May 1, 2008

Presentation Response

One presentation that I found interesting was the renewal of Riverside Towers in Minneapolis, MN. This group devised a plan to update the towers with sustainablitiy and efficiency in mind. Ideas included installing oxygenating showerheads, recyling water, replacing light bulbs with energy efficeint flourescent bulbs, replacing the elevators with updated styles, installing recyling centers, and replacing the glass with triple pane windows. All these solutions seem like a great idea to decrease the negative environmental impact such large housing units have, but how and who would pay for this? 1,300 apartment units is a lot. I think this project would reach a very high cost. I believe providing better living conditions for low-income families is a good idea, but maybe could be tackled on a smaller scale. Personally, I would rather see the building demolished since they are so ugly and present an eye sore to the rich modern Minneapolis skyline. The powerpoint presentation was creative using images which highlight and fade out as the slides changed topics.

A second presentation I found interesting was about Somalia. This group pushed for an increase in technology to help deliver aid and improve the societal conditions. For example, providing laptops would help educate students, and cell-phones were being used for communication and even delivering emergency information via text message. I agree that it is important to provide technology to these third world countries. Technology is key for a diverse education and for these students to advance their education they need resources to access the internet and do research. I was also was caught by the great use of powerful imagery in their powerpoint too.

Overall, the presentation on Thursday were all very impressive and focused on a variety of goals in differing regions. Each group had unique solutions to the goals which I found interesting.

March 31, 2008

Title Pages for Research Document

Here are some ideas I came up with for our group research document. Our goal is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger in China....




March 11, 2008

Research Documentation

When thinking about different options for presenting our term project a few things came to mind, but the overall driving force is that it needs to be something unique. First, it shouldn't be something ordinary. The document should not be a standard powerpoint where the presenter sits there and clicks through slides with way too many words reading every slide word for word. That's boring. And it should not be a ten page research paper that reviews all the collected data and is full of facts and figures.


So what should it be?

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March 4, 2008

The Environmental "Effect"

The environment has a strong influence on people shaping the way one lives and most of all their culture. The vernacular architecture from these distinct cultures responding to the differing environmental constraints provides evidence of how people conform to their surroundings overcoming the present oppositions.

Examples of this kind can be seen through the architecture of Cappadocia, Turkey where this culture has dug into the mountains and created a society of their own. Cappadocia's response to the opposition of nature created a secure hiding place for early christian followers and inturn create a unique society with a shared culture.


Throughout history culture has been threatened and continually destroyed by urbanization and governemental influence. Such as the Marsh Arabs whose society was based on the use of reeds which grew around their homes floating in the marshes of southern Iraq. When Saddam Hussein rerouted the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers he successfully destroyed the Marsh Arab society and threatened the life of a historical culture.


In today's built environment large urban cities have destroyed the unique cultural identifiers of the ancient world. Today culture is seen through the built environment in expressive architecture, artwork, and personal expression.


February 26, 2008

Is there a life beyond Architecture?

"If you were released from the architecural school program what would you do to impact the environment?"



There is just something about a forest. It's a majestic and enlivening experience when one gets a chance to view such an amazing thing. Some trees stand over 100 feet tall and can be several feet across spanning a life time of nearly one hundred years! "Forests not only make us feel alive they help us live" (

There are events going on today which threaten this experience. Deforestation is killing our trees and killing the environment. Generally, the removal or destruction of significant areas of forest cover has resulted in a degraded environment with reduced biodiversity. In many countries, massive deforestation is ongoing and is shaping climate and geography.


"The burning and clearing of forests contributes more than one-fifth of total global greenhouse gas emissions – more than the emissions of all of the world’s cars, trucks, trains, and planes combined" (

“Protecting the world’s remaining forests will significantly reduce climate change, maintain the livelihood of millions of people who depend on the forest and protect a huge amount of the world’s biodiversity? said Greenpeace Amazon Campaign Co-ordinator Paulo Adario.


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February 18, 2008

"To a man with an empty stomach food is God." ~Gandhi

"If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin." ~Charles Darwin

This collection of quotes, images, and a song list all share a common goal to bring awareness to a global issue of extreme poverty and hunger. Awareness will be change...

Did you know?

Did you know that in our world today:

One third of deaths - some 18 million people a year or 50,000 per day - are due to poverty-related causes. That's 270 million people since 1990, the majority women and children, roughly equal to the population of the US. (Reality of Aid 2004)
Every year more than 10 million children die of hunger and preventable diseases - that's over 30,000 per day and one every 3 seconds.
(80 Million Lives, 2003 / Bread for the World / UNICEF / World Health Organization)
Over 1 billion people live on less than $1 a day with nearly half the world's population (2.8 billion) living on less than $2 a day. (UN HDR, 2003)
600 million children live in absolute poverty. (SCF, Beat Poverty 2003).
The three richest people in the world control more wealth than all 600 million people living in the world's poorest countries. (Source:ChristianAid)
Income per person in the poorest countries in Africa has fallen by a quarter in the last 20 years. (Source:ChristianAid)
800 million people go to bed hungry every day. (Source:FAO)
Every year nearly 11million children die before their fifth birthday. (Source:UNICEF)

See this video:
Download file

NOTE: Some images are graphic...

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February 10, 2008

It's Our Future...We Need a Change in Transportation


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February 2, 2008

Energy Flow and Transformation through the city...


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