May 10, 2008

Blog 8 & 9: Term Project Reviews

Blog 8 & 9: Review two group presentations in your section.

Review Number One:

The group that did UN millennium development goal # 8, focused on the region, or country of Austria. Goal eight was develop a global partnership for development. They narrowed their research to three targets; develop an open trading system, access to affordable drugs, and make available new technologies, especially in communication.
The design of their presentation looked very clean and professional with white spaces and appropriate pictures. They seemed to be very knowledgeable about the areas they discussed. I also learned that Austria recently converted to the Euro to make trading with other countries easier. The group was able to present information on Austria’s defense system, and big industries, and current pharmaceutical companies. The one thing it was missing or lacking was the realm of response. Time was running short at the end of the presentation, so they might have cut out parts that would have made it more complete. The other thing was I didn’t understand why they choose to focus on telecommunications as one of their targets, because from the information they gave, it seemed like Austria already has a well established system.

Review Number Two:

The group that addressed goal 6, which was Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, did an excellent job in my opinion. They seemed to a very good grasp on what HIV/AIDS actually was, and how it impacted the people in their region of Sub Saharan Africa, and a program that was helping combat AIDS in Africa. The presentation skills were good, and did not seemed rush. They presented the information clearly, and gave a background so the audience could follow along with some knowledge. It was interesting to hear some of the cultural problems that go along with all the disease problems, and there was a very good quote from one of African country’s president. It was interesting to hear about the MESA program that is trying to address some of the disease issues, and it made me feel good that the program was gaining a lot of interest from the people. All in all, it was a well organized and fully researched project, and had a visually appealing presentation.

April 3, 2008

Blog 7: Title Page Options

Blog 7- Design three title page options for your Research Project.

My Green Cover Pages

I'm still working on the titles, these are just some ideas I had. Also i might add a little graphic on the page, but I'm still debating if that would be too much for a cover page. I do like having a simple, thought provoking, quote that gives a understanding of the prject before even reading the paper.

March 13, 2008

Blog 6: presentation/documentation styles

Blog 6: Look for and document some examples of presentation/documentation styles that your term project may take as inspiration. Good resources: CMYK (magazine) PRINT (magazine) Graphis (magazine) Core77 (blog).

There are many ways to present a term project. You have the typical ways such as give a speech or PowerPoint. It’s usually good to include a visual aid of some sort, and maybe even an audio clip. Or you could always go the route of a portfolio or enlarged graphs neatly displayed on poster board. I don’t know if anyone of these styles would necessarily better represent a presentation on sustainability. My term project may not take any of these styles as inspiration, but I think the style will be inspired by my group’s dynamics, and charisma in front of an audience.

Here are a few different methods of presenting styles...

If I think about how to make a good speech, I think what I would want to sit through if I was in the audience. I would want to listen to a projecting voice that captivates me from the beginning, and leaves me pondering or in aw by the end.

Aristotle’s Canon’s of Rhetoric
Invention- What are you trying to say?
Disposition- How is it organized?
Style- How could you make it sound good?
Delivery- How do you present your topic? (Expression, Emphasis, Enunciation.)


Powerpoint style
-well organized slides that are easy to follow.
- Don’t use a lot of text, rather short main points. (Bullet points!)
- Use pictures that are relevant with your topic and are thought provoking.
-For the sustainability project, graphs and other visual ways to show data will be important.

blog 66.png
blog 67.jpg

Media presentation style
Combining information with sounds and pictures, into one visually appealing video clip is always an entertaining way to present a topic or make a point. Pictures should support your point and be dynamic. This method mixed with a condensed speech seems to captivate and grasp the audience’s attention, which would make a presentation successful if you got your point across.
blog 65.jpg

In the end, I don’t think it really matters how you present your project, speech, powerpoint, paper, or an audio visual. They all are methods to help you achieve a memorable point. As long as you have the a deep understanding and knowledge on your topic, and put all the energy you can researching, and organizing , and presenting it, any style will be affective. You must also have passion for your topic. It is completely obvious to tell if someone is passionate. Their energy is just shown through their expressions and voice, and it usually tends to flow and make others energetic and interested also.
blog 64.jpg

March 6, 2008

Blog 5: How the built environment affects me.

Blog 5: is Explore through image and text how the built environment affects (supports or
detracts) who you are. Speculate in terms of frameworks, clockworks, phenomena and
My first thought about this blog, was how could a built environment affect who I am? The built environment, buildings, roads, or lack of, could not possibly support or detracts who I am. I am who I am because of my morals, the way I was raised, my parents, and surroundings. But then I started thinking that surroundings could include the environment, and designed environment, or even culture and physical location. There are many factors that affect who I am, like the ones I listed before, and the designed environment as well. The designed environment affects my daily activities, my lifestyle, or the way I make act or behave.
I grew up in Hawaii, in a house that my parents built ground up. We were close to the north shore, so our house was raised up on stilts, and at the back of our house on ground level was a patio that overlooked the mountains. I remember being outside playing on those steps and eating dinner with my family on the patio more than I was inside. Granted, the location also affected my lifestyle, but even when I was inside, or going to bed, I still felt the presence of outside, through all the big windows that let moonlight, and sunlight in. Also the gentle breeze and sound of the ocean rushed through the open windows, providing my lullaby every night. My lifestyle was different compared to my lifestyle in Wisconsin and in the city.
Where I lived in Wisconsin, the built environment was hard to come by. I lived in an old farmhouse surrounded by seventy acres. With the lack of built environment around me, I was able to jog in a sports bra, with no set path through the woods. With no built up environment closer than thirty minutes, I got creative with my daily activities and spare time. A lot of time was spent outside canoeing down the channel that started in my backyard and led to the lake, or cross country skiing through my woods. The lack of environment allowed me to experience new things I couldn’t do on a daily basis if I lived in a city.

blue woods.jpg

On the other hand there are many experiences I missed out on. In the city, everything is at my fingertips. There are restaurants, coffee shops, sports arenas, and if you cross the river, there is downtown Minneapolis with malls, clubs, and all sorts of little original shops. I might not be able to run (or I wouldn’t feel comfortable) in a sports bra, but the built environment provides a recreational center conveniently located five minutes away, where I still work out.

blue city.jpg

My lifestyle and some behaviors are affected by the built environment; what I might do, or how I might do it. I do the some of my same routines that I did back home and here in the cities, but they are done differently. I wouldn’t pull a lawn chair out and lay outside my dorm in a bathing suit to tan. I also don’t eat home cooked meals on a patio, but I do eat in a residential dining hall almost every night with friends. The built environment may not affect what I stand for, or my religion, and I don’t think it necessarily supports me or detracts from who I am. The built environment does affect my experiences and encounters, and all these past and present encounters affect me, teach me something, or give me a certain feeling or emotion, and it has helped shape who I am today.

February 28, 2008

Blog 4: Free of constraints

Blog 4: if you were completely released from 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 text and image.

Traveling Classroom

Wouldn’t that be everyone’s dream? To be set free, letting your creative juices just flow in every which direction with no limits or roadblocks. Or would it? Some people need constraints and would contemplate which path to take when it only diverges into two. Now imagine standing in the middle of a field, where there are no pervious paths. It’s just you, completely surrounded by an empty field that seems to stretch on forever. Each step you take creates your own path, which can be overwhelming when there are so many possibilities. That’s how this blog is making me feel, not only do I have to figure out what I would do architecturally, but also artistically, bodily, and lyrically.
There are a lot of possibilities, but there are a couple high priority opportunities I would take advantage of, if I have no constraints from the architecture school program. The first would be traveling. There are many great study abroad opportunities, which I’m already taking advantage of, but I would like to travel free, with no itinerary. I want to be submersed in new cultures, learning the way of others; their architecture, art, music, beliefs, language, and all together daily life styles. I could read about different cultures all day, but until I actually taste their bizarre traditional foods, and view famous architectural pieces with my own senses, I won’t fully understand their presence in this world. This brings me to the other restraint I feel in the architecture school program; hands on learning. The service learning partnerships is designed perfectly for us students to feel that positive engagement in communities, but I’m greedy, and I want more. Not only do I want to connect with communities on a personal level and understand their needs, but I also want to apply my knowledge of a community or culture with creativity, to craft architecture that will benefit them.


There is one thing I know, that even without constraints of any kind, I always want to be learning. I would ideally want to be in a setting where I can learn continuously and at the same time not be limited to two paths, but to be able to have that feeling as if I were standing in a field, to create my own path. In this place I would be able to learn activity, be engaged in a community and in the construction process. I would travel and gain firsthand experience and overcome challenges that might be presented in different locations around the world. A place that is already established, Rural Studio, has some of these same visions. Their mission statement reads as follows.
“The mission of the Rural Studio is to enable each participating student to cross the threshold of misconceived opinions to create/design/build and to allow students to put their educational values to work as citizens of a community. The Rural Studio seeks solutions to the needs of the community within the community's own context, not from outside it. Abstract ideas based upon knowledge and study are transformed into workable solutions forged by real human contact, personal realization, and a gained appreciation for the culture.?

rural studio.jpg

If all constraints were lifted from me, I’d be traveling and exploring new places, environments, people, and cultures, learning first hand instead of in a lecture hall. Then I would take all this knowledge and apply it to paper, through architecture plans, writings, or drawings. I would give back to the environment, people, or community for all the knowledge they gave to me, by transforming my plan on paper into a structure. I’d not stand by and watch it go up, but rather actually be a part of creating it. Even after its completion, I would still continue to learn. I would observe how the environment and people interact with the new structure, learning what materials worked well or what part of my design could be improved. If all constraints were lifted from me, my learning experience would take place in more than one setting, a traveling classroom completely submersed in new cultures and ideas.

February 21, 2008

Blog 3: Millennium Development Goal

Blog 3: Propose a set of images, quotes, and a playlist of songs that influence your values with your regard to your selected research millennium development goals.

Millennium Development Goal #7- Ensure environmental sustainability.
This goal includes conserving environmental resources, providing access to clean drinking water, and improving the lives of slum dwellers.


“I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.?
~Dwight D. Eisenhower



“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.?


“I firmly believe the world will sort itself out in the end.
Believe it with me. At least none of us will be around
to be proven wrong.?
~Stuart Wilde "The Secrets of Life"




I wish I could make a happier world
-harmonious, friendly and peaceful.
~His Holiness the Dali Lama - from the book "Tying Rocks to Clouds"


“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.?
~Johann von Goethe



“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.? ~Thomas Edison




“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.? ~Buddha

February 14, 2008

Blog 2: Acoustic Smog

Poverty…homelessness…air pollution… water pollution. These are all social issues that are high priority for the Twin Cities, and other major cities in the United States. Although “Acoustic smog? may not be a pressing concern to many, it still affects all of our daily lives. In the city you can’t get away from that constant humming of cars zipping by on the highway. City streets provide the path for the many trucks, cars, and buses that loudly accelerate and occasionally honk at the distracted driver in front of them, stopped at a green light. Planes fly by overhead and sirens scream in the distance. The noise pollution causes the passing pedestrians to actually feel aggravated and stressed. Over time, other serious health problems develop due to these high levels of stress. What might be a little irritation now, could lead to the damage of our physiological and psychological health. I’m experiencing the side effects of acoustic smog as I type. There is loud walking and running just a floor above me, doors slamming as they open and close, and girls laughing down the hall. I keep losing my thoughts, and I’m starting to stress out, because I need to finish this blog in time.
Stress and hypertension are the leading causes to health problems, not to mention the short term irritation and negative effects stress can have on our daily lives. It would be a much more productive and easy going environment if unwanted noises could be limited, so we could concentrate on the many tasks we already have at hand. We all want to save the world, slow the growth of poverty, and increase the quality of air and water. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just focus on these important things, without the constant annoying noises that steal our thoughts? traffic_2_500.jpg

Acoustic smog in the Twin Cities may not be completely eliminated, but exploring new ways to reduce it could make our days a little more enjoyable. For example, when redesigning vehicles to be more fuel efficient, and release cleaner exhaust, we could also design ways to damper their acoustic pollution. Tires and roads could be relooked at to not only be more durable, but also absorb more vibrations and sounds. Australia has already taken some action to prevent noise pollution, designing a sound barrier to reduce highway noise heard by the nearby communities. Railways in Athens, Greece are powered by magnets, so the trains are literally floating as they travel, decreasing friction and noise. Even redesigning our individual routines by walking, biking, and taking the bus could greatly reduce the number of vehicles on the road that squeal their tires in attempt to stop in time.
This issue might be hard for some to focus on, with all the other social issues that surround us, but if we don’t put some effort into this issue, then we’ll all suffer from unwanted stress, which never leads to anything good. Maybe then we could start to hear ourselves think, and communicate our ideas easier, and maybe even start to hear the birds chirp again.

February 7, 2008

Blog 1: Energy Flow and Transformation

I have always lived in a small town and for the last five months, it has been quite the transformation as I adjusted to the city life. Before I had the experience of a city, I found no use for sidewalks; I could just walk or ride my bike down the middle of the road, not seeing a car for miles. Now, I would have to be suicidal to walk down the middle of the busy Minneapolis streets. Energy flow and its transformation is everywhere, just sit at a corner of a busy intersection for twenty four hours, and see this first hand. When daybreak comes, the streets begin to wake, as the early birds take a morning jog. Slowly the streets fill with energy, as strings of cars wait at a red light to let the herds of coffee drinking people stamped across the street. Then noon rolls around, and people scramble to find a place to replenish their energy, so their minds can survive the rest of the day’s challenging encounters. The city becomes alive; and not only do people fill the streets with energy but individual minds expand with new ideas and thoughts. They pass on their energy to other individuals, transforming and challenging the way they might think and feel. You might pass a protest on your way, there’s so much energy coming from the group of chanting activists. You start to ponder, open your mind, to new ideas and people. You feel their new energy reach your mind. Five O’clock strikes, it becomes a mad race for the door, and the packed streets crawl along during rush hour. The city prepares for rest as the last of the people find their way home. The streets and sidewalks are calm, losing energy, and darkness drapes over the city sky. We all find comfort then, as we drift into our dream.