December 2, 2006

Kahn and Gershenfeld

After reading both of the works by these men I realized that both had some similarities. In the first reading Gershenfeld talked about the program at MIT where the students made what ever they wanted. This class did not just attract the engineer students, but it attracted an array of different students from different backgrounds. He talked about the one thing that surprised him was that of all the students wanting to be in the class and those actually in the class wanted to be not becuase they wanted a patent on a new item, or market a new product. They joined this class becuase they had the desire to make things that they had always wanted, but had never existed.
This is very similar to Kahn when he talks about architecture. Kahn talks about the world as filled with silence. An example of the silence in the world would be the desert in egypt. He talks about how all people have this desire to fill the slience in the world, and so comes about architecture. The egyptians viewed the desert as silence so they did something about it, they built the pyramids. Kahn says that all people feel this same need or desire to build where they feel slience.
Both these readings have in common that both say people design because they have the desire to create something that they feel that is needed but does not exist yet. They also both talk about how it is not just certain people that are attracted to create or design something. We all have the desire to create something if we feel it is necessary.
I agree with what both of these men say that we all have an urge or a want to design something no matter who we are. I also agree that when I see something barren and plain I would see that as silence as well. I want to create it into something that shouts at you or that people notice.

November 26, 2006

Quiz #3 makeup- the web of life

When I read the web of life i realized that all around us is made up of systems, big and small. The article first talks about how there is a new view on the world, They call this new view a holistic view on the world. This means we see the world as a whole not as a bunch of various parts. I think this is true now within the enviroment that we live becuase we no longer ask does this affect this one part but we also ask does it affect the whole. We have moved to a new way of thinking. We no longer wonder what one part of a machine can do for us, but we also look to see what that machine can do for us as a whole. This idea could be translated into the business world where companies try not to focus on the individual parts but try to see th company as a whole and make the whole thing work smoothly and efficienctly.
The article goes on to talk about how the world can also be looked at as a ecological view. This is very similar to the holistic view but with and ecological view you also see how something is embedded in its natural and social environment. When looking at the world through an ecological view you ask yourself questions about how systems and other aspects of the world around us are part of the nature and enviroment as a whole. When you are viewing the world ecologically you ask deeper questions on how something makes up or is part of a nature. You might ask how an atom is broken down, and then what happens at a subatomic level. You would then ask how is this embedded within nature and the social enviroment.
The third item the article talks about is the idea of ethics within our develipoing sciences. It first talks about how scientists no longer feel like they are under the same ethics as the rest of us. They say chemist continually polute our enviroment, physicists are building weapons that can destroy us and the enviroment, and other scientists torturing animals for scientific research. I see where the writer is coming from when he talks about how scientists are not respecting ethics in this day and age becuase the hot topics now in science are stem cell research and cloning.
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In both cases the scientists are messing with the enviroment in a way in which they should not be. When we see them doing this though we find ourselves asking the question with the experiments and dicoveries they are performing are they possibily helping us by maybe finding the cure for a disease, or is the ethics they break while doing it to much of a risk? Ethics has become very important in the web of life. It can be associated with all aspects.
Another idea that the article talks about is the various systems in which have within our enviroment. We have so many systems but not all of them are safe to our enviroment. There is a large movement towards sustainability. This means we would build more efficient buildings and other systems in our enviroment that. I think this is a good idea becuase I think this will help the scientists who many are concerned with ethics become more aware of the affects of their actions on the enviroment. Sustainable building or some call it green design could greatly help our enviroment. We would be wasting less materials, and reusing the materials we usually jsut toss to the side. The idea of sustainability could strengthen the web of life because it would not be breaking it down, it would be bringing it back together by reusing aspects of it.
The article ends with telling us that the web of life is basically networks within networks. The networks are small and big, but everything consists of networks. I think this is important to understand becuase it helps us see how things are made up and in the end could help us figure out how it works within other networks. I also think that if we can figure out the various networks of one item we can compare it to the networks of other materials and find more connections that could help us produce a whole new network. An example I think of when talking about networls would be the idea of Biomimicry. They take the networks that make up a animal or other part of nature and use that network and apply it to another network to make something new that can help the web of life as a whole. An example would be taking spider silk to make a bullet proof vest. It shows how within the web of life we are all connected through the various networks that make us up.

November 20, 2006

Technopolies- CELL PHONES

One technology that has greatly affected the world and nature is the cell phone. It started out as a means for people to get a hold of people for help. At first the cell phone was rarley seen, people could not afford it or it was jsut to big and bulky for people to lug around. The very first cell phones also did not get very good reception, so many jsut used pay phones. Many changes came about due to cell phones. We went from a society that relied on land lines and pay phones, to a society who could talk to anyone anywhere, at anytime. The cell phone started big and bulky, but now its shrunk to sizes that are small enough to slide into your pocket and you don't even know its there. The phones aslo have strengthened there reception. You can go most places now and recieve and make phone calls. Cell phones have changed the way we communicate. With the advances in cell phones, brought a new form of communication. We now can not only talk to people, but you can text people, which has become an easier way to communicate with people. Text has become a new form of communication. For many its easier to text then to actually call someone. IN some respects it has made phone conversations somewhat uncomfortable becuase you could easily just text and get the same result in a less personal way.

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Since the creation of the cell phone there have been many winners. The winners are us. We are now able to connect one another anytime we want. Before we had to be near a land line, now its as easy as 1,2,3. The cell phone companies have been winners also. Almost everyone has a cell phone these days, which means the cell phone companies are bringing in the big bucks. The cell phones have created some losers though as well. The land line phone companies have suffered no becuase rarely do people use their home phones now, becuase they all can call each other on their cell phones for free. Pay phones have also suffered. You don't see them around much anymore becuase they are rarley needed, and the prices for pay phones has risen greatly which makes people want to use them even less.
The cell phone has also hurt many other types of products like mp3 players and cameras becuase you can now buy cell phones with all these capabilities that are jsut as good as some of the mp3 and cameras out there. Cell phones have allowed people to share, listen, and see more pictures and music then they ever were able to do. Now cell phones have so many features that you can ask your cell phone to give you exact directions to a certain location from where you are, and it can do it because it has GPS in it.
I think that cell phones have changed the way in which we look at communication now. We see communication as somethin easy. We can do it in the blink of an eye, and we can do it for cheap. I also do not think its possible to limit or redirect the influence of cell phones becuase they are going to consistently get smaller and more efficent for our use. I think they can only benefit us, and our methods of communication.
The cell phone has come a long way since its first model, but as its progressed through time it has become a vital technology to our society and technoloply.

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November 2, 2006

Every building around us, in one way needed math to help plan and construct it. From the dimensions of the building to the measuring of the corridors within the building all needed math to calculate these values. Math also goes into the drawing ot the building or design. You need math to calculate symmetry in a design or to keep things to scale. This is evident in the image below. You need math to design these images becuase they are so symmetrical
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Another place in design where you can find math would be with water parks. You need math to figure out how much you can make the park water fun and how much is for those who want to jsut sit in the sun. Math helps plan the design of how big the pools will be or how much water is needed. It also is used to make a safe, sturdy design for the water slides. This is all shown in the image below. The park is all math. everystep you take, or every slide you go down had math applied to its design.
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Another place in design where you can find math and design side by side is in the building of houses. Houses come in all shapes and sizes but they all need math to figure out how much of certain materials is needed to hold it up. You need to know how many shingles for your roof, or you'll have leaks when it rains. All this is figured out with math. Another example is like the one below. If your house is built on stilts you need to calculate with math how much reinforcement you need to keep it up off the ground. You cannot jsut guess becuase you will probably end up guessing wrong and your house will come crashing down.
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All design in one way will need math, so its best to know it or your building will fall down!

October 22, 2006

Oppositions and Resolutions Around Us

When I looked at the environment around me, I was unsure at first what to say was an opposition, but then after looking through my notes I realized some obvious oppositions around the University of Minnesota campus. One of the first oppositions would have to be a gravity versus movement example. The buildings around us have to deal with gravity when being constructed. Without thinking of how to deal with the effects of gravity on the building, it would crumble to the ground. So the resolution to this opposition would be to use columns or pillars to hold up the structures or even just use load bearing walls. Another example of this is the parking ramps around us like the Oak st. parking ramp. Due to gravity a car can't jsut float to the second level, to overcome the gravity we build ramps to get the car to the top of the ramp or to the bottom in a safe manner. Another opposition that i noticed was houses that have large trees in their backyards, so some this could get in the way but a resolution for this type of opposition could be to turn it into a tree house. Having a tree hosue would give another room for things to happen, like another room for children to play. Another resolution for this would be to jsut turn it into an umbrella of shade. By doing this you would be letting the oppostion sculpt the area it effects.
Another opposition that we are not dealing with yet, but will be soon is snow. This is like a man versus land opposition. When the snow falls it causes many problems. In the snow driving becomes difficult becuase it makes the roads slippery and dangerous. Snow also makes it hard for students to trek to class becuase the deeper it is the harder it is to walk through it. Resolutions for this type of opposition start with eliminating the snow in general. Many times to deal with snow on the roads we try to plow it or melt it befire it affects the people using the roads. We do the same to help the people walking through the snow as well. Snow also brings with it the cold and frigid weather. This opposition is dealt with in different ways depending on the where it occurs, Eskimos build igloos to protect themselves from the brutally cold wind and snow, while here in the cities we pump our homes full of heat and pack the walls of our houses with insulation to protect against the opposition of the cold and snow.
Well these are a few of the oppositions that I thought of as i think if more I will try to add them.

October 6, 2006

The Phenomenon of Roller Coasters

Roller coasters, there everywhere. But are they a phenomenom? Yes! Roller coasters can be precieved but not one but many of the senses. You can feel the roller coaster fly aorund the track, the noise of the rickety old train cars banging the tracks, and you can see the coaster go up and down around the track. This fact makes it a phenomenom. It also is a complex system that inculdes things, frameworks, and clockworks. When and where roller coasters were started can be tracked and calculated to the exact time. Finally the roller coaster has destination, and that is to get around the track, and back to where it started. These reasons make roller coasters phenomena.

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One aspect that makes a roller coaster a phenomenom is that it has clockworks. The path that roller coaster takes is completely predictable. The time that it takes to travel the track to how many times the wheels rotate on the train cars can be predicted and are always periodic. Roller coasters also include frameworks. This is true becuase you can have many different types of roller coasters but they will all the same thing. You can have steel or wood coasters and they are all related becuase they perform the same type of entertainment. The roller coaster is also made up of things. The things like the track, the train cars, the structure holding up the track, they all take up space. They all have size and can be measured to certain standards. They also have shape and attributes.

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All these clockworks, frameworks, and things come together to make a roller coaster a phenomenon.

October 1, 2006

Genuis Loci in Minnesota?

When asked to pick a place that is meaningful to me I was able to easily able to chose one place. Altough it might sound a little corny a meaningful place for me would have to be my high school at Totino Grace in Fridley. It is meaningful to me because not only did i recieve a good education but i recieved more then that. At Totino Grace I made many life long friendships with fellow classmates even some faculty. Totino Grace is meaningful place becuase when you first start attending it you might feel out of place, but my the end you feel like your part of it. This is what I feel is its Genius Loci. It starts out feeling like your house, but in the end you're calling it your home. When you go there you know what to do. You become part of a family, everyone knows everyone and you can feel the sense of friendship.

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The Genius Loci at Totino Grace is not like one you might find at a regular high school. Through the four years that I spent at Totino Grace I always felt like I belonged, and that is the distinctive atmosphere that you get when you walk in the front doors at Totino Grace. You are constantly being reminded that you are part of a family there, from the cooks in the kitchen knowing your name in the lunchline to the teachers you've never had knowing who you are. The Genuis Loci in Totino Grace is unique to Totino Grace, and I am glad I was able to experience it.
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At Totino Grace the Genius Loci is even brought outside of the walls of the school. You experience it through the numerous community service oppurtunities. The atmosphere of being part of a giant family is constantly growing and present and that is why it's a meaningful place for me.

September 23, 2006

Prompt #2- Retractable Roof???

Since the Twins stadium bill has been passed there would be no need to advocate for that, but another issue has risen dealing with the Twins stadium. Do we need a retractable roof? There are many for the retractable roof becuase they bring up important arguements. When its cold what will we do? If it snows what will they do? They say a retractable roof is needed becuase Minnesota has constantly changing weather and it could cause many games to get cancelled if we don't have a roof to protect the field.
I for one do not think the Twins need a retractable roof. The purposed stadium already calls for 478 million dollars to fund it, with 74% of that to be paid by the public or 353 million dollars from our pockets(deMause). If we decide to add the retractable roof the price would rise considerably which would be more money out of our pockets. I don't think that the weather would affect the games anyway, and if they do that only makes things more exciting, like a possible playoff first, baseball game in the snow in late september. I think a retractable roof for the twins stadium would be a bad design idea becuase it would cost us more money and it would prevent us from experience a real outdoor baseball game on a rainy day.

deMause, Neil. "Twins Stadium Deal." Baseball Prospectus. 1996-2006. 23 Sept. 2006 < http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4067 >.

September 17, 2006

Midtown Global Market

The most basic definition of energy would be the ablility to do work, but as i walked in the Midtown Market I realized it was much more. As I pulled into the parking lot the area around the market seemed tame and subdued but as I entered through the front doors the energy inside was brought straight to me. The energy inside was coming from all directions, and it wasn't your usual energy, it was the atmosphere within the market. The energy there was the vendors selling their product, the smell of the fresh produce and food, and the experience of the many cultures represented.
Creating energy here would not be hard. Just walking around you were creating energy by interacting with vendors and fellow customers. The energy was the used to buy and sell the products and learn about the new cultures. Energy could be exchanged in various way like buying some produce or just taking in the sights and sounds inside the market. After visiting the market for the first time this weekend, the energy i experienced definitly makes me want to go back again.