May 9, 2008

Oops, one more thing.

I think I forgot a blog entry; title page. So here it is, it took forever but I think I incorporated the major themes.
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More Reflections

My feelings towards MDG were better after seeing the first presentation in lecture. It felt like the group had taken the time to think outside of an architect or bomb shelter like device to actual applications happening now. It felt like they were realistic about the goal unlike so many I watched. Even my own.


My initial thoughts when listening to the projects was how insulted I would feel if I had been to Africa, seen the poverty, death, distraction, and then sat through these presentations.
I feel like even if my heart was there, by attempting to solve these problems I was cheapening them even more. The MDG are wonderful ideas, but who’s carrying them out? They seem like pie in the sky plans, totally unrealistic to the situations.
Shouldn’t we always have been eradicating extreme poverty? Improving maternal health? Reducing infant mortality? Or are we now simply umbrellaing the topics to fall back for things we’ve been ignoring for centuries. MDG are here to justify this.
It was appalling to think of how little sympathetic thought was put into many of these presentations, and how uncomfortable is makes me. It’s not that we all didn’t try, but how do you honestly think about solving hunger and extreme poverty without being overwhelmed by the concept and the suffering of the world. Thought was put into layout, presentation, and the flow from ‘Region’ to ‘Realm of Response’ but did anyone take a step back and look at the pictures of starving Ethiopian children and look at it other than for it’s visual presentation? I doubt it.
A group that presented today started out just like this. I even thought they looked bored. They could’ve been talking about rock for all I knew, and not reducing infancy mortality rates. The children in the powerpoint were numbers, grades, statistics. At the end however, the guy in the group went on a rant. It was a wonderful rant. He spoke of just was I had been thinking for awhile; that this is unrealistic, foolish, impossible. What we had known for so long but ignored. The situations are far to vast to start at morality. Why are the children dying? They’re dying because of diseases. Where does the disease come from? It comes from not having the ability to get vaccinations. On and on this goes until we find in a paradox. Every time I get back to the start I feel a little more guilty about the life I lead.

March 27, 2008

Environmental Sustainability Part 1

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This is a T-shirt I designed in a class I took last semester call "Is it possible for our society to be sustainable". My final project that I had built myself was to not design a school, apartment building, or house sustainable, but to designs minds into think that that's what they want. To do a media outlook of sustainability as sexy and not environmentalist in Birkenstocks and hemp overalls. This is the only way it could ever work. This step must be taken before we can even start building green. It needs to be a movement.

I talked to a friend one day about my classes and when my sustainability class came up he simply laughed. When I asked why he put it plainly.

"That's obviously not going to happen; easy question and the answer is no."

That stuck me ringing true in too many ways. I agreed only after explaining it was a phiosophy class. Indeed, 3 classes in our class had run out of topics to cover, ways to approach the subject. It kept coming down to people needed to want it but how do we make them. This is what i still struggle with. How to make sustainability cool.

For our project I want to do just that. I want hip, I want cool, I want sheik. Everything that the basic concepts of conservation go against. It was Regan that said conservation is sitting a a dark cold house. Things need to change on the primitive level before they can manifest in the our time.

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March 13, 2008

Look out paper coat as the biggest waste of time...

Ozayr, if I show you this you might not come to class today. It's a phenomenon spreading across dorms all over the country. The worst and best possible website there's the website to end all websites. Look out all other time wasters.

Amazing! Finally a website that takes all of the work out of surfing the internet! America's favorite past time is now done for me on this extensive network. You simply put any and all of your interest, from cats to anarchy, into the system and *poof* click "stumble" and the fun begins.
Take all the guesswork out of simply surfing and ride that internet wave! You can even stumble through specifics depending on your mood. Feeling artsy? search specifically art, movies, music and more. Wanna retain some useless knowledge? Spend hours stumbling Wikipedia or just sit back and stumble through, no need for all the clicking. Get ready for a whole new cool.

T.A-Wow! Your layout is amazing! How did you think of doing that? What inspired you?
Me-Oh it's just something I stumbled upon

cha ching, money in da bank. Welcome to the rest of your free time wasted and time that isn't free. Like right now when I'm suppose to be doing a thoughtful blog and instead in stumbling through the Wikipedia site. Did you know a Narwhal is an Arctic species of cetacean closely related to the beluga whale? Bet you didn't.
Not only that, the sites it takes you to can suck you in never to see the natural light of day again. Great isn't it?

Stumble upon, a time vacuum/source of inspiration. How can you say it's non productive when you learn so much! It's an epidemic that you can't help but just love.

Example: Something I stumbled upon when refining my stumbling to Art/History-Architecture (oh yeah you can do that)
please watch this it's awesome

March 4, 2008

Why architecture is the medical profession for people afraid of blood


I am not an architect. I am no builder, I am no design major. I am a person who want’s to succeed. The problem is success. My parents didn’t have it. My siblings don’t have it. What is is? Why am I sitting in 1701 right now? Is is that drive to do what they could not? Or is it something more. I never wanted a career, so therefor I’m not here for that. I never wanted money; it’s never been something I valued. Then what do I want? What is this success?
What are the buildings around me, the archways and walkways and landscapes right me but stones and brick and wood. There are not more to me than I am of them. To become part of them is something I have tried to absorb through these lectures. To become apart of what I want to create; but something stops me. Something always stops me. It’s success. It’s something that means nothing to me. If I spent the rest of my life travels from job to job, being a ‘joe’ and in the words of Wayne “Having an extensive collection name tags and hairnets? I would be OK with that if I was happy. If I was living, did it really mater if I was made partner of an architecture firm? My ideal life would be volunteer around the world. I believe I am here to help others, i believe that’s why every person is here.
I am not majoring in architecture. As of my next meeting with my advisor, I am an anthropology major. How can I build for people if I cannot understand where they came from. It is of my belief that college is not 7 years of architecture classes, it is much more. I want my education to be much more. I plan on still going to grad school for architecture because it is the only thing that has held my attention and I believe I can make a half way respectable living in it if I need to. I hate myself for this but that’s the way it has to be. If I could, I would be a graphic’s design major but it has been so inbreed in me that I couldn’t possibly make a living that way I push it out of my mind. This class has, however, renewed my faith in architecture as a way of helping people. I could never be a doctor, so why not be an architect?
At the end of the day, I’m am not going to be an architect, but I want to. I want to help people and I feel that even though I can’t be a doctor, I can save lives as least from the cold. Isn’t it time we stopped wanting to be architects and started building for the future?

February 27, 2008

I would make something beautiful

I would make something that helped people no matter how ascetically pleasing. Sometimes it's not about that, sometimes it's getting around that.

Take for example the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast. I have every ambition to quit this school and just go down there and work. To build cheap, efficient housing for the thousands living in FEMA trailers. They don't need their house to make a political statement or be 'poetic' they need it to stand up and to them that is beautiful.

If I was set free from this design school I would build houses for people that needed them, not the 1% that can afford an architect. I would build community areas for places that thought they didn't have a community left. I would put the same heart into those as I would a museum or concert hall. There's a certain amount one needs to know about the "theories" or architect, but I believe there's a whole lot more one needs to know about the people.


February 21, 2008

Nature is the only true beauty left in life, everything else just seems to fade

Environmental Sustainability


All of the above photos were taken by myself in either Costa Rica or Acadia National Park, Maine.

Devendra Banhardt in his entirety speaks to me about the wonders of the environment around us. Iron & Wine do much of the same. There's always the classic "Big Yellow Taxi" which is pretty much an anthem to the subject matter.

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot
Dont it always seem to go
That you dont know what youve got
Till its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They took all the trees
Put em in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see em
Dont it always seem to go
That you dont know what youve got
Till its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Hey farmer farmer
Put away that d.d.t. now
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees
Dont it always seem to go
That you dont know what youve got
Till its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

As architects, it is not our job to up buildings in nature, but it is out job to keep it.
I feel that if I couldn't take any piece of architecture and stick in the middle of the wilderness, it's not meant to be here and is a scare instead of a highlight on the land. If we can't protect this planet and ensure that other countries do the same, than what are we working towards but the end?

February 18, 2008

Homeless and Hopeless?

With the thousands of homeless in Minneapolis, we as architects can help but ask what could we have done?

When I see a homeless person it's natural for you to assume, or at least to be able to lay guilt off of yourself, that they are some sort of substance abuser. Something they have done has left the way they are. This is not the case when you truly look at a subject, Whether drugs, alcohol, economy or mental illness the bottom line is they are out on the streets in negative 35 degree whether. I can't help but feel responsible. While I build a house with three bathrooms they are turned away from full shelters. We study to build convention centers when what we should be learning how to build affordable yet functioning housing for those who have none.
Plans have been pushed for the end of homelessness. One plan even says it can do it in less than 10 years while others just involve opening more shelters and soup kitchens. Those are not long term solutions for a long term problem. What we need are architects and builders willing to not be the top heap, but building housing for those that need it. I feel responsible, shouldn't everyone?

February 5, 2008

Promt #1

inspired by Andy Goldsworthy (and our discussions today), document and investigate,
through text and image - this idea of energy, flow and transformation through the city.

The movie inspired me to be weird. To do weird art with the material around me. Like much of the stuff we learn in architecture, it made me find some beauty in things I would have never thought. When trying to answer this question, I could not help but think of the movie "American Beauty". After watching that film I found more beaut in the world than ever before. I had also taken and interest on the "unart" around me. I've done photograph for years and that has taught me that the seemingly insignficant features of a city can be more beautiful than any country landscape. There's a certain energy when one finds something beautiful in a mass of concrete and glass.
There is an energy about a city that attracted a large majority of the populations. I haven't figured it out yet, but there's a beauty in the huddled people at a bus stop as snowblower attracts their attention. There's a romance about so many people with so many stories being brought to a location and literally feet physically away, but miles mentally away. The shell of every individual is stark in the city. It's man against nature every second yet this struggle is somehow beautiful. This transforms a mindset of every person living there.
Have grown up in the country, I did not want to go to a city. I thought it would starve me of my basic human interest and connection with nature. What I found is that I will always have that connection, but that nature will always win over development. I feel like an ant in the city, in the country I am a product of evolution. I think Goldsworthy took the energy or the city and imposed it into the country. He took the beauty of a city's energy and turned it into the beauty of nature. Like trash can be art when placed with the right skill, creativity, and purpose, so can twigs or ice.
The underlying connection here is beauty in disguise. Never look at anything as ugly in this world.