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STEEL GRID

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My reaction to Roger Revelle Centennial Symposium: Science for the Future and the Future of Science is that it is great that he and Ashok Khosla are on board with these scientific techniques for a sustainable world. Roger has pointed out that rich people and countries like the U.S. for example take more than they need. This sets the example for all of the smaller and poorer countries out there to practice wasteful strategies; Ashok reveals this as the Copy-Cat Method. It is very sad that poorer countries are so burnt out of working hard and not having what they deserve, the only way these countries find pride in themselves is to spawn big families with lots of children; this in turn creates a larger problem for the world when population is increasing at such a drastic number. By the time 2030 comes along we are going to need more space to withhold the population. I feel as if we shall continue to educate these smaller countries in non-wasteful spending techniques and regeneration techniques, by visiting these countries and participating in a teaching program, we can make a change. These very poor countries need to learn sustainable techniques to support their land and regenerate the biological characteristics of their ecology as priority. As Ashok said, there are different ways to do things. To learn, to care, and to teach: maybe if the U.S. gets smarter and starts to practice ways of ecology regeneration, we can set an example for others to follow.

While reading the “Changing the Dreams: How Civilizations Reinvent Themselves”, I’ve grasped a better understanding to science as a integral system. One thing I enjoyed was the assumptions that “better tools have led to three firmament-shaking shifts”. 1.) Everything is made of energy, not matter. This makes sense to me because of the fact that energy is embedded as a foundational element before you matter is formed. 2.) Everything is connected, not separable, and casualty is complex, not a simple, singular or sequential. In my opinion this statement is interesting because I am a strong believer in karma, everything we do has a greater purpose and the ethics of our actions is returned to us in an indirect way, everything is connected through complexity. 3.) Complex interdependent systems are more orderly than imagined. This to me is a view of scale, when you zoom out on the way entire systems are running; it is fairly simple to understand when put into a different perspective. All of these are important views to understand the transitional period of time we are going through.

 “We will never solve our problems using the same kind of thinking that caused them in the first place.”

-Albert Einstein

“Successful transitions require a conservative progressive alliance aimed at preserving past societal lessons while working past the limits and distortions of the current age.”

-Chapter 1 of The New Science of Sustainability – “Changing the Dreams: How Civilizations Reinvent Themselves”

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Xurrent System,

Landscape Furniture

Statement: The curves and indentations of the furniture reveal comfort and invite the spectator to sit and enjoy and discover the view of the landscape.

wetland

Water Work Park,

Statement: The ponds and native plants surrounding it reveal the landscape’s natural habitats and invites for natural occurring wildlife.

Red Ribbon Park

Statement: The continuous florescent red reveals the continuity of the successive curves and invites the spectators to  use as furniture to enjoy scenery.

afterlight

For my LA Experienced I volunteered for the construction of the native garden at Clover Elementary. First when I arrived I thought that the construction of the garden was taking place in the children’s garden. But then realized that it was actually  a rectangular piece of lad that was in front of modular classrooms.

I first believed that what was going to be left for the project was going to be planting, but then realized that the land still needed to be softened and manipulated further. The very first thing we did was grading the flat parcels of small land. The part that took the longest was the softening and breaking of the compressed soil. During that phase only the guys were able to work with the hardened land. After the soil was softened the land was manipulated  into lower and higher areas, and what was dug out of one area was put onto another to dramatize low and high areas. Then after the rough grading was completed, the fine grading was done to make smoother transitions between the high and the low.

After the grading was done what came next was my favorite part of the whole day, the planting. First we started by placing the pots right on the desired planting spot. Then we dug holes two times larger than plant and almost as deep and filled with water twice and let it drain completely. Then came the secrets of successful planting. We added a scoop of compost in the hole and before placing the plant the roots were dipped into a liquid tea compost. At last after the plant was placed in the whole we watered the planted plant.

At last we did one of the most important things of the project that goes unseen, the irrigation system. if the plants aren’t watered properly they don’t thrive and the design dies with it. The irrigation that was used in the project was drip irrigation which was set on a timer. I didn’t work on the set up of the timer nor the more technical parts but I helped get every plant its own drip. After all the plants had a drip line the mulch was added to cover the soil and add additional nutrients and a uniform color and texture. At Last I wasn’t able to stay until the very end to see the garden 100% completed but at the end it looked good.

Even though I only volunteered for the very last phase of the construction there was still much to be done. The work consisted of grading, planting, drip irrigation and final touches & cleanup. It was an enriching educational experience. The part I liked the most was definitely learning how to plant properly and how the drip irrigation worked. I look forward to more volunteer opportunities.

My LA experience did not consist of a guided tour or a  trip to a prestigious museum, instead my LA experience was a hands on project that that brought life to a native garden on the campus of Clover Elementary School. From the minute I heard this project was going to be taking place I was highly interested in attending the event because I wanted to obtain hands on experience that I could learn from. Attending this event brought an experience that I can honestly say I learned something from.

When I left my home en route to Clover Elementary School I was excited to know what exactly I was going to do. As soon as I arrived to the destination I grabbed a shovel and began my learning experience. I must say that that I underestimated the amount of work that was required for such a small area. When I picked up the shovel and began to dig into the ditch I realized that it was a task that would require team effort  to complete successfully. As I was digging and trying to break off the highly compacted soil I was placing images in my mind of how the completed garden would look. After a couple hours of hard digging and shaping the ditch, a truck arrived that contained the native plant material. We all gathered up and around Gabrielle and listened to specific instructions on how and where to place the plant material. I learned very important and interesting facts regarding planting and making the plants thrive successfully. I learned about the depth and circumference  requirements for a plant to be successfully planted in the soil. I also learned that before you plant any plant material in the ground  you have to drain water in the hole at least 1 or 2 times before you insert the plant. This was interesting important facts that will help me in the future. While digging, placing plants and planting I paid close attention to the names of the plant material. I realized how important it is for a landscape architect to be able to have great plant identification skills.

When Gabrielle pulled out the floor plan of the garden, I got very excited because I had never actually followed a plan of anything. All the plans I have seen or worked on had been for a class, or places that I never got to actually see or work on. This made me feel like I was a landscape architect and I was very thrilled to continue working. Along the process of the garden I would hear terms and that I have heard in previous courses. I listened carefully and watched Gabrielle closely because I was thrilled by the idea of taking a simple sheet of paper and converting it to a live garden that would grow and thrive beautifully.

Although I was unable to stay and admire the finished garden, I left the school with a lot in mind. I left with content knowing that I was part of something the community will enjoy and learn from. I was amazed on how team work can achieve marvelous things. The plan was very well organized and all individuals that participated played a role in the development of the garden. Knowing that many children and families will enjoy of this landscape gives me a warm heart feeling. I was very please with attending this event and I am very proud to sat that I was part of the Cal Poly team!

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Heading out to do a case study on Miracle Mile was one of my unforgettable moments in first year studio.  One thing I regretted not doing while I was there was to experience different architectural exhibits near Museum Row.  Last Saturday, I felt the need to complete my Wilshire experience by going to LACMA and the MAK center.  My first stop was at the Mackey Garage Top, to see Sommer and Denari’s ‘Smooth Matter’ exhibit.  To my surprise, the exhibit was located on top of a makeshift garage behind the main building.  I made my way up the flight of stairs and the first thing that caught my eye was a glass panel that resembled something like a spider web.  At closer inspection, I notice that there are layers of fine lines encased in the glass.  I was first confused at what appeared to be splotches and lines but after reading the pamphlet, I realize that these portraits were 2D representations of landforms.  What impressed me was how Sommer was able to translate these chaotic ‘freeform’ panels into actual topological landforms using NURBS, a type of computer modeling.   At the center of the gallery, you can see a model that represents a smoothened ‘Oceanic Surface’ arising from the chaos of conflicting vectors.  My thoughts after seeing this exhibit was seeing connections between the artist’s renditions of freeform surface art to our concept of datum plane manipulations.

On the second part of my trip I went down the street towards LACMA to visit the contemporary art gallery.  I made it my way through top floor of the where I saw the first exhibit ‘Think Pink’, by Stephen Prina.  The furniture displayed in the gallery are actually replicas of Schindler designed furniture, but every piece was painted entirely pink.  This reminded me of the pink benches and chairs I saw in Grand Park in a field trip a few weeks earlier.  Pink furniture stuck out prominently as figures against the white background, which I thought was part of the artist’s statement.  Another exhibit that I liked was Chris Burden’s ‘Metropolis II’ – a hot wheels inspired cityscape of epic proportions.  Its complex traffic circulation is modeled after LA.  Upon closer inspection of model, one can fight odds and ends of just about anything including mosques and a miniature Eiffel Tower.  My final exhibit led me Richard Serra’s ‘Band’, which was a large structure that curves throughout the room.  I realized how an architect can make several spaces just by using one continuous line.  It was fun following the wall that led you ‘in and out’ of the large spaces.  My trip to LACMA and the MAK Center was worth the experience because it taught me how to appreciate not only architectural work, but I saw how fine art can influence great structures through color and form.