May 13, 2008

Blog Prompt #10

There should be no separations between disclipines such as engineering, art, mathmatics, ecology, etc.......

people and what they are capable of creating is quite amazing really....

Blog Prompt #9

I missed the group presentations this week, so i will do a blog on sustainable design. Throughout the semester in this and other classes, i have become aware of many different factors relating to sustainable design. i think it is an important facet of design and that it will only increase in necessity and popularity. I think that programs such as LEED, will continue to raise the bar for green building solutions. I also took Arch4561: architecture and ecology this semsester, and learned a lot about different definitions when it comes to sustainable design. I think that these types of classes are important and can be great resources for anyone interested in environmental issues...
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April 24, 2008

Blog Prompt #8: Group Presentations

This week, one group presented their millenium goal project. Their topic was environmental sustainability. I thought it was very informative. They presented different materials that can be used for sustainable building. I thought they had a lot of information regarding the different materials and the ways in which they can be effective.
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I enjoyed hearing about green roofs. I have always been interested in this aspect of building and design. I think green roofs offer a lot to a building, both physically and asthetically. It is interesting to learn more about them and to realize that a builder/designer has to take a lot into consideration when working with green roofs. It would be wonderful if every building could have a green roof, but when redesigning a current building, it is not always an option. I do think that green roofs should be used or at least considered when designing new buildings.
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i think it is important to do our part for the environment and am optimistic that green roofs will continue to improve along with other sustainable design options.

April 3, 2008

blog prompt #7: cover designs.

we have decided to do a webpage for our project. we haven't gotten into specific templates for this yet but here are my ideas:
one thought: http://www.hotlinkfiles.com/files/1185492_ybmlf/EnvironmentalSustainability.docx
another one: http://www.hotlinkfiles.com/files/1185526_bufgc/LivingGreeninU.docx
last but not least: http://www.hotlinkfiles.com/files/1185561_jvchu/LivingGreenInAmericanCities.docx

blog prompt #6: group project

well i had typed an entry for this at an earlier time. now, it does not show up, so i'm guessing it got deleted or i didn't save it.......ho-hum
anyhow, my group is researching the topic: environmental sustainability. when we first got together, we thought we would look at ecological footprints of different countries around the globe. this proved to be difficult as there are so many disparities between more developed and lesser developed countries. it is hard to be concerened with sustainability when it is difficult to provide food or potable water to residents....
so we decided to look specifically at the U.S. the U.S. is a country with a high GDP, but is doing litlle to address sustainability concerns compared with other countries of similar status (i.e. Norway). we decided to look at ctiies in the U.S. cities seemed to be a good choice because they are areas with high population and growth. we found a list of the top 10 green cities for 2007. we then tried to determine what cities would be at the bottom of a non-green list..... and to compare and contrast strategies and solutions the different cities are implementing to deal with this issue.
this was a lot of information and we decided to narrow it down even more. we are going to look at the ten factors that can be used to determine what a green city might be and find examples of cities in the U.S. that are dealing with these factors. we plan to relate this to architecture by also finding specific green building projects that are finding life in the cities........................
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March 3, 2008

Blog Prompt #5: bob the builder

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the built environment is integral to part of everyday life. even at a primal level, shelter is of great importance. shelter begins at a basic level.. it can be the shelter under a tree or rock, moving on to a cave, etc, until we arrive where we are today. the level of our ability to provide shelter for ourselves has increased exponentially as we continue to make technological advancements....
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there are buildings that are traditional to my culture.. these met the basic needs for shelter and utilized local materials... in some instances, they were easy to carry around or were able to withstand inclement weather.. in either case, they suited the needs of the people who lived within them....

these aspects are important to me today. i think it is important that we find methods to provide shelter without having a large impact on our ecosystem. i think it is important that we only use what we need and that we find ways to work with the environment, not against it.
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these aspects affect who i am in every sense. i feel very close to nature and i am striving to apply this to all areas of my life... i think sustainability is important. i would like to find a balance in my life in order to be a better person... and i hope that it does affect my art and design.
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February 28, 2008

Blog Prompt #4: kindness matters

i have been going to school for a while.... Architecture is not something i'm just trying out, it is what i have decided to do. I was an art major for two years and a biology major now for a year or so... I am really interested in the environmental aspects of biology and have found that architecture is something that fits all my interests and gives me a means to do the work i want to do.....

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i want to design buildings that are environmentally friendly and work to reduce the emission levels that buildings and homes are currently producing.... i think that sustainable development can work to address many of the issues people face today including homelessness, global warming, pollution, etc. By addressing the causes, we can work to find solutions for problems that are very real for the people they affect....

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i think there are wonderful developments that have allowed designers to build differently. for me, taking care of the environment is just part of who i am. anything i do in my life, will be closely related to this belief...

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this affects every aspect of my life from the books i read, to the art i create, the music i listen to, everything.... i enjoy where i am at school and feel that the program i am in, offers no constraints or resistance to what i want to do.... i am a full-time student, a small business owner, an avid music follower, an artist, a tree hugger, an explorer, a book worm, and a free spirit..

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February 20, 2008

Blog Prompt #3: hug a tree

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"God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools." --John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club

*note to self: i don't think God is really the point here.. nature, yes. But....who are the fools?*
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*Regarding Environmental Sustainability: I think it is important to look at differences around the globe relating to population, gross domestic product, rate of natural increase, consumption patterns, emissions standards, etc. There is a huge disparity between more developed countries and lesser developed countries. The United States, for instance, continues to produce and consume at an alarming rate, yet hesitates to take responsibility for its environmental impacts. At the same time, there are lesser developed countries in the world that are trying to meet their basic needs for food, potable water, and shelter. I think an important aspect of the Millenium Development Goals will be addressing these issues and finding ways that we can deal with these disparities, while making environmental, economical, and social benefits a priority. This blog will reflect my thoughts, inspirations, contradictions, blahblahs regarding this........*

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"Well I think as designers we realize that design is a signal of intention, but it also has to occur within a world and we have to understand that world in order to imbue our designs with inherent intelligence so when we look back at the basic state of affairs in which we design.. we, in a way, need to go to the primordial condition to understand the operating system and the frame conditions of the planet and the exciting part of that is the good news that's there because the news is the news of abundance and not the news of limits and I think as our culture tortures itself now with tyrranies and concerns over limits and fear we can add this other dimension of abundance that is coherent, driven by the sun, and start to imagine what that would be like to share" --William McDonough, from the Monticello Dialogues

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"I have no doubt that we will be successful in harnessing the sun's energy.... If sunbeams were weapons of war, we would have had solar energy centuries ago." --Sir George Porter, quoted in The Observer, 26 August 1973
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“Humanity is part of nature, a species that evolved among other species. The more closely we identify ourselves with the rest of life, the more quickly we will be able to discover the sources of human sensibility and acquire the knowledge on which an enduring ethic, a sense of preferred direction, can be built.� --E.O. Wilson, author of The Future of Life

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watch the last part of The Lorax:

*note to self: go to youtube.com to see the whole thing*

http://youtube.com/watch?v=o-Y0Az-4wUg&feature=related

http://www.streampad.com/rss/weblists/13016

February 14, 2008

"And what is man without energy? --nothing, nothing at all." Mark Twain

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a city is constantly being pumped with energy and has to release at the same rate if not faster. people want things now: it has to be bigger and better. people are in a rush: have to get to work, the mall, the game.... we run around and hardly notice each other

"My name is the Waker
And I'm bringin' you the morning sun
I've pushed the old man up forever
Still I feel I've just begun
I've just begun
My name is treetop
And I'm higher than you'll ever be
I'm married to my roots here
Still I feel like I am free
Feelin' I'm free
My name is blue sky
And I'm bluer than all of you
I've watched you run around forever
Always searching for something new
There's nothing new
Feelin' I'm free
I've just begun
I'm always young
Love's always new"

Lyrics from "The Waker" by Widespread Panic.

i think this song is thoughtful.... it seems like we are always running around looking for something new. i think i would rather be like a tree................

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nature takes its time. it is high-energy and bursting with fruit flavor, but nature is quiet and peaceful.... not to say it is never unkind... but a walk in a park is usually just that. we should be more like that. i want to design buildings that function like trees. cities should work together like forests: we should be aware of our energy usage and wastefulness... nature provides us with a lot.. it is important that we maintain a balance......

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"Sustainability takes forever. And that's the point." --Wiliam McDonough

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Welcome to Little Earth

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Little Earth is a housing project located in the heart of Minneapolis. It was started in 1973 by members of the American Indian Movement. At that time, they saw American Indians in Minneapolis living in abject poverty with no access to healthcare or job opportunities. They wanted to provide them with a chance to find connections with other Indians in the metro to help make the transition from life on the reservation to life in the city a little easier and also to help them keep their traditions alive.
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This becomes a social issue, in my opinion, when things like drug use, gang-related activity, and police brutality, are commonplace today at Little Earth. Some people view this housing project as an inner-city reservation or an Indian ghetto-- these labels are unfair and untrue. It seems that a lot of the trouble at Little Earth is being caused by outsiders, not necessarily the residents themselves. Little Earth has often run into problems with funding, as well. Crime levels tend to follow patterns of poverty within neighborhoods: Little Earth eventually became a Section 8 housing project and the living conditions are sometimes questionable to say the least. There is a lot of gang-related activity within the younger groups of people, residents and visitors alike. This contributes a lot to the increases in crime at Little Earth. There has always been a lot of tension between residents of Little Earth and the Minneapolis Police Department; however, the police are called on for assistance when it is absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, I think it is tough to get out of a living situation such as this. Especially if it is the only thing a person can afford and the fact that they are probably surrounded by family and friends. It is not to say that the situation is hopeless.
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There are many programs at Little Earth that have been implemented to curb crime, provide job opportunities and healthcare, and to encourage the youth to become educated. It is my belief that education is important when dealing with issues such as these. It is important for the residents and the public alike. The only thing that stereotyping does, is make it harder for people to get on their feet and initiate change. Often, people ignore areas like Little Earth, and decide that it has nothing to do with them. But shouldn't the safety of the community be everyone's concern? Or can we walk quickly past with our heads down and only know it as "a bad part of town"? We should remember to keep an open mind and to help others when it is in our power to do so.

Tell me and I'll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I'll understand. - Tribe Unknown.

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Read: "Little Earth: The Troubles" http://citypages.com/databank/27/1338/article14559.asp