May 6, 2008

MDG Presentation Comments

This blog is an entry for both of the final two blog prompts.

Both of the millenium development goal research projects that I will be discussing in this blog were very well presented and well organized. I was impressed with most of the presentations that I witnessed the past couple of weeks. Not only did the groups provide well thought out information, they also did so in manner that kept the attention and respect of the on-lookers. I learned much more than I thought I would about how these goals are related to architecture and how architects can help in aiding the cause. I just hope that other students took these presentations to heart as much as I did while viewing them.

The first presentation that I will discuss is the group that did their research on millenium goal two. Millenium development goal two addresses the need for primary education. This group gave insight into how this goal can be addresses in timely and affective manner. They focused their research on the region of Mali, Africa. The group chose this region because the country of Mali has a literacy rate of a staggering nine-teen percent. This number is completely overwhelming and needs to be increased as quickly and effeciently as possible. They discussed how architecture can be used to provide shelter for those who are in need of architecture and how it could be done in a affordable and organized way. They also discussed how the architecture can be related to the culture and current setting of the area. For example, they addressed the need for shade and the use of mud brick, which is prevelent in the area. Overall, this group lead an interesting and well presented design on how to address their Millenium Development Goal.

The second presentation that I will discuss was done by the group that addressed goal one. Goal one is oriented around the need to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. This goal is so important because it needs to be addressed across the globe. Every country has some form of hunger and poverty issue inside its borders. It is also a great goal because everyone can give a hand in helping, no matter who or where there are. The region that this group focused on was Haiti. This region is so stricken by hunger that children will often eat dirt and mud to relieve the hunger pains that they are faced with every single day. They discussed how a local organization processed and packaged a form of a chicken rice meal that would be sent to those in need. These meals can then replace the need for children and adults to stoop to such extremes when in need of a source of food.

These presentations, along with the others that I witnessed, really opened my eyes to the problems that the world is faced with. Living in such a privledged region it is hard to understand what the people that face these problems have to go through every day. It is our duty then to do what we can to make a change that will in turn impact these peoples lives and address the problems that the world faces. Architects, as a whole, must find ways in which they can provide aid and give these people facilities that will provide adequate shelter. We must use design in an attempt to make our world a better place.

March 20, 2008

Cover Design

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March 10, 2008


The presentation of a design or piece of work is essentially how the client or viewer is shown the idea given for the project. Therefore, it is ofen the most important and meticulous portion of the project. It needs to not only make sense, but it also needs to be visually appealing to those whom attend the presentation. A bad presentation can often be the downfall of a good design, while at the same time a good presentation can be what puts a not so good design over the top. Either way a presentation must be well designed and well given in order for the presenter to be successful.

One aspect that I look in a presentation is how well organized the presenter is. Bad organization can show a lack of effort and time, while good organization can be an indication of the hard work that has put into the project. I enjoy styles of presentation that include somewhat of an outline and then an elaboration of the main points contained in the outline. Another aspect that is essential is a good use of visual aids in the presentation. This helps those present to understand what the presenter in saying in a visual process not just by hearing the design. This also allows for better concentration on the topic. It is easy to lose focus when there is nothing to keep an individual visually occupied. The final and most important aspect is showing an understanding of the topic presented. Good resources and background information are a good indication of the effort put into the work.

Overall, the process of creating a presentation must be well planned and may take an extended period of time. The presenter must ensure that they put in the required time, work, and tools that make their work a success. The use of the prementioned tools can increase the success of a presentation immensly. It may still be possible to be somewhat successful without these tools, but there use almost ensures success. That is why I try to incorporate each of them into the work that I do. This has proven to me to be the most successful manner in presenting my work.

March 5, 2008

The Effect of the Environment

Obviously, the built environment effects each one of us each and every day. Those that are entraped in it are effected more while those that seem to escape its boundaries at times also escape some of its effects. The more our society continues to conform to the ideal of the built environment the more it will influence our daily lives. This influence will obviously contain its benefits along with its downfalls. It will obviously allow us to advance as a society but it could also entrap us to rely on it too much and allow it to change who we are.

Personally, the built environment has effected my life greatly. I look at structures and advancements that our society has made in awe. I see the creativity that has gone into these things and see the good that could come of them. This has allowed me gain an interest in our built environment and how things work together. The more I learn about things the more intregued I become. I hope to gain as much knowledge on the topic as possible.
Other people view the built environment as our society heading in the wrong direction. They seem to believe that we are becoming too dependent on it, which may be somewhat true. I believe that if we have the technology we should use it unless it is harmful to us or our environment in any way. Of course, there are many parts of the built environment that are harmful to us. These problems need to fixed with more advancements and better technology.

Overall, the built environment effects nearly every part of my life. Without the built environment it would be impossible for me to even recognize my surroundings. I have become dependent on it in certain ways but does not competely consume my life. I hope that I will continue to gain interest in it and hope that others will follow suit.

February 26, 2008

Being Released from the Constraints of Architectural Education

Having the oppurtunity to work as archtiect without having to deal with the constraints of architecture schooling would have its pros and cons. of course that it seems it would be much easier to go straight into the profession without having to deal with the cost, both of finance and time, that school gives. It also seems like having more hands-on experience at a younger age would also be more helpful to becoming successful in the industry. It seems as though learning things first hand and jumping right into things might not be a bad way to go about things.

In reality though, the transition that a college provides between high school and the work place is very essential. Although, there is probably some overkill on certain things, a structured invornment to learn in is very important in our learning process. Without the building blocks learned here it would be hard for us to understand what we are really working for. Actually performing the task would be good for us, but knowing why we are doing the projects that we work on is an important and essential part of our jobs. Our ability to think outside the box, which a structured education in architecture provides, would give us an edge in our work. College is an important part of our development not only intellectually but also socially. Without out this growth I find it hard for it hard for me to become a successful architect.

If there were the possiblity of this happening though, it would most likely seem as though my design were lacking something. I would guess it would be missing the historical and architectural aspect that is often involved in design. These portions of architecture are the parts that seem to be learned more in the classroom than out in the field. It would also be missing some of the social connection needed for good architecture as well as not having the ability to provide fof the purpose that is needed. Overall, the design of my work would be lacking in many areas which would only make my projects inadequate for the world today.

February 21, 2008

Biological Warfare: Our fight against disease


Disease is something that man-kind has faced throughout the past and will yet continue to face in the future. No matter how many cures we find and no matter how many lives are saved initially there is always going to be another illness that will plague us. We will never be able to completely rid ourselves of this nightmare, we can only hope that we can contain it as much as possible and provide those infected with the necessary treatment. Therefore, those of us in the design industry need to provide others with the necessary facilities to help the people that are infected with the various illnesses that we face.

I do not have a particular list of songs or quotes to include with my prompt. I was just say that the things that I find most striking are the words and images that indicate the truth to the outside world. So many people have no idea how many individuals there are in the world that are afflicted by disease. These images and words then allow those people to see what is really happening and what they could possibly do to assist in the help. It is then and only then that everyone is able to see and hear the real truth of the situation in our world today.

February 14, 2008

Social-Design Issue

Although, I am sure there are many others that chose the topic of homelessness for this blog, I am also going to discuss the issue of homelessness. Not just homelessness, but also the issue of poverty in the twin cities community. I am not writing about these topics because they are the easiest to write about or because it just seems like the topic of choice because that is what everyone else decided to do. I am choosing to write about poverty and homelessness because I personally believe that they are the most prevelent social-design issues that are consistent with the twin cities area.

Poverty is an issue with all the metro areas in the world. And of course, such is the case with twin cities area. And because of this fact it is evident that it is impossible to completely abolish the fact that there will always be a precentage of the population that will be either homeless or living in a state of poverty. The only true manner in which there is to deal with this social design issue is to try to reduce that number to the smallest amount as possible and to give those people that are underprivledged as much help as humanly possible. And across the world there are many people doing just this, but it is obvious that these individuals are in need of much more.

Some possible ways of dealing with the issues of poverty and homelessness take a good amount of effort from those that are more privledged. Of these ways in which we could help the needy involve building shelters and developing more low-income housing. I guess these are some of the best ways of dealing with the problem at hand, but there has to be more effort put into these projects. Either that or we need to discover a new way of doing things. If we knew the solution to the problem obviously there would be no problem but we don't. Hopefully, for the sake of those in need, we will find a long-term solution to this problem sometime in the near future.

February 5, 2008


Energy is anything that seems to create a sense of change, whether it be an actual physical change or a change of thoughts and ideas. Therefore, energy is involved in everything that individuals do and everything that surrounds them. Energy is often created in architecture in the form of inspiration. This inspiration is what allows individuals to transform something that may not be appealing to the eye and make it a work of art. In the case of Andy Goldsworth, he was able to transfer many simple parts of nature into works of art. Goldsworth used the simple parts of energy in nature and combined them in a positive way. The only stipulation involved in using nature is that artists must understand the environment and what it takes to use its energy in a positive manner. In knowing the envirnment individuals are then able to create new imaginations and improve upon their ability to innovate. Without the use of energy, working in our environment becomes nearly impossible for artists to do. Energy is the building block of change in whatever it is that we intend to better.

If an individual is able to harness any power given by any source they are immediately given an extreme advantage. Obviously, the more energy we are able the harness the better are off we are, but also it is important to be strong in a particular region or to be powerful in many regions. If an inidivual has the ability to excel in one particular region it may be the factor that propels them past competitors. Also, a well-rounded individual has the ability to combine many different strenghts to provide a good overall attack. This too will allow for the ability to one's self over the competition. Overall, the more energy that we are able to use and harness the more powerful we then become.