Our Experiences Shape Us

When I take a moment for reflection, it strikes me that I have been living the last few months by the epiphany:

Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.

I need to look into just what the context was when Rodin stated this … but, for now I will simply settle for it fitting my current actions and to augment it with the addition of something like … the only way to actually know how tall you are is to get in over your head…

As I analyze my current activities and mental exercising … I think I must conclude that I am approaching the point where I will know how tall I am. I am contemplating a number of ideas and epiphanies that will send me under if I do not soon clarify and gain a command of them.

I don’t really desire having to take a day from paid work to reclaim some semblance of sanity, a practice I was forced to much of my last months at JMI. I think the urbanity of my surroundings will help me avoid such a break of self.

I find the freedom to walk anywhere rather than being forced to drive to be one of the most intellectually liberating discoveries I have come upon.

Designing a Velodrome

My design critique tonight was relaxing. My concept for a velodrome was well received. There is obvious merit in my design scheme. My only concern for the future is that all of my involvements will distract me from giving this design the attention it deserves.

In order to reach a satisfying evolution / solution … I think I may have to put in a number of low sleep or totally sleep deprived days/nights. I am confident that I will be able to reach an adequate design iteration, one that I can return to in later days.

From the perspective of my developing design mentality and philosophy this project brings good news. With the nudging of my design advisor / critic I believe I am now sure of my understanding of compositional techniques that create a non-static spatial entity.

I am introducing a piece of assymetry to the entrance via a long ramping promenade that is in part given secrecy / mystery by the introduction of a perplexingly simple “biowall” screen that will prolong the experience of “enterance” to the site.

I’d have to tally this form manipulation to that of a shell game of sorts. The key difference is that despite the mystery, once in the space, spectators will intuitively know the path to take.

On the topic of “shell” games … I now know that I enjoy exploring the interplay of form and context to provide significantly different perspecives of the “piece de resistance” at the epicenter of the site. Showing it from a distancem only to hide it as you move nearer, only to show it once more when you move out of the middle ground. Often, this play is the result of a manipulation of the ground plane. I find the best philosophical strain of inspiration to be found in that of Japanese gardens.

At the moment, I am not positive I am successfully achieving all of these solutions in a consistent manner due to my only devoting a few hours each week to sketching those design ideas I have been thinking of all week.

Then again, since I am seeing obvious results, perhaps I am simply getting better at the game that is a design studio … either that, or I am simply becoming more skilful in general.

I Don’t Live Here…

… “because there’s been a murder in the trailer park tonight” …

I agree with Carly. I am absolutely tired of being tired.

I suppose the current reason for my tiredness is the mess that we all know to be the Spring edition of the Drexel Smart House course / competition. The fact that a competition turned into a credit University course still disturbs me … but then, I am still wrapping my mind around the complexity of the University as an institution.

Looking back at the length of this Spring I have only one comment: “It’s been one hell of an experience.” Fact: as of now, I have learned more about “roles” from this experience than any other singular event in my life. In addition to developing a philosophy of roles and actors, I have also begun to qualify the different patterns found in expectations, teamwork, and interpersonal dynamics.

Further, I have explored more of my personal design philsophy and techniques of practice and have made significant strides in discovering just what I do and do not like having to deal with as part of the design process.

On a topic of management and the coordination of others…Today was simply ridiculous; we contacted every member of our team, excluding the interiors, in order to bring everyone up to speed and also to organize our production efforts. Monday’s “smart” mid-review is fast approaching.

Where did “Global Warming” Go?

It is currently 44 degrees on May 12th at 3pm in Philadelphia.

All I can say is so much for the idea of “global warming.”

I always did prefer the term “climate change.” I know, I know, it is so much less threatening … but it is also so much easier to validate because no matter the temperature or humidity … the climate is always changing.

As far as the “increases” as noted by Al Gore and others … I continue to run across scientific reports that contradicts their assertions. Such contradictions cite sun flare cycles, the build up of ice along parts of the polar ice caps that are not referenced by Gore et al. and the obvious statement that the world’s CO2 percentage only has comparable data going back less than 100 years and only in major metropolitan areas … which begs the obvious question / statement … since in the last 100 years, societies have seen a positive pattern of populations relocating from rural fields to city centers and suburbs … well, wouldn’t the increase in the density of the population explain the increase in the temperature and the CO2 in these city centers?

A Flowering Industry of “Green”

I stumbled upon an interesting commentary today. It was published yesterday at sfgate.com by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Leading with “Flush with money and determined to save the world, the green-tech industry stands in full flower of its giddy youth.” The reporters proceed to deliver a briefing of their interview with Vinod Khosla, one of the most prominent capitalists funding “green” start-ups and “green” ventures.

The topic of this interview is the likely hood of a “green bubble” and how such an economic development would impact both the world economies and the “green” social movements.

A sensible venture capitalist, Khosla reasonably cites the number of economic “bubbles” that our capitalist history has seen slowly grow only to then pop quite viciously. He does not viw these bubbles as negative events. Instead, these bubbles are a normal element of the capitalist cycle. Like the wildfires in the prairie’s of the American west, these bubbles serve to clear a swathe to facilitate new growth and new reaping.

As a student of the social science of technology, I find Khosla’s comments to be quite compelling. It will be interesting to see what predictions come to fruition in this field of the economy.

Sketches for an Addition

Collage of Sketches

Here is an abbreviated snapshot of some quick sketch ideas I created to help a friend decide what sort of addition he might build for his home. His home has been featured in a number of Philadelphia magazines, due to its historic nature and its clean contemporary interior. The House is located NE of the Crane Building in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia.


Turning Twenty-Two

I snapped this photograph with my mobile while walking to work the morning of my 22nd birthday.

I love the effect of the cherry blossoms when they fall. The way they cover the ground reminds me of snow. And the green shoots are the first blossoms of the new Spring.

When I walked through this court beside Philadelphia’s City Hall, I recalled the following epiphany:

hanami epiphany

all those men
and blossoms: the world’s
an automaton

For me, this haiku speaks to a struggle between God as Nature and Science as Progress.