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April 25, 2008

Blog Prompt #7

These are my proposed coverpages for the Millenium goal 6 term project. our focus is on relating personal stories of AIDS victims to the most relevant global issues regarding this epidemic.

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Blog Prompt #6

One of my favorite magazines is one that I have subscribed to for years, National Geographic. It is a very well know magazine with a proffesional look. it often features articles on topics similar to those discussed in our term projects. the artistic combination of excellent photography, well researched articles, and graphics in a very sensible layout gives this magazine its eye enticing effect. I think the following examples would be helpful when designing the format for our final document for our term project.

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March 5, 2008

Blog Prompt #5

BLOG PROMPT #5: Explore through image and text how the built environment affects (supports or
detracts) who you are. Speculate in terms of frameworks, clockworks, phenomena and
oppositions.

I have noticed that certain types of buildings make me feel different ways. I don't think I've ever come across anything that has been an affront to my personality, or my sense of self, but there are definately things that I don't like. I like Minneapolis a lot more than St. Paul. I think it's the height and modern style of the buildings that appeals to me. The buildings in St. Paul as a rule are more classical in style, and these don't impress me as much as the structures that break the rules, test the limits, you know.

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on another note, a building that has influenced me for many years is the church that I've gone to since I was a child. The massive wooden construction is very impressive, and the curvature of the beams and the stained glass windows evoke particular emotions in me of awe and wonder. This building is one that I feel comfortable in, that I enjoy to visit, and holds memories for me.

February 24, 2008

Blog Prompt #3: My Evil Plan to Save the World

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This is an image of red candles lit in honor of the memory of AIDS victims

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This is a song by one of my favorite christian bands, Five Iron Frenzy. It is intended to make a bold statement about how we approach huge issues like povery and world hunger. In escence, if we try to develop a solution that is intended to bring ourselves money or fame, we are approaching the issues with wrong motives, and will ultimately fail in accomplishing our objective. the only way to go about "Saving the World" is out of true love for the people who are suffering, and a self-sacrificing attitude in our work to help them. Idealy, we will recognise that our own feeble efforts amount to very little, and we must pray to God for help in everything that we do. Only with God's power backing us can we truly make a difference for good in the world, because we can only truly be working with the right motive if we let God's word guide our actions.


This is the website of a christian organization for which I have a lot of respect. They are one of many organizations trying to end the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Check out thier website by clicking below:

Fighting AIDS: Get Involved

Being a Christian, I looked in the Bible to see what it says about my involvement in fulfilling the Millenium Goals. Below is a passage that speaks specifically to God's call upon us to help those in need.

Matthew 25:34-40 (New International Version)
"Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’"

In the passage above, Jesus Christ is speaking to people gathered before him awaiting entrance to heaven on judgement day. He explains that we are to treat the least fortunate people on earth in the same way that we would be expected to treat God if he were to cross our path. This demonstrates how important it is to take action, and help those who are hungry, thirsty, sick, or in need of clothing or shelter. Think about your life. how often have you clothed, fed or comforted "one of the least of these"?

February 13, 2008

Blog Prompt #2:

Prompt: Find a social-design issue here in the Twin Cities. Document it. Become an advocate for it.

Response:
I've been having trouble finding an appropriate response to this prompt. It is likely due to the fact that I don't spend very much time downtown, so I am not aware of most of the social-design conflicts that may be present. what I have seen of the city tells me that it is very diverse, and tries to deal with many social issues.

I was struck by how dificult it is to drive in the city compared to in the suburbs where I am from, but conversely how much more convenient the bus routes are. This may speak to the economic status of those living downtown, but it may also represent their concern for the environment. I must say that I appreciate the mass transit system for its ease of use, and availability to everyone. the city is rather old, and most of the streets are narrower than those in the suburbs, and there are lots of one-way streets. this makes it difficult to know where you're going, and I have gotten lost on more than one occasion. I could see a benefit in reorganizing the city streets to be more easy to navigate, and maybe providing more parking. on the other hand, it may be better to focus on cutting back on the number of cars in the city. they make for congestion, and pollution, both of which are undesirable. I guess what I'm trying to say is that Minneapolis/St. Paul were not designed for driving, but maybe that is a good thing.

February 4, 2008

Blog Prompt #1: Tracks

Prompt: Inspired by Andy Goldsworthy (and our discusions today), document and investigate, through text and image - this idea of energy, flow and transformation through the city.

I was contemplating how to respond to the above prompt today, when it began to snow. I began thinking about Andy Goldsworthy's connection with nature, and decided to take photos of the tracks that I began to see appearing in the snow that was accumulating on the ground all around me.

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As I walked, I noticed that there were different types of tracks in the snow that represented different relations between time and space. For example, there were footprints, obviously left by people walking, but there were also tracks from bicylcles, and of course cars. Each of these types of tracks represent a different rate of travel, a different flow, but they also speak to the values of the person that left them. Were they in a hurry, were they conserving energy by biking or walking instead of driving? the energy of the people that had been there could be seen in the marks in the snow. shuffling, running, or just strolling, the attitude of the markings changed.

I then became interested in patterns. Most of the tracks from the various modes of flow were grouped together. It seemed that design drove the paths that most individuals chose to take. Car tire tracks stayed in the road. Bike tracks stayed in the bike lanes. Footprints stayed on sidewalks and in crosswalks. There were a few exceptions. sometimes I found footprints over bike tracks, or deviating from the sidewalk, or crossing the road where tere was no crosswalk. these were the free thinkers, or were they deviants? you decide.

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There is so much we can learn from the seemingly simple tracks left in the snow. as a classmate pointed out to me, you can tell where the slippery spots are due to the long skid marks that end in footprints. the places where more people go, the snow was packed down. It was even melting away in the highest traffic areas. It can only be described as the energy of people passing by left on the pavement.

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In some places, only a few indentations were made. in one case, on a stairway, I found a set of fresh prints over top of a group of older ones that had been softened by the continuing snowfall. this demonstrates the passing of time and its effects on the record of flow in the city. as time passes, it becomes harder to dicover the energy of the past.