May 8, 2008

Goal 7: Ensuring Enviromental Sustainability

Here are the quick notes that I took from the presentation and thought were important:

Region: India

Urban sprawl is affecting the environment

Drinking water

High population and unorganized

Increased driving which has lead to multiple problems such as polution and obesity

In India people are living in slums which are unsafe because of:

water
food
sanitation
living

The worst part about India is the slums and living situation

Flooding is a problem along with deforestation

Soil erosion is causing the agriculture of India to be bad and then creates problems with run off and contaminated water

Only 16 percent of the people can get drinking water

Charles Correa:

Architect who is making changes in India

Helps as many people as he can not just one section of land

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Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger

The quick notes that I took and thought were important are listed below.

Targets Complete by 2015

Region: Ethiopia

Population is one of Africa's top 3 in the country

Realm of Response: Organization (SEDA)

They focus on education
Food self sufficiancy
Currently less than 3 percent are irrigated
Before 1 crop was successful in a year and now increased to 2 or 3

Organization (Household income generation)

Epeople
Educational programs
Increase economic opportunities and income

Life Straw:

Sucks dirty water out which is low cost and creates clean safe water

Moneymaker Block Press:

Uses original land to create blocks for schools or other buildings

Q-Drum:

For water and travel

Goal has been reached in Ethiopia

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May 1, 2008

ACES

Over the past year I have been working with ACES which is an after school organization for kids to go. A.C.E.S. is an after-school tutoring/mentoring program which uses sports to engage inner-city youth in learning and provides opportunities for them to build the skills necessary to succeed academically, develop personally, and become responsible, contributing community members. When I was there this past fall at the Maxfield school in St. Paul I was there to help the students and assist whoever needed help. Usually I was the one to take the students one by one to the bathroom! They first get snack time and then we helped the students with their homework. After that they had a specific learning activity to complete and once that was done they were given some free time.

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This year I decided to go back to ACES (Athletes Committed to Educating Students) because I enjoyed my time there last fall. Instead of working directly with the student this time, this spring I worked in there office. Each week we were there to help organize, clean, or complete projects. The projects that we were working on were the learning activies that the students did during their time at ACES. We also sorted through many papers and letters that needed to go out to all of the students at ACES. Once in a while newsletters were sent out after special events so that parents could see what a great time the students had at each event. It wasn't as fun as working with the students, but it was still worth going to see how the organization is run.

I would say that the best part of this experience was when I decided to join in at one of their special events that they had for the students as a bonus. They often times bring students to games and let them meet different ball players. The event that I went to was an arcade. They gave each of the students a free pass to play all of the games for 6 hours and it was also a fundraser that other people could bring their families and pay. My duty was to work at the front desk to get people to buy a ticket and pay or check them off if they were on a list. It was a really great time and all of the kids had a blast of course. Mark Rosen from the sports news was also there hosting the event along with many other sports players. The event also provided a magic show for everyone and free food and drinks. It was a great event for a good cause.

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Overall I really like the ACES program and everyone that I've worked with so far. I would like to go back even if it's not required next fall.

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April 2, 2008

Which Design Should I Use?

My group wants to create a booklet that has facts, information, pictures, graphs and charts. I'm in charge of creating the cover page for our booklet and these are the 3 designs that I've come up with:

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March 12, 2008

Where do we go?

I think that this is the perfect blog to do this week. When I turned in our first draft today our conclusion section clearly stated that we need to figure out how to put all of our information together in a creative way. Our first ideas were to do a power point presentation, poster, or packet. At this point all of our information is in paragraph form as a paper, but this is boring. We have most of our information in books, articles, and websites and the next step is to make it look good. I went to the websites that were given to us and I think that after looking at some of the examples I want my group to do a packet. This packet would be able to have backgrounds, pictures, bullets, paragraphs, and sources. The cover I think should be in a brochure form so that it gets people to pick it up and read it. I think that the best way to get people interested is through pictures and I hope my group agrees. Heres an example that I liked:

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Overall I think that this would be a great way to organize alot of information and make it interesting to look at. I only hope that my group agrees, but these are my ideas for now and we'll see how it goes!

March 5, 2008

How the Environment Affects ME...

I believe that the environment has always supported my thoughts and feelings. When we compare this to some of the oppositions such as plains, riverbends, forests, marshs, seashores, and oceans all of these parts of our environment are supportive towards the built environment. These ideas in nature are always a great insparation towards the things I design and built for school projects or in my daily life. Theirs something special about going out into nature and spending time away from everything stressful. When I designed and built my paper jacket for 1281 I chose to use Frank Lloyd Wright as my main thought. I came to this idea after doing some research and one of the main buildings that came up was Fallingwater. This house is a great example of how an architect gets ideas from the environment and uses it to build something great.

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Oppositions are a type of necessity in order for existence to manifest itself. As time goes on the environment is constantly changing and this affects us by changing us too. Our society has greatly manifested over our time and keeps getting bigger and bigger. I think as we grow we forget about the importance of nature and learning from it.

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I think that no matter what environment your in you can always get something out of it and learn from your experiences. The built environment would there for always support me as a person. Alot can be learned from the ocean, mountains, city, or buildings. I think that many of these ideas were covered when we watched the Andy Goldsworthy movie. Life is too short to worry about the clockwork of our built environment but I think that it is important to learn about the framework of nature and relate those concepts to our built environment. Nature is something that has always survived on its own and I think this is a great idea to believe in.

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February 27, 2008

Where Would I Be If I Was Free?

I thought about this blog for a while because it's hard to think about what other ideas I have if I wasn't in school for architecture. If I wasn't going to school I would be happy moving to Georgia. My whole family is from Georgia and still living there so I only see them once a year. In georgia they have many problems that relate to the environment that are very serious. In Atlanta they have a serious smog problem and its something they have to deal with on a day to day basis. I know that I've driven through it many times and it looks like this huge bubble surrounding the city. To help change this problem I would architecturally want to design a new and unique transit station. The problem with Atlanta is that they have so much traffic which creates the smog and I would be very interested in designing a more environment friendly transit system. This would also allow me to use my artisitc side which is a reason that I went into architecture. Here are a few pictures that I found about this problem:

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Another idea that I have about helping the environment and people in Georgia would be to help them with water drought. Every year when I visit my family they are always going through a drought and having water problems. They need to design a system to help capture the rain when it does fall which can be saved in times of need. Georgia is developing rapidly and this development along with inefficient water use and a record setting drought mean serious water shortages that have a seious impact on our environment, our communities, and our economy. I found a good website that is all about saving the environment and if I wasn't in architecture school I would like to take part in some of these activities. It would still give me a chance to design and help others.

http://www.environmentgeorgia.org/

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February 20, 2008

Reduce Child Mortality

I haven't been given my goal area yet, but my first choice was reducing child mortality. I think that this is a very important and grand issue that is going on all over the world. The main country that comes to mind for many people when thinking about this topic is Africa. I think that this is not only a very important topic that we need to face, but it is a topic with alot of information that can be found. Here are some important facts that I think everyone should know:

Our planet is home to 6.1 billion people. Our paths may never cross, but we are on a common journey. We all want to lead healthy and satisfying lives and have hope for the future. But chronic poverty and ill health, widespread discrimination, armed conflict and, increasingly, HIV/AIDS, take a heavy toll. Half of all people live on less than $2 a day. Poor people are much more likely to fall sick and live shorter lives. Discrimination against women and girls persists, stunting both individual and national growth. Armed conflict, particularly within countries, continues to rob people of peace and vital services, especially health and education. And now AIDS is destroying decades of progress in many countries, depleting the resources of families and countries alike.
http://www.unfpa.org/about/report/2000/7ch1pg.htm

These are some pictures that I found to show the sick children that need our help:

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Goal: Reduce Child Mortality
REDUCE BY TWO-THIRDS THE MORTALITY RATE AMONG CHILDREN UNDER FIVE

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A Malian mother carries her child. UNFPA is working to help reduce infant and child mortality by two thirds by the year 2010.

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An Indian homeless mother feeds her child at a feeding program for the poor in Hyderabad

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Seeing images of others in need I think has the biggest impact on people, but I did find a few websites that have songs that also help us understand child mortality. These mothers have created songs and lyrics that have helped save children in Ghana. The lyrics offer practical advice on a wide range of children’s health issues, including immunization, breastfeeding, the use of insecticide-treated bed nets and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The songs also teach mothers about good hygiene and sanitation practices. To hear a sample of these songs here is the website:

http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/ghana_36313.html

Another website that I found is also dedicated to help child mortality through song and music. This site also has videos of children and some of the music that is important to the children.

http://www.unfpa.org/news/news.cfm?ID=983

February 13, 2008

How Can We Help Others?

AMERICAN RED CROSS

After doing some searching online I found many great websites that were about the American Red Cross. It is a very important social issue that is involved in the Twin Cities and all over the United States. If you choose to help the American Red Cross their are many different types of actions that you can take. We all know the Red Cross responds in times of disaster and helps patients in need through blood services. But did you know that they also provide transportation to help seniors live more independently, teach teenagers babysitting skills and relay emergency messages between military members and their loved ones? The Twin Cities Area Red Cross does this and much more every day. Learn more about them and get involved today. Here is a list of the duties that you can take part in to give back to the community:

Disaster Relief
Whether it's around the corner or around the world, the Red Cross is there after a disaster providing food, shelter, counseling, comfort and hope.

Training
First aid, CPR, Babysitter's Training, swimming lessons, Nurse Assistant Training and more. Everyday we train people in our community to save lives. Learn about our classes, free community presentations, multicultural programs and workplace training.

Senior Services
From transportation services, free health and safety presentations and Lifeline program, the Twin Cities Red Cross has a number of services specifically for seniors.

Emergency Social Services
After hours crisis counseling when people need it most. Our trained counselors help community members with issues of domestic violence, suicide and chemical abuse.

Armed Forces Emergency Services
The Red Cross supports military members and their families by providing emergency communication, financial assistance and support.

International Services
Learn more about how the American Red Cross works with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to help people around the world prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.

The idea to give back by helping the American Red Cross is so that you can touch someone's life, you can save someone's life and you can enrich your own life. Many highschools take part in having blood drives and I know many people that have given blood. It is a quick and easy task that you can do to really give back to someone in need. The Twin Cities Red Cross helps people prevent and respond to emergencies every day. Their vital work is made possible by people like you. By volunteering with the American Red Cross, you can make a huge difference in the lives of your neighbors. To contact the American Red Cross you can email: volunteer@redcrosstc.org. I really believe that this a great organization to donate your time to and I don't think that many would disagree. You may need help one day from the American Red Cross just as someone needs your help today. Blood donors are everyday people with a desire to give back to their community. They are high school students, business executives and everyone in between-people with a generous spirit, whose gift means life to patients in need.
Whether at a blood drive in a community or at a donation center in the city, every blood donor plays an integral role in the delivery of modern healthcare. Many diseases, surgeries and conditions require blood transfusions in order for treatments to be successful and recovery to be possible. Because each unit of blood is separated into three components - red cells, platelets and plasma - each donation can help to save up to three lives. The need for blood is constant. On average, just 5 percent of eligible individuals donate blood despite that 95 percent of Americans will need blood at some point in their lives. Seeing this fact will hopfully change some peoples mind and go make a difference today for someone else. GIVE BACK!

Source: http://www.redcrosstc.org/volunteer.cfm

February 4, 2008

Blog #1: City

The idea of energy, flow, and transformation through the city is easily related to how Andy Goldsworthy sees the energy, flow, and transformation in nature. Andy Goldsworthy created his masterpieces by using the energy and flow that he felt in nature such as the river. He spent as much time as he could in nature in order to feel the energy and at peace with the land. When you enter the city I think that their is a natural feel of energy and flow. Things are very fast paced and it seems as though people are always in a rush to get somewhere. Andy Goldsworthy transforms simply pieces of nature into great works of art and this is how I see a city is formed. It starts out as something simple and over the years it grows into a grand city. Things are always flowing and transforming in nature as they are in the city, it never stops as they say. I see many comparisons to the great energy, flow, and transformation that you get in nature as you do in the city, but in my opinion I think nature is more calming then being in a busy city.

Christina Garnto