Jan '11 - Feb '12
On Monday I hurt (pulled? strained?) my Achilles Tendon, leaving me virtually sedentary and only able to handle small amounts of walking and even less stair-climbing. It’s unfortunate because the city is basically one huge hill with a large amount of precarious, winding alleyways and steps. The study center itself is a scene from a MC Escher lithograph. Because of this, I have spent the last three days indoors, missing a temperature spike into the low-50s and a trip, today, to Florence (including tours of San Miniato, Santa Croce, and a short excursion to the Ponte Vecchio). Luckily, we’ll be going back to the city next week (with some tentative plans to make it up there on Saturday for a chocolate fair [yum]).
Tomorrow, I’ll be seeing a physical therapist in the afternoon, although I assume she’ll tell me what I already know: elevate, ice, and rest. We’ll see.
As I've been out of commission, I've been thinking about accessibility. Living in a city in which defensibility (sp?) is the most defining characteristic has been interesting. My temporary disability has revealed the unforgiving nature of a city which is almost entirely inaccessible apart from strenuous walking. I often wonder how the elderly men and women within the community are able to get around, and have yet to see a disabled person.
As I mentioned in my first post ("An Introduction"), I am interested in architecture's role within war areas and areas of conflict. Structures within these areas must be designed with safety as an important concern, but how can this be done without sacrificing openness and accessibility? Are the two mutually exclusive? (I think the answer is "no," and it's one I'd like to explore in the future).
In other news:
Arezzo (the nearest large city, about 15 minutes away) is hosting its monthly first-Saturday-of-the-month antique fair. According to first-hand accounts, the city turns into a massive flea market full of treasures, some from the 15th and 16th centuries. I plan to travel there on Sunday in order to map the market for my studio project.
…which is coming along nicely, at least the basic framework. When I have finalized the proposal, I’ll post it up here. For now, I will be mapping organic, decentralized marketplaces (the Arezzo antique fair, the Friday markets here in Castiglion) in order to get an idea of how vendors organize themselves within a city when their location is not mandated. I am also hoping to map the routes of religious processions, parades (Carnivale), and guided tours throughout the city to understand the narratives of movement that already exist. At the end of the month, I hope to composite all the maps in order to inform the placement of the various components of event (which I will be programming).
Classes started this week and it's been a slow ease into the semester thus far. Our first class (on Monday) was History of Science and Technology with Giovanni DiPasquale, a scientific historian (not to many of those eh?) who works at the Museo Galileo in Firenze. The class, at first glance, seems fascinating. He examines the development of science and the resulting technologies from a historical standpoint, looking at their effects on the growth of the civilizations in which they are developed. In addition to that class and studio, we have the seminar examining the factors (political, sociological, geographic) that led to Italy’s prominence in history. The first class was disheartening, hopefully it will pick up.
I was hoping to post an image of the view from our back courtyard, but the internet is being stingy. I'll try to post images soon.
A first-person account of the interior life of the College of Architecture, Planning, and Design at Kansas State University. This blog seeks to bring you the latest architecture news from the fabled Little Apple -- Manhattan, Kansas.