November 28, 2006

Technopolies

When reading Postman's ideas concerning technology, I could not help but disagree with his view that technology, whether visible or invisible is tearing our culture and society apart. I recently read a book by Thomas Friedman called The World is Flat.

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The main concept is that through technology our world is becoming more and more acessable to anyone, whether you are a large corporation in downtown Chicago, or a small business owner located down the street from me. Our society is run by technology, it is not something we should be scared of, but something we can utilize. Though new technologies may change things such as business practice, it forces one to change and adapt.

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The world wide web, or internet is one of the main driving forces behinde our technopoly- meaning that as a society, we rely on technology. With the internet, a tax attorney in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, is now connected directly to India. This may not seem relevent at first glance, however, it is generating more work and more profit for many attornies. WIth communication, and the ability to send information digitally, now the attorney in Minnesota can take on more clients because He/She can now send work to India and have people working on it while he is sleeping, and then have the work ready on his desk the next morning. This totally changes what was previously the model or program of a typical tax attorney. This overall concept is becoming better known as globalizaiton.

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Though controversial, I believe that through globalization, which is increasingly causing different countries, societies, companies, and people to rely on each other, we are advancing productivity and making life easier and more affordable. Globalization is happening, and the only way it is able to happen is through technology. To sum everything up; technology runs our society- which in turn is leveling off the playing field for the world as a whole and creating more opportunities for everyone to get involved at any scale.

November 7, 2006

Geometry in Architecture

When considering how mathmatical principles are expressed in architecture, I immediately thought back to geometry. One of the most famous, and also one of my favorite architectural masterpieces that expresses geometry is Notre Dame Cathedral.
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Geomtrical forms are clearly seen on the layout of the windows, in partiular the large round window that is at the center of this photograph. The whole building however, is a mathamatical masterpiece. The floor plan can be dissected into bays and their accompanying vaults within.

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The interior and exterior features, such as the flying buttresses are placed at intervals in a very sequential manner, both for needed support, calculated mathmatically, and also because this very analytical approach is very pleasing to the eye.

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October 24, 2006

Opposition

An opposition is any problem that may arise in our world. It may be an opposition between man and nature, matter and form, or it may be some type of design opposition. For the sake of this bolg, I will stick to a design opposition. An increasing opposition in the design field today, is how to make buildings more sustainable and energy efficient. The opposition is between man and nature, I feel. Our world only has so many natural resources and renewable sources of energy for us to use, and replacing these sources will take millions of years. Thus it has become a design opposition. There are many probable solutions, that range from new types of mechanical designs that save heat/elctricity/water and so forth. And also as far as design goes, there are different types of building materials that are being used, and new types of building design to allow for more efficient use of energy.

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In this day and age it is important that we as designers are consciencous of this opposition, however, as we look more and more into it, many solutions will be found,

October 11, 2006

Phenomena

In 1989 television sets across the United States tuned into what was soon to become one of the longest running animated cartoons to date. This show, which I believe is a phenomena, is The Simpsons. For almost twenty years now this light-hearted and comical show has remained as a viewer favorite, and still every Sunday a new episode is broadcast. The aspect that I feel makes this a phenomena is that every week night the reruns of the show get two spots during prime time, and always have high amounts of people watching them.
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The things that are involved in this phenomena are people watching this show, and the show itself. The framework that is invloved is the actual viewing, the interaction between the person watching and the show itself. The clockwork is two things, it is the new episodes that come out weekly, and it is also the week night broadcast. Though I rarely get time to watch, when I do I can always be assured to get a good laugh.
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October 2, 2006

Genus Loci

As I pull into the parking lot at Lifetime Fitness in Eagan, Minnesota, my heart begins to race and every worry or thought about the day is out of sight, out of mind. For me, at the end of a long day at school or work- at GNC -nothing is more fulfilling then going to the gym and working out. I love the feeling of being sore after a workout, or the day after- this means that I did my job in the gym. Lifetime is a place where I can relieve stress and is one of the most favorite parts of my day.

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One of the main reasons I am able to get so pumped up for my workouts is because of where I lift. Lifetime illuminates the skyline, especially at night- it is a beacon of hope in an un-fit and unhealthy America. The large two story building houses basketball courts, a pool and locker rooms on the first floor and a large cardio and weight room on the second floor. I spend all my time on the second floor, and most of my time up there is spent in the free weight section. One reason I like it there is because of how well kept it is- nothing is run down, the machines and dumbbells are all relatively new, and are always clean- as is the floor. The lighting is very bright, and the ceillings are high- I think they are 12 foot -which gives the feeling of being in a larger space, which is good when there are a lot of people working out. Along one wall of the free weight section is a dumbbell rack.

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Benches, squat racks and other machines fill the rest of the space, and mirrors run around every wall in both the free weight section and the weight machine section. There is also never a dull moment for me- if I go at the right time I can be assured that I will know at least one person there to talk to, lift with, or spot me if needed.
Upon entering my freshman year at the U of M I decided to join Lifetime because I was tired of lifting at the local YMCA, and lets face it even though we go to one of the largest Universities in the US, they haven't updated the equipment in the rec center since my Dad went to school here. SInce then the sights, sounds and most of all, gruelling workouts at Lifetime have come to be the culmination of my day. Being in shape and working out has become more then just going to the gym a few times a week- it has become a lifestyle for me, and Lifetime Fitness represents my lifestyle, and much of who I am.

September 24, 2006

Butts

When I was pondering a social design issue that is in my community I immediately started thinking about the environment. I am not sure if this is for sure a social design issue, but I do believe it is a large problem that can be found throughout the country. At almost every intersection, especially those with stop lights, I stop and look to see the very familiar sight of hundreds of cig butts scattered in the nice green grass/pavement. I am wondering if there is any solution to this problem that could be sloved through design- since obviously law enforcement does not seem to deter those who wish to litter. Is there some type of canister or something that could be found at every intersection, or something that is convenient to collect cig butts so that our intersections look cleaner? I am still thinking and will post if I have any new thoughts on the issue.

September 17, 2006

Midtown Market

Energy is motion. Whether it is sound, light, color or actual movement all are experienced at the Midtown Market located on 22 St. South and East Lake St. in Minneapolis. The myriad of cultures that are present at the market each have their own booth proudly displaying their goods. As I entered I was bombarded with color from all the booths, but even more I was greeted by the bustling sounds of people interacting with one another. Many of the conversations I did not even understand because the language was foreign to me, however, the general energy of every conversation blended together as if it were background music for the market. Not only is energy visible, it is created by the people there, for had the room been empty the kinetic energy would have been obsolete. Energy is motion.