May 22, 2008

Blog 8 & 9

I want to respond to the goal seven, ensure environmental sustainability, presented by one of the honor groups, and to goal one, eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, by one of the groups in my section. Firstly, I think these two are the most life impacting topics. Both were pretty interesting and well presented.
I find it very cool that group that was presenting goal 7 focused their efforts on problems in state of Minnesota. The examples they brought up to show the ways to better the Riverside Plaza, low income housing neighborhood, are environmentally friendly and some of them are achievable. Two ways that stood out to me are installing water reuse systems that would save tons of water and money, and using solar energy. However, I don't think these buildings worth many other inputs and affords the group was talking about. Their intentions were good, but it would cost too much.
A heart breaking goal-one presentation really captured my attention. It was the saddest presentation of all. I never heard of people who eat dirt to relieve the hunger before. One local organization of Minneapolis was presented as the main focus of the presentation; much research was done on it. This organization helps starving people around the world, by sending them food, chicken rice meals. This presentation reminded me how much I have, comparing to the poor people who have nothing to eat, and how thankful to God I should be for this.

May 1, 2008

Presentation Delivery

The goal of presentation is to deliver a clear, concise and consistent message about the topic. Sometimes keeping the audience's attention is the real challenge. For this reason the pictures are very important in any presentation; they keep the audience involved and make the presentation experience richer. The creativity, careful planning, and the application of the newest technologies available make the presentation even more pleasant experience; message must be delivered in engaging and compelling way. Much depend on the way how the visual is placed within the context of the presentation.

I found the "Godin Method" of presentation as an effective way to get the message across. Slides demonstrated here are now pretty old. However, clicking through them I got some ideas for the design of our Millennium Goal presentation visual. I think some aspects and design details would fit our presentation very good.
Sample thumbs from the July, 2000 presentation by Seth Godin:

A few helpful hints to remember when making a presentation:

1. Keep slides simple.
*Make points short and simple
*Don't use a lot of different colors
*Don't use a lot of different fonts

2. Keep it readable.
*Use appropriate font size

3. Be neat.
*Remove what isn't needed.
*Don't clutter up the presentation with unnecessary information.

"Godin Method" of presentation is a great way to get the message across in a short amount of time, in clear and powerful way, having people understand and remember presentation.

This method is really beneficial for people who are not good at presentations and who are quite nervous about the idea of presenting. It provides clear visual support for the audience and helps make the content more memorable. Also, it keeps audience attention on a screen instead of on a presenter.

The limitations of the human mind to hold discrete pieces of information in short-term memory require much attention on the method of presentation delivery in order for message to be absorb. This method breaks the information in “chunks“, so we can have better results.

While it may not be the best method of all it is still far better than this method below.

April 16, 2008


What is built environment? Is it only all the structures of the buildings around us? Everything around us affects us either we want it on not. In my understanding the architecture is an important aspect of it, but it is not all. Another aspect of the built environment is the society, which has a greater impact on shaping someone’s personality than architecture. In Russia, where I from, it is easy to see if a person is from rural or urban area, by the way he/she dress, talk, and behaves. People from different places have differences because they are affected by different societies. Therefore, society plays a big role in shaping people into the way they are. I did not grow up in a big city. When I went to Moscow for the first time, to me it looked very busy, big, and easy to get lost in. I realized that people of Moscow are different in the way they talk and behave. Moscow has many connections to different societies because it is attached to the outside world by an international airport; a lot is going on over there; people from different places and of different cultures influence the society of Moscow. There I had an opportunity to experience one of the greatest Russian architectural achievements, Moscow’s underground metro. It impressed me and inspired to study architecture.
I visited Russia after living in US for 7-8 years. I felt differently this time; I’ve changed. The experience I had in American cities made me more confident and knowledgeable. Therefore, the environment of US was shaping me throughout the time I lived here and obviously affecting the way I feel, think, percept, and behave. The world’s image I hold is changing or building up in a result of all experiences, just as Boulding is talking in reading 9. A changing knowledge contributes to an overall image I hold and governs behavior. We are constantly receiving messages from everything around us and most of them impact us and shape into who we are.1.jpg2.jpg3.jpg4.jpg5.jpg6.jpg8.jpg9.jpg10.jpg11.jpg

March 3, 2008

Minnesota Air

Download file

February 22, 2008

Planet Earth

Download file

February 16, 2008

Is Graffiti a Social-Design Issue?

Blog Prompt 2:
Find a social-design issue - here in the twin cities, document it, become an advocate for it.

Is Graffiti a Social-Design Issue?
What is graffiti?
Graffiti is an art form; it is genuine art. Graffiti can be anything from simple scratch marks to elaborate wall paintings.
“There are two different types of graffiti: Gang-Related Graffiti and Artistic Graffiti. Both are considered as vandalism, though the second type could be legal as long as the person doing it has the authorization of the owner of the property to do it. Gang-related graffiti is always considered vandalism and is used by gangs to mark their territories and send messages to rival gangs. Artistic graffiti usually includes lots of colors, strong designs and images. Gang-related graffiti is a series of words and symbols done in just one color over a wall with spray paint.? Marco Rernandez Landoni
Gangs can use graffiti to promote criminal activities, violence, can devalue property, and it cost property owners who have to pay someone to clean it off, or to remove it themselves. Not all graffiti is created to promote gangs and violence. Many people use graffiti as a way to promote their views, express their emotions, interact with their environment, and communicate with the public. Some businesses hire graffiti artists to transform their empty walls to something pleasing to look at. The Walker Art center has sponsored graffiti artists to speak and exhibit their works.
Rather than spending time on dialing with graffiti the law officials should deposit that time dialing with gangs; if they will put the end to graffiti it will not help to end or decrease crimes or gang related activities. The use of graffiti by criminals does not make graffiti a crime related activity; the gangs can use lots of things that we all use but it does not make it bad just because the criminals use it too.
To prevent graffiti the Minneapolis police department has a Graffiti Task Force. Free graffiti removal solvents can be picked up at Minneapolis fire stations. The city has “adoption programs? which help to keep bus stops, trash receptacles etc. graffiti free. On Minneapolis’ website you can find information on how to prevent, remove, and report graffiti.
In Twin Cities graffiti is considered a problem. In the eyes of most law officials graffiti is a crime and punishable with a misdemeanor and in some cases a felony charge. Still, many people argue that it is not.
So, is graffiti is a form art or vandalism? I think it must be taken in context. I question what’s the difference between covering buildings with ads and covering the part of a building with graffiti.
The origins of graffiti go back to the beginnings of human, societal living. Graffiti has been found on uncovered, ancient, Egyptian monuments, and graffiti even was preserved on walls in Pompeii. Graffiti art is not a spontaneous activity like tagging in the form of fancy scribble; it involves a great deal of imagination, planning, and effort.
Graffitists intend their work to be apprehended as art that can communicate feelings and ideas to the audience and beautifies the community by appearing on areas that normally would be eyesores, such as a wall in a vacant lot or an abandoned building. Graffiti make the city a brighter and more attractive place to be. The exhortation that graffiti should be on a visible private or public space in order to be in its optimal context is not so much to glorify any illegalities but rather, to highlight the idea that graffiti is meant to be completely accessible to the public for immediate appreciation.
Graffiti is a form of self expression, and is a right protected by the first amendment. Since legal billboards exist the graffiti should be allowed.








February 15, 2008

The Energy of the City

Blog #1
Inspired by Andy Goldsworthy (and our discussions today), document and investigate, through text and image - this idea of energy, flow and transformation through the city.

The Impact of Energy Flow on Transformation through the City
Energy flow and transformation through the city are very connected, by time, growth and change. The urban city environment is an excellent example of energy flow. People affect the environment, and it is changing or transforming. The transformation happens because of energy flow. There are many systems of flow such as information flow, traffic, ideas, industries, and others. Andy Goldsworthy talks about the impact of sheep on the landscape. In places of Scotland where sheep grazed for some time there are no trees. I think people impact the cities similarly. In some ways people are as brutal as sheep. In cities, there are not much natural life left, as animal life, plant life, nor clean air and water. Some people use the land and its resources thinking only about their profit. Depositing of toxic gasses into the air causes air pollution and dumping waste into the water endangers water quality and causes extinction of water creatures. It is a circle; people affect the environment, the environment affect people. The energy flow is always there, runs in a circle, affecting and transforming its surrounding.