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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.