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Architectural Association (Luis Fraguada)

 

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Oct '05 - Jan '07

 
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    I told myself I wouldn't do it . . .

    I would be such a keen school blogger . . .
    I would not skip a week . . .
    I would not write the cliche school blogger entry . . . but here it is.

    In all of my ambition to bring you my experience of China, I let it become an easy way to post something. The truth of it is folks, Term II is now over. A lot has happened, and I would like to share some of that with you.

    First of all, after taking some sweet ass night shots at a busstop, I left my camera on the bus. Therefore, the pictures included in today's entry will be a bit dated, if not completely ripped off of google. Ok, I won't do that to you anymore.

    But what has happened since China? Well, 2 papers, a trip to Valencia, a trip back to the states (Minnesota and Colorado), and a whole 'nother term at the AADRL.

    The papers. One was about Attention Span, the other about Information Events. I found at times I was writing the same paper, but they eventually needed to be two. I was much more interested in the Attention Span topic. How this issue, this "disease" as some call it is penetrating through all of us if ever so subliminally. I mean, if I don't post a picture on this entry how many people will reach this WORD? I might not either, except for the fact that I am writing this. Somehow, I weaved Anasazi architecture into that paper, citing a much more temporal ontology obvious in the way they constructed their cities.
    For all of those looking to go to the AADRL, don't forget, it is a masters course, and there is an opportunity to actually get down with your writing self. I enjoy writing and researching, and thus, these papers were a welcome break from the studio. Currently, I we are on term break, so more papers to write . . . more on those later as I get chronological with you.

    Valencia, you sweet sweet city you. Meredith and I took a little trip to Valencia. Had a very nice time getting lost there, which is funny, because it is not a very big city. So we really never were that lost, and if you keep walking just a bit, you eventually remember where you are. So it was sort of difficult to get lost . . . hmm, how does this change the way I view the City? anyhow, thanks to some tips from a Spaniard I know, we found some nice places to eat. Our favorite was very near our hostel . . . little place called El Rincon Cafe (I think). I recommend a bocadillo de bacalao con tortilla . . . DAMN tasty! don't get enough salted cod in my diet these days. We thought is would be a good idea to rent bikes and such, and then realized that Valencia is not that Bike friendly. Weird how London has more of an affinity with bikes than Valencia. But we had a nice time anyways. got some wine. bread, cheese, fruit, and some ham and went down to the "river." the plan was to eventually end up at Calatrava's City of Arts and Sciences. Which we did.
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    Then a brief Christmas trip to Minnesota and then to Colorado . . .

    Term II, Term II, I hardly knew you! Where the hell did it go? Really? And what the hell did we do? Here at the DRL, we are heavilly involved in Urbanism. The agenda for the year is called Parametric Urbanism. Now, I know what some of you are saying: "Isn't urbanism already parametric?" Well, apparently we are on a quest to redefine that. What matters to me is the urbanism . . . and seeing as this is an architecture masters, eventually something will be architected. My team spent the term looking for ways to play the intelligence game . . . a little intelligence here, a little there, bam, urbanism and architecture. No, not so simple. We struggled with various techniques to set up relations within certain sites in London in order to create a housing centered proposal. The time is post 2012, assuming there has been a lot of money poured into the capital, and hence, many major mass transport infrastructural projects have been completed. also, we assume that the East of London (where I currently reside) has been "regenerated," in other terms "gentrified." But you say: "wasn't Hackney gentrified in the 80's?" Yes kids, it certainly was. But they are doing it again, and we are trying to propose a different way of approaching regeneration. You wanna know something interesting? East London is characterized by the highest population density North of the Thames, and the Lowest population Density to the South of the Thames. So the Thames creates a very real barrier. Furthermore, there are something like 27 Thames river crossings to the West, and ony 9 river crossings to the east. Starting to get the picture? East London, and the so called "Thames Gateway" is the stage for the 2012 Olympics, so London wants it clean and sparkly by the time the World is ready for the Olympic feast. Hopefully we can propose a different strategy for some sites in the Thames Gateway which challenge the notion of master planning and architecture . . . stay tuned . . .

    Whats going on now? I am sitting at John Stree, watching the sun . . . yes SUN, shine brightly on the windows across the street and hit my face oh so nicely. Contemplating my term break papers. One will be more geared towards the studio project. Inevitable Change . . . Designing for Adaptability. thinking of this as not so much "How to build a city" which I think is an absurd notion, and more "How to feed a city," which I think is more realistic. The second project to work on in a continuation of the interactive installations I have been doing with my good friend Brian Dale. This one we call CCdB. Essentially mapping spaces with sound . . .microphones as CCTV cameras. Analysing the qualities of sound which shape a space. And looking for a way to evolve the discussion, as this has definitely been done before.

    I take my chances now, leaving this unedited, and fairly stream of consiousness. thanks to sporadic supernova for awakening the demon. peace.

     

     
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