April 24, 2008

Critique

I thought the group that presented had an interesting topic that they discussed.

The Cob houses and the freedom in the design to shape the structure however the owner feels best suits them was a great concept. Along with the natural insulation that the material provides was something eco friendly. Not only does it become the structure, the design, and the texture, but it takes another property of cooling and keeping warm the house.

The Green Roof idea was also interesting. To me it looks as if we were just pulling the grass that would normally be there up a few hundered feet as if the building was drawn out from the ground. Why not do this? Why does the top of the building need to look "pretty."

The presentation was very informative, but as I understand it. The class presentation was supose to be about why, we researched this, and what was interesting about this, and the slides were mainly for the TA to read and give the presentation structure.

As far as why they reasearched the topic they didn't give much infromation about the signifigence of the reseach to them. The group had good information but once again the presentation was supose to be WHY not WHAT (as far as I know). The layout of the slide should also have been talked about, why we chose this design border, and what the impact of our arangement had on the delivery of out concepts. The group seemed to discuss more about what was in the slide rather then what the impact of the slide is intended to have or the reason a layout was chosen.

I liked the layout. It was simple very easy to follow and had consistency threw the project. The purple border was repeated on each slide, and the text and image seemed to be balanced for what I remember. There was nothing that stuck out in my mind as why did they do that or it doesn't look right. So I personally feel it was appeasing to the eye. Although the map was a bit harder to read, but that was from a distance, anyone downloading the file on their computer I'm sure would do alright reading it. But aren't most maps are hard to read anyway.

During some of the presentations the said a lot of, "I think" or "If I recal." Suggesting maybe they didn't have all their sources together or they didn't have time to insert the sitations into the research. But once again I'm not sure on the rules for this project. Are we to site the source on the slide, create a foot note of the location of the source, or include a sitation page itself? So I can't falt them on something I'm unsure of myself.

Overall I think they had an exellent presentation, everyone was on key. Each student had his choice of topic, and all the topics related to one another. I believe the idea was building with a sustainable inviroment in mind, weather that be using natural products that would utilize every aspect of the resource instead of waisting the stalks that are used in the Cob homes. Or that be adding a touch of nature to the desinged enviroment by minimizing runnoff thue suplimenting green roofs.

April 1, 2008

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March 31, 2008

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March 6, 2008

Can't survive without my stuff...

I support the idea that the built environment effects who we are. There’s no way to get away from even the simplest objects used in our daily lives.
Cell Phone
I use my cell phone every day. I hate wearing watches and my phone takes care of that with the clock feature on it. Consider how weighted down you would be if you carried the other features such as a calculator, internet, calendar, iPod and more along with a phone. And if I’m waiting for an important call I don’t have to sit by the land line at home I can go take care of chores like getting the grocieries knowing that I can be reached on my cell phone. All these things that the cell phone can provide other than communication affect my life. Moving on to the communication part of the phone, I enjoy my families company, and enjoy talking to them. Because I am five hours away I am more inclined to travel on the weekend to go see them, but since I talk to them every other night if not each night I tend to stay home on instead of going to visit them.
Because I have a daily and weekly schedule I need to set alarms to make it to the events in my day. I use my phone for this purpose to set my morning alarm and reminders throughout the day. Every morning I get up at 6:00am and when I’m studying during the day I set a 10 min reminder before class starts. My day is completely predictable and I know my next week’s schedule to most extents. This creates part of the clockwork for my current lifestyle.
Car
I love my new Chrysler Sebring, (fully loaded) that’s right, CD, power windows, power locks, sunroof, leather and all. Do I need the leather or any of the other features? No, but they sure are nice. These things give me a sense of pride that I earned them and were able to obtain the luxuries offered. Every day I use my car for getting to school and other trips around town. I know what day about that I need to refill and what times to be on the road to beat traffic, establishing another form of clockwork in my day.
School
All the education so far and planed in the future is not just for fun nor am I trying to be the smartest person in the world. My education and attending the University of Minnesota is all in the belief that I will obtain a better career in the future. This influence is from society and my family this influencing their views onto me. The thing here is a belief that education will provide more opportunities.
My courses are planed out as well as the hundreds of architects before me. There is a list of classes that fits into the curriculum I am able to choose from. While there are a few free classes I can take they are “restricted choices.? “You need 3 math classes her choose from this list.? Ultimately I chose the major and the classes I want as long as the school offers the major and the class is within the confines of the profession. The framework is mostly laid out for me and I just fill in a few gaps. The rules say I need “X? many credits in Math, English, Fine Arts, etc. I must achieve these goals or I have wasted my time in school in my eyes.
TV
Not going to lie I envy those that have the monstrous fifty sum inch flat screen plasma TVs. My uncle just got a new one with a backlight option and it is suppose to make the TV image seem to surround the viewer as if he or she were there. For example if the image background is blue like the ocean, LEDs behind the tv cast a blue haze onto the wall behind creating the idea the picture is no longer confined to the tv but surrounding you. Kind of neat I know. Things like these interest me and make me eager to watch a movie with the new technology, as if the movie I know by heart is going to be different on the backlit tv as opposed to the old school tube tv.
Forget about the tv itself and think about the shows you watch. As for me I like action and love to watch the winter X-games. I don’t know for sure, but I don’t recall seeing ads for Butterball Turkeys, but rather I have seen Monster Energy Drinks ads. Or how about Kitchen Aid appliances, probably not to often. Now Burton’s new line of boards boots and bindings, ya those are more like it.

February 28, 2008

Vivid Pictures of Reefs

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Water Painting...

What would I do if released from the constraints of the architectural school?

I don’t know what I would do to be quite honest. Sometimes we get so cought up in a system or schedule that it seems to consume us. Before I got to doing anything important I would look up the soonest plain to Colorado or Montana grab my board and hit the slopes. Take a week off after the rigorous exams, paper deadlines and the many tasks that seem to compound our daily lives. Ya boarding is defiantly first on my mind!

But after a relaxing vacation I think it would be interesting to hit up the coast and do some marine biology activities. Educating the public about the ocean and the creatures that inhabit it. A cool project to get involved in would be creating artificial reefs to help replace those that are damaged or even destroyed. Somewhere like Australia’s Great Beerier Reef would be a neat place to get involved.

The process is really quite simple to do. Take damaged coral, attach it to a concrete structure raise it in a “farm? and transplant the whole thing in the ocean. All that’s left is to sit back and watch it grow, that and deal with the financing and government regulations that seem to get in the way of every architects project. The designing of the reef is an art form because of the many types of coral and the shapes that can influence the type of creatures that will inhabit the formation. (Source: www.bizjournals.com a Florida company that is involved in the reconstruction of the segments damaged in the Florida Keys.)

One way of creating the foundation is demonstrated in Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe.; getting in a preformed enclosure and mixing a series of concrete, sand, cinder blocks, shells and repeating several times. The sand washes away leaving a concrete layer cake that the animals can shelter in a giving the coral space to thrive.

Another way that while aiding the environment is also environmentally clean. They start by construction a steel structure and submerge it. Then next step is to attach a cable that will provide an electrical current. A current is provided by the raft that floats above equipped with solar panels to harness the suns rays. The current coats the steel structure with bio-rock, type of limestone, that as they say at www.globalcoral.org the coral can’t resist latching on to.

I think getting involved with the ocean would be fun since I’ve always loved the water. Being able to design something and chose how you want to leave your mark on the world would be an exciting experience, and a positive one too. Combining different features to influence the type of coral and using that as an instrument to paint your canvas, then sitting back and watch it grow would give a tremendous feeling of accomplishment.

February 20, 2008

Jamin Out.

Tunes I rock out to while carving up the powder on the slopes!!!
Artist / Album / Song Title
Puddle Of Mudd / Psycho
Orgy / Candy Ass / Blue Monday
Smile Empty Soul / Bottom of a bottle
Rob Zombie / Dragule
Korn / Follow the Leader / Freak on a leash
Drowning Pool / Let the bodies hit the floor
Limp Bizkit / Chocolate Star Fish / Rollin
Cold / Year of the Spider / Suffocate
Seether / Karma and Effect / Truth
Power Man 5000 / Toningt the Stars Revolt / When worlds Collide

Tunes I listen to that relax my agressive driving habits…
Artist / Album / Song Title
Citezen Cope / The Clarence Greenwood / Bullet and a target
Nirvana / Heart shaped box
Tom Petty / Last dance with Mary Jane
Grits / My life be like-Ooh Ahh
Red Hot Chilli Peppers / Scar tissue
Linkin Park / Minutes to Midnight / Shadow of the day
Ringside / Tired of being sorry
A Perfect Circle / Mer De Noms / 3 Libra's
Oasis / Bittersweet Symphony
Sether Feat. Amy Lee / The Punisher / Broken

Tunes I just like listening to with friends or around the house…
Artist / Album / Song Title
Chevelle / Wonder what's next / Closure
Gym Class Heroes / As Cruel as School Children / Close Off
Nirvana / Come as You are
Paramore / Riot! / Crush Crush Crush
Blur / Woo Hoo
Eiffel 65 / Blue
Eminem / The Eminem Show / Supper Man
Finger eleven / Them vs. Me vs. You / Paralyzer
Green Day / Nimrod / Time of your life
Jay-Z feat. Linkin Park / 99 Problems Remix

February 14, 2008

The Homeless

Coming from a much smaller city of Sioux Falls, I wasn’t use to seeing homeless people. But then I thought, why we should have to get used to it. It’s a staggering issue that needs to be addressed. One of the first homeless people I saw was here on campus. I didn’t recognize it at first, but then I noticed each morning when I got there early she had slept on the couch that night trying to beat the bitter cold. On one occasion I saw her snatch a morsel of food out of the garbage when she thought no one was looking and quickly stored it in her bag of items she keeps with her (probably all she owns is on her or in that bag.) It’s a gut wrenching feeling to see, and when I thought about it later I was overcome with sorrow for this dear woman. Homeless can be defined as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.? Why stop at this idea of “nighttime? residency, when we can do so much more. There are nationwide statistics that can be overwhelming, so let me narrow the perspective to the local Metropolitan area. In Hennepin County there is over 3000 people estimated to be living in these conditions. Each night there’s an expected 350 people forced to sleep on the streets because of overcrowding in shelters. If you’re wondering what type of people are typically homeless, let me say there is probably someone a lot like yourself. Homeless doesn’t care about race, age, or gender. There’s a wide spectrum of people in serious need of medical treatment, nutrition, and a decent night’s sleep. Most people think of drug abuse first when talking about the homeless, but there are other reasons as well. Some of those reasons being medical issues, financial hard times, or more recently natural disaster.

homeless1.jpg
Picture can be found by going to http://images.google.com/images?q=homeless+pictures.

Wondering how to help? There are many organizations established to help meet the most basic needs. But the plates don’t serve themselves and donations won’t get up and walk to the nearest shelter. That’s right it takes you! There are food shelters that provide some nutrition to those that would otherwise starve, and shelters that provide a nighttime bed to sleep in. Almost all places will accept donations, for they provide vital funding to continue their services. Whether that be non-perishable foods like canned vegetables (corn, beans, peas, etc.), canned fruits (peaches, pears, pineapple, etc.), or boxed goods like macaroni, crackers, and much more. Also commonly overlooked is deodorant and razors for men to shave with, or deodorant and other feminine products for women to use. Along with this short list, things such as toilet paper, toothpaste, and brushes are also very helpful. If it’s more convenient for you to make a cash donation, remember no amount is too small and every bit helps.
Most programs aim to aid the homeless from night to night, and provide a meal to give them some nutrition. I decide to take a look at a pilot project that actually gives these people their own apartment and assists them with the rent until they are able to find a job and get off on their own feet. The program calls for 45 million that will be invested over the next 3 years (that’s about 15 million a year). The investments to proceed will come from the city, state, federal, and private donations. The money is used to build a new community center that is able to determine what kind of help the individual needs (socially or mentally) and help those find a job to create a stable source of income. The money will also be used to find homeless people apartments to live in.
While most programs have a step program starting out in shelters every night, if there is room, and then working their way up through 3 to 4 levels before having independent living. The problem here is no real progress being made and the people resort back to their old ways and becoming repeat cases, not only are they homeless again but take up old tendencies like drug use. This new pilot program offers hope to these people and a chance to start over again. While this may seem drastic and radical, consider recent polls state that it would me more cost effective to eradicate homelessness then to simply maintain the status quo. This program not only helps the individual but the community as well. The idea is to provide workers to fill required jobs, while generating additional income used in our local economy. Having a home is a big boost of confidence in the individual and integrating them back into society is something this program offers that others do not. For all the skeptics out there, I want you to know a similar project in Boston NY has had great success and a single team in under a year so far was able to find homes for 90 singles adults that had been homeless for an average of 11 years prior. That’s 1 less homeless person every 4 days.
I feel as a citizen of this community we are all obligated to do our part. No matter how big or small there’s something for everyone to do. For those of us that are financially stable think of the satisfaction and joy it would bring knowing you helped someone less fortunate then yourself. Put yourself in their shoes many of them did not have a choice to become homeless. One doesn’t choose to get laid off or develop a Social and or Mental illness.

February 5, 2008

Phenomenology

I thought the idea of phenomenology was interesting, at first I didn’t want to think that in order for there to be a reason for a place we need to establish ourselves there. But as I made my last blog prompt I thought for a while. If we would have overlooked the scenery without the log cabin being there as a resort or retreat, then that clearly proves the idea. I found the picture passed around with the bridge in it and looked intensely at the bridge and more closely at how it was constructed, whether it is sloppy or well designed. I could not take my eyes off the bridge to enjoy the surroundings. I don’t know if this falls under some other category of architecture obsession or still in the realms of phenomenology, but I do know that I found the picture with human involvement to be more interesting.

February 4, 2008

Transfer of energy

I think the idea of energy being transferred is very hard to answer; it all depends on how we view the question. If we think of it like physics then all the buildings we construct are a flow of energy, because they require work to be done. And in order for work to be done there must be a force applied, and in any system there is never energy added or taken away just converted from one form to another. But if we think of energy as feelings we gather a wide range of perspectives. Take for instance building a log cabin in the forest. There is already the beauty of nature that gives a pleasant energy and the design of the cabin can be used as a retreat to the forest for a chance to see what most people would otherwise overlook, the view of the nature. As for a city think of an old fashioned tourist town were all the houses look similar, so the focus isn’t on the buildings themselves, but rather how well they incorporate into the idea of the surrounding. People love sightseeing and family vacations and these places offer a fun and interactive time to get out and take in our surroundings.

January 28, 2008

Newly created.

Ya just set up my account. Seeing how it works.