it is the "bottom line" that is being manipulated. Unions, workers rights and equal pay rights are ignored. This is what makes labor cheap, but not right.

Many major companies have used this method to gain significantly more profits since they don't have to pay their workers as much. The work forces where these companies settle are generally very poor. With these conditions they will do anything for money, including working long hours and for low wages. The treatment of these workers shouldn't be acceptable. Companies are becoming richer and richer because of the utilization of these workers. Problems like these can be easily solved by increasing the wages of the workers just to be a little fairer to these people.

September 18, 2006

Midtown Market March