Sep '06 - Dec '09
Our program is going through accreditation this semester so it has been a hectic one. If anybody has experienced this please post, I’m looking forward to it. One benefit to the accreditation is the school has offered a class to design new mobile pin-up spaces called, NITRO. Sweet class. Any studio spent all day in the woodshop is a winner in my opinion. My creative juices have been pouring all over this studio because our deadline is spring break. So it is moving very rapidly as opposed to Studio. Studio is moving very slowly as guilt feelings build inside. We are designing a new architecture school for Hampton and I think it’s the new Head of the Department’s idea to generate dialog for a new architecture building at the University. Here he is.
Before returning this semester, I took a trip to the Philippines. I returned asking why more architects don’t design for the “other 90%.” I witnessed some of the worst poverty I have ever seen in Manila. Walking the squatter projects was so amazing and disheartening.
It’s amazing that some of the practices we try to incorporate into urban design here in the United States are built naturally, such as public squares. The Squatters don’t plan to build a public square but there is an understanding that even in a community like theirs, they need a place to gather together.
They still rely on daylight for much of their lighting with so many electrical wires above them. I also visited the national cemetery where people live. It is an escape from the stench of the garbage and polluted rivers. The cemetery functions like a regular town with stores and places to eat, if you don’t mind eating on a tombstone. After looking back at some of my pictures from the cemetery its hard to imagine that they were living amongst the dead.
But it was so sad to see all the homeless children around Manila. I’ve seen homeless adults but never children and never in such large numbers. Very sad.