December 4, 2006

The Final Entry of The Firefly

I would like to say that I have found 1701 to be a very informative intellectual class. Ozayr make great powerpoint presentations with pretty pictures. Lecture is always a great learning experience injected with witty humour. Except for the quattsi movies, the sped up footage make me sick to my stomach, loved Baraka though. The class has helped cement my plans of becoming an architect in the future.

James, thanks for being the best friggin 1701 TA. Discussions were always the highlight of my Mondays.

Thank you for providing me with a fun and informative playground of architectural knowledge.

ARCH 1701 was by far my favorite class of this semester.


I have not entered any previous blogs on my community service and I find this to be a good time to do so. I would like to thank Ozayr for giving me the opportunity to mentor the children of ACES. It has been a great learning process for me. It is personally exhilerating to see the joy of the children when I show up to work with them. I fully intend to continue volunteering throughout next semester.

Short and Sweet. There is really nothing else to say.


To begin this final required entry, I would like to say that I found Louis Kahn's reading to be extremely difficult. It is interesting, but after reading it five time, I am still not entirely sure I understand it.

Neil Gershenfeld's Fab and Louis Kahn's Silence and Light are similar strains of thought seperated by different conclusions. Fab deals with the creative process and what can be produced when the human mind is allowed to run rampant while Silence and Light deals with creativity in architecture.

Both articles describe creative designs that are not neccesarily viable construction. For example, the personal scream space idea requires a sound damper. How do you make a sound damper? Also, I believe Silence and Light describes a building made entirely of shadows. This would be unbelievably cool, but it does not really work.

I believe that both of the articles are really trying to emphasize the importance of creativity. It is the designers greatest and most valued asset. All great buildings start with a creative idea. Designers should not feel pressured into making something they hate because the end product will lack a very important element, the touch of an artist. As the final readings, I believe they both push the powerful message of why we create. Simply, we strive for creative freedom, and the beauty of seeing one's ideas come to fruition.

November 22, 2006

The Technology Monopoly

I guess there is a reason this one got called the mother of all blog prompts; here goes:

Technopoly is a hard word to define, so I am going to give it my most educated shot. Logically, it is the combination of two words, technology and monopoly. The technology monopoly. I guess what Neil Postman is trying to get at is that technology is holding a monopoly over the human race. It has begun to rule the everday lives of the planets citizens, especially those of Americans.


Americans are putting technology before all else in there lives. We live off of techno gimmicks: camera cell phones, cars that parallel-park themselves, and universal remotes. The cell phone in particular has done horrible damage to the American social structure. It seems to be more fashionable to pull out the cell and take a call than to continue talking to the person standing right next to you. I find it annoying as hell when I am eating dinner with someone and their cell phone rings. It is incredibly rude to pick up the cell phone and leave your friend to sit there with no one to talk to.


The computer is another huge instance of technology holding monopoly over humans. People sit in front of their personal computers and e-mail their friends or blow time away on facebook. Nobody wants to talk to each other in person anymore, they would rather fritter away their time writing on each others "walls" than walk the ten minutes(on this campus) to go see them in person.

ibm computers.jpg

The iPod is another major issue. I can't tell you how awkward it is to be sitting in a room full of people listening to their iPods. Nobody makes eye contact and they all sit in silence. It really shows how disinterested the real world they really are.


Finally, there is the TV. It used to be the highest offender of technopoly. I think that it has dropped a little ways down the list. Although it is most assuredly an offender.


Technopoly is a way of lumping every technological advancement that deteriorates our social system into one big association.

Technopoly is also part of the flow of technology threw nature. When civilization began, the world was a simple place, eat or be eaten. Man invented hunting implements and shelter. As we came to get some footing in our world, the wheel was invented. Now we could trade information and goods with each other. When we became affluent, came the big trading ships to trade across great distance. We spread out and invented what we needed to survive and keep a leg up on opposing lands. The came locomotion, for ease of transport. And then ocean liners, cars, and airplanes. We began to invent things to that were luxuries. This is when technopoly began. We don't need our own cars. They are just a modern day convenience. We don't need TVs, PCs, iPods, cell phones(I'll make an argument for regular phones; they are only usable in the privacy of our homes), gaming consoles, or CDs. Don't get me wrong, I love music. I see it as a very important part of my life, but is only a convenience. It just shows that the technopoly has its power over me. While I eventually will probably own a TV, PC, and cell phone(I already have a PS2 and a boatload of music) I am currently doing just fine without them.
Technopoly is just another stop on the evolutionary change of the technology throughout the order of nature. Its dominance over us is truly frightening. As history has shown, most of our technology stays with us(wheel, car, boat, airplane, etc.). The reality of the situation is that we are all now bound under the web of technopoly. There will be no escape as everyone is just accepting it because they want it. All we can hope for is that we move on down the chain past technopoly before society loses too much.

This nifty little pic shows us the future of reading. The bood reads to you. Isn't that wonderful. Nothing inspires you to learn more than having something else to do your work for you. (and no, this person is not blind)
Technopoly Reading

November 4, 2006

Mathematical Design


The arch is probably on of the most important design discoveries dealing with math. Its shape allows it to withstand a massive amount of weight without crumbling. It must be meticulously built in order to not fracture under stress. A lot of math is involved.


The bridge is another major design involving mathematics. While it shares many attributes of the arch, it also requires bracing and structural support. It must be meticulously designed and tested by computers to assure that it will stand.


The circle is a mathematically inspired shape that is used in architectere to create a different feeling than that inspired by the square.


Skyscrapers require a lot of mathematical testing to withstand wind shear and the rotation of the earth.


The triangle is the foremost geometric shape that everyone can identify. It is easy to see that these buildings are inspired by the triangle.

It is readily apparent that architecture would not exist without mathematics.

October 21, 2006


There are many oppositions known to man. Some are just easier to see than others. For example, a man looks at an empty field and decides that he wants to plant it. So he picks up his hoe and works the field; after a while he becomes tired and realizes he is incapable of doing it by himseld, so he invents the plow. He is now able to work many fields in an easy manner. The opposition leads to the creation of a tool.

A person decides to travel from the east coast to the west coast. He/she realizes that there are many miles and much time opposing them, so they decide that instead of walking, they will ride a horse. Eventually the horse doesn't get them to their destination soon enough, so the train is invented. Then the car, then the airplane, and finaly, the supersonic jet.
The supersonic jet is opposed by the air thru which it travels. Therefore it cannot be boxy, it must be aerodynamic and capable of cutting thru air like a knife. The opposition sculpts the form.

Gravity opposes any upward force. The only way to counter it is through the use of a rocket with the capability to produce enough force to escape the Earth's gravitational pull. But even then, it will succumb to the pull of the sun. Gravity is on of the few force's incapable of being countermanded.

October 16, 2006

steel (an alloy of iron with small amounts of carbon; widely used in construction; mechanical properties can be varied over a wide range)

iron--Fe, atomic number 26 (a heavy ductile magnetic metallic element; is silver-white in pure form but readily rusts; used in construction and tools and armament; plays a role in the transport of oxygen by the blood)

The primary difference between steel and iron is that iron is an element and steel is an alloy. To make steel, all you have to do is add carbon.........through a complex process.


October 7, 2006

Invisible Phenomena

The simplest thing can be a phenomena. Let's take a look at the garbage system, specifically Pioneer Hall's waste manegement system. Since phenomena contain things, frameworks, and clockworks, I will attempt to analyze the phenomena through these things. First, there are many things in this framework; there is a myriad of jonk tossed every day into the garbage. The different types of garbage all smell different, look different, sound different when dropped, feel different, and I'm sure if tasted, they would taste different.


All of these things, different types of garbage, make up a framework. They come together in a garbage can repeatedly and often.

garbage can.jpg

This framework is a clockwork because the garbage receptacles fill up and then empty only to repeat the same process. This event occurs periodically, every day, in Pioneer hall, and continually. This is a phenomena because it has a beginning and end, empty and full, and it has a marked origin and and verifiable completion. It occurs everyday across the world, making it an extremely complex system, a phenomena.


October 1, 2006

The Genius Loci

Genius Loci: The distinctive atmosphere or pervading spirit of a place.

In the massive block of medical buildings immediately to the west of the super-block(pioneer, frontier, territorial, centennial) there is a rather unique site. Nestled in among the cold hard buildings is a small children's playground. It is not the best place for a playground; it's site places it in a position where it only gets 3-4 hours of full sunlight a day, the area it resides in generally feels like a wind tunnel, and it towered over by enormous dark buildings.

While it has very little going for it in many respects, it was genuinely well-intended. It can be a bright spot in the lives of the children who come to the hospital to visit an ailing family member. It can act as a diversion to break them away from all of the pain and suffering they witness in the hospital. Since it can help the children mentally cope with their situation, it is sad that it is located in a dark windy area.


There are also statues of Charlie Brown and Lucy, childhood symbols, nearby. It is easy to see that they were intended to be used for photographic purposes. They lend the playground yet another feeling of happiness that is lost to most children when they come to the hospital.

Making Friends

At your request that we go out and make more friends I went down the hall and met some of my neighbors. Happy.

The Serenity


September 24, 2006

Just Being Social

There are many social design errors, but most can be overlooked without worry. Some howerver standout as issues that need to be rectified

The corner of 15th Ave. SE and 4th St. SE is a standout issue.

When one reaches the corner they get a feeling of unwelcomeness. It is as if the concrete jungle has completely overgrown the area. There is an abscence of trees or shrubbery and the storefronts are rundown. The entire area needs a facelift. The McDonald's is run down and foreboding and by far the biggest issue on the intersection. For an area meant to draw in students, Dinkytown is just a tad creepy.

I would be much in favor of a renovation of the area. It would increase the influx of poeple into Dinkytown. The livelihood of the business' in the surrounding area would increase as more students are drawn in. It would not have to be a full renovation, a little help could go a long way in this situation.

September 18, 2006

Market Energy

The Midtown Market experience is a little out of the ordinary. The initial reaction most would have of the market is that is a place of total chaos. It is not after a half hour of observation that one realizes that there is an order underlying the place. All of the small vendors gel together in a healthy competition for possible consumers. It is a place that all kinds of people can occupy and find something that would interest them.

The dictionary has many definitions of energy, and the closest to describing the enery found in Midtown Market is one of strength, but even this is not an accurate enough description of the energy bristling in the market. The energy is a palpable force of converging forces that assault the senses, in a good way, to provide an evocative experience. Energy can be defined in many ways, but the most fitting definition in this scenario is that energy is the exchange of power, thought, feeling, and emotion. One cannot simply define energy in a sense, it is to vague a word to give a complete description of. One can only attempt to explain it.

There are many ways to create, use, and exchange energy in Midtown Market. The varied interior of the building creates an ebb and flow, a pulsing , a constantly changing environment. Each vendor's stall is stylistically different from the next, causing consumers to be drawn from place to place. The creation of energy occurs rapidly and abundantly through the interaction of vendors and consumers. With vendors vying for the consumers, they attempt to stand out by decorating their stalls in ways that evoke emotion and feeling. It is also a communal meeting place where many can come to socialize and exchange ideas. The use of live music also creates an indescribable energy within the building. This energy can be used to insure that an interesting time is had by all. In fact, the energy could possibly be used to show that humans from many ethnic backgrounds can come together and coexist in harmony. It is almost mesmerizing as one wanders the building to see the constant exchange of energy. There is always an incessant hum of dialogue within the market. It practicaly exudes feelings of calm and joy as one wanders the building.