November 7, 2006


We encounter a variety of oppositions each and avery day. However they are such a part of our everyday life that we do not give them much thought when we encounter them. The oppsositon of climate and closure is one oppostion that we as Minnesotans deal with on a daily basis. However with our drastic climate changes how we deal with this oppostion changes from season to season. In the summer months we are confronted by intense heat and humidity. One way that we respond to this opposition is by using air conditioning to cool our homes and cars. However we could also respond to the oppsition of heat by simply staying very well hydrated. In the winter we are faced again with the opposition of climate but this time we deal with the cold. We respond to the cold by insulating our homes and heating them. We also can respond to this oppostion by dressing warmly in multiple layers. The opposition of climate also forces us to adress the issue of precipatation. We respond to this problem in our bulidings by installing rain gutters to control the flow of wate. Also we have sloped roofs to prevent the accumulation of snow on our buildings. Also we have even gone as far as heating our driveways to cause the snow to melt in the winter.
Another opposition that we encounter regularly is the oppostion of gravity and movement. We encounter the opposition of gravity in the homes and buildings we live in and use every day. The force of gravity opposes our desire to build higher and larger building. We are able to respond to this opposition by using truss sytems to make the building more rigid and thus able to withold a greater force from gravity. We can also respond to this opposition by reinforcing concrete with steel rods in the buildings we build.

October 25, 2006

Phenomena of Tornadoes

Tornadoes are a natural phenomena that have left us stricken with curiosity and fear for hundreds of years. Although we now have a pretty good understanding of what cause tornadoes we are still unable to predict their location and intensity. Phenomena can be described as an unusual or unaccountable fact or occurrence. Tornadoes are a good example of phenomena because of the vast destruction they can cause and we don’t know exactly what causes them.
Tornadoes are funnel shaped and extend from the earth to the clouds. The shape can also appear to be more wedge shaped. They can vary greatly in size from a several feet to over a mile wide. Also the speed at which they travel can vary quite greatly. Their color differs greatly and is dependent on the environment from where the tornado has formed. If the tornado forms over water it could appear blue or white. The tornadoes appearance is dependent on the debris that it picks up. The fact that there are so many factors (size, shape, speed) that we don’t know how they are determined makes a tornado a very interesting phenomena.
The framework of the tornado is the debris that makes the tornado visible to the eye. The tornado appearance is dependent on the debris that it picks up. The framework also consists of a column of vertically cycling air. The clockwork of a tornado is how it is formed. They cycle starts when a strong thunderstorm develops a column of vertically cycling air and become a super cell. This first stage is when the tornado is formed by a great drop in air pressure from converging fronts. The next stage is when the tornado is in its developed form and causes most of its damage. Then the tornado begins to dissipate because it runs out of warm air to fuel it. Finally the cycle ends when the tornado has run out fuel to continue its cycle.

October 6, 2006

Genius Loci

The Genius Loci can best be defined as the " spirit of place". For this assignment i wanted to focus on something that has a unique meaning for me. For the last few years me and my friends have spent a few weeks at my friends cabin at Lake Pokegama in Grand Rapids. For most people, and even myself when i first visited there, the cabin appears to be nothing special at first glance. However over the years the cabin has become a very meaningful place for me. The landscape of northern Minnesota is really what makes this place so great. The trees are thick and abundant and tower over you wherever you go. The only escape form the massive trees is on the the very expansive lake. There is an array of scents that you are also surrounded by. You are always surrounded by the fresh smell of pine. The sounds are also quite unique. You can hear water soflty hitting the shore, birds chirping and leaves rustling in the wind. These sounds are quite a change from the city. These sights, sounds, and scents create a unique atmosphere that is above all quite relaxing. The final key component that makes visiting the cabin so meaningful is the friends that i go there with. It provides us with a great environment to relax and have fun during the day and reminisce during the night. Visiting the cabin provides a distinctive environment for me to escape the busy lives that we all live in and enjoy the trainquility of northern minnesota with my best friends.

September 29, 2006

New Brighton Northwest Quadrant

I was trying to find a social design issue to for this blog and realized that i first needed to define what a social design issue was. In the context of this assignment a social design issue is a problem caused by design or lack there of and how the design could cause/fix the problem for a particular community or group. The redevelopment of New Brighton "Northwest Quadrant" seemed like a good choice for a couple reasons. First one being my familiarity with the issue being a lifelong resident of new brighton. The other reason being that the redevelopment was using, the highly controversial, eminent domain to aquire some of the land for the redevelopment.
The Northwest Quadrant redevelopment is being planned on the north side of the intersection of interstate 694 and old highway 8. The city of new brighton has been developing this plan for several years to revitalize "downtown" New Brighton and make it a destination for shopping, dining and living. Another motivation for the develpoment was to increase the city tax base from all the new businesses. New Brightons population was beginning to age and they hoped this redevelpoment would bring in some new younger residents. They were almost able to persuade Medtronic to relocate their corporate headquarters there. The development calls for a wide variety of building uses. There are plans for offices and restaurants as well as a wide variety of residential housing. The plan calls for a variety of building types and designs with a "old town" vibe in mind.
The city was able to negotiate buyouts with most of the businesses but was faced with having to use eminet domain to require the remaining lots. Eminent domain has been a highly controversial issue that involves goverment taking private property for redevelpoment. Using eminent domain for building new roads, hospitlas and schools is not arouse so much controversy but using it for private develpoment creates a greater difference of opinion.
I believe that the city of New Brightons aggressive redevelopment plan is not only going to be good for the city but is neccesary for the future stability of the city. The Northwest quadrant will provide New Brighton not only with a greater tax base but will be able to reviatlize an aging city and provide a town center that will provide residents with many goods and services. As for the issue of eminemt domain, i believe that this was a proper use of their power. The redevelopment does not affect any existing residential areas and they were able to successfully negotiate will almost all the businesses. While a few few businesses may suffer some inconvenience as a result i believe that it will be far offset by the the positive affect that it will have on the city and its residents.

For More Info on the development plan.

September 22, 2006

Midtown Market

Energy can be defined in many ways: The ability to do work, the amount of vigouous activity, the forcelfulness of expression, and anything that can be used as fuel. The Midtown market exemplifies energy in a multitude of ways.
Energy at the midtown market is created best by the the environment of the market.The wide open spaces, high ceilings and many windows create a vibrant space that is very inviting. The abundance of natural light creates an energetic environment. Another way energy is created is through the consumption of the many choices of foods.
There are several ways in which energy is used at eh midtown market. Energy is spent taking in the many sights and sounds from around the world that we are surrounded by. You can spend the product of some of your energy (money), on one of the various vendors products. You can also phyically use energy traveling to from the market as well as exploring all it has to offer.
As well as the midtown creates and uses energy i would argue that it provides and even better forum to exchange energy. Energy is exchanged from the very second you enter the market. The market exudes an energy that you can't help but replicate. Much as the energy is form the market is transferred to you, you transfer energy to the market as the people there make up much of the energy. Energy is also transferred through the many goods available at the market. You exchange money (energy) for their goods(energy). The Midtown Market is an great forum for exchanging energy, from the exchange of resources to the exchange of knowledge. The market is a perfect place to view energy in a variety of forms.