December 4, 2006

Final Blog Prompt


The two readings are talking about different things but are connected through one strong relationship. This relationship is found in the human desire for more. Neil Gershenfeld, the author of “Fab� focuses on the personal fabricators and how we as humans motivated to “make things they’d always wanted, but that didn’t exist� (Gershenfeld -6). Robert Twombly demonstrates this same focus but through the specifics of architecture. As stated on pages 230-1, humans have the “desire for the yet not made�. What these two authors are saying is that we as humans are not satisfied and strive for more and more. Today we have entered into the stages of Virtual Reality. The virtual reality that we have created consists of the things done online. We are able to send documents all the way around the world. We are able to do research looking up information from almost every library near or far. This is something that we have never had access to before. We are able to communicate without once opening our mouths. We are able to be in a partnership with people we have never seen before. That is our virtual reality.

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I will now stray away from the assignment a little bit. While doing the readings there is one part of Twombly’s article that I would like to address. On page 230, it says “What nature makes it makes without man, and what man makes nature cannot make without him.� This statement is giving all the power to man. When in all reality, man can not make what nature makes, period. In fact, man cannot make anything without nature. So then doesn’t nature have all the power? The article also says, “What man makes, yes, must answer to the laws of nature but is governed in his concepts by rules and choice.� The rules of man is not governed by himself but really it is governed by nature. We try to make dams to control the waters for our own uses but they break or nature rebels and you lose your water source completely because you disturbed the waters natural path. We make large cities on the edge of the land and even stretching out overtop the water, but then nature comes along and can destroy it within minutes. Lets use Hurricane Katrina as an example. It destroyed all of New Orleans and killed way more people then the man made catastrophe of 911. Nature gives us limited resource that hold power over us, as well, in everything that we do; gold, gas, water, the list goes on. When we build we build around nature. We have to make sure our buildings can survive through earthquakes or have shelter for tornadoes. Nature may not make a house like Twombly states but nature does make a home.

Humans design to make a great creation, but Nature makes a great creation by using our design. (After all, who controls our natural light?)


[This kind of reminds me of the first movie we watched where that guy goes around and makes a bunch of things in nature. Well, the part where he is making a symbol of the river with icicles on the rock and then the sun came out and hit it just right. In the end that beautiful piece of work wasn’t created by him, it was created by the sun. It was the sun that made it what it was. That is the power of nature, not of man.]

December 2, 2006


Technology comes in many shapes and sizes along with many pluses and minuses. Technology as an order of nature refers to the tools that connect man and nature. Technology is the thing that allows people to do things that may otherwise not be done or would take a life time to complete verse a matter of minutes that it takes a machine to do. Technology is developed to better and fulfill our human needs. Many of the biggest examples are found in medicine and software.

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In the United States today, San Jose, California is the leading city in technological advances. The city is home to over 25 companies including Adobe Systems, IBM, eBay, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi and Cisco, the worldwide leader in networking for the internet. It was here where the first disc drives for computers where invented along with laser eye surgery. San Jose is a great example of a Technopolis, or a location to high-tech industries with the most advanced technology currently available.

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As many of these new technological advances can be very beneficial to us they can also create problems. People become so dependent on technology now a days that they forget the things that they already know how to do themselves. The simplest example would be calculators. When it comes to problem solving people have been so dependent of using calculators that when the time comes when you need to solve a problem and you don’t have a calculator, you find it hard to even solve the basic equations such as 8 X7. Technology also creates laziness. People will spend the whole day searching for the remote for the TV instead of just standing up and changing the channel manually. However, due to our busy lives in the present day, many things such as dishwashers and cell phones can be very beneficial to us, allowing us to free up some the time that we don’t have.

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November 5, 2006

Mathematics in Architecture

Mathematics is found every where you look in architecture. The main characteristics I see most often is the role of geometry, symmetry and proportion. These specific characteristics will be demonstrated through the following images:



First in the photos of the Villa Rotunda.... we see the symmetry developed in the floor plan. Each side of the building is mirrored to the apposing side. The aisles are placed at a cross plan with reflecting sides. The geometry is found in this building as well. There are many different aspects but the major geometric characteristic is the dome in the center of the building. This is a very common structure found in many different important buildings in architectural history. Finally, the proportions of this building is shown through the height of the ceilings in each room, the center space under the dome being the grandest, and the large grand pillars that stand outside the doors showing its importance. Proportions are not always made to the human body in architecture, often times, they are made in proportion to power. The taller or largest building make them appear more significant.

October 23, 2006


Opposition is "the act of placing opposite, or the state or position of being placed opposite." ... So what in life seams not to work well with each other?... What come to mind for me is the ski seasons in my high school career, Junior year in particular. Skiing is complemented by snow, and its opposition is grass. In order to be able to participate that the section and be able to qualify for state you must participate in at least 3 varsity cross country ski meets through out the season. This year there was hardly any snow and we were still doing dry land training in December and January. Teams all over the state were luck if they had 3 or 4 meets that season that weren't canceled because of the lack of snow. Obviously, you can't ski on grass and rocks, you can try but you wont move.

That year in order to get in at least three meets we had to find some alternative resolutions. I remember we had one of our raced be a dry land running race and counted it as a real meet because we competed against other teams. The other thing we did was move our races from cross country trails to down hill ski trails where fake snow was made (and in horrible condition because of the warm weather) and we had our raced up and down the "Easy" trails. This was one of the strangest skiing season I have ever witnessed.


October 6, 2006


A Phenomena is a fact or event that is experienced through the senses that can be related to other events and can be repeated through clockwork. The life and migration of the Monarch Butterfly is truly a natural phenomena.

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Through out a year there consists of 4 generations of Monarch butterflies. The first three generations take place in the months of March through August and the life expectancy is only 6-8 weeks. This time frame includes the life of the butterfly as an egg (4 days), a caterpillar (2 weeks), a chrysalis (10 days), and then finally an adult butterfly for 2-6 weeks. The fourth generation of the Monarch butterfly is born in September/October. It is this time of year where the life of the Monarch does not end early but they migrate south and live in Mexico or Southern California for a time frame of 6-8 months. When spring time comes, they again migrate but up North towards Canada and lay eggs. After the long journey of migration, the finally die and the cycle continues on back to the simple lives similar to those of the first generation. Every spring the Monarchs return to Canada and every Fall they return to Mexico and the clockwork continues. The framework of the life of the Monarch butterfly can be defined by the egg, the cocoon, and its adult wings. The life of a butterfly is similar the life of a bird in that it is born through the egg and once it goes through the stages of life grows its wings or "adult feathers" it is able to fly and migrate south.

However, my original understanding of a phenomena was; "An unusual, significant, or unaccountable fact or occurrence; a marvel." Meaning it is something that happened but can not be explained. Yes, the Monarch butterfly has amazing life cycle and journey but to be honest the first thing that came to mind for me was this baseball phenomena:

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This is a very unusual and unaccountable occurrence.

October 2, 2006

A place with meaning to me

Working through busy schedules day after day can be very stressful on our minds and bodies. People learn to deal with stress in there lives in many different ways. Some people like to go out to a baseball game or side down and watch a movie. Other people find relaxation in going out and socializing. It all depends on the personalities of each individual to determine what works for them. For me, I find running or rollerblading as a way to relieve tension and take my mind away from the daily activities in my life.

Last year as a freshman here at the university I was able to go out and discover a place of refuge for me. I found this during one of my stress relieving runs down on the parkway the flows along the river. It was here were I was able to sit back and relax as I look at the beautiful houses and the dancing leaves over the river. It was on this adventure where I found my favorite house, where I discovered hiking paths that lead down to the bank of river and where I found Minnehaha Falls. I find the journey to all of these places and each destination to be very meaningful to me in that I forget about the crazy world around me and get a chance to be myself. Each place gives me the sense of freedom.

Since the first time I went on the parkway I felt at home. I wasn’t sure why I felt this until I really thought about it. The parkway reminds me a lot of Winona, the town I grew up in. Winona is a smaller city on the banks of the Mississippi river in southeastern Minnesota. There are two lakes in the middle of the town with a bike trail that runs around the perimeter of them both. the sun sparkles over the water in the evening s and there is often a light warm breeze. the trees too are very beautiful and colorful during the fall. The bike trails on the river up here almost connects me to the trails of along the river and lakes in Winona. especially because it is the same river by which they runs. I am no longer home sick is this place and that is meaningful enough.

Social Design Issue

The biggest issue in the design of big cities is in parking. There was once a time when each household owned only one car. Now a days we are finding that there is at least a car for every driver in the household if not more. With this being the case more and more cars are on the roads going to many different places like work and school. Because of the increase in the usage of cars, more and more parking spaces are needed. However, because of the growth of cities with new buildings and companies, the areas designed for parking are being taken over by new buildings. This combination of increase of cars and decrease in parking is not a good combination. This is more and more important the bigger the city gets. A good example of how parking is being taken over by other things can be found right here on campus. In order to build the new football stadium on campus we are taking out several blocks worth of parking. Now, not only is it taking the parking away but because of the new stadium, more people then usual will be coming to the location making parking in more of a demand then ever before. This is a big issue that will continue on as time continues on.

September 18, 2006

Midtown Market

Energy is the root behind the movements and activities around us. It is very easy to see energy in the flow of traffic or the movements of people along the pavement. However, there was much more to the word energy when it came to the Midtown Market.

The light rail up above the markets transporting people back and forth through out the city and the heavy traffic on the streets ground level with the market were both very active in this specific location. It was when you entered the walls of the market place made up of fences and tents, you experienced a very different form of energy. It was the type of energy that you feel more then you see. Yes there was lots of movements with the buying and selling of goods, dancing and making music but it was the energy made from people to people interaction that made it so great. Each person was experiencing a connection to people of all different sorts that they may not experience in there everyday lives.

There was a mix between young children, old couples, growing families and groups of friends. There where peoples of all shapes and sizes and everyone was able to experience this new and lively place together. For me, a lot of energy was created inside of me by the new experience all together. I have never been to a Market place such as this before and it was well worth it. I was able to just sit back and relax and enjoy the company of the people around me doing the things they do. I would feel connected to people without even saying a word. It was almost as if the atmosphere was doing the talking for us.