Monday, May 31, 2010

Pursuit for a Productive Summer

Dear Reader,

Last Saturday marked my first day of research for my Major Design Project for next term at ECA. I went to the University Library (originally in search for a Rhino tutorial, but found out the Artificial Intelligence Library- where the book was kept- burned down 4 years ago) and borrowed a new book on Climate Change instead. Maybe this will encourage my understanding of the chain effects global warming has on human and non-human systems. It HAS to be part of a simple cycle, exacerbated by the carbon pollutants we've emitted into the biosphere.

My topic: something along the lines of self-sustaining cities (i.e. Cuba and the Bed Zed Eco-Village in London). In theory, if most carbon emitted into the biosphere is caused by the burning of resource material, then it's quite possible the construction and maintenance of cities are a leading cause....from the stripping of minerals, to even recycling...That said, I feel considerable amount of research needs to be done on my part to understand energy, food, and design efficiency to find ways to become a more responsible designer. Based on this new knowledge, I'll be better equipped to choose a site, a design concept, and enter it into a design competition. My goal this summer is to read up on Climate Change, eco-design, any other relevant topics, and do some traveling in search of an appropriate site. Target areas of interest remain: local food and energy production, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, re-use and recycling programs, micro and macro economics (that'll be a challenge hahah!), and transportation. Even a greater challenge for me- talk to the locals ::gasp!!::

Here's my reading list so far:

1) Cohen, Stewart J., Waddell, Melissa W., "Climate Change in the 21st Century"
2) Bell, Bryan and Wakeford, Katie, "Expanding Architecture: Design As Activism"
3) Farr, Douglas, "Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design With Nature"
4) Hooftman, Eelco, "Design Against Nature"
5) Nisbett, Richard E., "The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think
Differently....and Why"
6) Smith, Peter F. "Architecture and the Human Dimension"
7) Yeang, Ken, "Eco-Design: A Manual for Ecological Design"
8) Yu, Konjian, "The Art of Survival: Positioning Landscape Architecture in the New Era"

I feel like I'm missing something, but I guess for research there's always something more to read (no?). That should be enough for now. I don't want to make my head explode. Perhaps, depending on the direction my research, I could use this project to develop a Fulbright Fellowship proposal for 2011-2012. I tried applying for the Fulbright in 2009, but it didn't work out because my course at ECA was for 2 years, and the scholarship was only awarded for 1-year courses (shucks). If all goes well, I might be able to work or study in another country for free for a year. Oh but then I'll have to take into account my plans for the NCARB and LEED.... Who knows then, but I'll do my best to sort things out. Thanks for reading, wish me luck!!

Riot In My Brain,
Lesley Ann