May 1, 2008

MDG Honors Presentations

I chose to write about Goal 8 and Goal 7 because I thought they were the best presentations not only for their design layout but for their ideas as well.
To start out with Goal 8 by Kelly Berry and Broc Blegens, I just have to say the design aspect of their project was really organized and well put together. I liked how the picture was highlighted and the other two were faded when you were focusing on that certain part. They also had really good ideas for their goal and I could tell they did a lot of research. First off, they started talking about the development of communication technologies. Here, they first started their focus on Smalia where effort is being made to progress in developing communication. From the year 2000 to 2005 the percent of people with cell phones went from 1.1% to 6.1%. It's not a huge increase but at least its improving there. Next they talked about Kenya and how they also have been working on their progress in communication. Mobile phone usage is growing faster every year and Kenya has made a lot of progress. Then they talked about the importance of wireless and technology for the progress of education. Some examples they talked about were the "hole-in-the-wall" schools that gave free access to the internet for children to allow them to gain more knowledge and then to spread that knowledge to other children. They also talked about the "one laptop per child" idea where each child would be able to have their own personal computer. It is also known as the $100 laptop and it allows children to email, chat, and browse the internet. The next thing they talked about was the importance of sustainable energy. They talked about some projects that teach kids how to assemble small scale solar panels so they become more educated in the importance of conserving energy and they are also learning how to put things together. Overall, I think this was my favorite group because all of their information was really interesting to hear about and they presented it in a very organized fashion that was easy to navigate.
The next group I liked was Goal 7 who was Angie, Anthony, and Laura. They focused on improving Minneapolis slums through sustainability. After researching, they realized there is a growing need for more low-income housing in Minneapolis. Many feel they are trying to get rid of the poor and elderly by turning apartments into condos and raising the prices so people cant afford to live there anymore. This group realized that our current standard of design practices work against sustainability and they want to implement more energy efficient ways of living. The group went over benefits of "going green" and provided some examples of how benefitial it is. The Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis was built more efficient and it didnt even cost extra. The SC Johnson Quarters was renovated to be more efficient and now they save approximately $6 million a year on energy costs. The groups idea was to suggest to redesign the low income housing in order to become more sustainable. Some of their ideas for this were: install water re-use systems such as rainwater collection and low flow plumbing fixtures, replace lightbulbs with more efficient lightbulbs, install recycling chutes, replace old windows with high-efficiency triple paned glass, use solar energy, and replace the roof with an energy star roof. I think these ideas are really good but it might cost a lot of money to do this. BUT, the examples before seemed to show that the cost will pay off in the future. I thought the presentation looked pretty nice and well put together. I could tell they did a lot of research and really thought about creating a more efficient living environment.

April 28, 2008

Volunteer Blog #4

This past week was my last week at VOA and I must say that I'm definitely going to miss it there! I've really started to enjoy helping the kids with their My Life Plan's and also just getting to know them a little bit. I like how open and unafraid they are to talk to you and ask questions. Greg has been really great too. I can see that the students really enjoy having him as a teacher and its fun to see how he can relate to their situations. On Tuesday I was there for a short time just helping kids on the computer to finish up some surveys they had to get done by the end of the week since some people were coming to check their progress. On Friday I did pretty much the same thing except I talked with the students more and just had a really fun time on my last day. I really like the idea of the My Life Plan because it helps the kids realize things about themselves that they might not have known before. I'm really going to miss working at VOA and I wish them the best!

April 18, 2008

Volunteering Blog #3

Ok so today I volunteered for a really long time but it flew by pretty fast. I was at VOA from 9 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon but Greg did a really good job of keeping me busy. Today we were pulling kids from class so they could catch up on their my life plan surveys and quizzes since some representatives are coming at the end of next week. I helped the students set up log in information and directed them where to go to take quizzes. I also answered any questions they had and tried to encourage them when they got frustrated. Volunteering at VOA has been fun because the students are really friendly and they aren't afraid to ask us questions about anything which can make some great conversations. I noticed that kids were getting somewhat excited when they found out what kind of jobs match with their interests and they wanted to find out more about them. It' s been a great time!

April 15, 2008

Volunteering Blog #2

This blog is a combination of the last 4 times I have gone because I pretty much did the same thing every time. We pulled some kids out of class and just helped them go through different parts of the program. A lot of the kids would get really frustrated or irritated because many of the interest inventories ask questions that are very similar so it gets repetitive. Our goal is just to encourage them to keep going. The students are really funny and I enjoy being in the atmosphere VOA has provided me. Greg has been really great about keeping in touch and letting us know what needs to be done. I really wish my school had made us do something like this because many times as a high school student, I had no idea what I wanted to do and something like this could have really helped. Volunteering at VOA has been really great and it's been a while since I've been there with all the spring breaks and not being able to go. I cant wait to get back!

Volunteering Blog #1

After looking through many different options for volunteering, I decided to help out VOA (Volunteers of America). Volunteers of America is a small school on Franklin Ave, which is pretty close to my dorm so I thought it would be convenient to get to. My first day at VOA was just a meet and greet and then they gave me a tour after. I was able to meet Greg Herder, who is my mentor and leader, along with a couple other people involved in the program set up at VOA. We went through what I was going to help the kids with, which was a really cool college and career program with interest inventories and a bunch of other useful material. Each student must complete all of the inventories, quizzes, etc. on the program before they graduate. I think it's a really useful tool for kids to find out what their interests are or the strengths that they have and how they can apply that to a possible career. After going through what the program was all about, I was given a short tour of the building and we said our goodbyes. I really like VOA and the community they have their is very welcoming and friendly.

April 2, 2008

Cover Pages

These are my 3 layouts for a cover page:

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March 11, 2008

the "not as good" Blog Prompt #6

Ok soooo I was just working on this blog for a REALLY long time and it crashed on me. So I'm really upset that I just lost all of that and this one will clearly not be as good or as detailed as what I had.
So here's a shortened version:
I noticed that websites were a really popular way to present ideas and products. Also, some companys create products to distribute to the community to promote their ideas so the population becomes more educated on the matter. Some of my favorite examples were these 4

I cant provide images because the website wouldn't allow me to save them as images but everyone should really checkout the website because it is very well made and navigated beautifully. Their presentation styles are also amazing. They're clean and simple so the main idea is able to come across. This quote is on the front page of their website, "Technology constantly changes how we communicate but the core reason remains the same - to convey an idea. Kitemath helps you develop your message with effective communication design. To visualize ideas. To help separate effectiveness from cliché. We help bring it all together by balancing creative thinking with rational problem solving."


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March 5, 2008

Blog Prompt #5

When I think about how the built environment affects who people become, I cant help but think how perfect of an example Haiti is. For my term project, my goal is to eradicate world hunger and poverty. My group felt Haiti was a good location because it is one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere.
haiti children 2.jpg
One of the main reasons why Haiti is so impoverished is due to the lack of space for the amount of people they have. Its area is approximately 10,714 square miles, which is slightly smaller than Maryland, and their population is estimated to be around 8 million. Lack of space usually leads to poor, unhealthy living conditions and thats definitely the case for Haiti.
crowded haiti 2.jpg
Another reason why Haiti is so poor is a result of the environmental surroundings and how they affect the availability of essential resources to survive. Due to environmental disasters such as flooding and hurricanes, Haiti's terrain has been totally ruined. Forests have been wiped out and the land is filled with giant mudslides. This has resulted in unclean and polluted water supply. The water is also contaminated because there is no sewage sanitation system in Haiti and, therefore, the water is polluted with human waste. Not to mention, the farmable land where they once grew crops to feed their country and make a profit are now devastated. Only about 20% of the land in Haiti is arable. Also, the lands predominant fuel source is charcoal and that is partly why only 2% of Haiti's original forests remain. Environmental sustainability is essential to successful farming and, since the land these Haitians live on has been trashed by events of the past, their is no food for them to eat and no clean water for them to drink.
destroyed haiti.jpg
When resources diminish, poverty and hunger increase. A child's mental and physical development is adversely affected by malnutrition and many of them develop disabilities that forbid them access to an education and employment opportunities. Contaminated water in Haiti is the leading cause of child mortality and illness because they are using that polluted water to cook with and drink, leading to diseases like typhoid, cholera, and chronic diarrhea. These people are growing more hungry and more poor every day because their environment is controlling their lives by destroying the essentials they need to survive. When they don't have clean water, they grow sick and can't survive. When they don't have land to grow crops, they don't have anything to eat and they have no food to make a profit off of, which leads to poverty. These Haitian children need help. They need change.
haiti children.jpg
So I would say the built environment definitely effects who you are and how you live. Now it's just a matter of whether or not we want to help those that are less fortunate improve their environment so they too may live in a supportive and healthy atmosphere. Many organizations are looking to help get Haiti clean water and improve their land so they can once again grow crops and live happily. Strides to prevent natural disasters from destroying the country are also being made. "Be the change you want to see in the world." -Gandhi
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Sword Fight!

Media Mill Video

February 28, 2008

Blog Prompt #4

Well if I could I would love to be a genius and think of a sweet way to better the earth or make a somewhat "utopia" world where the earth is perfectly clean. But realistically I think i would want to educated everyone in the world about what changes need to be made so our earth can be wonderful! I just think so many people don't know or are misinformed about what the world is going through environmentally right now and so they don't take the effort to change their habits. I really like green green grass so for my "perfect" world I would have super green grass and I would have huge groups of people sitting on the wonderful green grass listening to different environmentalists educated them about making a difference. They would also be breathing in the cleanest air ever.
green grass.jpg
Just add more people to this photo and there you have the scene of education.
I also think its important that we educated the world about water pollution. The world desperately needs clean drinkable water and pollution doesn't help. Wouldn't it be great if everyone could drink water this clean?!?!
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February 17, 2008

Blog Prompt #3

GOAL 1: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

"Without food, man can live at most but a few weeks; without it, all other components of social justice are meaningless." -- Norman Borlaug
"Hunger makes a thief of any man." -- Pearl S. Buck
"Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that." -- Norman Vincent Peale
"The poor are poor because the rich are rich." -- Author Unknown

Better People - India Arie
There's Hope - India Arie
Upside Down - Trevor Morgan
Falling Slowly - Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova

hunger.jpg hunger2.jpg

The photographs really tug at my heart and tell me that I really need to do something about the hunger and poverty going on in impoverished areas. The quotes kind of reflect my opinion on how selfish we are that we aren't taking bigger steps to overcome this world issue. Most of the songs I chose are taking an inspirational outlook on the situation and are saying that we need to wake up and help. By helping the hungry and the poor, we can turn their world's upside down.

GOAL 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

“AIDS is the biggest challenge, the major disaster facing this country and we would have wished for something more specific and far-reaching.? -- Mangosuthu Buthelezi
“AIDS and malaria and TB are national security issues. A worldwide program to get a start on dealing with these issues would cost about $25 billion... It's, what, a few months in Iraq.? -- Jared Diamond
“They've lived through cholera, malaria and AIDS is a big problem. Everybody who goes on a mission is changed is in some way. You think you go to help others, but we grow and God changes our own hearts.? – Bruce Lowe

The News - Jack Johnson
Seasons of Love - Rent
I Choose - India Arie
Colored People - DC Talk

malaria.jpg malaria2.jpg

I chose these pictures because they show how drastic Africa needs aid for AIDS and malaria. It is such a huge problem there compared to everywhere else. The songs I chose are just about coming together as a nation and helping everyone because we're all brothers and sisters, not matter what we look like. If we don't have enough money or enough food or anything...we can at least love. I chose these quotes because they show how terrible these diseases have gotten and how easy it is for us to help. We just have to be willing enough.

February 13, 2008

Blog Prompt #2

The social design issue that I found to be a big problem in Minneapolis is the bus system. Everyone I talked to hates the bus system and complains about it all the time. First of all, the buses are never on time. You always have to arrive 10 minutes early because you never know if it will show up early, on time, or late. They're so unpredictable and unreliable. Second, there are not enough of them. A lot of people are late to work or wherever they need to be because they miss a bus (probably because it showed up too early) and then they cant get on another one till at least 15 minutes later. Also, express buses are great but they only come about five times a day so that makes them useless. Another thing that is terrible about the bus system is that th routes are so small and for most places you go, you have to do at least one transfer. Maybe if the buses had larger routes, people wouldn't have to do so many transfers. Adding to that, the transfer tickets only last for two and a half hours unlike some other places in the world where it lasts for the whole day. This can be a problem for many people especially workers or people coming in from the suburbs. By the time they get into the city, they have to pay for another transfer ticket and they haven't even gotten to their destination. So as you can see, the bus system is a huge social design problem for Minneapolis and needs some adjustments to make a more efficient transportation system for the city.

February 3, 2008

Blog Prompt #1

When I consider the energy, flow, and transformation through a city, I think about the contrast between the different parts of the city. For instance, when going from the intercity to the outskirts, the transformation is huge. You're going from heavy traffic flow and tall skyscrapers to quiet neighborhood streets and small town homes.
these pictures show what I mean between the difference in energy and flow and how the city transforms as you travel from the inside to the outside.
When I think of intercity, I imagine a buzz of sound and lights and a city full of energy. I'm always inspired by the city lights and how they create a flow of color at night. It's like a piece of artwork. A few times in my life when I have flown back home (Milwaukee) at night, I am amazed at how you can tell the transformation of the city through the flow of lights against the dark night from an aerial view.

these are just some examples of the idea of energy, flow, and transformation through a city.