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February 28, 2008

Queen of the World

I have absolutely no clue what this question is actually asking for. What would I do, released from the constraints of architecture school, lyrically, artistically, bodily that would affect the environment.
So, taking a stab at it, Everything I do technically has an affect on the environment in the first place, with or without regard to architecture school. Everytime I drive somewhere, write on something, eat, use hairspray. There's probably a hole in the ozone layer lingering over my head. So whether or not I'm in architecture school really has nothing to do with my negative affects on the environment.

hole in ozone.jpg

But if i were not within the constraints of architecture school, I would probably like to be queen of the world, I would live somewhere where everything would be ripped apart and redesigned until PERFECT. Impossible you may say? of course it is, because everyone has different ideas of the perfect anything. But again, if I were queen of the world. In my perfect state everything would be designed to have as little impact on the environment as possible. Every building will be planned with both it's users and the environment in mind, so that it was suited for it's needs but used things like natural heating and cooling. Which I think is really cool by the way, those screens in Morocco that act as natural refrigeration? There will be one on every single building along with a cooling fountain.


So by affecting the environment, I would try to have as little affect on it as possible.

And because I've always secretly wanted to be Madonna, I will be, but better. I'll have songs about how we don't need to live in a material world and everyone will dance to it.


February 21, 2008

Regina says to take off your shoes

The first part of doing anything should start with thinking for yourself. Sometimes I get caught up in what everyone else is saying and doing, and forget about my own ideas and actions. The Libertines song Campaign of Hate isn't as angry as it sounds. It's actually about kids who get so caught up in their surroundings and peers, they give in and become 'sheep'. And how it doesn't really matter if people like you if you aren't acting like yourself or thinking for yourself. Coming from the Libertines who are notorious for drug use and destructive behavior is a little ironic, but regardless, they have an alright message in this instance.

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Secondly, I think that when dealing with problems in countries other than our own, or with cultures we're unfamiliar with in our own country, we need to walk in their shoes before making any decisions. Sometimes doing what we as a nation do to others what we think is best without taking their point of view first. I was fortunate enough to see Vusi Mahlasela perform a couple years ago. He's a musician from South Africa whose songs often revolve around emotions connected to the apartheid. In an interview, he reminds us that everyone should be respectful and aware of cultural differences, it's why he sings his songs in so many different languages. He also sings about forgiveness, a virtue that can resonate through an circumstance. Plus Vusi has really cool songs.

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But moving on from my underlying influence, I'm taken by media and culture surrounding youth. It breaks my heart learning about uneducated and under privileged children and particularly girls. Especially in third world countries, but in ours as well. Two musicians who hone in on the conditions of youth are M.I.A. and Dizzee Rascal. Maya has songs about African children selling everything in order to obtain visas (Hussel or Paper Planes), children being forced into combat ($20), and child prostitutes both who are sold into slavery or do it for money in Asia (10 dollar).

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“Cambodian children are sold inside the borders of Cambodia and between various brothels, but also to the neighbouring countries, primarily to Thailand. Children are similarly smuggled to Cambodia, mainly from Vietnam. The price of a child is determined by appearance, age, and virginity. Average value is approximately $150/child.� BBC


Dizzee Rascal’s song Jezebel is about a girl who ruins her life with a teen pregnancy, and various songs of his are about the conditions of the lower class in England.

All of these raise awareness of social issues that need to be dealt with.
An organization I find relatable to our project is Love Music Hate Racism. It “celebrates our our multicultural and multiracial society. Racism seeks only to divide and weaken us.� So artists come together to support anti racism by recording albums and having benefit concerts. Great artists as well that already have a following, like M.I.A. and Pete Doherty of the Libertines.


And Finally, as random as it may seem, I think we can all either live by Oasis’ Roll with It, or Regina Spektor’s Ghost of Corporate Future.

Or anything that makes you want to dance.

February 14, 2008

Hong Kong is smarter than we are.

i just deleted a really long entry. this may seem a bit more angry than I intend it to be. Anyways, Minneapolis is really awful at public transportation. Sure we have buses, but they're really not that great. They only go so many places and there are a lot places in Minneapolis to go. Our road systems are silly and under construction constantly causing stupid stupid traffic. During rush hour it takes me 2 hours to travel 40 miles south because we can't figure out that roads don't need to be blocked off 6 months in advance of the actual construction date. I want to yell at someone, and it's not just me, maybe the worlds most impatient person, but anyone waiting for a traffic light to cycle 3 times before going would probably agree with me. anyways, i also hate waiting for buses that are always late because our roads are always under construction. But maybe if we had figured it out like any other smart city has already, we would have put in an underground system. They cause as much pollution as cars do, they don't take up any room like the light stupidly does which messed up hiawatha and they're really convenient. Hong Kongs on a freaking island and they have the best one I've ever seen. Not to mention their public transportation in general, but maybe that comes with having millions of people. Even so, we should have one.
I realize that putting one in would be really difficult and ridiculously expensive, but we're killing the ozone here, and we've only got one. But we can start small. If people traveling shorter distances didn't have to be on the roads at all it would minimize traffic enough to make us want to put in an underground everywhere. okay, wishful thinking, but still. In the long run, any transportation that got cars off the roads would be beneficial. And taking a subway is fun, sitting in traffic killing the environment is not.

February 7, 2008

andy goldsworthy

Andy goldsworthy through his art and sculpture seeks and feeds off of the energy of landscape. If speaking of landscape in terms of everything surrounding us, people, buildings, nature, cities are a mecca of energy. All of the surroundings feed off of eachother, much like goldsworthy tries to do with his artwork. my favorite installation from the video was when he was working in the sheep field. he first explained how sheep and farmers have shaped the environment they live in in turn making it a traditional and ideal place for farming, and then goes on to incorporating both the sheep and the boundary in his art. In a city, we have shaped the landscape, it isn't a natural environment, but it has adapted to fit our needs like the field did for the sheep.
A city also creates flow in our lifestyles. someone who lives in a city needs it, but is almost forced to appreciate nature, and the other way around. it would be very hard to live without one or the other.
a city is also the perfect area to observe transformation. as a city grows, new things are added, both physically when new buildings are built, and culturally when more people with varying ethnities are welcomed. there are often particular areas with heavy populations of particular ethnicities, but living in a single city. buildings and people become old and need to be replaced with new ones. andy goldsworthy spoke of this concept in his own town, where people had either strong optimistic or pessimistic approaches. he watched his children grow up and be the youngest on the street, and was happy. while a bitter old woman only talked about how all of her friends had died, and she knew barely anyone.