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February 29, 2008

Building a Dream

Without the constraints of assignment and cost, I would design something that has always been a dream of mine. I enjoy the outdoors and have a great passion for natural surroundings. One place I love to travel every summer is into the wilderness of northern minnesota. We do not bring electronics, motors, or anything modern for that matter. We bring along basic camping supplies and forget the busy lives we all live day to day. When in the wilderness people forget about their problems and make a connection with what is surrounding them. My dream design would be to build a house featuring nothing but supplies from the wilderness. Build it with trees rocks and the local materials. It would be an establishment that would connect with nature on an enormous level. It would not be something large, just the essentials. A place to sleep, read, and cook meals.

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Living within the serenity of nature and designing something to fit right in would be the ultimate dream. I look forward to traveling there every summer to escape a stressful life. Fishing whenever one wants and exploring untraveled land is something that helps one appreciate nature.


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This design is built well within the realms of nature and is something that I would consider designing something similar.

February 21, 2008

Feeding the Universe


And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. [Matthew 7:25] Poverty in the world today is an issue that some people face with no say in what they are born into. It is sad and unfortunate to be born into a poverty stricken life. People need a second chance and a way to restart their lives. All they may need is a shelter and a meal for a short period of time to get back on their feet. The problem is much easier fixed in countries with large power and income. Smaller countries evidently face a much tougher challenge. With little money to spare and violence constantly uprooting the people of these communities, it is almost impossible to live a happy and cherished life. This next quote is something that I believe the answer to is yes but only with the help of individuals who live a happy and meaningful life. Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? [Jeremiah 8:23] Yes, I do believe an Ethiopian can be given an opportunity to survive and live a better life.

This picture truly puts a disturbing image of what other people throughout the world face day to day. It is something that strikes sorrow in every human's heart and provides us with an instinct of wanting to take action.

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This problem may never be completely eradicated but a dent can be made. Striving for a purpose as meaningful as this makes it imperative that people consider helping. There are a few songs that I consider when picturing a scene of poverty in my head. The song "Seasons of Love" by Rent is a piece of music that really paints an image of the value of people coming together to help others live a fulfilling life. Another song that many might unexpect is "One Day at a Time" by Tupac Shakur. This song has a message that describes the violence and poverty that many face day to day.


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February 15, 2008

Living Under the Stars

Homeless in the Twin Cities

Living with a roof over my head has struck me as being a privilege that has just always been there. I do not have any real interpretation of what being homeless might actually persist of. I could imagine it contains a lot of stress along with loneliness and a large amount of hope. Being homeless would not only be a way of suffering but living in the twin cities without a home would amplify the effect dramatically. The winter in the Twin Cities does not go easy on those without a shelter. I have never experienced this feeling other than a church activity I was apart of back in high school. With my church we first were not allowed to eat on the whole trip. We then went to a homeless shelter in Minneapolis and served food to the homeless. The last part of the adventure was to spend the night in a cardboard box in the church parking lot. I learned a lot on this weekend adventure. Although I only touched what a real homeless person might feel, I still wished I had a meal and a nice bed to sleep in. I always took these things for granted until this experience.

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Homelessness is something that is a serious issue in this nation. Since I have been born I have heard news about progress being made on helping the homeless. A lady named Mary Jo Copeland, whom I have had the honor to meet, helped fund and build several homeless shelters throughout the twin cities. I volunteered to help serve dinner at one of her shelters. It was a good experience because I learned a lot about the personalities of the homeless people. The typical stereotype of a homeless person is someone who spends all their money on booze. Well this may be the case for a very small percentage but the majority has more logical reasons for not having a home.

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The facts on homelessness are quite startling. On any given night in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area there are around 8500 people sleeping without a shelter. Thirty years ago a person could make enough money in a week to afford a monthly rent at some sort of housing. Today it requires a wage of almost thirteen dollars an hour to afford a 600 dollar monthly appartment lease. The gap between minimum wage and the amount needed to afford a place to live is continuing to grow causing a larger homeless population. The only way we can fix this problem is to continue to volunteer and help with the communities in which we live.


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February 6, 2008

The Surge of Art in our Environment

Well this is my third attempt at trying to add a video to my blog and it still has not seemed to cooporate. Each attempt I somehow lost all of my progress. I guess I will find something of equal importance to imply. Anyway, I think it is important to identify the things around us with things of meaning and importance. In Andy Goldsworthy's film, Rivers and Tides, a depiction of nature and what it is equipped with is portrayed by Mr. Goldsworthy. He adapts the natural resources around him to form abstract concepts that make things efficient and interesting. If Andy's film was made in a civilized modern setting, I think it would have little impact on the idea of the film. Although he is surrounded by the serene nature in his movie being surrounded by buildings, technology, and people may have more inspiration in his work. I think he could have found similar ideas throughout a city as he did in the wilderness. An example of this is the following image. It contains a nail-biting traffic jam that depicts a serious effect of flow. The heavy congestion in this environment could also be displayed in the wilderness by using some creativity.
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The following video has an interesting portrayal of the downtown minneapolis area. It is quite interesting to see the city from another poinof view. It allows us to see the geometry found throughout the city.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=qFu3Y8Nl6jE&feature=related
I have come to realize that this answering this blog prompt can have several interpretations. When it was first assigned I had to sit and think, what things is my professor striving for in our answers. The idea can be taken literally by actually finding the flow and energy found in the city. This is easy to do by describing a river or electricity because it literally fits the meaning. However I thought for some time on ways to interpret the idea and find ideas of flow and energy in the beauty and gracefulness of our man made objects. This is different and similar to what Goldsworthy accomplished in his film. He had he same idea in mind except he was not offered the man made objects. He made the same interpretations but in the natural world. Both aspects of discovering this topic should be explored to understand the full meaning of flow in our environment.