Monday, December 21, 2009

4 degrees of separation: NOLA

Coach carter. Engine. Boudin. Scarlet letter- Nathanel Hawthorne

Brad Pitt’s “Make It Right” is an organization meeting the needs of the people in New Orleans. A lot of people’s attitude towards “rebuilding” the city seems to be passively pessimistic because of their fear of another Katrina in the future. As most people know, New Orleans is like a bowl and when the levees broke, the water just filled up the city from the lowest point on up. The chance of this happening again is very possible because natural disasters are not under the control of man. We can only prepare through our own technological advances and hope we have created a solution for damage prevention. While Brad Pitt is aware of the chance of this disaster happening again, he does not discharge the value of the city, its rich culture, and the importance to rebuild. He believes in moving forward and helping pick the 9th ward community back on their feet and into new homes. New Orleans is not a lost cause and he stands to make a different just as Coach Carter did in the film for Richmond Highschool. He believed in making an effective change in a high school community where the people have grown to accept their poor conditions. He challenged a group of highschool basketball players to make more of themselves and move into a better future. Brad Pitt is offering hope to the 9th ward community and encouraging them to move forward to a new beginning. The “Make it Right” foundation has gained a lot of support but New Orleans needs more attention as a whole rather than just rebuilding the 9th ward community. Brad Pitt has started moving New Orleans one step further, but the politicians and other authorities need to make a move and start taking greater action.

You can easily compare New Orleans to an engine. An engine is complex; made of many parts and requires a lot of maintenance. It is constantly being rebuilt, reconstructed, and renewed. Same goes for New Orleans. It origin is rich in history, but with Huricane Katrina, it now is going to have constant maintenance. Although it will be a lot of work to reconstruct, rebuild, and renew, it will be worth it because if the overwhelming attraction to its unique culture. There is no other city like New Orleans; therefore we must take pride and work together to make a difference. We cannot walk around with Katrina as a “Scarlet Letter” in our past. I am one to believe everything happens for a reason. Although Katrina was a disaster, maybe it opened up an opportunity of a renewal that was needed for a greater good. New Orleans can only become better than what it already is. The music, the art, the food, the people all draws us together in this lively city. My favorite thing to get in New Orleans is boudin. It is a southern meal that is one of a kind. Everytime I eat Boudin I close my eyes and can visualize myself walking down Frenchman Street in New Orleans, hearing various jazz music fade together. The volume is loud and the streets are full of people and energy. The taste and smell of the spicy southern food made my experience complete. That is the New Orleans I know and love. We must protect New Orleans by preserving its cultural through rebuilding.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Unorthodox statements: 4 degrees of separation

eero sarrinen. superwoman. the truman show. “slow motion” artist: third eye blind.

While tying these 4 unrelated subjects together, I found the common thread to be originality. These subjects all make bold statements that are either unexpected or unaccepted rising some degree of controversy. Sarrinen was a revolutionary architect of his time that took risks and challenged boundaries. His works of architecture were innovative in comparison to the tradition pure forms of that time which rose controversy. This can also be said about the lady disguising herself as superwoman. Her physical appearance in this costume is making a bold statement, in which can be considered “socially unacceptable”. This is not your ‘picturesque’ image of superwoman. Same idea goes for the Truman show. The Truman show unveils the truth of a small town guy’s life as “not so typical as it seems.” The day to day life of this ‘perfect’ man with the ‘perfect’ house, ‘perfect’ wife, and ‘perfect’ job was broadcasted for everyone in the world to see where strange realities were revealed in his behavior. This T.V. show shares a parallel storyline to Third Eye Blind’s song “Slow Motion”. The song “Slow Motion” is about a corrupted domestic household where the fa├žade conceals an unexpected reality. This reveals the life of a mentally unstable teenager in the suburbs experiencing domestic abuse; addressing a problem in many American households. Third Eye Blind received a lot of controversy for the level of violence and drug abuse illustrated in their song being unacceptable for their audience of listeners.

How do these subjects tie back into architecture? There is a point where they all intersect; forming an idea, theory, or an opinion related to architecture. The process in connecting all of these unrelated subjects is very similar to the process of architecture. Architects are problem solvers who are able to take various ideas and draw connections and relationships; whether these ideas work in harmony or opposition to one another. The architect is then able to transform these ideas into a concrete form. In David Pye’s essay “The nature of design” he states, “All manner of different consideration will influence an architect’s decisions about the shape of the space he is to enclose, but the chief of them will always be the probable activities of the people who will enjoy the weather in the space.” There are many external influences in shaping space, but the internal main focus will always be on the user’s experience. Architecture is not successful without a strong idea creditable of discourse to constantly reference and play off of. The spatial experience becomes all the more profound for the user if the idea is well thought through and considered. Therefore, architecture should preserve its curiosity. Innovative architecture is one that is bold, one that challenges the norm, creates controversial dialogue, and serves as an infinite learning device. Where have you experienced innovative architecture that left you with a strong unorthodox memory of space?