May 9, 2008

Critical Analysis #2

My second critical analysis was on the honors group that had Goal #1, eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. This was another note worthy project and it was presented very well. The group only had two people and yet they were able to carry on a 15 minute presentation. Very impressive. They used a border across the top on everyone of their slides and it was a great decision on their part. Some of the other honors presentations were also very dry and some students seemed to have stage fright. This group presented with great poise.

The country this group chose to focus their research on was Somalia. They talked about how this country lacks a central government and natural resources. This creates continuous cycles of low productivity and low investment from outside sources. They chose to work with several organizations and they went through and described them all in detail which was very good. For having to do a 15 minute presentation with only two group members i was overall very impressed. It never got very boring, and both group members spoke very clearly.

May 7, 2008

Critical Analysis #1

My first critical analysis was of the group that did Goal #7, increase environment sustainability. The did research on BP: Beyod Petroleum? and how their ads for saving the environment are far from the truth. Their greatest source for oil is tar sand extractions, which is incredibly harmful to the environment. Alberta, Canada is where the majority of their extractions take place and in order to get to the oil, many forests are being compromised. The crude from tar sands is also much dirtier, which in turn produces many more greenhouse gases.

This groups presentation was excellent. Prior to hearing about their research, I always chose BP over any other gas station. The bright green environment was always so inviting, and commercials made it look like it truly was a better place to fill up your tank. The group designed a tri-fold handout that covered a lot of information, which looked overwhelming at first, but really just showed how bad BP is. They listed many intriguing facts and really got me thinking more about oil refinement. Their slide show was also very eye catching and had many pictures of forests being destroyed. Overall a very good project and opened up a great opportunity for environment sustainability.

April 4, 2008

The title page

This isn't working too well,
I can't figure out how to open these files.
I can promis you that they are there though.
If you can't open them, just enjoy the video posted below.
Have a great day.

Download file

Download file

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March 14, 2008


I didn't get a whole lot out of the Good Resources list, but the below picture from PRINT magazine did cheer me a up a bit.


CMYK, Graphis and Core77 didn't do much for me, but after clicking around a lot, I found a sweet website called Carbonmade. I don't really know what type of presentation and documentation styles you want, but I just grabbed some pictures and layouts that I thought were sweet. I feel like a I could work off of some of these.


This picture shows a little angel without wings, and this reminded me of child mortality. So many children are dying from malnutrition, but more importantly, they are dying without knowing Jesus.


The little boy on the branch is a child who is about to get attacked by the cat, who is symbolic of starvation and disease.


I obviously did not choose this one because of the ipod, but i thought the overall display is really cool and refreshing.


This last picture just looks cool.
Check out the website
k, peace

March 7, 2008

a Clockwork Orange?

I have no idea how to answer these questions. I am not a very abstract person. I need things to be concrete; set in stone; have their rights and wrongs. I could right whatever I want for this blog prompt and I will be fine, so im not to worried, but I just wish these questions could have a more definite answer. Anyways, here I go.

The last five lectures or so, have been quite unusual. Learning about frameworks, clockworks, things , and phenomena, and how they all relate to each other is fascinating. But how the heck do they relate to architecture? This is where this major gets a little to abstract for me. I get overwhelmed with the thought of there being no absolutes. Next came the oppositions that underlie the emergence of architecture, and I liked the correlation this had a lot better. It also brought a lot of the lectures together, and I began to see how clockworks and frameworks really did have a role in architecture.


My life revolves around activity. Its nearly impossible for me to sit still doing nothing. I love any form of exercise, and just about every sport sounds appealing at anytime of the day. If it comes down to Wii bowling, i will do it, just to stay active. I feel that while the built environment around me has it's many practicalities, it really does detract from who I am. The opposition of movement best describes this. The first example that came to thought was the conveyer belt walkway that goes underneath a terminal at O'hare Airport. While I always do take advantage of this free form of transport, it takes away from every ability I have to move with my own two legs. This also gets me thinking about elevators and escalators. People wonder why our nation is becoming so overweight. Fastfood + lack of movement = a pretty logical answer.


Another part of who I am, is being one with nature, and exploring all of God's creations. I look at the hundreds of buildings, houses and skyscrapers that are slow taking over forests and prairies, and it just puzzles me to think "why do we even need such unnecessary amenities?" Construction companies are blowing out sides of mountains just so they can build more highways. Its rediculous! Spirals, stairs and tunnels I feel are a little more acceptable, but still, there is no need to take away from the natural environment. The set of stairs on our second quiz were the perfect example of how we need to approach the opposition of movement.


Cool suspended bridges like this are awesome for the opposition of gravity and movement as well! I hope I am starting to understand this. Because I sure as heck never understand what I am talking about on my quizzes. K, peace&love


February 29, 2008

Patagonia Expedition

While I have always felt that money isn't everything, world hunger, poverty, and homelessness really can't be solved without a little financial support. Without the constraints of 'architecture school' program, I would make a huge effort to raise support, which I could then use to solve the world's problems. The billionaires of today really have no idea what to spend their money on. You also, rarely see them taking a well needed vacation. If I was free to do as I please, I would become an across the globe travel guide. The only clients I would take, however, would have to be off of the richest people list in Forbes magazine. I would hopefully get sponsored by Patagonia, or otherwise just change the name of my blog prompt. The hike around the world would begin in Highland Park, Illinois at Uncle Dan's, where the tourists would be outfitted for the entire ordeal. Next thing, we would fly off to New Hampshire and hike the Appalachian mountain trail up to the border of Canada. From there we would all hop on a plane and head west, to Colorado and it's wonderful white waters.


Next thing, we would fly off to New Hampshire and hike the Appalachian mountain trail up to the border of Canada. From there we would all hop on a plane and head west, to Colorado and it's wonderful white waters. After a week of kayaking and rafting a flight to New Zealand would begin our next excursion, only to be shortly followed by a trip to the outbacks of Australia.


Heading northwest, we would eventually arrive in Nepal, and maybe wander over to Tibet. A week or two on and around Mount Everest would be followed by a wonderful hike down the Nile River. This would bring us to the more serious part of our adventure.


This is where the scenery would become more personal. This is where I get to show men, who have never felt hunger, the hollow remains of starving children. Twig-like wrists, countable ribs, and eyes much sadder than any puppy you will ever meet. These are just afew of the characteristics that these children possess. The average human can live off of less than $200 a month in food groceries and not even a dime is being spent to save these children. Wells with clean water need to be dug. Agriculture and food needs to be increased. Vitamins and minerals need to be introduced to these empty children.


While the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation does exist, solving world hunger is where only a fraction of their money goes. After seeing the beauties and wonders of our planet, I am hoping that by introducing the human factor will effect my clients, causing them to look to their checkbooks. With the money I acquire from these expeditions, I will be able to make more than a dent in the world of starvation and feeble children.

Darkness, darkness everywhere, do you feel all alone? The subtle grace of gravity, the heavy weight of stone

You don't see what you possess, a beauty calm and clear
It floods the sky and blurs the darkness like a chandelier
All the light that you possess is skewed by lakes and seas

February 22, 2008

Proof of Destruction

It breaks my heart to see pictures and video footage of children who are but a fraction of their proper body size. They roam the streets of warn down villages searching for any form of nourishment they can find. They can't even drink water without getting the gritty texture of dirt. For the Millennium Development Goal project I have goal four, which looks to reduce child mortality. The pictures below pretty much some up my feelings of the horrible lives these children have to endure and I pray that there is a way to bring this to an end.


Nearly three quarters of the world’s underweight children live in just ten countries, and over half in just three countries: Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. These figures are just the tip of the iceberg, according to UNICEF.


About 29,000 children under the age of five – 21 each minute – die every day, mainly from preventable causes.


I am absolutely clueless as to how I am supposed to upload a playlist, so I just included some songs that I thought about when doing research for this blog.

Proof of Destruction by Trevor Hall is an amazing song that emphasizes more how society today is not making the world a better place for our children.

A Little's Enough by Angels and Airwaves just provided a title that I thought of when looking at the many organizations who are trying to end child mortality. A little is enough when it comes to how we are going to accomplish this goal. It will take much patience, but for now, a little's enough.

Hole In My Soul by Aerosmith is actually about a man who is missing his lover, but the title once again brought out the feeling I had when doing my research. My stomach felt empty for these children as I looked through picture after picture.

Better Days
by the Goo Goo Dolls is another awesome song that I immediately thought of when doing my research. The music video for this song has many sad looking children who are dressed in rags and look like they are trying to find better days. Each picture I looked at, I saw a child looking at me, asking "when will I not be hungry?"

February 15, 2008

Solving Society



While I do wish I could solve every social-design issue, it is no where near possible. The one problem that is always tugging at my heart though, is that of homelessness. It is a problem that is faced all over the world, but we can address it so easily in our own backyards. Every city in America has thousands of people who are homeless and this is a problem that we can solve with a lot of time and patience. I've only really had experiences with homelessness in Chicago, so for this blog prompt I will pretend that those all took place in Minneapolis.

Walking down the streets of downtown Minneapolis, one is bound to encounter someone sitting on a milk crate holding a message written on a piece of cardboard. They will probably have puppy dog eyes and a weathered smile. Do you give them money? What are they going to with it? More importantly, why are they here in the first place? Are they a war veteran? drug addict? high school drop-out? ex-convict? Are they simply to lazy to find a job? I would love to spend a day asking homeless people for their story, and I'm sure I would get some fascinating responses. It doesn't matter what they may have done to get themselves there, whats matters is that they are our brothers and sisters and we have the ability to help them.

It is here that i begin to think of the old saying, "if you give a man a fish he can eat for a day, but if you teach a man how to fish, he will eat for a lifetime." This is where my idea for a social-design issue comes from. We need to create a program that takes people off the streets and equips them with job skills and enables them to get back on their feet. Whether its the simple skills of cooking in a restaurant or documenting papers in an office, there are plenty of people who are capable of helping. I would be willing to bet my life that if given the chance to start their lives over, most homeless people would grasp the opportunity and seize the day with it.

When doing my research for the blog prompt, I was happy to come across a plan called "Heading Home Hennepin" that plans to rid Hennepin County of homelessness by the year 2016. The plan is headed up by business and civic leaders, volunteers, as well as people who used to be homeless. The plan had six steps that I believe are fully achievable:
(1)PREVENTION Ensure that no one in our community becomes homeless
(2)OUTREACH Reach out to those who are homeless
(3)HOUSING Housing for all individuals and families that need it
(4)IMPROVE SERVICE DELIVERY The right services to the right people
(5)BUILD SELF SUPPORT Ensure that people have the resources to remain housed
(6)SYSTEM IMPROVEMENTS Systems currently in place work as efficiently as possible

Kudos to Hennepin County!

February 8, 2008

#1: Energy, flow and transformation through the city

Energy, flow and transformations take place everywhere, at every minute of every day. Nothing can function without energy. Energy can't do anything without flow. And the world would just be boring without transformation. Andy Goldsworthy creates all of his art based on one or all of these three things. I found it facinating how large he allowed his canvas for art to be. He traveled from stone walls, to shoreline, and then back into forests and on to rivers to express his feelings about life as this energy which is a flowing current. I was moved by every piece of his work that was shown, and felt pained inside everytime a work in progress would collapse or be discontinued. In all reality, the points he made about his work in the countrysides of Europe relate entirely to the fast-paced cities of the rest of the world.

Having lived near chicago for most of my life, and now going to the twin cities for college, I can easily relate the ideas of energy, flow and transformation through the city. Energy comes in more forms than can be counted. The human element is probably my favorite form of energy and flow that impacts the city everyday. Walking in downtown chicago on a cold winter day just after thanksgiving produces such a great energy because there are thousands of people walking every which way, and half of them don't even know where they are going. The Macy's window displays attract many individuals, couples and families after thanksgiving and as they circle the building everyone becomes engulfed with the spirit and energy of Christmas. This flows from person to person, and it is hard to find one who is discontent with life at that time. The physical movement of people, as well as the emotional flow of energy both emphasize how the city is impacted by these ideas.

Transformation plays a significant role, but comes around much less frequently. The change of seasons in the chicago brings about such a change that one could never get bored with the great city. During the summer, the cold bite of winter is absent and there is more a of a physical energy flowing all around. People all around you are roller skating, playing sand volleyball, or even carrying a briefcase as they rush to work. The energy and flow of water return with the many fountains and wading pools that exist after freezing temperatures seize. In the summer months, a transformation is even apparent from weekend to weekday. The amount of people increases on weekends and the stresses of work are from important. I often find myself delightfully lost in the riot of people, bands and street entertainers that come out of hibernation.

I don't know what kind of answer was really expected for this blog prompt, but when i heard the idea of energy, flow and transformation through the city i immediatly thought of my many enjoyable experiences in Chicago. People in chicago create such an energy that is so nonexistent away from the city that I couldn't avoid documenting that idea.