December 10, 2006

Final Presentations - The Gifts to Jackson Street Village

The group that helped JSV by writing a pamphlet of information noting and describing the different events at the community center for the people of JSV will be beneficial. I thought that the idea was a simple one yet necessary to get the JSV community involved with all of the wonderful amenities that it has to offer. It is an idea that can be simply ‘revamped’, printed, and distributed. The project incorporated the best of interest for the neighborhood while actively incorporating the community room with the activities that would gear those interested to interact with the designed environment. I believe that their main objective was to focus on the wonderful things that JSV has to offer. They wanted to make sure that the community has the knowledge of what there is to be actively involved in. Therefore, they asked “why, when the JSV community has such wonderful functions and amenities right next door, wouldn’t they want to fully absorb themselves in it?? Thus, while making known of all of the beneficial activities offered within this new development, they helped to better provide more efficient use of the space—feasibly for continuation of the pamphlet to be distributed on hopes for the people of JSV to become/stay involved.

*I also think that the group that made the cool website had a really great idea!

November 27, 2006


Our world—primarily the Western World, is consumed with wanting more than needed while the culture is growing into an expansive breeding field of numerical definitions and ignoring the dismissal of soulful morale. This, to some, is noted to be attributed to the technological advancements of time.

Thoreau states that our inventions are but improved means to and unimproved end. Technology has allowed for our lives to be 'easified'. We have indoor plumbing with hot water, washers and dryers for our clothes and dishes, we have refrigerators to store food that can spoil, ovens, HVAC units, buses, cars, computers, even doors that open for you. All of these technologies came about to better and help our lives in some way—yet the technological advancements keep growing as does our want to 'easify' life. What happens when the growth of technology pacifies our daily lives? Some believe that it already has.

We have machines doing our dirty work progressing into machines doing our work—leading to machines doing our thinking? To an extent, machines do help us to think, calculators for example help us to mathematically logitize our surroundings and interactions... but is there more, are machines on the "up and up", soon available as thinking devices?

What then will humans consist of other than being a task-force for the machines to run our lives?

Our technology has created a nation of individuals who are dependent upon it. Computers are mandatory for the exploration and development of education and business—all of which is the basis for what we strive to live for, knowledge and success within the economy. Although one can argue that the knowledge that we acquire today is far different than that of the past, which I believe is the truth.

In a time long ago, people were blessed with a kind of innocence. Technical knowledge was unknown and labor undermined their strife for life. The concept of "hard work" has thus changed to our 9-5 jobs which primarily consist of ass-massaging chairs being sat in all day in front of a computer, networking through a digital world. What has happened to our thankful demeanors for every meal? What happened to our love for nature? What happened to our family morale? Technology.

Today, we have TV dinners we put into microwaves, we have restaurants. Today we have urban sprawl, the need for bigger and better homes, the need to drive instead of the need to walk to enjoy the birds and the trees. Today we have television, computer animated games, "X-boxes". Today we have dual parental full-time jobs to support today’s "normal" lifestyle--all neglecting to open family time to love and cherish one another.

What has happened for the love of the Arts? Poetry, Painting, Music--all of which was considered a mandatory trait to have in the olden days, while today these characteristic adorning gifts are set aside in our schools to teach math and science in hopes to establish a generation of individuals who will solve our horrendous footprint on our earth.

We have manipulated technology to the point where we can now, not live without. The issues we face today are enormously due to technology. Thus, more advances in technology will be the way to fix it.

Technology. Has it been the improvement to our lives or has it been the demise? Is Thoreau right?


November 22, 2006

Design and Mathematics... Closer in Relation than Once Thought

Leonardo Da Vinci-one of the most brilliant men in the history of this world-is a prime example of how design and mathematics is hand-in hand. Like most Renaissance artists, the fascination of finding order in the universe was epitomized through geometric shapes and patterns of art, which is what Leonardo exemplified throughout his works. Leonardo paid particular attention to proportion.


The Vitruvian man is a drawing depicting a man of ideal proportions. His analogy of the universe was such that the square symbolizes the material existence and the circle symbolizes the spiritual existence. The proportions of the human body are as follows:

• a palm is the width of four fingers
• a foot is the width of four palms
• a cubit is the width of six palms
• a man's height is four cubits (and thus 24 palms)
• a pace is four cubits
• the length of a man's outspread arms is equal to his height
• the distance from the hairline to the bottom of the chin is one-tenth of a man's height
• the distance from the top of the head to the bottom of the chin is one-eighth of a man's height
• the maximum width of the shoulders is a quarter of a man's height
• the distance from the elbow to the tip of the hand is one-fifth of a man's height
• the distance from the elbow to the armpit is one-eighth of a man's height
• the length of the hand is one-tenth of a man's height
• the distance from the bottom of the chin to the nose is one-third of the length of the head
• the distance from the hairline to the eyebrows is one-third of the length of the face
• the length of the ear is one-third of the length of the face

The Golden Section.jpg

The Golden Section is a ratio, length to width, of rectangles being 1.61803 39887 49894 84820 in size created by the Greeks. This ratio of the rectangle has been considered the most pleasing to the eye, which is why Leonardo included it within his masterpieces--practically every one. The Mona Lisa is shown here with the squares around her torso and face.

The Rubix Cube Rocks!!
rubix cube.jpg
Tricky little cube isn't it? It is because it's mathematical (which is probably why it’s so hard for me to figure the thing out)!

The Spectacular Kafre Pyramid:
Kafre pyramid.jpg
pyramid geometry.gif Need I say more?

Frank Gehry's Millennium Park in Chicago
Mathematically expressed? Absolutley, but it's not my job to figure this one out.


November 6, 2006

Opposition ~ The Seasons

NZTrainStation.jpgspring2.jpgSummer4.jpgSummer3.jpgfallRE.jpgAutumn.jpgWinter2.jpgWinter Snow resized.jpg

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter...

All are oppositions that affect our creations built on earth.
Through climate and seasonal fluctuations, architects are able to further
embellish or slightly restrict designs based on the appropriate
environmental conditions. For example, bungalows are not built on the
lovely lakes of Minnesota, rather they are constructed for warm climate
areas usually on beautiful coastal beaches or in the depth of tropical
rain forests.
On the opposite spectrum, a chalet in the mountains provides
warmth and security from the cold-yet magnificent view-of alpine

The seasons, more specifically are conducive to building shelter with all
areas in mind. Minnesota is blessed with all four seasons, creating design
oppositions that will lead to comfort with all of the temperatures and
weather conditions that are incorporated into each season. Thus, the
structures in the area are equipped with sturdy siding, insulation, heating
and cooling systems, an usually porches--some being 4-season porches.

Resolutions to oppositions such as the seasons could possibly be to let the
seasons sculpt the form of the structure or provide within the form
adequate responses. Such resolutions will further expel our dependency on
our climate, allowing us to flourish within structures that are able to
withstand, but not force against, the oppositions that are present.

October 6, 2006

Phenomena ... Visual and Textual

There is nothing more powerful than pausing the hectic lives we lead to look up into the midnight sky. Stars envelop the dark vastness radiating magnificence, solitude. The exploration of endless hyper-distant lights flickering, shining, brilliant—all wanting to be heard, seen. Looking up to the sky—wonder, curiosity … Who am I, who have I been? Have I been there before, will I be there again? If luck strikes your glance, light streaks the expansive dream proclaiming “I am here, wish on me!? Eyes smile, close, tear, a wish for life—open fast! Don’t miss a moment; they’ve only been there forever, ever more. The sky, a key element to answers-both physically and spiritually-most beyond our knowledge, our wisdom. The sky answers questions conceived after hours of provoked endless thought. It is known, it is unknown. Some new, some old—stars come and go, as we. Instead of galaxial particulate matter, could it be “we? who resonate throughout the midnight sky or are stars merely just energy and dust. Questions to ponder as phenomena such as the remarkable skies amaze—questions unanswered, answered. Grounding, we find ourselves once again by pausing to be in awe. Wisdom in the midnight sky.

Take time to enjoy the sky:




All photos were derived from the SSDS Art Shot Index website at:

October 5, 2006

Genius Loci ~ The Spirit of New Zealand


Genius Loci is known as the "spirit of a place". This place varies from person to person but most commonly is felt within the accompaniment of nature. Nature is where I feel encompased with spirit, both that of nature and my own, washing through me with euphoria as tides wash earthen sand on the shore.

My Genius Loci is here, half-way across the world on coupled islands by the name of New Zealand. It's where the oceans whisper, the skies glow, and the mountains sing. It was there where every area I explored, stumbled upon, conquered-in that moment-was where I was supposed to be.








Stumbled Upon





Conquered... Uphill 17km to my death, I stopped to explore a little flora to revive my will, to reach to top—the way to my realization of life.





A challenge to see it all, but a yearning and drive to be on top--literally on the top of the world, just a little closer to heaven, a little closer to where I felt whole.





My Genius Loci, where I know myself best.



Just a little closer to heaven...



September 24, 2006

Sustainable Design and Energy: A Social Design Issue

Our Globe is reaching an extreme energy and resource crisis. The population keeps growing, as the need for energy does. This leaves habitat and energy levels diminished creating future economic instability and affirms our need for alternative energy.

Sustainable energy replenishes itself indefinitely, leaving no other pollutants or space for an economic depression--energy that contributes to every human need and want for our everyday functional utilities. Sustainable design will not only provide renewable energy, but also reduce if not eliminate pollutants and intrinsically make the future healthier, cleaner, and greener for generations to come.

WERC LOGO.jpg WERC, located out of Brainerd Minnesota, is one of several environmentally sustainable businesses. The following is a list of sustainable designs they offer:

Designing environmentally responsible buildings,
• Consultations on energy/water/building materials,
• Construction project planning and management,
• Energy audits, energy calculations for commercial or residential
• Installation of energy generation equipment,
• Sales of Wind Turbines, Solar Electric, Solar Heating, Geothermal,
Water Flowforms, Composting Toilets and Greywater Systems

To read further on WERC please visit:

September 18, 2006

The Midtown Exchange Building and Market


The Midtown Exchange Building and old Sears Building is now home to several renters, businesses, and venders galore. The Global Market located inside of the old Sears Building is a wonderful place to broaden your horizons in several cuisines, traditional fresh food markets, global textiles, jewelry and more—all originating from different areas around the world.




The kiosks and booths maintained by ethnic individuals are managed indoors where weather is not an issue and modern conveniences enable an easier means to function. The booths are organized in a manor similar to an urban neighborhood having blocks of cultural merchandise allowing for better accessibility.


The interior space is lit up with bright lighting and columnar beams elongating the space. Around the outside of the enormous area, natural light seeps in through the windows, barely creeping down the aisle to the next “block?. Deep inside of the market, the sounds of native languages escape personal spaces and the buzzing of the fluorescent lights create an ambience simialr to that of walking around an upbeat city at night. The merchants are so friendly and open to the inquisitiveness and curiosity one may have toward the culture and items for sale.


The Midtown Market is a fabulous space that is easily accessible with your vehicle, the Greenway bike-path, or Metro-Transit. The Midtown Building is a landmark easily seen from miles around incorporating apartments, lofts, and condos; the Alina Hospital headquarters, and governmental center. This building had been unoccupied for years—the developers did not know what to do with the space for some time, and has now become a place for social culture to flourish and the Minneapolis economy to soar. The Midtown Building is a lovely example of energy saved with regards to the redevelopment of the structure and is a emblem depicting Minnesota history—now housing culture from people around the world. Midtown truly has stood the tests of time.