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February 27, 2008

The Affects of the Built Environment...

I truely believe that everything in our built environment affects how we are as human beings. Take a simple cell phone for instance,

How could something so small have such a big affect on our daily lives. For majority of us, its as though a cell phone is attached to our ears 24-7. Almost literally!

I mean practically everyone has one! There isn't a day that goes by that I don't see someone talking or txting away on it or hear one go off in the middle of a class, sorry about that Ozayr. It has been such a huge part of who we are as a society that we cant live without it. If anything, for those who are catholic, I think we should try giving those up for lent..... haha jk, I know thats impossible.

This kind of brings up another one that affects us as individuals as well, and thats the church and/or religion itself.

A lot of us have some sort of home church or beliefs that help create who we are as individuals and how we choose to act on the day to day basis. Just like those wwjd bracelets for example, those were a huge hit when they came out and they had and even still do have an affect on the behaviors of individuals.

Tied into this idea of religion would be parents. Our parents, whether some of you actually believe it or not, have an amazingly huge affect on us as individuals. While we are growing up they are the ones who choose where we live, what and how we eat, what beliefs and religion we are brought up on, what school we go to, etc. They even have the power to prevent us from getting our liscense! I mean come on! Every 16 year old in the state of Minnesota should be on the road, on their own, that very day, with nothing but freedom and the open road. Of course im kidding about that, but in any case the parents still have that power to decide. In all actuality, I believe that it is our parents that have the strongest influence in our built environment.

February 21, 2008

Can we really make a difference?

The three project selections I had for this project are 1) To achieve a universal primary education, 2) Eradicate extreme poverty, and 3) to ensure environmental sustainability. These three things, I believe are some of the most important problems in the world today and should be considered by everyone, especially architects and designers. But then again can we really make a difference? Can a simple design be considered a solution to extreme poverty and hunger?

How could architecture and design possibly help this?

Many of the courses focus on this idea of how we as designers can help the world around us just by designing something. In all honesty I find this hard to believe. Yes, designs of areas even governmental systems can help a situation, but to what degree? I don't think that a design of a building can help feed someone. I don't think that just building a new school will help children better their education. I think that it is much more than that. I'm not trying to be a negative person about building, afterall, I want to be an architecture/design student, but lets face some reality here. Its going to take much more than a designer and a few buildings to change this massive problem of education, hunger and poverty. Its going to take governmental systems and a lot of man power in order to accomplish these goals.

February 13, 2008

Blog Prompt # 2

The issue that I decided to look at is energy use, i.e. GOING GREEN!

This issue has been coming up in our society more and more in the past year especially. With gas prices going to record highs, why not think about saving some money by doing something as simple as turning off the light when you're not using it? There are so many new products out there on the market right now that can help you cut down on energy costs. Things like energy star appliances can help you save on your annual energy costs. Another one would be changing the light bulbs in your house to compact flourescent bulbs. You can save a lot of money and have the bulbs last way longer! I know in our home, we switched to all compact flourescent bulbs, and they are even brighter than the regular ones! I highly recomend switching if you haven't already.

I know that sometimes this can sound like a huge hoax and that people have said that these new bulbs suck and stuff like that. But I can assure you, that this is no hoax or fake ideal. Our house has had these bulbs for the past 4 years and they are still going strong. Not only that, but we have saved a bunch of money on our annual energy cost. I use my computer and room a lot, so the lights and computer are almost on 24/7. With these new products and energy star efficient printers and monitors, my parents don't really need to get after me about leaving the lights on!...well at least not as much.

Here is a little information about going green:

Now after watching this informational video, why wouldn't you want to save money and GO GREEN?

February 6, 2008

Blog Prompt #1

When viewing the city it is kind of hard to pin point an energy flow. I suppose in one aspect, one could see the motion of cars and trains in and out of the city as an energy flow. In the morning, for the Twin Cities area and Minneapolis in particular, cars commute in from all directions into the city. Its as though there is this huge amount of energy being pumped into the city that makes it run and function in the world. After the typical work day, a lot of cars and people leave the downtown area. This could be viewed as a release of energy built up throughout the day. Energy flows in and flows out on the day to day basis.

Another thing to look at would be the rivers and drainage systems. Energy flows down and into the city with rain and snow and they exit the city through the drainage systems and flow out of the city through the rivers current. The river also brings things into the city from runoff and things like that. It enters and leaves the city in one direction and flow.

I suppose when you look at the city in a birds eye view, the circulation of energy could be viewed as a circle. People, cars and products flow and move into the city and flow right back out in a continuous flow and motion, just like a circle. Its as though there is no real beginning or end. Its just a continuous stream that will never dry up.