December 6, 2006

Final Blog Prompt - Kahn Vs. Gershenfeld

In Gershenfeld's article titled "FAB", he talks about how studnets of his class "How to Make (almost) Anything" at MIT begin to make personal fabricators (PFs). Orginially it was a class designed for 10 students but on the first day, nearly 100 students showed up saying that they wanted to take part in it. Throughout the semester, the students worked on making PFs in order to create things that they always wondered why they weren't invented. PFs are machines that make machines basically. They take the smallest forms of matter to make actual 3D objects. It is somewhat like a printer, only instead of using ink, it is made of different materials to account for the new objects. Gershenfeld stresses that PFs will soon be available to the normal person, much like how computers were once only at large businesses and are now in households everywhere.

"Silence and Light" from the Kahn collection was a much more challenging read. It was very confusing throughout the entire article. What I got out of it is that Kahn looks at things in ways that other people normally dont. The main point of the reading is that light is what makes everything. Materials are spent light, and shadows are made by what light has already made, so shadows belong to the light. He goes on to say later that silence really isnt that silent, and that it is just "lightless" or "darkless", words that he just made up. Also, he explains that even in a room that is meant to be dark, there must be a small amount of light to tell how dark it truly is. Everything has an order, and it all originates from light.

It's tough to tell how they relate because they are both two completely different articles, and on top of that the Kahn article is extremely confusing. But if in any way they related, they both talk about new things being made from an orgininal source. They also talk about microbes and how they are present in objects, and help to design new objects. In the end, light is like a PF because they create new objects, eventually being able to reproduce themselves.

(Sorry this was late, it's been hectic lately with everything being due)

November 26, 2006


In Postman's article titled, "Technolopy: The Surrender of Culture to Technology", it is made clear in just the first couple pages what a technolopy is and what exists in it. A technolopy is simply technology becoming so prevailent in our lives, that it is actually what is progressing our status as humans, rather than ourselves. Postman also says straight up that although technology might be becoming too much of an impact in our every day lives, that i could be considered a good thing as well. People can look at it both ways. Quoted directly, "technology giveth and technology taketh away." This means that technology impacts us both positively and negatively in different ways.

Take computres for example. What they have evolved in to, is so much more than what the original inventors thought was possible. Computers were originally made to store information, and that was it. Now a days, one can hve their entire life based off of a computer, and that is both nice and somewhat sad. A person can literally work from their computer, call people from their computer, watch television, read the news, and even shop. The only thing that the person would have to get up for is to get some food. Considering that the majority of people don't actually do this, computers can be considered as a technolopy that has helped us with every day things that we may not have time to do, and that is not a bad thing. It is when people take advantage of this that one can start to imagine the wrongs of such a invention.


Another example of technology taking over in our lives is the decrease of employment needed in a growing amount of factories due to the use of machines. Almost an entire factory can now be based of using computers/machines only. One press of a button and a car hits the assembly line. BOOM! A couple hours (maybe even less) later, a brand new car is ready to hit the market. No human work necessary. Although this helps companies with not having to pay money to a large number of employees and so that they can mass produce much easier and faster, it is taking away jobs that can be done by human hands.


I guess what i got out of the whole article is basically what i've approached above. Technologies are getting bigger and bigger in our every day lives. To some that is great, but to others they think it is unnecessary. My own opinion is this; keep on inventing whatever we can, because we never know when we might actually need it for real. New technologies improve our lifestyles, and researching new things and getting more and more technologically advanced can only help. New inventions lead to even newer inventions, possibly things that we never even imagined were possible.

November 5, 2006

Mathematics in Architecture

Whether its symmetry, geometric shapes, proportion, or perspectives, math is found in all architecture. I think that the best way to show that is through images. Let's start with symmetry.


The Parthenon is an architectural marvel, and it is full of symmetry. Symmetry allows the architect to bring attention to the axis of symmetry, by drawing your eyes to that point. It is at this point that the symmetrical sides are formed from.

The next area of math in architecture is geometric shapes.


Triangles, circles, and squares are only a few of the geometric shapes used in everyday architecture. Besides a few exceptions, geometry is found in almost all buildings. Even those that are in the exceptions have some type of structural base formed from a geometric shape. Geometry plays a big part in architecture.

The next part of math in architecture is proportion.


The "golden number" of proportion, PHI, is found in a lot of architecture. In short, this number means that the ratios of different dimensions are extremely similar throughout the building. To be exact, this ratio is somewhere near 1.6. Not all proportions are just by number though. Architects also use proportion in order to emphasize the importance of different areas of a building, and also to show areas that are used for different things in a building.

Another aspect of math in architecture is perspective. This allows you to see buildings in many different ways than just one.

perspective 4.jpgperspective 2.jpgperspective 3.jpgperspective.jpg

As one can see, different perspectives allow us to view a building very differently from multiple views. In one perspective, the building looks very big and massive, but from another perspective, we can see that although it is very long, it is a very thin building. This is a tool used by many architects in order to make things appear differently than they truly are. Much perspective is done with the geometric shape of a rectangle and square. This is because it is the easiest to use for that. It makes it appear to have many forms of size, shape, and form.

Mathmetics is a very integral part of architecture. It is found in nearly all architecture no matter how you look at it. One can argue also that different types of math are found in the same piece of architecture. Math is a tool that an architect must use in order to make a good building.

October 22, 2006


I find this promp the toughest to write about, because of the many different ways that opposition can be present. Opposition itself is in almost everything that we see in nature. In buildings their structures are made certain ways in certain places, because in that part of the Earth there are different oppositions to account for. For instance, the opposition of the wind in Chicago is accounted for by constructing reinforced buildings with stronger materials, and forming the shapes of both the buildings and the city streets so that wind has a path to flow through more easily. But then down south, where maybe it isn't so windy as it is hot, houses and buildings are much more often made of bricks and stone so that the house is easier to remain cool in the heat. But opposition isn't just found from climate problems, there can also be the opposition of landscape. I think Frank Lloyd Wright addressed the issue of landscape oppositions best with his Falling Waters house. He built a house right on top of a river, where he had to account for all the different ways it could go wrong. Integrating the landforms in with the house, using certain materials in different areas of the house, and sculpting the form of the house differently allowed him to do something so spectacular as this.

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Chicago Streets

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Falling Water

As for oppositions in my own world, I've found a big one to be the growth of Sioux Falls starting to butt up against neighboring towns. Sioux Falls is rapidly growing, and the only places to build are on the outskirts of the city, and it continuely inches closer to going in to the neighboring towns. This has caused the towns around us to become upset, because some of the reasons they live there are so that they don't have to live in a big city. I find that a resolution to this is to start thinking about larger cities like Minneapolis and Milwaukee (Sioux Falls is no where close to either in size), and begin to plan on Sioux Falls being an urban area, and making surrounding towns its "suburbs". This is actually what the city is planning will happen in the future, and its as if its the only resolution. More appartment complexes could be made so that there are more living spaces in smaller areas, but the people of Sioux Falls are more often in houses than in apartments. I think that this is an opposition that has a resolution, and hopefully there will be a good outcome in the end.

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Sioux Falls Aerial View

October 15, 2006

Steel vs. Iron

Steel and iron; both are every day objects found in our households, our work environments, and all over the place. But what is the difference one might ask? Steel is actually a compound made up of different types of iron. Both have some of the same identities, such as strength and harndess. Iron however, is an actual element found in the natural environment. Steel on the other hand is made by different types of heat treatments. In the construction industry, one might use steel more often because of its longer lasting strength. Iron tends to rust easier than steel and because of the different elements in steel, it is stronger than iron is.

October 9, 2006

"It's Something Like a Phenomena..."

I was watching football the other night when i was thinking about class, and in a weird but somewhat conceivable way, i found that the NFL could be a phenomena. The framework is made up of all the teams, and each team is its own clockwork. The reason that the teams together (or divsions) are a framework, is because they are fixed things that are in an invariant relationship to eachother. They are always constant in that they will be in the same league and they will play against the same teams (unless however there is some new team formed). Then, the teams are each a clockwork. Teams have a fixed number of players that have mutual relationships with eachother, and the changes include trades and drafts, but in the end the same amount of people will always be on the team because of that roster limitation. They are stable and predictable in that you will always know what types and numbers of players will be on the team.

I realize that this seems farfetched, but it really makes sense in its own kind of way. Again, football is made up of frameworks of divisions and teams, while each team is its own clockwork with things (players) on the team. It is therefore a phenomena. Further making sense that it is a phenomena, the NFL has its origins and marked beginnings, it has its duration of the season, there are internal hierarchies (coaches, owners, commisioners), they exhibit changes in rosters, and they have a destination or purpose to get to the Superbowl.

This is all why I believe the NFL is a phenomena, and I hope it makes sense to everyone else as they read my reasonings.

Continue reading ""It's Something Like a Phenomena..."" »

October 1, 2006

Genius Loci

The "Genius Loci" of a place is usually that location's distinct atmosphere. My meaningful place is probably my own dorm room. It is small and cozy, and has a feeling of solitude in the middle of a mass of people. The atmosphere is that of a bungalo. Ok, not really, but that just sounded cool. The real atmosphere is truly a mess of personal belongings put in to a place that isn't all mine. I must respect the room because it is only a place that I am staying at for the moment. Although I make it my home, my belongings are still not of the room. When I have friends over, it has an atmosphere of being a hangout spot. There are things all over my room such as a tv, stereo, fridge, and everything else that makes it that type of an atmosphere. It is a place to just relax when you need time to yourself as well. When I get back to my room after classes, I feel relief and comfort. I usually always have my shades open, and therefore that light from the courtyard seeps in to my room, causing me to not need to turn on my lights. When I have the windows open and it is windy, it reminds me of my room at home in Sioux Falls. The air is the same, and the breeze comes through thewindows like it did back home. I like that feeling that it makes of me being at home. The colors are quite dull, but the posters i have put up add color and meaning to the room. Walls arent just white anymore, they are a mixture of things I like and things that I want to be there. This is the Genius Loci of my dorm room.

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September 25, 2006

Social-Design Issue

Ok.. so heres the deal.. I don't really understand the topic of what a "social-design" issue is.. so my guess is that it is something that the public dislikes in the design of something because its socially incompatible. If this is the case, then i will become an advocate for the issue of the "Loop" in Sioux Falls, SD, the city that i'm from. For many years the Loop was a hangout place for teens to go on the weekend and drive around or just walk around. About 3 years ago this changed when the city banned people from being on the Loop for the weekends, because of the problems it was causing for downtown traffic. The Loop never had much crime or things like that, for the most part it was a safe place to be if you were with your friends. But because of all the oneway roads, 2 lane roads, and excessive traffic, the Loop just wasnt working anymore. The Loop however was partially made to be the way it was back in the day when all highschoolers would go down there and hangout on the weekend With the growth of the city, it just wasnt feasible anymore. There were debates for weeks about what could be done to change it, but nothing ever passed. If i was the city, i would've either expanded roads or built a couple new roads in order to provide more accessibility to traffic, so that the loop could stay. If the loop was still there, i believe it would bring in a lot more money to downtown because there would be kids there all the time.
So I dont know if thats really what the topic was supposed to be about, and if not, then you just found out a lot about the Loop in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

September 17, 2006


After searching for Lake Street for over 25 minutes, and then searching for the building that said "Midtown" across the top of it for another 15 minutes, i finally found what i was looking for. In the middle of what appeared to be a rougher neighborhood of Minneapolis, was a huge brick building. From the outside i thought it seemed out of place after passing by new things on my way there that i had never seen before in the town that i'm from. But once I got in to the inside, I was amazed. In front of me was a elegant lobby and a bunch of different places to go. I obviously chose the market and headed in to an environment that was new to me.
In the market, there were shops, bakeries, and delis from all different types of cultures. People of all races and ethnic backgrounds were walking around buying things from cultures other than their own. This created a whole new type of energy for me that i have never seen before. Everyone was helping eachother out to find what they were looking for, and it was just so lively. Other forms of energy were the mexican restaurant, the different delis from multiple cultures, and all the other food places that everyone was eating at. I was very excited to see all of this happening, and it made a new form of energy for me.
I want to go back to this lively place on my own sometime so that i can buy things from some of the places and try some of the food. Even the colors inside of the market were so energetic that those make me want to go back too. This was truly a awesome experience that i've never had before and i want to be able to do stuff like this more often (find new things in Minneapolis), so that i can see every aspect of the world.

Continue reading "Mid-Town" »