May 7, 2008

ARCH 1701: blog 10

For my volunteering efforts this semester I continued to volunteer at CommonBond Communities Skyline Tower in St. Paul. I worked in the teen program helping tutor the middle school and high school aged kids that live at Skyline Tower. In the following entry I will delve into some of the highlights of this past semester working at Skyline Tower.

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ARCH 1701: blog 8 & 9

For this blog entry, I will compare and contrast two different Millenium Development Goal presentations. One presentation occurred during my section and the other was presented during lecture last Thursday. The presentation I will be using from my section dealt with the goal of solving world hunger, focusing mainly on solutions to safe water access in Mogadishu. The MDG presentation from class that I chose to examine as well dealt with the spreading of technology in Mogadishu as well.

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April 11, 2008

ARCH 1701: BLOG 6

I've started this blog now at least 6 our 7 times and each time, the entry just seems blah and not really something worthwhile having anyone read, but after many failed attempts at trying to write this blog, I have finally decided that its going to be as good as it gets. For some reason I've had some serious writers block on the following topic:

Look for and document some examples of presentation and documentation styles that your term project may take as inspiration.

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April 3, 2008

ARCH 1701: BLOG 7

For this blog entry we were asked to design and create three possible title pages for our research project.

For my designs I wanted to embody values of simplicity, elegance, professionalism along with the Iraqi and Islamic clultures. Attached is what I have created.

My groups topic is UN goal 2: Primary education for all.

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March 6, 2008

ARCH 1701 blog 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...

The built environment affects my life every second of every day...the built environment allows me to live in Minnesota in the winter without freezing to death. The built environment lets me attend class in a room with walls seperate from the class next to me. The built environment, brings water to me every time I wish to wash my hands or brush my teeth. The built environment allows me to flip a switch and automatically have light. The built environment, gives us parks to walk in in the city, roads to drive on to get from point A to point B, and defines what we do where and why. It is a phenomena that we follow...

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February 28, 2008

ARCH 1701 blog 4

blog prompt 4..."if you were completely released from the constraints of 'architecture school' program, what would you do architecturally, artistically, bodily, lyrically ect. that would still have an impact on your environment. Describe a real or imagined place which might allow you to do this. Explore through image and text.

First of all, let me me announce that I am SOOOO PROUD of myself for finally figuring out how to make my blog look all organized and beautiful instead of just white and black and blah. snaps for kate!!! ps i really really hate the format of this blog...its wayyyyy too complicated of a method to just simple explain ones ideas, but regardless I find this weeks blog topic extremely interesting, an idea that can go in an infinite amount of directions depending on both ones personal feelings and perspective on life...

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February 21, 2008

ARCH 1701: BLOG 3

Propose a set of images, quotes and a playlist of songs that influence your values with regard to your selected research project Millenium Development Goals. Explain...


There are many answers of how to achieve universal primary education, but no one single answer will be a quick fix or an easy solution because there are many facets to this problem. This blog entry will solely display my values and ideas of the topic.

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February 14, 2008

ARCH 1701 BlOG 2

Find a social design issue in the Twin Cities and document it. Become an advocate for it...

The issue of enviromental justice is a huge problem in the Twin Cities as well as across the United States. In this blog entry I will not only be providing a brief overview of how it is affecting the Twin Cities, but will take a stand against environmental injustice against the minority and impoverish communities.

Environmental Justice for those of you who have not heard of it is defined as a social and environmental movement, dealing with the inequitable environmental burden born by groups such as racial minorities, women, the elderly, or residents of developing nations.

In a nutshell, this movement is fighting for an equal distribution of pollution. It is calling for toxic waste sites and toxic factories to not solely be placed in minority or impoverished communites. It is fighting for equally clean water for minorities to drink, equally clean air for minorities to breathe, and an equally clean neighborhoods for their children to play in. It is calling for EQUALITY...something that the United States is SUPPOSED to be all about; something the United States is supposed to be supporting.

One can use the EPA's enviromapper of TRI sites and hazardous waste sitess and the Census Beareau's demographic plotter to see exactly how injust this issue is. When one looks at both of these, one can CLEARLY see the direct correlation between where minority races and impoverished citizens live and where hazardous waste sites are located. Where every hazardous waste site or factory is located there is a dense population of minority and/or poor people.

This topic was first researched by upper class white men, and still the majority of activists in favor of this issue are upper class because they are the ones with the means to take control of this situation. Props for them to take a stand and stop worrying about making a buck from the whole ordeal.

The whole ordeal started with "white flight" (the moving of whites from the city to suburia when they obtained to means to do so to provide a better life for their family: "suburbanization"). As the whites moved out of the city and gave up the factory level jobs for more powerful positons with higher pay and better working conditions. This left behind plenty of easy to obtain manual labor jobs and plenty of cheap housing near factories for minorities and immigrants to move into. At the time it seemed perfect...CHEAP and CLOSE TO WORK....what more could you ask for...right? Little did they know that they were endangering their health and their lives.

But really this is not an issue that minorities dwell on. If they in fact are being affected by this situation and are educated enough so to know that where they are living is endangering their health...they do not have the time or means to take action on this. They are too busy trying to make ends meet, pay their bills, sometimes working multiple jobs, raising their children and keeping their family together.

There really isn't a good solution to this problem. Environmental injustice doesn't have a quick fix, a good solution, an easy "rip the bandaid off" answer, and almighty cure. There is no good way to fix this problem. We cannot move the factories: that costs money that the companies don't want to spend, that moves jobs away from their minority workers (now workers can't easily get to work), that creates inconveniences. We cannot relocate all of the people that live in these areas...for all the same reasons. And we cannot, in reality completely stop pollution: some of our most important technologies and energies need to have pollution. ie: How can we build a bridge without a steel treatment plant??? We can't!!!!

Its a tricky issue and that is why we need to continue to study it and continue to brainstorm ideas to fix the problem. Until we run across a solution though, we need to keep pollution to a minimum, consume as little energy as possible and push for pollution policy control to prevent hazardous toxins from being releases. As far as I know that is ALL we CAN do. As long as peoples lives are injustice in danger though, I believe we need to continue working on a solution to this problem...hopefully eventually we will find an answer to prevent further struggle and inequality.

February 4, 2008

ARCH 1701 Blog 1

Inspired by Andy Goldsworthy ( and or discussion in class) document and investigate through text and image this idea of energy, flow and transformation through the city...

As referenced by Andy Goldsworthy in the film, rivers are full of energy. They embody the concept of the flow of nature. The concept that energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be transferred from one form to another. Through his artwork, Goldsworthy seeks out what lies underneath the surface, also known as "the wolliness of the sheep."

In this blog we shall combine the indepth idea of "what lies beneath the surface" and the importance of rivers and the energy they hold in the development of our society. This occurs in vast amounts of rivers around the world, but for our own reference, we shall use the Mississippi River and our own Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The Mississippi River, and the area around was once a barren and desolate area long ago. Over time though, indians and then colonists chose to settle in the area we now know as Minneapolis and St. Paul due to the energy the Mississippi River provided including: transportation, trade, energy and a source of fresh water. This very simple body of flowing water, transformed a once barren land into urbanized industrial center in which now over 2.82 million people live and thrive. A land that once was solely occupied by deer, bear and other wildlife, is now a central hub for business, trade and commerce. A diverse city full of schools, restaurants, and nightlife attractions. Full of flour mills, steel plants, hospitals and sanitation sites. A city so diverse and complex that one could spend their whole life investigating and experiencing the city and still not know all that Minneapolis and St. Paul have to offer.
That simple flow of energy through the Mississippi River has been channeled into the everyday life of our now very busy and very intricate society. Something as simple an naturally beautiful as the river, has created something so wonderful and complex as the city we all live and thrive in and it all started with a swift current.