May 13, 2008


First day of volunteering, I was kind of nervous I hadn’t ever worked as a tutor before. It was really a change from last semester when I only was working with the kids for brief moments. Tutoring proved to be just the challenge I thought it would be. It is really hard to keep them focused especially when I am trying to learn what to do at the same time. I was worried when I found out that the kid I was tutoring had been a challenge in the past. This turned out to be not such a big deal he was unfocused but he wasn’t out of control. The week before spring break most of the kids didn’t show up which meant that several of the tutors including myself didn’t have anything to do. We ended up testing out a game with the program director to see if it could be work into the structure of the program. I was a game from Africa that has been proven to help with memory. We played through the game several times and brainstormed how the game could be incorporated into the program. It was nice to be able to get to know the other tutors. The following week I once again was not tutoring but instead I worked the game desk. I was worried after not tutoring for several weeks to start again. The transition back was really easy the kids were the same as last time. This week there was a shortage of tutors and I ended up tutoring another kid, which was fine and it turned out to be nice end to the year.

May 8, 2008

blog 8

This group from section 3 dealt with reducing poverty. The group chose to investigate Haiti, which I felt was a very good choice because Haiti is one of the poorest counties in the world and has exhausted most of its limited natural resources. The group proposed that the people could grow a local plant which is high in natural oil which could be then used to make bio fuel. The group did a great job of researching the plant and found that it grows in rocky soil which would allow prime land to still be used for food production. I found this solution to be very worrisome. How much would it cost to convert the nation to bio fuel and the bigger problem is making sure the people don’t use the good land for production of this plant. As I understand it Haiti doesn’t have a strong enough government to enforce people from using land for this plant. As seem in other countries when a profitable crop is introduced most of the land is used for production of that crop. The group claimed that production of this crop would not lead to deforestation because no new land would need to be cleared, but if the plant proves to be profitable the people will clear more land to make more of a profit and then even more land for food will need to be cleared.

This honors presentation dealt with improving the lives of slum dwellers, and chose to focus on the Riverside Plaza here in Minneapolis. I liked that they were able to go and talk to residents of the building to see what their issues were rather than just investigating the buildings to find were improvements could be made. I feel that it is always necessary to keep the people you are helping involved. Most of the time they know were the most improvement is needed because they deal with it on a daily basis. If the improvements that they deem most important are made they may then see the other improvements that can be made and take it upon themselves to complete. The other important reason for keeping them involved is they are the ones being affected by the changes and they should be the ones involved with change.

April 3, 2008

blog 7

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March 13, 2008

blog 6

What I’ve found in my very brief survey of graphic design and presentation layout, there seems to be well designed used white space in various amounts but was almost always present. The white space seems to provide a place for the eye to rest so that the layout is not overwhelming. The white space also provided a space for the design to happen within rather than just covering the whole page.
cmyk mag.jpg
print mag.jpg
Print Mag.
The examples also show that the designers tend to favor cool or washed out color to use in large amounts making the design easy on the eye. The designers use bright colors for things that they want the eye to drawn to. The designs also do not completely fill their space making more white space or just another area for the eye to rest and to help balance out the design.
here is the bad example ther is no white space and completely fills the page
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I Am Bored
Good web site though

March 6, 2008

Blog 5

When I first saw this blog prompt I felt completely over whelmed. I just kept thinking how in the hell am I suppose to describe myself through frameworks and clockworks. I do see how frameworks, clockworks, phenomena, and oppositions are used to describe and help explain the world, but to describe me. I find it hard enough to accurately describe myself through means designed to aid in such work; in fact I often flat out try to avoid having to describe myself. I do what to make clear that I am not talking about expressing myself; if I was there could be some major problems for me as a designer. I find it very hard to think of how frameworks, clockworks, phenomena, and oppositions describe someone. They might be able to describe whoever designed or built the framework or clockwork, but I think that they really just hint at some think rather than describe a part of someone. The ones of us that don’t have any part in the design really are somewhat forced then to contend with it.
As I though more deeply about the prompt how the built environment supports or detracts who you are. As you might guess from my above rant I sided with the built environment detracting from who I am because I am forced to deal with what is built I get little if any say about how it will affect me. This I have to say made me rather depressed to think that as an architect I will be designing things that may express what I and the client what, but everyone else is just going to be limited by it. I kind of thought I might as well become a dictator somewhere and have full control, you go big or you go home.
I then began to think of how people are in a part described by where they are from, are, are going to, and that those places are described by what is built there in large part.
To quickly test this I went to Google images and searched a variety of places, and I got images of the built environment.
Search New York
Search Las Vegas
We use the built environment to describe a place and we use places to help describe us.
This thought made me feel better about being an architect, designing memorable buildings to help them describe a place. I realized that in reality that both of these are true, and thus I have stumbled into some sort of opposition of using the built environment to describe ourselves. The limitations of the built environment are many but every day we make decisions of how to use it to our advantage including how we describe ourselves. It describes us as a species that we choose the built environment over the natural one.

February 28, 2008

Blog 4

If I was free of Architecture school I would really like to do something like what Alvar Aalto did with his summer home. Just have a nice place to be and experiment with design. Recently I have been dreaming of how nice it would be to have a large plot of land in Alaska or somewhere just to try the ideas that pop into my head. I have the feeling that most architecture students would like to be able to just start building, and do whatever they want.
alvar aalto.jpg

There are some major problems with this though. One is the fact that most of us don’t have the financial backing to anything of a reasonable scale. The other is the fact that there would be no force driving the design other than whatever interests me, and good design needs constraints to work around and flourish. So I need to think of something else to devote my design drive.
This semester I am enrolled in a relief and screen printmaking class, which I have found that I truly enjoy. I like the idea that prints can be easily distributed to a large amount of people, art for the masses. I also enjoy the challenge of how to create an image when you are limited by what can be done with relief or screen. You have to think of alternatives to what is used in other art forms or how to adapt those techniques to use in print. I also like to think of how little do I need to portray in the print for the image to make the point I want to make.

Another possible avenue for creative interest is guitar. I have accepted the fact that I will never be a great guitar god just about from day one, but for whatever reason guitars interest me any way. I am very interested in guitar design and the creation of tone. I accept the fact that I am a gear junky. For a while when I saw a guitar I could not resist the urge to tell the nearest person the make, model, hardware facts, woods used, tonal characteristics, and so on. It just interests me all the little details that go toward sculpting a tone. I sometimes wonder why I’m going into architecture rather than guitar design.
Just as a quick personal bias Gibson beats Fender

February 21, 2008