Chapter 587: TWIGGCCDS- July 26th

This week in GCCDS we had a community meeting Monday night in Soria City and discussions with three folks from NC State University regarding a really interesting rating system for the Resilient Home Building program through one of the partners (CARRI) for the Expo we helped run back in March. Here's a video from the meeting that was featured on the local news with Jody and Britton doing their thing.

As for the rest of the week, a camel back addition, some server work reorganizing all my houses, and then Saturday, Caitlin comes to town for two whole weeks. August is shaping up to be pretty excellent.

sullivanhouse1.jpg

I never knew this existed. Crazy that you can be in a place for four years and just hear about something so major. I know they are doing work on recreating it but haven't had a chance to go and check it out yet. Thanks to Preservation in Mississippi for great information and photos.

via http://misspreservation.com/2009/08/27/lost-to-katrina-louis-sullivan-house/

00001r-yes.gif

From The Architectural Record, June 1905, "The Home of an Artist-Architect-The Place of Louis Sullivan":

Down in the sunny South, between New Orleans and Mobile, where the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico makes one of its beautiful indentations, Biloxi Bay girt by beach of golden sand and dark green pine trees, there lies a little tract of land some three hundred feet wide and eighteen hundred feet deep, in the midst of a forest.

The white shell road in front runs along a bluff ten feet above the water and beach, curving around in a gentle line.

One passes through the gates to within either by its winding carriage road or bordered paths and up a series of easy steps. There are no signs: "Trespassing not allowed." Visitors and lovers of Nature are welcome, for this is the resting place of a true believer in real Democracy who has voiced his sentiments in no uncertain tones.

Here there has been for some fifteen years or so a modest, comfortable one-story shingled cottage, reached only by the touch of the wind and the golden sun; and embowered among stately trees, growing shrubs, clinging vines, and in season, blooming roses cultivated with the greatest care and thought.

Across the front of the building runs an ample and commodious "gallery" or piazza, (for here one stays outdoors as much as possible) and sitting beneath great clusters of white wisteria hanging from the roof, can look over the rose garden blooming in rich profusion, through the vistas guarded by towering trees and across the stretch of water of the bay glittering with countless gems beyond the price of the ransom of kings, to the long, low island, fringed with its dark belt of trees above the white strip of sand which divides the water and the foliage-and all this scene of rest and tranquility breathing the soft and balmy air which envelops all and dims in hazy hue the far perspective.

Within the house there is first a spacious hall long and wide and with a decidedly "home" atmosphere, and containing restful furniture, good books, interesting pictures, and articles of interest selected with constant eye for their value in beauty and use. This room is large enough to permit a nook for the dining-table and its accessories, and contains a fire-place and ample bookshelves. Along the front to the left is the spacious guests' room, to the right the owner's sleeping apartments, all opening upon the gallery. Directly in the rear of the hall is the service room leading by a pasage to the kitchen. The wing of this portion terminates in an octagonal tower formerly used for the tank water-supply before the sinking of the artesian-well with its ample flow of crystalline water.

. . . .

The native forest has been touched only here and there to open vistas from the house to the waters of the bay, disclosing Deer Island, which, stretching out as a natural breakwater, prevents the incoming waves from reaching with too great a force, the beach and the oysters in their beds, clustered thereon. The trees tower aloft in all their native might. "The three Graces, the giant Twins," pines, live and water oaks, black gums, sweet gums, and hickories. To a lesser height are magnolias and catalpas, with their shinning [sic]leaves and exquisite flowers, wild-plums, glorious dog-woods, gleaming in snow-white profusion in the foreground or glinting their brilliancy amid the clustering trunks of the background. Nearer the ground are the blazing colors of the wild honeysuckle and the magnificence of the azaleas. The palmetto with its highly decorative spreading forms a base for it all, and finally carpeting the ground with the green grass are the modest yet beautiful flowers of violet, white and red softening the tread of the foot on Mother Earth.

sullivan-house-remians-2.jpg

Through the wonders of Google Books, you can read this full article and see the photographs along with a site plan that I couldn't get to copy correctly. The reference to "Democracy" in the article surprised me and made me think about what was going on at summer "cottages" of the same era in Newport and other beaches of the rich and famous-overblown marble mansions made for showy galas and elite entertainment. The Sullivan House was a reaction against this kind of architecture, and I think it fit the laid-back culture of our Gulf Coast very well.

The Sullivan House was destroyed completely by Hurricane Katrina. Its neighbor, the Charnley House, also designed by Sullivan, apparently with the help of or perhaps completely by a young draftsman in his office named Frank Lloyd Wright, survived although with major structural damage. We'll look at its slow but continuing progress next week.

q&arch-03.jpg


In this edition of Q. and A.rch we'll be featuring our 10 question conversation with Kyle Schroeder of Archtalks.com. Kyle is a graduate of Bennington College, where he studied architecture and music production. His hometown is Kansas City, MO and he currently lives in NYC.

Arch Talks was created as a resource to synthesize architecturally relevant material (i.e. documentaries, lectures, interviews, building tours etc) in audio, video and transcription format. The goal is to gather all of the best quality videos/audio that exists online and inspire people to both document and share their own captured/archived media.



1) Arch Talks is an open source depository for digital design media related to architecture and the design profession. What gave you the idea to begin to gather people and videos in one place?

Yes, at this point the website is focusing mostly on lectures, interviews etc. in audio, video or transcription format. I'm looking at gathering quality in-depth material. The idea is the coming together of several points of interest in my life, I've wanted to do this for awhile. I first got the idea about a year ago after watching a video of David Shapiro interviewing John Hejduk. I remember a striking comparison he made, this isn't an exact quote, "I went to a lecture that a surgeon was giving...and he said that he had been using a scalpel long enough that he could tell exactly where he was spatially in the body by the sound of the cut he was making...now that is an architectural manifestation!".

I've yet to find more footage of Hejduk which is kind of a bummer, he had a very unique way of describing things. But after looking around I came across interviews with other architects on websites like ArchDaily and YouTube of course and I started to become aware of the amount of footage available. I enjoy collecting things and I think that this is a particular body of media which is large and at the same time very spread out so I think there is some value to condensing it into one database.

It's inspiring to listen to people talk about their work, especially when it's a discipline such as architecture where everyone has their own definition...particularly as a student of architecture, it's inspiring be able to hear people like Renzo Piano or Jean Nouvel communicate a project's evolution.


2) While the website is a based on the idea of a community gathering together to share content, there is a man behind the site: Kyle Schroeder. Raised in the Midwest, college in Vermont, and now living in New York City; if Arch Talks is the hobby, what's the day job?

Actually, ArchTalks is the product of having a little time on my hands from not having a day job. I spent a good deal of time after graduating last fall working for a small firm in midtown, work slowed down so I started to do some bike messengering which I'm still doing...definitely gearing up to apply to graduate school this coming fall, possibly for architecture.


3) You studied architecture and music production at Bennington College and received a BA in Visual Art. Bennington is known as one of the more non-traditional schools. What was the effect of your education on what you're up to now and the formation of Arch Talks?

Bennington is all about the interaction between disciplines. My interest in architecture grew tremendously due to this and I found outlets for architectural experimentation in literature, science, ceramics and music. I worked a lot with the idea of translating architecture into music and vice versa. My mind has kind of been permanently programmed now to look for modes of translation. Whenever I come across an idea that influences me I try and find ways of connecting it to other seemingly unrelated ones.

This line of thought lends itself nicely discipline such as architecture which encompasses a wide range of other disciplines. I posted a TED talk a few days ago by architect, Mitchell Joachim who has a biology lab in his office. It's well known that Eisenman and the Deconstructivist movement were inspired by Derrida. One of my favorite instances of translation is Terragni's Danteum, which is based on the Divine Comedy. So while ArchTalks is primarily concerned with architects I'm also trying to facilitate this sort of translation by including material on other fields which has or can possibly (depending on the listener) inspire architecture.

Imagem+4.JPG
(Terragni's Danteum)


4) Your visual arts training is apparent in your online portfolio with a grab bag of playful art and architecture sketches. Talk a little bit about the role of hand rendering and it's importance and role to you as a young designer.

My architecture professor at Bennington had us drafting by hand and a lot of the work on my site is from my time there. Also a lot of the work that has had the most impact on me has been hand rendered... work by people like Sant Elia, Raimund Abraham (check out his book [Un]built) and Lebbeus Woods. Venturi's drawings for his mother's house, especially the earlier iterations, and sections, really made an impact on me as well.

antonio-santelia-la-citta-nuova-1914.jpg
(Sant Elia's La Citta Nuova)

CRI_11492.jpg
(Raimund Abraham's House without Rooms)


5) With @arch_talks you are a part of the ever-expanding juggernaut that is social networking through twitter, facebook, foursquare, et cetera. What do you think the role of social media and open-source, online community means to the design field and how do you use it to your advantage with Arch Talks?

Well that's kind of the foundation that ArchTalks is built upon. Nearly all the material on the site at the moment is stuff that already exists on the internet which I have found through these various social networks. I hope that ArchTalks starts to grow into a reason for people to contribute new material to the online community. It aspires to be a site which brings together people who are talking about and searching for interesting and important ideas. Hopefully it starts to serve as a resource which stimulates a sense of curiosity and excitement for those interested in architecture.


6) With over a hundred videos and over sixty interviews already on the site, if you could name just a couple of your favorites, what would they be?

Hmmm I'll do a top 5 thing here.

1.) Eisenman brings to light a few really good points about architecture and where it's headed.
http://www.archtalks.com/archtalks-home/2010/6/3/peter-eisenman-concerned-lecture.html


2.) I've learned a lot from Xenakis and it was really great to be able to find some footage of him discussing his work.


3.) I did my senior analysis project on Scarpa's Brion Tomb and spent a lot of time watching these two tours of the grounds...no talking but very valuable footage.


4.) Great documentary on Ledoux's Saltworks
http://www.archtalks.com/archtalks-home/tag/claude-nicolas-ledoux

5.) Interesting little transcript with Juhani Pallasma
http://www.archtalks.com/archtalks-home/2010/6/9/juhani-pallasmaa-transcript.html


7) Judging by the list of designers and the corresponding number of videos, do you think that Arch Talks will be more heavy on the contemporary theorists or do you have a hope for the direction of the content?

There is and will continue to be a lot of footage of contemporary theorists since everyone has a video/audio recorder. My greatest hope is that older content will start to arise due to ArchTalks. There isn't much footage online of anyone talking before the 80's.

Of course older books and magazines are a good resource for transcripted interviews. But there isn't much in the way of video or audio of that generation of thinkers and architects (people like Le Corbusier, Mies, Kahn the list goes on) who influenced this generation. The footage is out there it just takes some collective interest to bring it to light.


8) Building on that, where would you like the Arch Talks to be in a year? In five years?

1 year Best case scenario in a year would be a:

-Large group of regular contributors. People contributing both material that has yet to be collected from the internet and as I mentioned above adding new material not found on the internet...interviews and images from old books...old footage of lectures etc.

-Conduct our own interviews (which I hope to be doing soon actually).

-It would be great if some universities and colleges let me link up with their lecture series and or archives.

-Possibly overhaul the website to facilitate easier navigation.

In 5 years: Building on the foundation which will hopefully be established above.


9) Whom or what in the design world are you into right now? (links, firms, projects, people, ideas, etc.)

Two websites which I frequent are BLDGBLOG and npr's RADIOLAB. I recently came across the work of Rob Carter which I am very fond of. He creates beautiful architectural animations and collages.

Stone on Stone [CLIP] from Rob Carter on Vimeo.



Firm wise I am really into the work of Tom Kundig and OSKA based in Seattle, especially his Brain house. Also an older firm which I recently discovered is Clark and Menefee.

01.31.09_TomKundig_06.jpg
(Tom Kundig's Brain House)

349335854_b31a7011fa.jpg
(Clark and Menefee's Inn at Middleton Place via Dick Jagger)

A great book came out last year compiling Walter Benjamin's writings on architecture, his arcades project is definitely something worth looking up. Two other people of interest who come to mind are Theo Jansen and Roman Signer.


(Theo Jansen's Strandbeest)



(Roman Signer via http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35iYo0LOrVI)


10) What are your thoughts for a young professional or student to up their architecture?

Do some digging on ArchTalks!

====================================================================

I hope you enjoyed our talk with Kyle. ArchTalks.com is a great site to visit and get lost for a weekend in all the accumulated rhetoric and inspiration. We've received a great response to all our inquiries about Q. and A.rch and will be featuring the creators of Architexts (architexts.us) a comic about the profession as well as new progress from Works Progress, and a number of other interesting people. Stay tuned!

q&arch-02.jpg

In this edition of Q. and A.rch we'll be featuring the second part of our 10 question conversation with Justin Merkovich of RAW (Real Architecture Workshop) Dakota. He shares his personal thoughts on RAW in response to another set of Q. and A.rch questions geared to pertain to an adventuresome design/build class being held this July 26th-August 6th in Custer, South Dakota.

Also, be sure to come out and see Citizen Architect at the Walker Art Center this Thursday if you're in Minneapolis or check out www.citizenarchitectfilm.com to see it as it travels around the country this summer. After the screening at 7pm there will be a panel discussion featuring Maureen Colburn of AFH-Minneapolis/St. Paul, Paul Neseth of Real Architecture Workshop as well as myself. More on that in the next few days. For now, on with the show...

merk.jpg
Justin and his son at a Minnesota Twins baseball game


1) RAW is in its first year. Although it was originally a facet of Paul's vision, how did the rest of the project team come together and what is your shared vision for the project?

The rest of the project team has a close relationship with Paul through the Biloxi design/build project through the University of Minnesota and through Locus Architecture. For me personally, Paul has been a professional mentor as I try to navigate the world of architecture.


2) In addition to a strong University of Minnesota contingent, Adam Jones is an instructor at Vesper College in Minneapolis. What more could you tell people about Vesper and the ethic of the work being done there and its effect on the RAW project?

I have known the president of Vesper College (Dan Noyes) for about 10 years. Dan actually wrote a letter of recommendation for my M Arch applications. Vesper College and RAW are kindred spirits. My interpretation of Dan's vision for architecture is that it be a seamless combination of beauty, functionality, and sustainability which is congruent with the ethos of RAW. Vesper College is deeply concerned with creating meaningful architecture by hand, not just on a piece of paper, or a computer - the haptic quality of materials is essential to Vesper's approach. Both RAW and Vesper College strive to reclaim materials or gather materials locally even if they be unmilled or what some may consider to be unsuitable for construction-both programs desire to be fully invested in the inherent qualities of materials in whatever form they might take and to challenge themselves to make them work architecturally.


vesper.jpg


3) How did the decision come about to do work in the Black Hills of South Dakota rather than a locale in Minnesota? Does the rural setting afford more flexibility in design and construction?

RAW hopes to be an agile and mobile program, taking place wherever the opportunity presents itself whether that be an island in Lake Superior, Black Hills of South Dakota, or the foothills of Mexico and beyond. The Black Hills site was dependent upon the client in this case. In my opinion, the fact that we are working for a client/owner who fully supports and trusts Paul's overall vision for RAW is crucial. The ability to harvest and build with local materials that fully engage the beauty of the Black Hills area allows us to create something that is truly unique to the place and that is something that I think every RAW project will do.


4) What kind of collaborations is RAW involved with to make something like this a success and what kind of community interaction do you have, if any?

RAW is collaborating with local Native American tribes as well as the mining community in the Black Hills through lectures, tours and critiques/reviews. Perhaps most importantly, RAW students will be spending time biking, rock-climbing, and hiking in and around the Black Hills. The opportunity to experience the landscape from a physical standpoint will be a truly unique experience in architecture. I can think of no better way to fully understand how the local stone acts and feels than to try to gain a handhold while climbing a rock face.


Black Hills.jpg


5) RAW is currently an independent program that is available for young architects and students. Do you see trying to integrate the program into a university setting?

As of this writing, Vesper College is offering college credit to their students taking part in RAW so the process of university integration has begun. I think there are some challenges involved to integrating with the accredited architecture programs in the region and beyond but I'm sure it would make enrolling students much easier.


6) How would you compare RAW to other building labs and what do you think distinguishes RAW in terms of the type of experience attendees will receive?

I can only compare what I know through observation as I've not attended other design/build programs. I think any design/build program should aspire to have a meaningful connection to the local community from a sociological standpoint. Samuel Mockbee and Auburn University Rural Studio has set the standard for engaging with the local populace and I hope that RAW can achieve half of their success in this regard. My personal hope is that we can also move beyond pretty little pavilions on the horizon that serve no purpose nor function and don't employ local materials nor local sensibilities -this is not an indictment of other programs but a challenge for us to create something beautiful AND necessary for the client and the place.


7) It's mentioned that there is a strong disconnect between the profession and its trades. What are some good ways to bridge that gap?

Again, this is only my personal opinion but my experience is that both sides (trades and architects) view each other with skepticism and mistrust. My personal background is in the trades - my father has worked in the concrete sawing and drilling industry my whole life. As a teenager I could run huge concrete saws and later in life I worked for a cabinet maker. I have in-laws putting footings and foundations in the ground and supplying civil engineers and municipalities. Having spent more time with the trades than architects, my approach is to view the tradesmen with the utmost respect and to work very hard to get them to impart some of their hands-on knowledge to me. I once attended a small lecture with David Salmela FAIA in which he told the following story:

"...talking to the tradesman firsthand and trying to get them to understand why you designed something a certain way is critically important. If you can gain the trust and understanding of the tradesmen, soon they are not working for their bosses or the contractor, they are working for YOU." I have found Salmela's statement to be a great lesson in how to interface with craftsmen.

salmela88.jpg


8) Moving forward, where would you like the Real Architecture Workshop to be in a year? In five years?

I honestly think that RAW has the potential to go anywhere and do anything. RAW Black Hills could be fertile ground for architecture for several more years with expanding client needs creating opportunities for different architectural programs. But, as I said, I see RAW being very agile and very well-suited to going anywhere from the most remote places to large cities and engaging with elemental landscapes or reclaiming urban detritus and turning it into something beautiful and useful. I also think that there are seasonal opportunities similar to those offered by Taliesin who spends the spring in Wisconsin and the fall in Arizona. RAW could have a winter design/build in Oaxaca and a summer in the Black Hills or Alaska or Lake Superior.


9) Whom or what in the design world are you into right now? (links, firms, projects, people, ideas, etc.)

I'm probably not the best person to ask about the design world because I've considered myself an artist first and foremost for my whole life and I've only just entered the world of architecture. My greatest interest is in residential architecture that strives to use the fewest resources, the most passive strategies and embodies the beauty offered by local materials. The following is from "A Fish Called Wanda" and sums up my feelings on architectural theory:

Wanda: "You think you are an intellectual, don't you ape?!"
Otto: "Apes don't read philosophy."
Wanda: "Yes, they do! They just don't get it!

I don't pretend to understand the Peter Eisenman's and the Rem Koolhaas's of the world. I tend to appreciate much smaller moments in architecture, the beauty of a connection, the tactile quality of a unique material. I confess that I need to become better acquainted with the work of important architects and continue to challenge myself in this regard.


10) What are your thoughts for a young professional or student to up their architecture?

I'd say, "Look beyond the office." In other words, look for opportunities to actually build something with your own two hands whether that is through a summer design/build workshop, Habitat for Humanity, or a doghouse. Design and build something thoughtfully. Embrace the fact that you will make mistakes but know that you will get stronger each time you actually finish something. Don't let "the perfect be the enemy of the good." By nature architecture students and architects are perfectionists but a less than perfect object that actually becomes a reality can still be beautiful.


==============================================================

raw.jpg

I hope you enjoyed the conversation. Please check out the website for more details, sign up and check them out on Facebook or their website: http://www.rawdesignbuild.com/RAW/Home.html

Also, we're working on future Q. & A.rch's with Works Progress, Kyle Schroeder of Archtalks.com, co-working guru, planner, designer, and dreamer Rosie Hoyem, and a number of yet to be confirmed conversations. Keep an eye out in the next couple of weeks.

Chapter 583: Works in Progress

Just wanted to pass along some info to you guys about a few events (MNKINO, Salon Saloon, & Give & Take) and the remaining Help Wanted work days that are being put on by Troy, Colin, Shanai, and the rest of the folks at www.worksprogress.org


MNKINO - Monday, June 21st 7p @ Intermedia Arts - Free
A monthly excuse for anyone to make a film, and to meet others who like doing the same. The theme is released at each event and film makers (in the loosest sense of the phrase) have 1 month to put together a short film on that theme. Come watch this months creations on the theme "Work" while drinking beer and eating popcorn.


saloon.jpg

Salon Saloon - Tuesday, June 22nd 7p @ Bryant Lake Bowl - $8 - $12
Part talk show, part art and culture review, Salon Saloon is a live-magazine that invites local artists, designers, musicians and creative workers to the stage of the Bryant-Lake Bowl for an unpredictable, uninhibited conversation about creative life in the Twin Cities. This months theme? The Wedding Show. Buy tickets online or at the door.


giventake.jpg

Give & Take // June - Wednesday, June 23rd 7p @ Intermedia Arts - $5 - $10
A unique monthly event in South Minneapolis where happy hour meets show and tell. With an eclectic mix of presentations, interactive games, and socializing, it's an easy and fun way to connect and relate with other interesting locals.


weworkhere.jpg

Help Wanted, the temporary employment agency where collective creative work meets community need, is looking for YOU. There are only 4 remaining Help Wanted work days and we could really use your help completing these projects. Visit http://bit.ly/daUilL for a full description of the remaining work days. Give 'em a read and come on out to put your skills to work in the community.

Soliciting a rotating work crew with help wanted ads on craigslist and community bulletin boards, this experiment in co-working will pool the skills and resources of underemployed individuals to complete real community projects. Community organizations, small businesses, and individuals are invited to submit work orders proposing small projects that will improve the physical, creative or social infrastructure of the community. Help Wanted in a program of Works Progress' current exhibition We Work Here: A Conversation on Art, Economics, and Community at Intermedia Arts now through June 23rd. Through a series of interactive installations, programs, and events, this exhibition explores the themes of art, economics, and community, and engages visitors in a conversation on the value of creative work to our lives, our economies and our communities.


There are 4 remaining Help Wanted work days:

Date: Thursday, June 17th, 2010
Location: Meet at Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
Time: 8:30AM to 4PM
What to bring: Yourself, a lunch, and any creative tools that you like to use. Paper, pens, cold drinks, and bagels will be provided.
Project: We will be working with Experimental College to develop a new logo, posters, and other promotional materials for their free education program. Website: http://www.excotc.org/

Date: Saturday, June 19th, 2010
Location: West Bank Social Center, above the Nomad World Pub (501 Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis). Look for the sandwich board sign on Cedar Ave.
Time: 10AM to 4PM
What to bring: Yourself, a lunch, and any creative tools that you like to use. Paper, pens, cold drinks, and bagels will be provided.
Project: West Bank Business Association / Neighborhood Revitalization Program- help to develop a community-focused film series. Promotional materials, posters, etc. Organization Website: http://www.thewestbank.org/

Date: Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
Location: Meet at Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
Time: 8:30AM to 4PM
What to bring: Yourself, a lunch, and any creative tools that you like to use. Paper, pens, cold drinks, and bagels will be provided.
Project: Help to develop and design public education posters and a related calendar for the Early Childhood Resource & Training Center, a grassroots organization in South Minneapolis that is a resource for building up families and communities in support of healthy child development. Organization Website: http://www.ecrc1.org/

Date: Thursday, June 24th, 2010
Location: Meet at Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
Time: 8:30AM to 4PM
What to bring: Yourself, a lunch, and any creative tools that you like to use. Paper, pens, cold drinks, and bagels will be provided.
Project: Help to take down the We Work Here exhibit at Intermedia Arts. Begin work on We Work Here catalog.

q&arch-02.jpg

In this long awaited edition of Q. and A.rch we'll be featuring the first part of an informational session regarding RAW (Real Architecture Workshop) Dakota, an adventuresome design/build class being held this July 26th-August 6th in Custer, South Dakota.

raw.jpg

I'm going to feature a little bit of material from the website to get past all the big logistics and then feature some answers from some of the gents heading up this endeavor, three of which I attended graduate school with at the University of Minnesota (Justin Merkovich, Adam Riddle, and Nate Steuerwald) as well as head honcho Paul Neseth, co-founder and President of Locus Architecture, an award-winning Minneapolis based architecture firm.

"RAW is the realization of a long time dream of Paul's to help young architects and students gain critical real-life design and building skills that help them become better architects. Paul will lead RAW Dakota, assisted by many able pioneers."

Paul led a group which featured a number of his compatriots in this endeavor during May of 2007 to do a shade pavilion here in Biloxi at John Henry Beck Park. Here's a picture with all of the folks from the U of MN that participated:

blxilocus.jpg

Anyhow, please check out the website for more details, sign up and check them out on Facebook or their website: http://www.rawdesignbuild.com/RAW/Home.html

Here we go with the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS. Expect the less frequently asked questions in our next installment...

What is RAW Design Build?
RAW Design Build is a unique firm that brings the creativity, enthusiasm and talent of young architects and students to design and build remarkable client solutions.

What is RAW Dakota?
The project site in the Black Hills of South Dakota and the home of many future RAW projects.

What is the Abode workshop?
The first (of many) project workshops on the RAW Dakota site scheduled for July 26-Aug 6, 2010.

What does RAW stand for?
Real Architecture Workshop.

How are RAW projects selected?
Very carefully. We look for clients who share our vision to give young architects the opportunity to grow and develop new skills and we look for projects that offer a unique setting or challenge, highlight progressive environmental and social principles, and are manageable in scope.

What do I do if I have a project that I want RAW to design and build?
We are thrilled that you are interested in engaging RAW and a group of young architects and students to bring their passion and desire to your problem, need or project. We are happy to talk to you about our design/build services and discuss how we can help. Please fill out the contact form and well get back to you right away.

Who is RAW for?
RAW workshops are designed for young architects and students who are looking to test their limits - creatively and physically - and use their skills to design solutions, build better communities and promote social change.

What are the eligibility requirements to participate in RAW?
RAW Architecture Workshops are intended for young architects and architecture students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program. RAW Design Build does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethic origin in admission to the program.

Do I need any previous client or construction experience?
No prior experience working in an architecture firm or on a construction site is needed.

How far in advance should I register for RAW Dakota?
For our inaugural year there is just one two-week workshop with 12 spots. We encourage you to register as early as possible because of the limited enrollment. Once we fill we can place you on a waiting list in case there is a cancellation. If space becomes available, we will accept registrations up until 1 week before the workshop begins. Get on our mailing list so you can get advance notice of the workshop schedule for next year. Enrollment will begin in the spring of 2011 for the summer 2011.

For whom are we building the project?
Every RAW project will be for the benefit of a client, whether it is a community group, non-profit, local public school or private individual or business.Depending on the workshop, most project work will take place on or near the client's site, and we will provide transportation to and from the site. RAW Dakota will design and build projects for Circle Z Ranch.

How much does RAW cost?
The cost of the two-week RAW Dakota Workshop, including meals and accommodations, is regularly $1,500. We are offering the workshop at the introductory rate of $1250. All meals, materials fees, activity and rental fees are included, with the exception of a bike rental fee (approx $50/day) for occasional group mountain biking. There may be sufficient bikes on-site but is recommended that, if possible, you bring your own mountain bike to the workshop.

Does my workshop have a materials fee?
No, the Abode workshop does not have a materials fee. A materials fee may be charged for future workshops.

What is the payment schedule, and what if I need to cancel the workshop?
Once you have received notice of acceptance, we require a non-refundable $500 deposit within 1 week of notice of acceptance in the workshop. The balance of $750 is due no later than June 30th. If you cancel your enrollment at least two weeks prior to the workshop start date, we will refund all payments less the $500 deposit. No refunds will be given for cancellations after the 2-week deadline.

Can I earn college credit?
Although the curriculum is in line with design/build courses taught by Paul at the University of Minnesota, RAW Design Build is currently not affiliated with an accredited architecture school and does not offer college credit at this time. However, you may appeal to your home institution backed by instructor recommendations and workshop description. We are happy to help students with any of the above processes. All credits are transferable only at the discretion of the receiving school.

Do I need health insurance?
Personal safety at RAW is a top priority. Each student is required to carry personal health insurance to cover them in case of accident. This request is usually satisfied by parent's insurance, personal or school-based policy.

Do I need a car?
Not necessarily, though it certainly helps simplify things. Getting to and from the airport, or bus stations, will require taxi service or we may be able to arrange to pick you up. Please contact us for more info. Once you arrive we will make sure to get you to and from all RAW related activities. We have loaner bikes and are willing to give lifts in to Custer, if needed.

How do I get to RAW Dakota without a car?
The nearest airport is Rapid City, SD (RAP), about 50 miles away. Depending on your arrival time, we may be able to arrange pick up. Otherwise we can help you arrange for cab service between the airport and the RAW Dakota site. Taxis and shuttles from the airport to Custer are available for approximately $80 pp. The major car rental companies also service the airport and there is Greyhound bus service to Rapid City as well.

Will I be able to communicate with the outside world?
Cell phone reception is sketchy on the site and good in the town of Custer. There is internet access, including wireless, at the Circle Z offices and you are welcome to bring your own laptop.

When should I arrive? And when do I leave?
Please plan to arrive in Custer City, SD by 3pm on July 25th, 2010. The workshop will officially conclude with a celebration on the evening of Friday, August 6th 2010. You can plan to leave starting on Saturday. See the application form for a tentative schedule. A more detailed schedule will be provided prior to the workshop start.

How do meals work?
Meals are provided and included in the cost of tuition. Meals will be primarily available on-site in a camp-style format with some meals arranged in town. Students will participate in meal preparation and clean-up, as needed. You have the option of eating off-site at your cost.

Can I bring my dog?

No dogs are allowed at RAW sites (or pets of any kind). There are a couple of kennels and a doggie daycare nearby. Please inquire with them directly for more information.

Where do I sleep?

This is where you really get a taste of the RAW experience! There are no permanent structures on the site at this time, aside from an outhouse. Plan on bringing a tent, rain tarp and sleeping bag and mat and camping out during your stay on site. In the case of inclement weather or emergency, alternative accommodations are available.

Can my family/friend stay with me even if they are not taking a workshop?
No, unfortunately not. We have limited facilities and cannot accommodate additional guests.

What should I bring?
Students will participate in a full schedule of design and construction activities and should be prepared to bring appropriate equipment and materials to complete the workshop. Most workshop activities, as well as accommodations, will take place on an undeveloped, primitive site. RAW may also include rigorous, physical and/or outdoor activities, including mountain biking, rock climbing and horseback riding, etc. You will receive a detailed list of required and suggested equipment upon acceptance into the program.

What is the surrounding area like?
RAW Dakota is located 3 miles SW of Custer City, SD on the private land of Circle Z Ranch. The setting of Custer City makes it unique. It is surrounded by thick forests of Ponderosa Pine and contains outcroppings of granite stone. Small and quaint, with a population of roughly 2,000, Custer City offers many motels, campgrounds, restaurants and attractions, making it an ideal base camp for touring in the southern Black Hills. Within a 30-minute drive from Custer you can visit Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Jewel Cave and Wind Cave National Parks, and many areas within the 73,000-acre Custer State Park. Custer City is located just south of the geological center of the Black Hills. Harney Peak, at 7,242 feet and the nearby Needles rock formations, form the core of an area created by the rise and fall of the earth's crust millions of years ago. Surrounding this core are rings of sedimentary rocks - sandstones, limestones, and shales - which have allowed for the formation of well-known caves such as Wind Cave and Jewel Cave.

I will be the first person to admit that I am not a very big fan of change, and this is paramount to sacrilege to a lot of folks in MPLS. Thoughts after the break as well as a great list of every star that was on the wall at the time of the renovations...

465_mpls_1stave_med.jpg

VIA CITY PAGES:

First Avenue is in the midst of a few different renovations this summer, with their new restaurant, the Depot, slated to open next week, a new women's bathroom in the Entry (!), and the exterior wall getting a bit of a facelift. We received a few panicked emails over the weekend asking if the famed stars on First Ave's exterior were going away for good, but we've received assurance from marketing and promotions director Machen Davis that the stars will be back soon -- with new additions.

"We are indeed repainting," Machen says. "Haven't selected the new bands just yet, but compiling a poll on our website as well as our Facebook and Twitter accounts."

We were curious whether the repainting would coincide with the opening of the Depot, perhaps giving them the space to continue the stars further down the block, but Machen says that they aren't planning on having the stars continue onto the Depot's walls as of right now.

With the addition of the new stars, "I believe some of the stars are going to fade out," Machen says.

To voice your opinion about who should receive the new stars, head over to First Ave's site and leave a comment on the Who deserves a First Ave star? thread.

==========================================

Truth be told, while I can appreciate the legend of the stars, I can also appreciate the development of First Avenue, the Entry, and now the Depot, but could we not have just moved some and left the old where they lie if they didn't interfere with the new storefront? I'm no spatial genius (wait a second) but I'm pretty sure there was plenty of black space for new stars where we could move old ones and add new ones. I kind of hope that there is a list painted somewhere on the wall for those stars that we lose in the repainting because it would be a shame to completely erase those artists from the club's illustrious history.

562_mpls_1stave_stars_med.jpg

Here's a list of everyone that was on the wall thanks to First Avenue and a wonderful article by Lindsey Thomas of the Onion AV Club: http://www.avclub.com/twincities/articles/first-avenues-stars-the-complete-list,41807/1/

311, 10,000 Maniacs, 7 Seconds

Ace Frehley, ADDA, Aerosmith, Al Jarreau, Al Kooper, Alan Freed, Albert Collins, Alejandro Escovedo, Alex Chilton, Alex Jarvis, Alexander East, Alexander O'Neil, Alice Cooper, Alice In Chains, American Head Charge, Ani DiFranco, Anthrax, Arcwelder, Arrested Development, Atmosphere

B.B. King, Babes In Toyland, Babyface, Babylon Pink, Back, Bad Brains, Bad Religion, Ben Folds Five, Ben Harper, Big Black, Big Daddy Greg Comstock, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Big Star, Billy Bragg & The Blokes, Billy Idol, Bionic, Bis, Biz Markie, Bjork, Black Eyed Peas, Black Flag, Black Uhuru, Blind Melon, Blue Hippos, Blues Traveler, Bo Diddley, Bob Mould, Boiled In Lead, Booker T & The MGs, Boredoms, Bottom, Brian Auger & Oblivion Express, Bright Eyes, Brunettes, Bryan Gerrard, Buckwheat Zydeco, Burning Spears, Butthole Surfers

Cake, Camper Van Beethoven, Cee Bee, Charles Gayle, Charlie Burton, Cheap Trick, Chi Chi LaRue, Chris Bliss, Chris Isaak, Chris Whitley, Chubby Checker, Cibo Mato, Circle Jerks, Clutch, Concrete Blonde, Cornelius, Corrosion Of Conformity, Cows, Cracker, Cradle Of Filth, Cro-Mags, Culture, Curtis A, Cyndi Lauper, Cypress Hill

Dale Watson, Dave Alvin, Dave Edmunds, David Allen Coe, David Byrne, De La Soul, Dean Vaccaro, Death Cab For Cutie, Deftones, Del Shannon, Depeche Mode, Devo, Dilated Peoples, Dillinger Four, Dj Apollo, DJ Echo, DJ ESP, DJ Jazzy Jeff And The Fresh Prince, DJ Jennifer, DJ Mia, DJ S. Supreme, DJ Smitty, DMX, DOA, Dr. John, Dragnet, Drive Like Jehu, Drone, Dumpster Juice, Duran Duran, Dutch Oven, Dwight Tilley Band, Dylan Hicks

E Tones, Edgar Winter, Einsturzende Neubauten, El Vez, Eminem, Emmylou Harris, Erasure, Eric Burden, Erykah Badu

Fabulous Thunderbirds, Face To Face, Fairport Convention, Faith No More, Fall, Fear, Fela, Fem Kut, Fine Art, Fingerprintz, Firehose, Fishbone, Flaming Lips, Flaming Ohs, Flogging Molly, Flying Burrito Brothers, Foo Fighters, Francisco, Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention, Fred Darden, Freddy Fresh, Fresco, Fugazi

GG Allin, G Love & Special Sauce, Galaxy 500, Gang of Four, Garbage, GBH, Gene Loves Jezebel, Gene Pitney, Georgia Satellites, Gil Scott-Heron, Girls Against Boys, Golden Earring, Golden Palominos, Golden Smog, Goo Goo Dolls, Grace Jones, Grandma Flash, Grant Hart, Green Day, Grizzly Bear, Gwar

H Mhoon, Hammerhead, Hank Williams III, Heater, Helmet, Hole, House Of Large Sizes, Howard Jones, Husker Du

Ian Hunter, Ice Cube, Ice T, Iffy, Iggy Pop, Ike & Tina Tuner, Impaler, Indigo Girls, Information Society, INXS, Ipso Facto

Jack Meyers, Jack Trash, James Brown, James Orndorf, Jane's Addiction, Jeff Buckley, Jefferson Starship, Jesus Lizard, Jesus M Christ, Jezus Juice, Jim Carroll, Jimmy Cliff, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Joe Cocker, John Cale, John Hiatt, John Lee Hooker, John Lurie & The Lounge Lizards, John Lyndon, John Sebastian, Johnny Paycheck, Johnny Thunders, Johnny Winter, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Jonathan Richman, Joshua Redman, Junior Brown, Jurassic 5

Karl Who?, KD Lang, Kevin Cole, Kid Creole & The Coconuts, Kindergarten, King Crimson, King Sunny Ade, KMFDM, Kool And The Gang, Korn, Kristin Hersh, KRS-1, Kyuss

L7, Lady Luck, Lagbaja, Laughing Stock, Lee Scratch Perry, Lenny Kravitz, Leon Redbone, Leon Russell, Lifter Puller, Limp Bizkit, Link Wray, Linton Kwest Johnson, Liz Phair, Lizz Winstead, LL Cool J, Lords of Acid, Los Lobos, Los Straightjackets, Loud Fast Rules, Louie Anderson, Love & Rockets, Lucinda Williams, Luna, Lydia Lunch

Maceo Parker, Man Sized Action, Marianne Faithful, Marilyn Manson, Mark Mallman, Mark Wheat, Mason Jennings Band, MC Millenium, Meat Puppets, Megadeath, Melissa Etheridge, Melt Banana, Melvins, Menudo, Metallica, Mick Ronson, Midnight Oil, Mighty Mighty, Minor Threat, Mission Of Burma, Mitch Ryder, Moby, Modest Mouse, Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper, Molly McManus, Monster Magnet, Morphine, Mother Love Bone, Motion City Soundtrack, Motorhead, Murder City Devils, My Bloody Valentine, My Life With Thrill Kill Kult

Naked Raygun, Nashville Pussy, Naughty By Nature, Neville Brothers, New Order, Nick Lowe, Nils Lofgren, Nina Hagen, Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, NNB, NOFX, Nova Mob

Oasis, O'Connor, OMD, Oscar Arredondo, OutKast, Ozomatli

PJ Harvey, Pantera, Parliament Funkadelic, Pat Benetar, Patti Smith Group, Paul Westerberg, Pavement, PD Spin Love, Penkut, Pere Ubu, Perfect, Pete Raz, Phish, Polara, Pop Top, Poster Children, Poster Pal, Powermad, Primus, Prince & The Revolution, Public Enemy, Public Image Ltd.

Queen Latifah

Radiohead, Rage Against The Machine, Ramsey Lewis, Rancid, Randy Hawkins, Rank Strangers, Ray Charles, Redd Kross, Red Hot Chili Peppers, REM, Rex Daisy, Richard Thompson, Rifle Sport, Rita Marley, RL Burnside, Robert Cray Band, Robert Palmer, Robyn Hitchcock, Rod Stewart & The Faces, Roger McGuinn, Roger Miller, Ron A, Ronnie Dawson, Ronnie Spector, Roots, Roy Freedom, Ruben Blades, Run DMC, Run Westy Run

Sam & Dave, Sandra Bernhard, Savage Aural Hotbed, Screaming Trees, Semisonic, Sepultura, Shane McGowan & The Popes, Shangoya, Sharin' Beats, Sheila E, Shellac, Sheryl Crow, Sick Of It All, Siouxie Sioux & The Banshees, Skinny Puppy, Slayer, Sleater Kinney, Slipknot, Smashing Pumpkins, Snakefinger, Social Distortion, Son Seals, Son Volt, Sonic Youth, Soul Asylum, Soul Coughing, Soundgarden, Sounds Of Blackness, Southern Culture On The Skids, Southside Johnny, Spiritualized, Squeeze, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Steel Pulse, Stereolab, Steve Earle & The Dukes, Steve Egsgaard, Steve McClellan, Sugar, Suicidal Tendencies, Sun Ra, Sunny Day Real Estate, Super Hun, Suzane Vega, Syd Straw

Taj Mahal, T-Bone Burnett, Tears for Fears, Television, Teratism, Tesla, The Beastie Boys, The Bellrays, The Birthday Party, The Black Crowes, The Blasters, The Blue Up?, The Buzzcocks, The Carpet Baggers, The Chemical Brothers, The Clams, The Connells, The Cramps, The Cult, The Cure, The dBs, The Del Lords, The Descendants, The Dickies, The English Beat, The Eurythmics, The Exploited, The Flamin' Groovies, The Fugees, The Gear Daddies, The Go-Go's, The Hang Ups, The Hypstrz, The Jayhawks, The Jesus & Mary Chain, The Jim Rose Circus, The Kinks, The Legendary Pink Dots, The Lemonheads, The Litter, The Magnolias, The Maroons, The Minutemen, The Misfits, The Morrells, The Neglectors, The Odd, The Ohio Players, The Overtones, The Phones, The Pixies, The Plasmatics, The Pogues, The Posies, The Pretenders, The Psychedelic Furs, The Queers, The Ramones, The Raybeats, The Replacements, The Residents, The Reverend Horton Heat, The Samples, The Sisters of Mercy, The Skatalites, The Smithereens, The Specials, The Squabs, The Stranglers, The Stray Cats, The Suburbs, The Sugarcubes, The Suicide Commandos, The Super Rail Band, The Supersuckers, The The, The Time, The Verve, The Violent Femmes, The Wallets, They Might Be Giants, Thomas Dolby, Timbuktu, Tina & The B Sides, Tiny Tim, Tito Puente, Todd Rundgren, Tom Arnold, Tony Paul, Tori Amos, Tracy Chapman, Trampled By Turtles, Tribe Called Quest, Tribe Of Millions, Tricky, Trip Shakespeare, TSOL

U2, UB 40, Uncle Tupelo, Unwritten Law

Verb X, Verve

WIB, Walt Mink, Wanda Jackson, Warren Zevon, Wasp, Ween, Weezer, Wesley Willis, White Zombie, Whole Lotta Loves, Widespread Panic, Wilco, Willie & The Bees, Wilson Pickett, Wynton & Branford Marsalis

X, X Cops

Yellowman, Yo La Tengo

Zartan, Zeke, Ziggy Marley, Zuzu's Petals


Images via: http://www.thirdav.com/hd_images/msp_sites/1stave_entry.html

Chapter 579: TWIGCCDS

TWIGCCDS.jpg

We're going to get back to basics here just to get everyone up to speed. I'm going to be going out to San Francisco next week for the Association of Community Design/Planners Network joint conference entitled "Towards a Just Metropolis" and I'm hoping to welcome more people to the site and use it as a tool to produce material, gain knowledge and share experience with others in the field as well as disseminate some of the information and resources we may have at our disposal for people interested in looking to work in a subsidized practice or community design setting. Although we don't sit around listening to old-timey bluegrass here on the Gulf Coast, the video below of our Director, David Perkes is a great introduction to the work we do and the history the Studio.

Regarding San Francisco, here is the intro to the conference from the website:

"A conference for planners, designers, activists, policymakers and citizens dedicated to a just future for all human settlements.

This joint conference of Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR), New Village Press, Planners Network (PN), Young Planners Network, Association for Community Design (ACD) and The Center for theLiving City merges the annual conferences of these national and international organizations, which have brought together progressive urbanists and innovative ideas for more than three decades. The June 2010 conference will unite planners, architects, designers, urban activists, educators, journalists, policymakers, academics, students and concerned citizens from diverse backgrounds across North America who share a passion for social, environmental and economic justice. All are committed to exchanging their experiences and visions for robust civic engagement, innovative planning and inclusive community building.

These same organizations coordinated joint national conferences in 2007 to address social justice and community-initiated rebuilding efforts in the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina--a week-long event in multiple cities that connected grassroots partners with visiting urbanists.

Building on this experience, Toward a Just Metropolis brings us together under one tent again, this time together with numerous innovative and progressive organizations and agencies who call the San Francisco Bay Area home.

Toward a Just Metropolis will be hosted by the Department of City & Regional Planning and the College of Environmental Design (CED) at the University of California, Berkeley, under the leadership of new dean, Jennifer Wolch, herself a longtime advocate of just and sustainable cities. The College will be the site of many core conference activities, including classroom workshops and some plenary sessions. Mobile workshops, long a hallmark of Planners Network conferences, will take place throughout the region in cooperation with local community-based organizations and regional advocates and policy analysts. In order to increase community access to some of the major events of the conference, we are choosing sites with easy access to public transportation in the San Francisco East Bay Area, particularly in Oakland and Richmond."

As for the GCCDS presence at the conference itself, David will be speaking along with our former colleague and current director of the Center for Urban Pedagogy, Christine Gaspar as well as Dan Pitera, the head of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center in a panel entitled: Just Beginnings: Alternatives to the Clean Slate. Personally, I can't wait to see them all together in discussion. All three are such brilliant people that I'm sure it's going to be a great session.

As for myself, in lieu of Bryan Bell of DesignCorps/SEED Network/2010-2011 Loeb Fellowship fame presenting at the conference, I will be stepping in to present the SEED Network in a paper session entitled: "Digital and Web‐Based Resources for Planners and Designers" in a talk about SEED and the benefits of digital media in sharing resources and expertise of designers in a variety of disciplines working with communities and how a commitment to setting goals with and for the work in the community will create positive growth.

Other presenters in my session and their topics are:

"The Open Source City: Civic Engagement and Digital Technologies," Francisca Rojas (MIT)

"Los Angeles_REDCAR," Gerry Tierney (Perkins+Will), Benjamin Feldmann (Perkins+Will), Tyrone Marshall (510 Collective), Katie Handy, Dinesh Perera (Format Design Studio), and Thérèse Tierney (TT_Studio)

"Local Code: Real Estates", Nicholas de Monchaux (UC Berkeley)


As for additional work at the Design Studio. I have one house in construction and a number of others coming through construction documents and redlines. A house that I have been working on for quite some time is in the process of procuring a final bid and then will start construction which I'm quite happy about. Other than that, I'm rushing like a mad man to get all my IDP backlogged before July 1st and cranking away on other research based projects in the studio. More as it becomes available regarding the GCCDS and I'll be sure to take pictures at the conference.

Chapter 577: T(AL)WIGCCDS

TWIGCCDS.jpg

This and last week in GCCDS will be bringing you the highlights of E.O. Wilson's talk on Biodiversity from University of South Alabama as well as the plans and... umm, plan for the coming week!

First off: E.O. Wilson was outstanding. It's so rare to have such a sociable and eloquent speaker with such a scientific mind. His talk was


Finally, this weekend we're going on a bit of a GCCDS field trip up to the Rural Studio along with the students. Here's the projected itinerary!

Friday 23rd

Leave Biloxi around Noon.

Come into town around 5 or so in the afternoon.

Stop in Thomaston on our way in, and look around.

Alabama Rural Heritage Center

Farmers Market

Faunsdale - Dinner at Ca-johns if the Alabama Rural Heritage Center is closed.

The Pods

Fire station

Morrisette Kitchen

Settle in at the Whelan House

Saturday 24th

Breakfast at the Mustang Oil

Greensboro projects

Play ground,

20 k houses

Hospital

Lions park

Dog Pound

Music Man's House

Lunch - Either a picnic lunch from the Piggly Wiggly , or fast food. Unfortunately many of the restaurants are gone.

Masons Bend

Butterfly House

Willie Bell's House (this is the project Nadene worked on)

Papercrete House

Carpet House

Glass Chapel

Hay bale house

Smoke House

Akron - if we have time

Boys and girls club pt 1 and 2

Senior center

Pavilion

Dinner in Greensboro - Mexican Restaurant

Open mic night at the Pie Lab - http://pielab.org/about/

Sunday 25th

Breakfast - Sunday Brunch at Pam Dorr's House

Perry Lakes

Perry Lakes Pavilion

Bathrooms

Pedestrian Bridge

Bird Tower

Swimming in the Cahaba River

Lunch - the hamburger place with the deer heads and yummy soft serve ice cream.

Head home


Heck. Yes.

arc_haitian_relief.jpg
Photo courtesy Miguel Samper/American Refugee Committee

Via CDes MEMO:

John Comazzi, Ozayr Saloojee, and Leslie Van Duzer will travel to Haiti on Friday, April 16, 2010 for a five-day assessment of camps for people displaced by the January 12, 2010 earthquake. The School of Architecture faculty members will assess the shelter and community living conditions of two camps in Port au Prince and Fond Parisien managed by the American Refugee Committee, an international humanitarian assistance and training nonprofit with offices in Minneapolis. The assessment will focus on overall camp structure, access to water and sanitation, living structures, how health care services are delivered, the availability of child-friendly spaces, recreational areas, and provisions for temporary educational facilities. The faculty members will also consult on how to best help displaced communities rebuild.

"The people of Haiti have experienced unthinkable trauma, seeing their homes and communities destroyed and living in makeshift camps, a state that poses a range of challenges," says Van Duzer. "Our goal will be to provide workable solutions to help individuals and communities address current camp and shelter challenges and rebuild in an safe and effective manner."

"The rainy season will bring mudslides, floods and a rapid spread of disease," said Daniel Wordsworth, president of the American Refugee Committee. "Shelter is a critical issue, and we're pleased to partner with the University of Minnesota to look at ways to provide safe and healthy living conditions for the people of Haiti."

* WCCO: "3 U of M Professors To Help Rebuild Haiti"
* "U professors to volunteer in Haiti" by Alex Holmquist, Minnesota Daily
* UMNews: "University of Minnesota College of Design faculty to visit camps in Haiti"

================================================================

I can't tell you how happy it makes me that these are the three staff members going down to Haiti. During my time at the U of MN for my M.Arch and in the time since, these were three of the most thoughtful and intelligent faculty a school could offer. Ozayr is a great friend and was the chair of my thesis committee which also included John. Despite not much interaction with Leslie directly during my time at the University, I have had many wonderful conversations following a meeting at this year's ACSA conference in NOLA and can't say enough about her devotion to the Twin Cities and her efforts in Malawi with students from the School of Architecture.

Safe travels to this trio and I can't wait to hear their impressions and ideas.