May 1, 2008

Blog Prompt 9 Response

Blog Prompt 9 response- Sara and Christa- Goal 4 reduce child mortality

• Start with video
o Nice images and quotes
o Millennium Development Goal 4
• Most deaths are preventable
• 1354 children will die during this class
• Sierra Leone
o Worst child mortality rating in the world
o Western Africa- 20 dif ethnic groups
o Farming, diamonds, gold
o Poorly managed, weak infrastructure
o Government corruption and diamond industry led to civil war- RUF
o Amputated extremities to eliminate number of useful soldiers
o Kidnapped children to raise them as soldiers
o Slowly improving, though large steps need to be taken
o 270/1000 children under 5 will die- 6.5 children per woman
o Little sanitation
o Causes of child mortality
• Malnutrition, no sanitation, no healthcare etc
o Solutions
• Improve newborn care
• Distribution of supplements
• Immunization
• Mosquito nets
o UNICEF example
o Action Against Hunger
o Feed my Starving Children- Minnesota
o Nothing but Nets- internet business- play the game!
o Push widespread action

I think this group put together a nice presentation, the video was a fantastic touch, however, I am not sure they pushed the envelope with their solution. They stated good solutions and pointed out good organizations to follow, however they did not propose much that would elevate the rate of improvement towards the resolution of this problem. Granted, the solutions are widely known, and they pointed out that the problem comes in the execution, but they did not point out a way to eradicate this problem. Really, for every Millennium Development Goal a solution is pre-existing, but the idea behind this assignment, in my opinion was to think the problem from a slightly new perspective.

Blog Prompt 8 Response

Response to Goal 7- Angie, Anthony, Laura- Honors presentation

Presentation Points
• Bring environmental sustainability to Minneapolis slums
• Increased need for low income housing
o Lack of development projects, no one wants proposed low income housing nearby, redevelopment projects
o If left unsolved
• Overcrowding etc
• Natural environment in crisis
o 30% of species have been lost
o Current design practices work against sustainability, mainly due to materials used and emissions
o Propositions
• Replacement materials
• Go green
• Lower energy cost, increase well being of occupants, reduce footprint
• Ex of successes
o Federal Reserve Bank Minneapolis
o S.C. Johnson Company Headquarters
o Near North Apartments, Chicago
• Drainwater system, huge water savings
o Traugott Terrace Apartments
• Natural lighting, water conserved etc
• Water conservation
• Lower energy cost
• Renovate low income housing units to increase sustainability
• Riverside Plaza- low income housing
1. Install water re-use systems
2. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs
3. Install vertical recycling chutes
4. Replace windows with high efficiency triple paned glass
5. Replace deteriorating colored panels with new wood panels
6. Paint dirty concrete to white
7. Utilize passive-solar energy
8. Apply energy star roof systems to reduce solar absorption
9. Install energy star appliances
10. Replace old HVAC system with energy star certified system
11. KONE elevators with gearless traction- use less energy

Above is the outline of the notes I took during the honors presentation, presented by Angie, Anthony and Laura, pertaining to goal 7- to Ensure environmental sustainability. They chose to focus on creating sustainable living for low income housing, particularly the Riverside Plaza in Minneapolis.
I responded very well to this presentation as it was very specific in what they were trying to achieve. I think they thought through the problem in front of them and developed a reasonable, attainable and coveted response. The found a need and filled it. I appreciate their choice and I think it was noble to point out that the problems that need to be addressed are occurring in our own back yard.
I guess I have a skewed perception of this particular goal as it is the same one I chose for my presentation. However, I am going to suggest the same thing that was suggested to me by my TA: Perhaps a few suggestions of more proactive solutions as opposed to reactive solutions. This, in fact, is exactly what was suggested to me by Jeff, however, I found it to be very helpful and eye opening. The problem really isn’t in the products we buy, or the ways they are produced, the problem is in the lifestyle choices and societal norms of today. Why can’t we be more open to using less technology on a day to day basis and living a more simplified existence in order to save the environment we live in for future generations? It is a bug question, and not easily tackled, but if simplicity is preached from the beginning in children’s lives, the solution could grow. A lofty solution, yes, but the only true one. Rather than combating ourselves, our habits, with new technologies and solutions, why not change ourselves? Even the slightest change could make a difference.

March 30, 2008

Title Page Designs- Blog Prompt 7

I have created three title page designs, however, because our project will potentially be presented with a pamphlet which leads to our web page, I designed accordingly. The first image is from our rough draft of the pamphlet. It is used as the first page. The second two images are designs of the introduction page to our website. The menu options are listed and each will lead to a different part of the website. These are al preliminary, as we have not even attempted making the web page yet.

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March 10, 2008

Graphically Pleasing Design Examples- Blog Response 6

This past Wednesday our group decided to do a two-fold project. The first portion being a pamphlet which leads the reader to the second portion: a Webpage or, at the very least, a blog page. This weekend it was my duty to do a mockup of our pamphlet. I was looking around online, especially at the cites Ozayr mentioned, and I did find a few interesting and inspirational graphics. I made a compilation of the ones I got the most from below.
The first I found on the first page I went to which was the CMYK Magazine website. I really liked the repetition of figures (figure one), which I know I have seen before, but for some reason it just jumped out at me on this cover. For our pamphlet I decided to try out a similar graphic. Our topic being environmental sustainability, the globe seemed to be fitting. Figure two shows my attempt. I don’t have photoshop or anything similar, so I was forced to do it all painstakingly on powerpoint, but once I got started I found it incredibly addictive.
The next thing I found online was actually not entirely related to sustainability or presentation, I just thought it was an interesting article. I stumbled upon it while I was surfing through the Print Magazine website. It was an article about Google Earth and YouTube and their possible assistance in the termination of genocide. See the link here, For me it just brought to focus how powerful the internet can be. I realize it is a long shot for Google Earth to end mass killing of innocent people, but it can easily raise awareness. I, for one, am a Google Earth/ YouTube addict and I can think of no better way of raising awareness than to put signs in all the common areas. It is advertising, but for change.
The third image below is one I found on the intro to I think it is a very compelling advertisement. Both simple and effective. Side note: (Try to read this) Did you konw taht if you wirte a wrod wtih the frsit and lsat lteters in the smae pacle and all the mdlide lteetrs jmubled it is msot lekily sitll lgbelie? Did you get it?
The fourth image is one I found on the Print magazine web site as well. The only reason I chose it is because I thought it looked very professional with the tone on tone style. I would like to carry this into our project. It sometimes seems as though too much color creates a distraction from the graphics and the content.
The fifth image is really just a representation of the simple style that I think speaks so well in professional format. It exudes organization, professionalism and even confidence. It is as if the designers knew that was enough to get them noticed and anything else would be overkill: confidence.
The sixth and final image in the group is just an example of a very well organized website. It is all in a grid pattern and very easy to follow. It is very professional, though it seems relatively effortlessly so.

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March 4, 2008

Oh, It's What You Do To Me- Blog Prompt 5

The Built Environment enables me, molds me, frustrates me, comforts me, guides me, inspires me, intrigues me, and repulses me, among other things.
Built effects.png

The Built Environment allows me to develop opinions and taste, likes and dislikes.

You may be wondering about my choices of images for my terms above, but your wonderment completely proves my point. The built environment does all those things for ME. I mean, it does them for you too, but most likely with different examples. I tried to stay local with the examples until the last frame: “Repulses?- simply because I was reminded of this building earlier this week and I had to include it.

For me, the first step in deciding what effect the built environment has on me is outlining what, exactly, the built environment entails. To serve my purpose, I am including human organizations and programs in the “built environment,? not just buildings, for without human interference with the environment, much of what happens daily for us, would not normally occur.

This may seem contrived, but really the built environment develops its own frameworks and clockworks, separate from the natural interaction of life. For example, it creates its own hours of daytime. People rise at regular hours but do not need to follow the schedule of the sun after it falls. Ozayr spoke about this in class today. Work is not done with the setting of the sun, though it probably should be (mostly because I love to sleep). Another example is that a new schedule is created with the built environment. If you have ever sat outside on a day when you don’t have class, you would likely have noticed traffic patterns, i.e. an increase in people (and therefore collisions) in between classes, or a larger number of people heading toward Coffman during lunch hours etc. These clockworks go without fail, except of course the weekends, which really are a clockwork within themselves, i.e. the number of people waiting at the bus stop to go into the city significantly increase around 10:30 at night. Believe you me, I have experienced it. I guess even these simple patterns can be considered phenomena. They have beginnings, time frames, reasons, boundary conditions etc. Basically, our lives are led by our built environment and the frameworks, clockworks, and phenomena that result from them.

In a sort of twisted sense, the 6 oppositions are met on a daily basis in our lives, well mine at the least.
1. Man vs. Nature- Simple: I was not made to go 8 hours without lunch two days a week. No exaggeration: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9-4 without a break.
2. Climate and Enclosure- Due to the frigid temperatures, all of my walks have been shortened by at least 3 minutes because I want to get indoors faster.
3. Gravity vs. Movement- When I go for runs, hills suck. Case and point.
4. Permanence and Entropy- Is what I learn in lectures really going to stay with me forever, or is it temporary? (Permanent of course, Ozayr… but for the sake of argument)
5. Mass and Form- I would like think I represent the “form? end of this one. I mean who wants to be compared to a sumo wrestler?
6. Material and Tool- My drawing class in a nutshell. What paper? Charcoal or pencil? Do I even have talent? (ummm yes!? Wow now I feel bad)

On a more scholarly note, though, the oppositions completely effect the built environment. I think some of the oppositions are more prominently represented. For example the effects of the opposition of permanence versus entropy can be seen on virtually any building you pass. I live in Comstock Hall and the styles, furnishings and appliances are all out of date, though probably not more than 20 years old. We had a toilet overflow earlier this year and flood our entire hallway. It was great… Another prominent opposition, in my opinion, is man versus nature. Nearly everything we have built in the cities is in opposition to nature, or at least without ever really considering the natural life around it. Yes, there are parks and the river, but the parks are unnatural and the river is tampered with daily. We detach ourselves from nature because it is inconvenient. Similarly, the opposition of climate and enclosure is simply for convenience and comfort. I know it sounds like I am being anti-development right now, but if we could just be more aware of our surroundings and careful with our impact on the land we could greatly decrease the amount of environmental issues we have today. (Which, of course, relates to my term project issue of sustainability.)

Also I really enjoyed making the image above so I thought of a few more verbs that I associate with the built environment, though these are more focused on places anywhere in the world. I think it is a nice close to this lovely blog.
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February 26, 2008

School, Forever- Blog Prompt 4

I feel like the best way for me to address this particular blog prompt is by outlining how I would live my life if money, school constraints and time (or age rather) were no issue. I must say, however, even if schooling were not required to gain a high level career I would still go to school. I enjoy learning and I think I would at least need a mentor or internship of some kind. I would, however, address school differently. I would love to simultaneously combine field work and taking on information. I would take myself out of the classroom and do studies.
I recently looked into doing a UROP project with Ann Ziebarth of the Housing Studies department. When I met with her she explained the projects she had been working on and was hoping to be able to work on further. Obviously, they addressed housing issues, most in and around the Twin Cities, though one was comparing senior citizen livability in St. Paul to that of Vancouver. The one that interested me most was a survey study she wanted to conduct on the Hispanic migrant working population in South Minneapolis. They need housing and designing adequate, cheap, sensible housing for their population has proved quite the project. Here is a link to an article that interviewed a typical migrant family in the canning industry in south Minneapolis: This and other projects she explained would be things that I would work on were I “released.? It would essentially be UROP expanded.
I have a growing interest in difference in cultures and styles. I went to the Cultural Celebration put on by an academic fraternity in the Great Hall this past Friday night. I’m not going to lie, we mostly went for the free food, but we found out that there were going to be cultural dances and music on stage. We stayed and it was VERY cool. I really enjoyed myself. So, on top of doing studies here, I would travel EVERYWHERE (remember I made money issues disappear). I would love to focus on African development and Spanish historical architecture. I would volunteer my time. I would participate in rebuild projects such as the one in Biloxi as well. Side note- this weekend I met a senior in the BS of Architecture program who went to Biloxi and I am incredibly jealous. Also he didn’t seem very stressed at the time, which is good. I always figured that later on in my architecture education I would loose the privilege of relaxation.
While I travel, I would take deep interest in the country’s style of architecture, but not only that, I would study their culture, their city design and layout, their history, their lifestyles and their countryside. I would stay with locals, do what they do, eat what they eat (to a point…), and listen to what they have to say. I would go backpacking in places like Chile, Russia, Brazil, Spain and many more. I would spend the moajority of my time in rural areas to gain knowledge of culture and the true lifestyles of the area. (also I love nature, see picture at bottom) Basically I would spend my time gathering information, comparing cultures and coming up with project ideas, which I would then execute. If a small town had a need for a building I would work under more experienced architects to construct them. I would learn from them, then I would eventually be able to build my own. I would do volunteer work for my whole life if I could. The best job satisfaction comes from volunteer work.Alvaro Siza.png Peter Zumthor.png n804645250_2420073_5602.jpg
I would also like to find a way meet all the greats. I would study them, visit their best buildings and try to meet with them personally. As Leslie VanDuzer said last semester, I will get in “by any means necessary.? Yikes… but really, I would. Greats like Louis Kahn, ?lvaro Siza Vieira, Peter Zumthor, Sol LeWitt (though he died last year, I would find a way to learn from him), Bruce Mau, etc, I would seek them all out. I would just sit and listen, if they allowed. (I was going to say that Ozayr looked like Siza to get the "blog of the week" but I thought he might get mad.)
In short, if I were allowed to leave the constraints of architecture school behind, I would spend all my time learning… not a big stretch I guess. Really the only constraint prohibiting me from doing this is money. Always... The only way I can think of to design a place to enable all that I want to do would be to encapsulate the world? Not really possible I guess.
(Also I would probably toss a quick sail around the world in there, just for good measure. I want to be this guy:

February 17, 2008

Cultural Effects on Personal Views- Blog Prompt 3

Let me start by saying that placing these goals in a personal order was REALLY hard, and kind of made me feel bad about being able to place some of the things at the end. It was very difficult.

My First Goal Choice:
Ensure Environmental Sustainability

I am a self-proclaimed tree hugger. The environment is my thing, my obsession. This blog assignment is really exciting for me because I love searching for new, and old, inspirational songs, pictures, videos etc. To jump right in I am going to start with my list of songs that inspire my passion for this particular issue. (in no particular order)

1) “Because? The Beatles- Though this song makes no clear statement of environmental meaning, it always makes me want to go lay in a field and become one with nature. It’s rendition in the recent flick “Across the Universe? played to my love of this song, as it was sung by the characters while laying a field. Perfection. (plus I love The Beatles)
2) “Clear Blue Skies? Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young- This group of fine gentlemen is a love of my mother’s and their music has been played in my home since birth. The lyrics of this particular song fit perfectly with an environmental theme. For example, “Clear blue skies, not too much to ask for, they were here before we came, will they be here when we're gone?? It forces us to focus on the future. Those hippies know what they’re talking about. This song was written 20 years ago and still very little has changed for the better.
3) “The Golden Age? Beck- Though, again, not an in-your-face message to save the environment it just makes me think of the powers of nature, how special it is, and its importance. It’s a great song.
4) “The 3 R’s? Jack Johnson- Pretty clear I think. Here are some lyrics if you aren’t familiar with the song: “And if you've got to make some trash, don't throw it out, recycle, we've got to learn to recycle, we've got to learn to reduce, reuse, recycle.?
5) “Big Yellow Taxi? Joni Mitchell (and yes it is a Joni Mitchell original, not Bob Dylan, as my friend claimed)- I’ve always loved the familiarity of this song to many people. Most people have lived in, or at least near, areas that have been subject to unwanted development that is insensitive to the area. This song really works for cessation of over-development. Save the trees!

President Bush's views on the environment?
"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."

Okay images…
I love political cartoons, here is a good’n...

I borrowed "An Inconvenient Truth" by Al Gore (the book form) to check out some of the information and images in the book. I bookmarked a few interesting, though disturbing, pages as I was flipping through. Here are some of the images I gathered...

This image shows the United States' contribution to Global Warming, while all of Europe combined contributes 27.7% and Africa only contributes 2.5%.

This is an image of the diminishing appearance of Lake Chad. 40 years ago it was the size of Lake Erie, but now it has shrunk to about one twentieth of its original size creating a desperate situation in areas like Darfur.

This image depicts the melting of the Larson-B Ice Shelf. This transformation occurred within less than a year.

One of the more interesting facts I found in the book was this: "Flooding in Asia has increased dramatically. IN July 2005, Mumbai, India, received 37 inches of rain in 24 hours... Water levels reached 7 feet. The death toll in western India reached 1000." This and many more facts about crazy weather incidences, such as there being so many hurricanes in 2005 that they had to use the Greek alphabet for the naming of them for the first time ever, that the often rejected theory of Global Warming seems to have to be fact.

I just found this video on youtube and thought it showed the huge focus of our generation on environmental issues.

On a more serious note, I think this video is very well done, and presents some valid points.

In closing, I have an interesting quote from "An Inconvenient Truth":
"The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences." -Winston Churchill, 1936

My Second Goal Choice:
Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger

In high school I was a member of “Arrowhead Against Extreme Poverty? (Arrowhead was my high school). I helped put on events to raise money for local hunger fighting organizations. The posters we put together to influence people were very moving and since then I have always had a passion for the fight.

Influential Songs:
1) “Richard Cory? Simon & Garfunkel- This is a story that illustrates the organization of many working lives. I love the oldies, and this one is great.
2) “If There’s a God in Heaven (What’s He Waiting For)? Elton John- A great description of the painful events that happen to those living in poverty every day.

3) “God Save Us All? Lenny Kravitz- This is a rather desperate cry for help, though very well done. With lyrics like “There’s too much poverty, sickness, There’s pain and strife, why aren’t we trying to improve this thing called life??

When I went to youtube to look for videos on extreme hunger, I knew there would be a plethora. The most prevalent were from the One foundation to end extreme poverty. The videos are highly viewed and appear on television regularly. Here is an example:

Images of extreme poverty and hunger are always disturbing and moving. There has been no one single image that has affected my feelings towards extreme poverty and hunger, but rather the accumulation of all the images we see over time. They should be forever engraved in our minds.

The most moving quotes regarding hunger and poverty, for me, come from the mouths of those personally suffering from poverty. It is not the commercials begging you to send money and save the lives of the kids they have standing in the background, who are probably only crying because a scary man shoved his huge camera into their face. It is the personal interviews with these people that really get me.

I joined "One: The Campaign to Make Poverty History" and you can too. Invite your friends. Here is the letter you can send out:

Subject: Join me in fighting poverty!


I've just signed the ONE Declaration committing myself to help fight the emergency of global AIDS and extreme poverty.

I'm asking you to make that commitment, too, by adding your voice.

I think your name belongs on that declaration, too. You can put it there by visiting:

ONE is a new effort by Americans to rally Americans - one by one. So far, over two million have signed the declaration in support of a historic pact for compassion and justice to help the poorest people of the world.

Together as ONE we can make a difference!


My Third Goal Choice, though not required, it is very important to me:
Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

My song choices for this Goal are quite different than the others, rather than the songs being on my side, I chose songs that are the distinct opposite of empowering women. For example:
1) “Livin’ it Up? Ja Rule- I could NOT believe what I was reading when I saw the lyrics to this song, I don’t feel it is kosher to put the lyrics on this blog. Look it up yourself if you feel the need. It is terrible.
2) “Fuck Dat Bitch? 50 Cent- Or any other song by Mr. Fiddy. I’m not a fan.
There are many other examples, and by no means are these two artists the only guilty ones. I realize that this part of culture now, but really? Women fought so long for equality and I feel it slipping away, even in this our “great country.?

More serious issues of the inequality of women occurs outside of the United States, however. I recently went to see the “Vagina Monologues? put on by MPIRG on campus where all the proceeds went to aid women escaping prostitution. They also addressed the issue of Female Genital Mutilation which occurs in many traditions to preserve the virginity of women before marriage. The castration occurs around the age of 5 on all girls in the community. Should they refuse it, their family will be shamed forever.

Very powerful…
Similarly, tradition stands in the way of the progression of women in Iraq, Afghanistan and many other countries. When looking into Iraqi women’s issues I found out about a woman who is one of the six women in an Iraqi governmental position. She and her family had to go into hiding and her children haven’t left their new compound in five months for fear of what might happen to them. She said “It’s not very happy what we have seen in the last two years, hundreds of women kidnapped, trafficked and the rest of the millions are being oppressed and pushed back into the houses…? She was photographed burning her veil and is now on the top of the hit lists for many Islamic groups. They want to stop her radical views.
Again, in Afghanistan similar issues arrive. Afghani women struggle to get education, where it is viewed that if they are educated they will lose interest in keeping a proper household. I was looking for images and came across, which stands for “Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan.? The photos on this sight are beyond disturbing and I had a hard time choosing any that I felt comfortable posting on my blog. Here are a few:


Gore, Al. An Inconvenient Truth. Emmaus: Rodale, 2006.

"Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)." RAWA. 17 Feb. 2008. 17 Feb. 2008 .

"The Campaign to Make Poverty History." One. 17 Feb. 2008. 17 Feb. 2008 .

Youtube. 17 Feb. 2007. 17 Feb. 2008 .

February 12, 2008

Ahhh, the French- Blog Prompt 2

Let me preface this by saying that I love the Twin Cities, Minneapolis in particular and I would never ever wish harm on them… but I do have some issues. Ok so here’s the dish that I have with Minneapolis: Would it really be that difficult to have the streets running North, South, East and West? Really? Every time I go into Minneapolis I get completely thrown off, and honestly, ask anybody I have traveled with, I have a damn good sense of direction. It takes a lot to throw me off. I am a sailor (in case you didn’t catch that from the blog title) and I have been in the middle of some pretty big, unfamiliar, lakes with little indication on the distant shorelines of placement in the water and I have gotten back without an issue every time. So for real, I’m awesome when it comes to direction. So somebody messed up.

I just looked up the history of Minneapolis and though the Dakota Sioux were its original inhabitants, the French arrived sometime around 1680. I bet they set up the original street system, that would explain a lot. I even looked up the invention date of the first compass, technically around 1300 but it has prehistoric linkage, so that is no excuse. I understand that the streets run along the river, but no river in the world runs perfectly N-S at all points. My solution? Check out my drawing.normal city.jpg See, I am even open to having a street that runs along the river, in fact, it might be a nice addition to the city. Kind of glamorizes the river. I might even be open to having a diagonal road or two to add some spice to it, you know? Radical huh? But honestly, it would make a lot of people’s lives a lot easier.

Along with the topsy turvy streets comes the problem of street naming, you can’t do the whole North 4th St. thing when you have totally skewed how north and south work. Don’t lie, and don’t cheat, especially when it makes my life more difficult. If you (I am speaking to Minneapolis of course) want to have streets without a clear sense of direction you’re going to have to face the consequences. Then again, putting “south-east-ish? onto a street sign may not be entirely professional. The funny thing is more than half of the city has got the north south thing down. The actual “downtown? part of the city, though, is totally askew! The overall nomenclature of the city is really weird. For instance, Uptown is actually very close the being straight west of downtown. Who wouldn’t assume it was north?
Snapshot 2008-02-11 22-25-16.tiff
And what would a problematic street system be without a problematic busing system? Admittedly, public transportation is awesome, coming from a small town it is something I could have never imagined. But for the sake of the inexperienced out of towners, could we make it a little easier to understand, and perhaps a bit more new/infrequent user friendly? Slightly more descriptive route explanations would be beneficial. The internet is a wonderful thing but it does not do one the courtesy of stating ALL the essential information. Sure it gives you the bus number and the street corner. Here’s the deal: every city corner has at least two bus stops on it. If not two, there are four! WHICH BUS STOP? And for that matter, which direction, which brings me back to the nomenclature. Uptown- not actually up. Downtown- not actually down. North Minneapolis- askew. Come on now….

This may not seem to be a social design issue, but it certainly is not welcoming to social activity. Okay, the city itself is very welcoming, and I love it. Perhaps the word I am searching for is conducive. It is not conducive to social activity. It took me ages to get even slightly comfortable with the tilted streets, and I am still not entirely knowledgeable about them. But, as my brother says, any flaw of any kind just give people and things character. Maybe the streets are this perfect city’s one flaw, and, therefore, its character.

Though I know this problem cannot be fixed without ripping down and tearing up every building and street in downtown Minneapolis, I think system could be developed to aid travelers. For instance, a periodic pole with arrows pointing to general areas in the city "Uptown ->" "North Minneapolis ->" Or even a compass rose every so often just to help people get their bearings. It could be designed nicely to be rather decorative. The signs could bring an old world feel to some ultra modern city corners. They could mirror the decorative signs already in place in places like Nicollet Mall and be a connecting "design string" through the city. I am not suggesting a huge project here Minneapolis, and yet it would make a HUGE difference. Think on it.

February 3, 2008

Using Goldsworthy's Theory of Flow- Blog Prompt 1

Upon looking into some of the statements Andy Goldsworthy has made, his obvious focus is always the social and interactive aspect of nature in its purity and simplicity. One of the most powerful statements, in regards to the architecture of buildings versus nature, is from an article in April of 2007 in Time Magazine. Goldsworthy stated, "...a building no matter how beautiful is a dead space compared to the outside, and it takes whereas ephemeral work gives." This statement describes a particular form of architecture which is contructed with complete awareness of its surroundings, which should include the community, the physical form of the land around it, and the overall effect the construction will have on the surrounding area. Though this extrapolation of Goldsworthy's quote may seem to be a stretch in order to serve my own point, the overall effect of it serves to Goldsworthy's point. It is not the contruction that makes a building or an environment, but the interaction it has with it's city. For exmaple, though the relatively new Minneapolis Public Library designed by Cesar Pelli is built breathtakingly inside, the imprint it leaves on the community is outside of the building along with its interactivity with the community. The cantilevering projects the buildings presence and yet it melds itself with the spectacular scene that is Nicollet Mall. Additionally, the traffic of the public around and into the building is what really makes it flow with the city. (see photo)
Goldsworthy also stresses his knkowledge of the history and of the energy given by the land. In his home town near Yorkshire, he feels the effect the farms have had on the environment. The "secondary woods" are signs of the previous fields that once covered the hillsides. When planning the future buildings and layouts the energy of an area is always evaluated. For instance "charm," as portrayed in the historic riverfront in Minneapolis, is achieved in maintaining a true, though admittedly cheesy, stance on the past use of the area, while power and intimidation is emitted from the skyscrapers of
the Minneapolis skyline.

Another form of energy to be considered in cities, towns, plazas, or any place with a special name that just means it has been developed on, is th literal use of energy in daily life. Now more than ever before our society is turning to environmentally friendly alternatives to our generally wasteful lifestyles. HPIM0490.JPGI went to see Barack Obama speak on Saturday at the Taret Center and one of the more loudly cheered for campaign plans was a focus on bettering our rapidly depleting natural resources and our plummeting environmental status. Obama challenged the next generation to donate their time to service in order to facilitate the improvement of our society and environment. Already, our generation has demonstrated a greater amount of community service and volunteer hours than most, if not all, past generations. Whether this increase in desire for service comes from the ridiculously skyrocketing standards of University Admissions offices, or an honest desire to help out and chip in doesn't matter. The point is we have a chance to change the world.

Now that I have completely deviated from the orignal question, I will return to address the final point Goldsworthy works toward in his pieces: Transformation. The basis of all Goldsworthy's pieces is to transform seemingly useless and mundane objects found throughout nature to create powerful, unexpected and original works of art. Similarly, architecture takes dilapidated buildings or even areas of cities and reconstructs them to invite new traffic and use. Katrina and Goldsworthy.pngArchitects can transform forgotten corners of cities into new attractions such as Bayshore Mall near Milwaukee which tranformed a rarely traveled to place into one of the more highly frequented locations in the area. One of the newest transformations occuring throughout the field of architecture along with many cities, especially those affected by the hurricane in the south, is an emphasis on creating buildings from reused resources inexpensively: a transformation in need of a green thumb.

In conclusion, I should say that I love Goldsworthy's work. Ever since we learned about him in my Freshman seminar, "Art in the Mix and Making," last semester he has really excited me and inspired me a lot. Also, I would just like to mention, I know the Obama picture isn't of great quality, but I took that picture myself. Yes I was there... jealous?