Jan '11 - Feb '12
Hello Archinect, I'm Bo, nice to meet you.
As I write this (my first) blog entry, I sit in a model-strewn man cave in the basement of my parent's house in Kansas City, frenetically trying to arrange my life before I depart to Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy. I will be spending the spring semester in this small Tuscan hill town which is about an hour south of Florence.
Now for the customary background information:
I am currently studying in my fourth year at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. The program is a five year non-baccalaureate accredited Master's degree, which means that this will be my last undergraduate semester before I begin the only year of graduate school.
I grew up in a suburb Prairie Village, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. Despite having a totally skewed and nebulous understanding of the profession, there was always this latent understanding in my mind that I would grow up to be an architect. When it came time to graduate, despite flirting with other majors such as Creative Writing, Engineering, and Graphic Design, I ended up at Kansas State in the College of Architecture, Planning, and Design.
As I have progressed in my architectural education, I have become deeply interested in the idea of “political economies of space,” or how can architecture seek to pacify and create opportunity for two competing interests? How could we redesign the West Bank or Gaza strip in a way that provides equal opportunities to both the Palestinians and Israeli settlers? How could we create a humanitarian architecture that allows immigrants to better integrate into their new communities? How could we redesign refugee camps so that their inhabitants can both benefit from and provide benefit to the regions in which they must settle?
Obviously, this phrasing may seem somewhat simplistic and the realities are complex and more than simply spatial, but I think it is an area that's worth exploring. A great example of this would be an article from the New York Times in 2006, in which the Times asked architects to design a border wall between Mexico and the United States:
A Fence With More Beauty, Fewer Barbs
I have little experience in this arena, so this is more of a future aspiration/current obsession than an area of experience.
Additionally, I find myself both architecturally and otherwise interested in the narrative or how do we communicate the human experience through the lens of ourselves (...as designers, which we cannot escape) in a way that establishes meaning?
Outside of the studio, and especially over breaks, I thoroughly enjoy reading contemporary fiction (just finished Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, an excellent novel), films (Paradise Now, Into the Wild, Mystic River, and most Coen Brothers films are among my favorites), biking, fashion, and graphic design.
I hope to post about my upcoming semester abroad and a brief recap of my time so far at K-State (including a portfolio!), so stay tuned and thanks for reading.
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.