May 12, 2008

Blog Prompt #10: Free Prompt


Blog Prompt #9: MDG #4- Reduce Child Mortality Presentation Review

Goal: Lower child mortality rate by 100%
Where: Sub-Saharan Africa

The rate of child deaths is currently at 150 child deaths per 100 deaths.

Problems causing high rates include:

-Diseases such as Measles
-Problems such as diarrhea and infections, both usually caused by other diseases such as Measles

UNICEF is working to help better the problem:

They have been providing vaccines, vitamins/supplements to help combat child deaths

The impact has not been drastic but is helping to lower the number of child deaths

Design Approach:
Tents and medical units which are ready to use and self sufficient after being dropped into problem areas

Why Problems are not easily fixed:
-no safe water
-big problem making solution harder
-high transportation costs hinder ability to help
-low productivity due to problems and costs as well as size of problem

Rural and Urban development:
-health investment
-focus on diseases
-expensive to help
In the end there may be more children being feed but still no education to help the children and people learn to help themselves and prevent problems in the future. Many things that help are only short term and are not going to fix the problem.

Overall, the goal of Reducing Child Mortality is well intended but is currently still a problem and the help given has failed to solve the situation.

Blog Prompt #8: MDG #2- Achieving Universal Primary Education Presentation Review

Indicators: Children in grades 1-5 receiving education.
Region: Pakistan
Problems: More than 14 million Muslims relocated after English rule took over power
Government problems- no stability
no facilities
corruption among leaders/officials
assassination and misconduct among leaders
Education History: System in bad shape, lack funding, lack facilities, lack materials, English style schooling system, some children educated in Islam type of schooling

Some Muslims feel their culture is threatened by globalization

U.S. government has given Pakistan $11 billion in military government aid and

$265 million in education and monetary support.

In 1990, Pakistan had a primary enrollment rate of around 35% while in 2007 Pakistan had a primary enrollment rate of 68% showing some progress towards the MDG.

Much of the improvement has been helped by a mountain climber named Greg Mortenson who has dedicated his life to building schools in Pakistan and improving the education there.

Greg's design focuses on the schools:
-being Functional
-being Multi-purpose
-Fitting the needs of locals
-being designed by the locals and made of local materials

He has helped over 60 schools be built along with training 520 teachers, educating 20,000 students and helping to build 10-15 more schools each year.

April 30, 2008

Blog Prompt #7:

March 12, 2008

Blog Prompt #6: Styles of Our Term Project

Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women







March 5, 2008

Blog Prompt #5: The Built Environment and How It Affects Who I Am

From the viewpoint of an active student and member of the community and area, it is clear that the built environment allows me to do what I enjoy doing and be who I am. The built environment most certainly supports who I am. I enjoy many things that rely on the built environment.

curved street.jpg

city sidestreet.jpg

I am a person who enjoys certain activities and many of these activities involve the built environment. Many times the things I enjoy doing are even more enjoyable or more available because of the built environment. How often would I or anybody else go for a bike ride if it always required you to ride on uneven, rough, and trecherous terrain? Maybe if you wanted to go mountain biking this would be sufficient, but for the most part this would definately deter me from riding bike as often as I currently do.

swimming pool.jpg

Another example that helps to clarify my position is swimming. The person I am is characterized by the fact that I enjoy swimming, but how often would I be able to enjoy this activity if there wasn't the built environment of a swimming pool and especially during cold periods or winter. While i do love to swim outdoors and in natural settings such as lakes, I know the first time I learnt how to swim it was in a pool and I also know the last time I went swimming it was in a pool due to the convenience.

university classroom.jpg

The built environment lets me comfortably participate in and be involved in many different areas. Being in a setting which offers positive feedback allows myself as well as others to focus on what is currently at hand especially in learning environments such as a university which has been specifically designed around the idea that schooling should take place in the proper type of setting.

February 26, 2008

Blog Prompt #4: Released From the Constraints and Free to Impact My Environment

A worker on a renovation project doesn't just change the look of the building being worked on, they also change the landscape and area in which the building is located.


A neighborhood which might previously have been run-down and crime ridden can be morphed into something historical, beautiful, and appropriately put to use. A renovator has the power to make these changes which are important and valuable to a neighborhood and this is something I would also enjoy doing.

Renovating old buildings allows someone with interest in the history of a building to do something they enjoy and something that certainly impacts the environment around them. When working on a project there are many ways to change the building and this allows a worker to be artistic while working on something that is already there and built. Starting work architecturally on something that isn't an empty lot is much more comfortable to began working on when someone such as me doesn't have much experience anywhere near the field of architecture besides a few beginning college classes. For me, slowly working up to more elaborate and new projects is a less sudden and stressful when starting a career in architecture and design, while the impact can possibly be just as large and significant.


By renovating an area or even a whole street, a person can effectively alter the entire community or town. The payoff for working on such projects is in seeing a landscape transform back to its beautiful and historical looks instead of being torn down and rebuilt cheaply and inconsiderate to the history of an area.

February 20, 2008

Prompt #3: Influencing My Values- Ensuring Environmental Sustainability


While photographs like this often seem to exaggerate the severity of environmental problems, these scenes are real and detrimental to the environment. Classic shots of billowing smoke stacks no longer seem to trigger a response after years of naming dirty factories as the culprit of our environmental dilemma. But, the truth is that these same polluting factories still exist and cause irreparable damage to the ecosystem and I still cringe at the sight of pictures like this. Such a simple change by changing worldwide pollution regulations could end such irresponsible polluting similar to this. It is something that must be done and will be done but only after unbelievable damage has been incurred and the sooner something changes, the better off everyone will be.

“In 22 states parents can’t take kids fishing and eat the fish if they’re lucky enough to catch anything because of mercury. Think about that. In 44% of all river bodies and streams it’s not safe to fish or swim. And yet industrial polluters continue to block legislation that would prevent mercury and MTBE from polluting our water supplies and leaving children with debilitating diseases.? -Senator John Kerry

This quote of Senator John Kerry addressing the issue of pollution gets to the point and helps to explain and make clear the magnitude and prevalence of pollution related problems.

“Still, year after year strong mercury rules fail in Washington under pressure from corporate interests. Why? Not because the risks of mercury poisoning aren’t real. No, lobbyists for the big industries just say they can’t afford to make changes.? -Senator John Kerry

These issues are real and causing problems everyday while we enjoy comforts that unnecessarily cause more pollution. We can't keep ignoring the problems forever and sooner than later we will come to realize how large of a problem this is.

"America the Beautiful"

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

The environment can only deal with so many problems, each action causes some part of the worlds fragile ecosystem to be affected and changed. Many songs such as this stress the beauty of nature and the joy of beautiful parts of our world that are now under stress by increasing populations and inappropriate development or our worlds nations. Thinking about the scenes described through this song makes me realize how important it is to preserve our world for future generations and make sure they have an opportunity to see the same things and feel the same inspiration from the natural world as we and previous generations have had.

February 13, 2008

Blog Prompt #2: Social-Design Issue in the Twin Cities

Schools are funded by property taxes. Property taxes are based on the value of an owners home and other assets. When areas of a city have a high level of low income housing concentrated in a certain school district, the school being funded by that areas property taxes has the severe drawback of being underfunded. The quality of education and school resources is adversely affected by the lack of funding. After years of a school being funded by property taxes of a poor neighborhood, the school system deteriorates and the quality of the students and education being produced decreases in response to this. Due to this situation, a certain area and school district ends up stuck in a perpetual cycle of poverty and less than adequate education being provided.

Many areas have dealt with this problem but have had trouble fixing the issue due to the obvious reasons of changing the property or amount of property tax revenue being collected in that specific area.

Some governments of states have affectively implemented changes to help fix this problem by using a different method of funding public schools. Washington state, for example, has set up school districts to receive equal portions of the entire states collected property taxes. Under this funding set-up, every school is given equal funding which is not dependent on a certain school districts property taxes. This way of funding public schools helps to effectively distribute the money collected through property taxes is a way which does not cause the deterioration of certain districts schools.

February 6, 2008

Blog Prompt #1 - Energy, Flow and Transformation Through the City

The idea that that a city has energy, flow, and transformation is clear in a cities daily happenings. Not only does a city do all these things as it goes through it's daily routine, it does them simultaneously and in an interrelated way.

A city transforms throughout the day as the energy in the city flows with its movement. People wake up and come to life. The patterns of these workers, shoppers, and travelers bring a city to life with energy and transform it into something moving, functioning and alive.

All the changes and happenings that take place are only temporary though, because at the end of each day, the transformation reverses and the energy seems to flow back out just as the light does at the end of the day. A cities happenings are assembled just to fade and decay after so much work has went into making it function and succeed, yet we take this in stride and it starts over again the next day, just for the same thing to happen the next.