Sep '06 - Dec '06
I gather I'm on the late end of the curve in making a first post, but blame that on still having a 9-5 job and a faulty motherboard at home.
So I'll just start with a brief explanation of who I am and where I'm coming from, which will, naturally, color the kinds of posts you can expect from me.
I should start by saying I haven't really started my thesis year of grad school yet. Cincinnati is one of those lovely quarter schools who start fall quarter in late September, start winter quarter in the throes of New Year's hangovers and don't get out in the summer until the swimming pool is already full.
At the moment, I'm finishing up a six month graduate co-op in Washington, DC in the Smithsonian Institution's Architectural History and Historic Preservation Division. As I like to say, we save old things from the ravages of progress.
For the last few years, I've been more-or-less heavily involved with AIAS, having served most recently as the chair of our national conference (Forum) in Cincinnati. The theme we developed for that was "Building from Crisis", which dealt with the ways architects respond to war, natural disasters, urban poverty etc.
This idea of architects having a social responsibility is central to my thoughts on the profession. It's the core of the thesis topic that I'll be exploring (tentatively entitled "Babylon Reconsidered: community development through rooftop urban agriculture") and a big part of the reason that I compelled our university to participate in the Solar Decathlon.
The Decathlon, for those unfamiliar, is an international competition sponsored by the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory in which 20 selected teams design and build a totally solar-powered house and ship it to the Mall in DC for a week of intensive testing.
I'm also an erstwhile political operative, having worked as a policy advisor and internet communications specialist (read: web designer and blog manager) for a successful Cincinnati mayoral candidate.
In my free time here in DC I enjoy wandering the streets lined with so many bland, corporate buildings (the residential sections are so much more pleasant), reading books like The End of Poverty and Gravity's Rainbow, and watching Project Runway . . .
I'll be back in Cincinnati in 10 days.