Energy, Flow, and Transformation Through the City
What do you think of when the word energy comes up? Is it a literal meaning, like the power lines that line the streets, or is it more of a symbol for something else that occurs in the city? There are different ways that energy can be seen or interpreted. When I was thinking about energy, I thought about it in different ways. There is that literal meaning, with power lines, or there are other ways of seeing energy that have nothing to do with a physical presence of power. One thing that came to mind for me was an energy brought about by the people of a city. When you are in a crowd of people or an area where a lot of people are present, you can feel a sense of energy from that place. It would be a much different feeling if you were in a deserted town, or out in an uninhabited area. There also seems to be a sense of flow throughout the city.
When I look at my area of residence, The University of Minnesota in the city of Minneapolis, I see an area that is controlled and dominated by flow. The flow of buses, cars, trains, even students walking down the sidewalks to class. There are different types of flow that occur around my every day life. The majority of flow that I see is what I like to consider a constricted flow. This type is something that really controls where people move, like being corralled and moved through a certain path. Whether it is riding a city bus or walking down a sidewalk, we are told where we are to move, and usually we stay on those pre-determined paths. Rarely in the city is there a place of true free flow, where a person has complete control over the decisions of where they move. Even on campus, in the Mall Area, there are walkways that cross between the large grass areas between the different buildings. Even though there is no fence keeping people on these paths, most people stay on them. It is this type of controlled flow that I see everyday.
When I thought of transformation in a city, I thought of a literal meaning. The transformation of a building or object that is different from the original. One building that came to my mind was the Mill City Museum, Which is located inside the Washburn A Mill on the Mississippi River right beneath St. Anthony Falls. The original mill was built in 1880, but over time it has crumbled. Instead of tearing down this historic building, a museum was built inside of the crumbled walls. This includes a large glass facade that faces the Mississippi River, and is located inside the original walls of the mill. Every time I see this building, I look at the transformation that has been made, and how that transformation has made the original building look even better. The glass facade inside the crumbled walls make this building one of a kind, and it wouldn't look half as good if the old walls were removed. The Mill City Museum shows how we can use transformation to make something that incorporates both the old and the new, and make it truly amazing.
There is always a feel and presence of energy, flow, and transformation not just in the city of Minneapolis, but cities all over the world.