May 4, 2008

Technology + Architecture


Technology and architecture. Architecture and technology. In today's world, both are interwoven. Some of our newest architectural feats rely heavily on cutting edge technology while some of our newest technologies are designed specifically for architects. They coexist and complement each other. But is technology all "good?" And if indeed technology can be "bad," what does that say for architecture?

In the Postman reading (which I have yet to put up discussion questions, etc. for I have noticed...), the idea of a Technophobe and Technophile are discussed (-phobe = afraid and skeptical of technology, -phile = one who is obsessed with technology). I have to say that I, personally, am somewhere in the middle; I believe technology is beneficial, but I have my doubts. I really can't say that technology is all good or all bad. Nor can I say that one certain technology is good or bad. I wish I was passionate about either the benefits or downfalls of it, but I honestly am very unsure. For example, it is one thing to say, "Stem cell technologies are evil and wrong!" But what if I had a child dying in the hospital that could be saved from such research? Would I still be so inclined to call it "the work of the devil?" The issues surrounding technology are what makes it a difficult situation.

I am not saying whether or not I support stem cell research, but am merely pointing out that the usefulness and value of a technology really depends on the morals and perspective of each individual person. I could say that the toothbrush is a good technology and that the atomic bomb is a bad technology. However, to a five-year-old, the toothbrush might seem completely awful while the idea of an atomic bomb blowing stuff up could be “awwwwesomme!? Until the day we are all android clones trained to think in the same manner, I do not think we will ever have one definite answer as to whether or not technology is good.

I do, however, believe that the advancement of technology is key for the future of architecture and our society. Since the dawn of time, technology has been a catalyst for progress. Few could argue that we would not be where we are today if it were not for the invention of the wheel and stone tools. In our reading, Postman, in short, also argued that technology simply does what it has been designed to do. I disagree with this. Though "writing" was designed for communication, I don't think it was ever meant to spread hate literature or racial degredation. Technology is what it is, but people are constantly finding new ways to use it. They are constantly reinventing it and finding their own uses for it. Technology is not inherently evil because of it's design. Technology can be good or bad, all depending on how it is used. Similarly, the practice of architecture can be good or bad, all depending on how it is performed. In response to that, I can only say that all technology and architecture should truly be used responsibly and all consequences should be thoroughly considered.

(Images combined on photoshop from and

May 1, 2008

Today was the day. Presentation Response/Blog Prompt 8 and 9 was our presentation. And I have to say, I am rather sad about it. Our video, which set the scene for the presentation, would not play. That really threw us off because we made such an effort to make sure everything worked properly. We uploaded the video to youtube. Then, I posted everything on my blog. Then, I burned it to a disk. And just in case that didn't work, I saved it to a flash drive. And, after all that didn't work. I was a nervous wreck and I know that it showed. It's frustrating when you know what you want to say and you can't get it out because your nerves jumble everything up and will not allow it (a.k.a. I was a babbling mess). I don't remember much of what I said, but I remember saying something about everyone "wasting time playing games"...(??? I did not mean to say anything like that...) So I am pretty disappointed in myself. Mostly because I know we put so much work into it, and worked so hard to emphasize the importance of reducing child mortality, but it didn't feel like it translated as I stuttered through the information.

I was really impressed by the other groups, however.

Broc and Kelly - I thought they did an excellent job presenting. If they were nervous, it was not obvious at all. Their information was extremely thorough and their layout was awesome. I wish I had their Indesign skills! One thing I found especially interesting from research was the role of text messages in the farmer’s markets, allowing prices to be sent to sellers days away from town. It’s amazing to think about how much this technology has impacted their lives, while in our lives it is something that we may take for granted. I think that the laptop was also a very nice addition to the presentation. Having something physically present as an example of the technologies being implemented in Somalia and across Africa gave a face, in a sense, to the initiative and to your proposals. I was wondering, though…what happened to the Marshall Plan? I know you talked about wanting to discuss it in the planning stages of the project, and I was curious to see how it played in. ☺

Angie, Anthony, and Laura – Wow. You guys did an awesome job. You could definitely tell that there was three people’s worth of hard-core research in it. I think that because you chose to focus on the Minneapolis and Cedar-Riverside in particular, people found your lecture presentation to be relatable and even more understood. In addition, I think all the work you did on sustainability will only help you to become better architects in the future. Congrats!

Michelle and Byron – Once again, wow. Another awesome presentation. It was nice to have a few presentations on Somalia so we could get a perspective on the country through the lens of two different Millennium Development Goals. I thought that everything was very cohesively and that the graphic layout you used was very successful. I really liked how you had some images "greyed" in the presentation, but a few were clearly visible. It was interesting how you changed the highlighted picture as your presentation evoloved. Very good research!

Alyssa and Heidi - I thought that it was great that you guys came up with an actual titled plan to promote gender equality and empower women. At first, I wasn't sure if this was an actual project taking place right now in the Central African Republic, or if it was a new propoal. At any rate, that took a lot of thinking and research on your part. Way to go!

I really enjoyed having the chance to finally see all presentations today. Congrats once again to everyone on a job well-done!

April 2, 2008

Blog Prompt #7

Design three title page options for your research paper.

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March 13, 2008

Blog Prompt #6

Look for and document some examples of presentation/documentation styles that your term project may take as inspiration.

Good Resources include:
CMYK (Magazine)
PRINT (Magazine)
Graphis (Magazine)
Core 77 (Blog)

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March 5, 2008

Blog Prompt #5


Explore through image and text how the built environment affects (supports or detracts) who you are. Speculate in terms of frameworks clockworks, phenomena and oppositions.

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February 27, 2008

Blog Prompt #4


If you were completely released form the constraints of the "architecture school" program, what would you do architecturally, artistically, bodily, lyrically, etc. that woud still have an impact on your environment. Describe a real or imagined place which might allow you to do this.
Explore through images and text.

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February 18, 2008

Blog Prompt #3


Propose a set of images, quotes and a playlist of songs that influence your values with regard to your selected Research Project Millennium Development Goals.


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February 10, 2008

Blog Prompt #2


Find a social-design issue - here in the Twin Cities.
Document it.
Become an advocate for it.

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February 9, 2008

Blog Prompt #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.

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