April 29, 2008

Blog Prompt #9 - Reaction to Presentations

To being, I must admit that I was incredibly impressed with Monday’s presentations. The groups gave a variety of information and presented in varying manners. I liked the fact that not everyone chose to cover the same concepts in their presentations, which provided for new and interesting material. The fact that a variety of focuses such as one geographical area, one architect, one organization, or a combination of any made these presentations unique from one another. This was just an aspect of the presentations that I really enjoyed and thought I’d share.

Although the presentation of Goal #1 (Eradicating Extreme Poverty and Hunger) was brief, I found it very intriguing. The presentation was interesting due to the fact that most of the other information presented concerned environmental sustainability. It was nice to hear new information and new angles working towards a different goal.

Africa was the group’s main focus as a large portion of the population lives in poverty and starvation. The group stated that almost half the population lives on under $1/day. The results from living in such extreme poverty and hunger can result in health problems, learning disabilities, and more. The group’s approach was looking at an organization (African Development Foundation) that creates businesses, strengthens relations with the U.S., and increases participatory development.

It was interesting to see that many of the goals overlap. One example is the solution of creating water wells to help eradicate poverty and hunger, but this solution also works towards environmental sustainability. Also relating to other presentations was the idea of India having vast slums. Not only could they target Africa, but India is also a huge area of people living in poverty and hunger. Perhaps the GIS system used in India to map out slum areas could also be used for mapping out Africa and elsewhere in the world to better improve the lives of people.

Another interesting aspect to help eradicate poverty and hunger was the notion of bringing tourism to Africa. Tourism is beneficial as it establishes jobs and stimulations local economies. I personally believe the establishment of tourism in Africa more widely would draw a great number of people. Since the origin of humankind can trace itself to Africa, we can learn lots from this area. Not only do we have this evolutionary connection to Africa, but Africa also has a large variety of cultures inhabiting areas ranging from desert climates to jungles. These aspects, I believe, are a huge draw for people living outside of Africa to come and visit.

Through my own exploration, I have found the Ganvie area of Africa to be a large tourist attraction. The city of Ganvie is placed on the water and comprised of stilt houses. Boat tours bring tourists around the city to immerse themselves in the culture and ways of life. The area has a growing economy as a result. The agriculture business, tourism, job market, local shops are all growing. As a result, tourism has improved the quality of life for the people of this area. This example is why I believe that the implementation of tourism may be good for some African cities as it may help stimulate the economy and improve standards of living and thus eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.

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1. A hotel in Ganvie


79145187.PgK5deVj.BeninDec06480.jpg
2. A boat full of tourists


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3. Another tourist hotel and local native women

1. http://www.pbase.com/bmcmorrow/image/79145062
2. http://www.pbase.com/bmcmorrow/image/79145187
3. http://www.pbase.com/bmcmorrow/image/79145086

April 23, 2008

Volunteering 8

Today was my last day of volunteering! I've reached my goal of 15 hours. I feel relieved that I'm done with it as final papers and projects are due and school is getting hectic! I worked in Victor's art class again. We worked on perspective drawings. Victor would demonstrate how to draw a cityscape in perspective on the whiteboard and the students would copy what he had. My job was to go around helping the students to make sure they would connect up the right lines and get a grasp of what was going on. Like I've mentioned before, most students haven't had any prior experience with art or concepts of art, so I had a lot of running around and helping of students to do. From there, I went up to the Homework Center and helped two girls white 5-paragraph essays. One girl was writing about what she is going to do on her birthday. The other was writing how she would solve illiteracy in Ethiopia.

Looking back on my overall volunteering experience, I have really enjoyed my time at the MNIC. I started volunteering there last fall with my Arch 1281 class and continued with them for this spring semester. I've learned how to deal and connect with those of other cultures as the MNIC is primarily attended by Somalians, some Hispanics, and other African countries (an English as a second language school). I've also learned they have an eagerness to learn and want to succeed in the American society. This is a great quality to see in these students. I can see great potential in them as many are saying that they want to go onto college even though they know they have a long way to go. This volunteering was worth the time and I hope to continue volunteering in other ways this summer and in the future.

April 22, 2008

Blog Prompt #8 - Presentation Critical Points

Leslie, Robert, Kyle, Jacob, and Weihao presented information relating to the topic of “Global Development.? In all of their presentations they had the commonality of “lowering the cost of something.?

One thing right off the bat, their topic of Global Development wasn’t explained very clearly. I’m not sure what is meant by Global Development and what the Millenium Goals are that relate to it. Doing a little digging here on an internet search, I have found myself on the UN Millenium Development Goals website (http://www.un.org/milleniumgoals). There, I have found that their goal (#8) deals with opening up trading and financial systems, incorporating tariff and quota free access on exports to developing countries who are in heavy debt, addressing the needs of landlocked or small States, addressing countries’ debt problems, developing productive work for youth, providing access to affordable pharmaceuticals, and making available new technologies.

Leslie started out the group’s presentation with the topic of Housing and Community. She mentioned two organizations and a book that deal with affordable housing projects all around the world including the United States. Her presentation really stressed the need for affordable housing and building it cheaply for those in need of basic shelter. “Architecture for Humanity? is one of the organizations that does uses affordable means of architecture. “Design Like You Give a Dam? is a book that discussed and showed examples of affordable housing solutions such as tents as cheap as $5. The “UN Habitat? was additionally discussed as an organization that funds these types of projects.

Relating this to some of my own research that I’ve come across recently is that of the work of Shigeru Ban. Shigeru is famous for his architecture made of paper tubes. He famously used these paper tubes, beer crates, and tarps for refugee camps in Kobe Japan after a horrible earthquake devastated the area.

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http://www.architectureweek.com/2006/0510/images/13058_image_2.150.jpg

I personally think it’s great there are organizations and architects out there to design affordable solutions that meet the needs of those in need. Many of the solutions are made through recycling materials. Who would have ever though of using paper tubes to build shelter? Sheltering people in third world countries who lack it in the first place is vital. There’s an interesting connection to architects almost going back in time and reverting to an old style of building – the fundamental shelter, or the “primitive hut.? All most of these people really need is basic shelter. They don’t want or even need what we have as homes in the United States. The United States needs to engage ourselves and learn some of the basics of human nature to help fulfill those basic needs of people who can barely do it on their own. One way to do that is through providing simple shelter such as these organizations and Shigeru Ban does.

Going on to the other topics of the presentation…

The topic of Pharmaceutical Drugs was touched. A huge point made was providing affordable drugs for those with HIV/AIDS to help cure this epidemic. Many people in third world countries cannot afford drugs to ease the pain of the disease and give them a longer lifespan. Here in the United States it’s another story. Most people can those afford drugs to survive for quite some time. I personally support the notion of manufacturing generic drugs from India. This way they are way more affordable and easier for third world countries to obtain.

Another topic discussed was that of Sustainability and Development. Sustainability is said to cover all classes and countries, and most importantly of all needs cooperation from everyone all around the world. Not only does the implementation of sustainability need cooperation, but it also needs supervision to ensure the world is all working cohesively to better our environment.

Lastly, the topic of energy was touched. Manufacturing takes up a lot of energy and contributes immensely to global warming. The presenter stressed that we need to recycle and save energy. Also, shipping uses much energy and releases a lot of pollutants into our atmosphere. He suggests ideas such as buying local foods and products to cut down on the pollutants. Another thing he touched on with the notion of recycling was Mexico as an example of getting paid to recycle bottles. I think if we did more of that here in the United States we would have a greater turnout or effort with recycling.

I found it interesting that many of the topics presented overlapped with my group’s presentation. It just shows what a huge deal they are and we really need to engrain into our heads that we need to put ourselves into action. For instance, the idea of conserving energy to reduce emissions and thus curb global warming was mentioned by their group as well as ours. In addition, developing sustainable means was also touched. All of these topics are interconnected and relate to each other in one big web of life.

April 16, 2008

Volunteering 7

Today, I did the usual. I helped out with Victor's art class followed by the homework center. In art class today, it was more discussion-based. First of all, they had parent-teacher conferences yesterday and Victor was disappointed that very few parents came. That was interesting as I suppose many parents don't look at education the same way that many of us were brought up - simply because they come from another culture. Victor asked the students why their parents didn't come. Some said that their parents work at night, others said their parents don't live in Minnesota, yet others said they don't speak English. So there is still that barrier there and it is sometimes difficult to connect with the parents. It's good to see the kids in school though, and attending class (for the most part). A girl was asking me questions about college today. She asked if it was hard, what kind of classes I was taking, and what I wanted to be when I grow up. I then asked her if she wanted to go to college. She said that she would like to but she didn't think she could because her English isn't that great and it's hard to understand teachers. I encouraged her to keep on working hard in school and her English will improve and that she can go to college some day. The she went on to tell me about her life. She is 20 years old, married a guy who goes to the same school when she was 18, and she has a 6 month old child. All of these students are very interesting. When I was tutoring another girl she kept touching her stomach and then she would talk to her friend. I noticed she was pregnant also. It's crazy how these high school kids can have children and are already married. I suppose, it's normal for their culture to have children at such a young age. In art class the topic of global warming was brought up. Many of the students don't believe it in. They say the world has never-ending resources and we don't need to recycle. I did make note that those students who were more fluent in English or born here really were supporting the notion of recycling and conserving. Again, it's a big cultural difference and very interesting to see.

April 9, 2008

Volunteering 6

Again today, I volunteered from 1:30-3:30 in Victor's art class. The students were working on making butterflies out of water bottles and painting them. The school has a cultural day coming up and so these "recycled butterflies" are going to be hung up along with some global warming banners and posters. From Victor's class I went to the homework center from 3:30-5pm. There, I helped a girl write a 5-paragraph essay on what she wanted to be when she grows up. Her ideal career would be as a registered nurse. I find it interesting, as I have helped others write essays also, that many of the girls I tutor want to some day become a registered nurse. The number one reason why they want to become a nurse (that I have seen) is because they want to help people. It's great hearing that they want to be active and have goals in their life to fulfill - especially due to the fact that most all of them are Somalian immigrants and haven't had much schooling in combination with assimilating to a new culture. I really hope these students will go on further with their education and succeed. Another time volunteering, as I was walking down the hallway with a girl, she said she hoped to get into Normandale Community College next year and hopefully the U of M 2 years after. It's really good hearing these students have set goals and are motivated which is sometimes hard when moving to a new country. So far, my volunteering at this school has been humbling and satisfying.

March 26, 2008

Volunteering 5

Well, I went to MNIC again today for volunteering. I volunteered in Victor's art class from 1:30-3:30. The end of their trimester (or quarter?) is at the end of the week so they weren't doing a whole lot. Victor was concentrated on working on grades. Some of the students were using watercolor to paint in Egyptian-scened sheets while others just sat and talked. I worked on sorting out the student's work over the trimester and making folders for them. It was fine... it kept me busy the whole time. When I got a moment or two I would walk around and check out the student's work. Most of the students are very nice and ask my opinion of their work or what color to use. Next week is their spring break so I will be back again in 2 weeks to volunteer in Victor's art class.

Blog Prompt #7 - Millenium Development Goal Title Pages

Download file

Download file
The picture set in the background is taken in Quarry Park in St. Cloud, Minnesota. This represents a once earth extracting industry found here then turned the area into a county park.

Download file

March 12, 2008

Blog Prompt #6 - Term Project Inspirations

Types of Mediums:
Poster Board
Document
Power Point
Graphics/Present
Models
Portfolio
Brochure
Flyer
Stickers
Website

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Model. Exhibition.

avb_stofair2008_telefonplan_09.jpg
Other mediums.

avb_stofair2008_trade_02.jpg

Types of Graphics:
Illustrations
Photographs
Data
Graphs

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Styles:
Layered – text and images, images on images
Text – page only for text
Image – page only for image

03_frayden.jpg
This layout combines text, layering, and photography.

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Double-sided.

Layout Programs:
Adobe InDesign
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Photoshop

Needs:
Stand Out – must catch the eye and bring attention to what you are presenting
Navigation – must be in order and follow logic, in other words – make sense
Clear – keep it simple and clear to understand
Text and Image Size – must be appropriate, not too large, not too small, just right
Strong Beginning and End - The beginning and the end is what is best remembered

310_Bro_1.jpg
Simplicity. Clear. Clean. Combines text and image.

This brainstorming and research is vital for our term project. To get points across and to effectively present, we must learn from mistakes and learn from successes. There is a huge variety of ways to present. There is no one right answer. It all depends on what is being presented. Even a combination of a few may work best. The images and text above is simple, but has given me many ideas on how I wish to present my term project. This was a very intriguing and inspirational blog.

http://freelanceswitch.com/images/inspiration/b_layout.jpg
http://www.l.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.eolian.net.nz/images/design/large/07_creeps.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.eolian.net.nz/html/design.htm&h=97&w=146&sz=186&tbnid=UST8AewlR2QJ:&tbnh=97&tbnw=146&sa=X&oi=image_result&resnum=1&ct=image&cd=2
http://www.core77.com/gallery/photos_search.asp?context_id=1&album_id=54
http://www.graphis.com/brandingusa.php

Volunteering 4

I volunteered again today at the MNIC. I was working in the tutoring center working one-on-one with a student. We worked on English homework. She had much difficulty reading her homework so I ended up having to help her sound out words. Then, I would go back and explain in my own words what the story was about. Even though I could tell she was confused - and students often tend to just agree with you and say they understand - we had a good time. I felt like we connected on another level. We laughed and made jokes about small things. She was also very appreciative for my help. Volunteering at the same site this semester seems a bit different than last. I feel like I am connecting with the students. They often stop and say hi to me in the hallways or give passing smiles. It's nice that I am recognized at the school as a regular volunteer. My involvement isn't as painful as I first thought it would be. I am enjoying it thus far.

February 28, 2008

Blog Prompt #5 - The Designed Environment + Me

As Ozayr said today in class, this prompt is digging at why I am taking this course and why I want to become an architect. Well, Ozayr, I will tell you why...

Throughout my life growing up, I had chosen various careers that I wished to grow up and pursue. I went from wanting to be the House Mother or Homemaker (basically not wanting to work) to the typical "every kid's dream" of becoming a Vet. When my Junior year of high school swung around and I started looking at colleges, I was always asked what I wanted to go into. I had no idea. Then, I took a semantics class that same year and we were assigned to choose a career and define 50 words relating it. I always thought that architecture was "pretty neat" so I decided to choose that as my topic. From then on, I whenever I was asked what I wanted to go into I would tell them Architecture.

My_Vet_2.jpg

To explore if I really wanted to go into architecture, my dad took me to a friend of the family's architectural firm (Hagemeister and Mack) in St. Cloud. There, I was shown around the office, shown displays and models of projects, along with handcrafted drawings and digital depictions. We talked a bit and answered some questions. After leaving the office that day, I decided that this was the career that I wanted to pursue.

architect1.jpg

I came into college without hardly any architectural knowledge and therefore I originally wanted to build your high-class monster homes or shopping malls. But after delving further into the theory and practice of architecture, I have learned so much more. I have also decided that I want to do so much more. This class has been a tool for discovering myself and the designed environment around and that is why I was so eager to take this course.

cormiami2.jpg

One aspect of architecture that directly affects me and the world around is the issue of environmental degradation. My architecture classes this year have exposed me more in depth to this issue and also some solutions being used to stop or reverse the effects. I am very much interested in becoming a part of making this world a better place through the use of green architecture and smart solutions. Like the readings from this week, I hope to find harmony between architecture and nature.

fallingwater-1.jpg

In finding better solutions for green architecture and minimizing carbon prints, I hope to do some related research. Perhaps go on a j or m-term somewhere or get involved with a professor's research. I hope to contribute positively to society by doing this.

Overall, my career choice is about making this world a better place. Not only do I want to help the environment through architecture, but I want to help in other areas also. For instance, I would really like to travel to third world countries, perhaps refugee camps, and help solve some of their problems. Whether it may be designing adequate housing or helping to feed them, as long as I am making this world a better place somehow, I will be content. Architecture gives me this opportunity, to work with many aspects of society. Architects not only design for society, but they also get in touch and work along side with society. Not many others get this type of involvement or direct impact on society as much as architects do.

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http://drwhiteley.com/My_Vet_2.jpg
http://www.careersserviceni.com/NR/rdonlyres/DC75518C-E716-4A6A-B0AA-FBE850F3FCE0/0/architect1.jpg
http://www.linearchitecture.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2006/12/cormiami2.jpg
http://www.wright-house.com/frank-lloyd-wright/fallingwater-pictures/fallingwater-1.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/karnaphuli/516821905/

February 24, 2008

Blog Prompt #4 - Free From Constraints

Ever since a young girl traveling to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with my family on a ski vacation I have wanted to return to permanently reside. My passion for skiing and the connection with the natural world around when enjoying this sport is what I love more than anything in the world. I came to the conclusion that moving myself out to the Rocky Mountains, amidst the looming mountains and natural vegetation, is where I could best enjoy myself and my career in architecture.

1. 59756448_5e891a9ce0.jpg

I really enjoy working with children, teaching them, and acting as a positive role model. I have often considered going into the field of education. One of my other main interests includes working with the environment. I love nature, being in it, working with it – everything about it. These aspects I would incorporate into my work. Because of course, life would be more meaningful and so much more rewarding if we all worked with what we are so passionate about.

2. php9C9HuwPM.jpg

3. phpqD2rcoPM.jpg

Some ways that I could incorporate my interests into my work would possibly include designing for children specifically. Even using them as my consultants. I would teach them and they would teach me at the same time. They could tell me what they like, what they want. This could perhaps be new customization of (children’s) architecture.

4. ke.jpg

Sustainable practices of architecture and ways of living also would be incorporated into my work. This world needs to be more conscientious in using its resources. We don’t want to ruin this world for generations to come. I would educate and design sustainable aspects into architecture. Relating back to passion of working with children, I would start educating them at a young age making smart choices that will help make this world a happy, healthier place to live.

5. 1466010372_b8650f2146.jpg

Every vision put into action has to start somewhere. To get a jumpstart on the visions above and leaving the architecture school program behind, I would move to the Rocky Mountains of the West. From there, I believe I would either volunteer or find a job working at a school and also a national park or DNR job working with the environment and natural resources. Gaining experience that way, I would broaden my knowledge and view of the world. From there, my plans would be to start my own practice of educating, designing, and positively influencing those who influence me the most to make this world a better place.

6. phpvKMNaaPM.jpg

7. phpevnINnPM.jpg

8. phpzoWCA2PM.jpg

1. http://www.flickr.com/photos/c-s-n/59756448/
2. Photo by Laura Schultz
3. Photo by Laura Schultz
4. http://www.sjsissaquah.org/images/ke.jpg
5. http://www.flickr.com/photos/luschei/1466010372/
6. Photo by Laura Schultz
7. Photo by Laura Schultz
8. Photo by Laura Schultz

February 20, 2008

Blog Prompt #3 - Millenium Development Goals

>>>Playlist<<<
1. Out of Control - Hoobastank
2. The People That We Love - Bush
3. Heard the World - O.A.R.
4. A Bad Dream - Keane
5. What I've Done - Linkin Park
6. Help! - The Beatles
7. Come Together - The Beatles
8. Sing - Beck
9. Imagine - John Lennon
10. Solutions - Bush
11. Politik - Coldplay
12. Clocks - Coldplay
13. Please Forgive Me - David Gray
14. Soul Meets Body - Death Cab for Cutie
15. Meant to Live - Switchfoot

This playlist is based on a progression of environmental sustainability. It starts out with an "Out of Control" feeling that the world is spinning so fast, factories are popping up, people aren't getting fed, people don't have shelter, and the environment has been damaged. We may think that it's all just "A Bad Dream" but this is reality and we have to do something about it. Then we start coming around to realize "What I've Done" to this environment that we live in. The end of the playlist depicts the notion to speak out, do something, "Sing" and find "Solutions" to the problem we are facing today. Because in the end..."We were meant to live for so much more..."

To pick on a few of the songs above, I would like to explain in detail how they relate to my topic environmental sustainability.

The People That We Love - Bush
"The things we do to the people that we love
The way we break if there's something we can't take
Destroy the world that it took so long to make..."

**I think these lines from the song can be related to my goal. It shows that there are people out there in the world today who live in poverty - without food, shelter, water, clothes. In contrast, here we sit in America, one of the wealthiest countries in the world and with many resources, yet we cannot do this simple task of helping out people just like us across the world to at least give them clean water or food. The nations of the world need to come together to help out those other nations in need of the basic necessities of life. At the moment, it seems as though we are destroying this world that took so long for us to build up socially, politically, economically, etc.

What I've Done - Linkin Park
"So let mercy come
And wash away
What I've Done
I'll face myself
To cross out what I've become
Erase myself
And let go of what I've done"

**If you have ever seen the music video to this song, it is a powerful one. It gives the viewer a heavy sense of the negative impacts that humans have had on this Earth. Pollution and global warming, poverty, war, and so much more has devastated the world we live in. This song is about realizing and discovering what we have done. Let's start over again and try leading new and better lives. Clean up after yourself, choose environmentally friendly options, recycle, help out the poor, donate time and money, do anything to make this world a better place and restore its natural beauty.

The images below are also a progression like the playlist above. It starts out showing the negative environmental impacts and comes around with solutions to face the problems of today to live peacefully and cohesively with nature.

1. 318982699_bb175961c9.jpg

2. phpcra7DvPM.jpg

3. 399152781_b341c934ba.jpg

4. photo_gallery_montreal.jpg
Self Sustainable House

5. php46iCHePM.jpg

6. phpLtXvs3PM.jpg

1. http://www.flickr.com/photos/art_es_anna/318982699/
2. Paper Mill on Mississippi. Sartell, Minnesota. Photo by Laura Schultz.
3. http://www.flickr.com/photos/larod/399152781/
4. http://www.solardecathlon.org/homes_gallery.html
5. Photo by Laura Schultz.
6. Photo by Laura Schultz.

Volunteering 3

Today was my first official day of volunteering. I volunteered from 1:30-3:30 in Victor's art class. Today the students were drawing and working on depth. They were given a copy of a picture that portrayed depth and they had to reciprocate it on their own. My job was going around from student to student helping them if they had any questions. There were plenty of questions to be had since most of them had no prior experience in art. Most of them haven't grasped the basic concepts of art or drawing yet. It was an enjoyable experience helping them out and being able to teach them. Most of the students at the school are from Somalia and have had very little school. I felt knowledgeable and important when the students asked me for help. I'm glad that I can help out and connect with the community.

February 14, 2008

Volunteering 2

Well, setting up this volunteering business has taken lots of energy and patience. After getting deferred back to my original site, the communication has been slow with them. Today, however, I called Amy Libman (volunteer coordinator) and got everything squared away for volunteering. I now volunteer every other Wednesday for 2 hours starting next week (February 20). I am going to be assisting in an art class for the two hours like I did so this past semester. I will have to make up some hours, perhaps in the homework center, but I am relieved that I finally know what's going on!

1. Frusterated
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2. Success!
race_winner.thumb.gif

1. http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://images.jupiterimages.com/common/detail/58/07/23360758.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.jupiterimages.com/itemDetail.aspx%3FitemID%3D23360758&h=166&w=250&sz=21&hl=en&start=6&tbnid=Eg4ceC8p6s3KgM:&tbnh=74&tbnw=111&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dfrusterated%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG
2. http://topendsports.com/clipart/pics/albums/swimming/race_winner.thumb.gif

February 10, 2008

Blog Prompt #2 - Social Design Issue

Becoming a college student, I was thrown into a world of providing for myself. I've found out that money doesn't grow on trees anymore and I can relate to the strain of affording housing. This is why I found this topic of affordable housing of particular interest. After doing some research on the internet, I came across the Minnesota Housing Partnership website. The Minnesota Housing Partnership supports efforts to educate, promote, and provide affordable housing for those in need.

In the Twin Cities, on any given night there are hundred of people living on the streets without homes. These people end up without housing for various reason such as loss of job, mental or physical health, addictions, and much more. They range in age from children to the elderly.

**The link below is of a graph that depicts the number of Minnesotans in shelters and transitional housing programs and those without.
http://www.mhponline.org/files/MN_Homelessness.pdf

I find this need for affordable housing incredibly important. More people should be aware of those in need of housing and more importantly DO something about it. So many times people say they support the notion but never follow through or ACT on the problem. This is why the Minnesota Housing Partnership is needed. The Minnesota Housing Partnership not only educates the public, they also help advocate policies for housing conditions along with helping to provide housing for those in need. According to Minneapolis Housing Partnership's website, they have 180 organizations financially supporting or working for the cause. This is a good start, but we must fill in the gap where there are those still without housing.

Where the designer comes into the picture of this issue deals with the fact of designing the housing for this population. In order to make affordable housing successful (unlike many thought of the example of Pruitt-Igo in St. Louis), a designer must carefully plan and work within constraints. Those constraints may include site location, budget, materials, or policies. There will also be those who oppose affordable housing being put up in certain areas for various reasons (example: neighborhood degradation) and so a designer must work cooperatively with many populations and policies.

One alternative to all strictly affordable housing units includes sites such as condos or apartment complexes now being mixed with some units at affordable prices and some at the regular market rate to reduce the fear of degrading neighborhoods. This option was made aware to myself this past fall when a guest community speaker came to talk about his job dealing with affordable housing. I found this one solution to be a good one as it allows those in need and qualify to have decent housing and feel more apart of the community living with a variety of people around them (rather than living with all other affordable housing units). The guest speaker made me realize that there is more than one solution to every problem and some work better in certain situations than others. Some other solutions that designers have come up with (I will mention but not go into depth with) are community land trusts (where the city owns the land that your house is on) making home ownership more affordable or affordable housing developments.

The issue of providing affordable housing is an ongoing battle that I hope more people and more people will choose to join in on the fight to conquer homelessness.

(1) Below is a picture of an affordable housing complex in North Minneapolis.
20070719_housing1_2.jpg

(2) Below is Heritage Park, a mixed income development in Northwest Minneapolis.
heritagepark.jpg

Bibliography

Minnesota Housing Partnership
http://www.mhponline.org/?q=home

(1)
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