Archinect - University of Southern California (Emily) 2024-07-16T08:24:53-04:00 Epilogue #4 :: Signing Off Emily Kemper 2009-07-20T14:54:55-04:00 >2022-03-16T09:16:08-04:00 <p>It's been two months since I graduated from USC. I realize that it often takes new graduates, especially in the design professions, a while to find a job after they leave the relative safety of their studio, but this wasn't exactly part of my plan. Three years ago, when I decided to go back to graduate school, I didn't imagine that I'd be graduating into the worst market for designers in 18 years... or is it 27 years? Maybe even the worst market in 35 years? Or, as we like to say now, "this market is a game changer". I think this market is rewriting the rules of the design and architecture professions entirely.<br><br> But I digress... as I am no longer in school, I think that it's time that I end my tenure as an "Archinect School Blogger". After all, at one point I was writing on four - yes, four! - separate blogs, and since I'm someone who likes to do things efficiently, I would like to streamline my thoughts and efforts. Therefore, if you'll allow me just one last plug, I hope yo...</p> Epilogue #3 :: An Open Letter to My Fellow Under- and Unemployed Archinectors Emily Kemper 2009-06-18T18:16:56-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Hi folks....<br><br> As mentioned briefly in my last <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>, I'm launching an effort to help my fellow under- and unemployed friends out there in the midst of this terrible economy. I'm calling it the <a href="" target="_blank">Portfolio Project</a>, whereby fellow designers are invited to host their portfolios on my Web site <a href="" target="_blank">(the GDC)</a> for free for a period of up to a year. I'm posting now just to make sure everyone is aware of it! I've already got several people involved and once their portfolios are live, I'll link to them on a special page on the Web site, to make sure we get our names out there. And no doubt advertise it here too :o)<br><br><i>PS. Unfortunately this does not mean that I can offer free online Portfolio design at this time... only free hosting. We'll have to wait until I achieve financial independence before I can design everybody's online portfolios...which means never</i> :-P<br><br> Cheers!<br><br><br></p> Epilogue #2 :: Third time was not the charm Emily Kemper 2009-06-11T14:23:46-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I'm not going to bother restating here how bad the job market is; I'm pretty sure you all already know.<br><br> I did know that it was going to be bad a long time ago, however, which is why I started applying to jobs back in February. I got several follow-ups, and I had a few interviews. The third and most recent interview was with a company in Denver a couple of weeks ago for the position of "energy modeler". This was looking pretty good; they called all of my references, had me take a personality test, the whole deal. In the end, they decided to redefine the position to be geared towards someone with a physics degree. I like Physics! But I never got a degree in it. :o/ So the third time <i>was not</i> the charm, and it's back to the job-hunting grind for me.<br><br> The good news is, I got all of my loans deferred due to unemployment, and I got some great advice from a lady at the Federal Direct Consolidation offices: she explained to me that <b>you should NOT apply for consolidation of your stu...</b></p> Epilogue #1 :: Doing crits for other students Emily Kemper 2009-06-06T14:27:02-04:00 >2022-03-16T09:16:08-04:00 <p>So, I'm going to blog a few "epilogues"....this is because, technically, I'm not a student anymore since I graduated a few weeks ago, but I feel compelled to keep writing to you until I know what I'm doing with my life. And I still don't. Thus, the epilogues.<br><br> Yesterday I had the privilege of participating in the final reviews of the 3rd year students at Cal Poly Pomona. One of their instructors is <a href="" target="_blank">Archinect Senior Editor Orhan Ayy&uuml;ce</a>, who asked me to join the juries (which included Cris Anaya, former school blogger, and Archinect's "Voice" Marlin Watson), and I happily agreed. I've only done juries a few times but I really enjoy the opportunity to interact with younger students and get them thinking about issues that may have never crossed their mind during the course of their project. I am adamant in thinking that a final review should be a learning experience - just like a good final exam is one that you can learn from - so I tend to be gentle to the students, as I don't thi...</p> 4.21 :: Graduation Emily Kemper 2009-05-17T22:16:28-04:00 >2022-03-16T09:16:08-04:00 <p>My classmates and I graduated on Friday, in a grand morning ceremony with the Governator speaking, and then again at a "satellite" ceremony just for the School of Architecture. Literally I cannot believe how quickly the time has flown since I got here less than two years ago. Especially since last August....I feel like I blinked and it was May, and there I was in my funny gown and hood and hat. It's a strange and slightly scary feeling to be freed from academia again.<br><br> But enough about that, here are some photos.<br><br><img src=""><br> Here is our flag, just before we're about to process into our seats for the main "all-school" ceremony.<br><br><img src=""><br> The processional of school flags.<br><br><img src=""><br> My view of the podium.<br><br><img src=""><br> Arnold "The Governator" Schwarzenegger giving us a very funny commencement speech. Yes, he did say "I'll be back" at least 3 times.<br><br><img src=""><br> A sea of graduates behind me. There were about 4500 students who graduated from USC on Friday!!!<br><br><img src=""><br> My fellow Master of Building Science graduates, minus one, just before our ce...</p> 4.20 :: Going to Greenbuild! Emily Kemper 2009-04-30T03:49:52-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <i>(cross posted on my <a href="" target="_blank">Web site</a>)</i><br><br> This is incredibly cool, and a great way to cap off my short but incredible stint at USC.<br><br> I am pleased to annouce that I will be moderating a panel of &ldquo;green blogosphere voices&rdquo; for a session at <a href="" target="_blank">Greenbuild 2009 in Phoenix</a> in November. The panel was put together by my Archinect e-friend <a href="" target="_blank">Barry Lehrman</a> and my cohorts are as follows:<br><br><b>Cameron Sinclair</b> (Presenter/Panelist): <a href="" target="_blank">Architecture for Humanity</a> / <a href="" target="_blank">Open Architecture Network</a><br><br><b>Jill Fehrenbacher</b> (Presenter/Panelist): <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br><b>Quilian Riano</b> (Presenter/Panelist): <a href="" target="_blank"></a> / <a href="" target="_blank">gsd-ecologicalurbanism</a><br><br><b>Barry Lehrman</b> (Presenter/Panelist): <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br><b>Emily Kemper</b> (that&rsquo;s me) (Moderator) (Presenter/Panelist): <a href="" target="_blank">Master of Building Science, USC</a> / <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br> Very exciting! Stay tuned for updates on what we might discuss and what big plans we have for &ldquo;green&rdquo; blogging :o) 4.19 :: Solar Excursion Emily Kemper 2009-04-26T18:35:15-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>My classmates and I took a field trip yesterday with our professor to a solar array in the high desert East of Lancaster. It's attached to <a href="" target="_blank">Bolthouse Farms</a> and it helps to grow carrots. The array consists of 770 sun-tracking solar panels that produce a total of 1.9 megawatts of electricity per year. The array was created by a group called <a href="" target="_blank">Regenesis Power</a>, who worked with <a href="" target="_blank">Mitsubishi Electric Solar</a> to make the comprehensive system.<br><br><img src=""><br> We went on a tour as part of a larger group.<br><br><img src=""><br> Solar panels are so pretty up close.<br><br><img src=""><br> Another view of the array. The panels are "tracking" which means that they follow the sun throughout the day. They adjust themselves every 4 minutes.<br><br><img src=""><br> This is a picture of one of the 4 inverters which transforms the direct current power into alternating current power.<br><br> After visiting the array, we dodged some Creepy Guy that tried to attach himself to our class and took off. We then went to a family restaurant type place in the middle of nowhere that sold every type of...</p> 4.18 :: Tips for Job Hunting (from a pro) Emily Kemper 2009-04-22T20:43:28-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>We had recruiter and professional HR consultant <a href="" target="_blank">Kristi Enigl</a> come in and talk to us this afternoon about ways to stand out in the job market. She had a lot of great tips, and she helped to diffuse some of (not all) my job-hunting anxiety. I thought I'd share some of her suggestions here for the rest of you who are in similar situations!<br><br> -Firstly, here is her list of <b>Top Ten Resume Rules</b>:<br><img src=""><br><br><i>With regards to #1...</i> This is especially important if, like me, you have more than one page's worth of experience. One suggestion is to treat your resume like an Executive Summary to keep it concise, and leave the full version up online or on request.<br><br><i>With regards to #2...</i> She basically said that "Objective" line that many of us still have on our resumes is soooooo 2004.<br><br><b>Some other important things to remember:</b><br> -She said that firms have been hiring for the past few years on what she called a "behavioral basis": this is to say that the work you've done before is likely to predict your strengths....</p> 4.17 :: Everything is going to be different now Emily Kemper 2009-04-16T12:11:43-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I realized rather late in the semester that I had forgotten to give you our lecture series schedule. By the time I realized it, in fact, half of them were already done, so I didn't bother.<br><br> In the absence of that I'd like tell you about one of the speakers that I think was quite different than a typical architecture school speaker: our guest last night, Steven Strong.<br><br> Steven runs an office in Massachusetts called <a href="" target="_blank">Solar Design Associates</a> and has devoted his career to the objective of using solar energy instead of traditional fossil fuels to power our built environment, to spreading the word about solar technology, and generally to making buildings greener. He was animated, folksy, and downright unequivocal in his proclamations, as evidenced his slide show, which I captured on iPhone below:<br><br><img src=""><br><br> That slide shows a graph, which depicts the availability of oil (white line) with the projected world population (red line) on the left; on the right, it shows the scene from <i>Thelma and Louise</i> ...</p> 4.16 :: Pre-fab, Pillow fighting, and a Postopolis Panel Emily Kemper 2009-04-05T15:07:13-04:00 >2022-03-16T09:16:08-04:00 <p>Yesterday was fun!<br><br> The day started with a class field trip to the <a href="" target="_blank">Marmol Radziner Prefab</a> offices in West LA where we got to see the Rincon 5 single module house, which they are marketing as a guest or a vacation house. I think it's great: assuming I had a piece of land somewhere in a temperate climate, I could live in it. But I'm a fan of small footprints :o)<br><br><i>The Rincon 5 prefab house in the Marmol Radziner Parking lot.</i><br><img src=""><br><br><i>Here's an interior shot of the kitchenette/living room.</i><br><img src=""><br><br> After looking at the Rincon 5 we toured their offices. They have some truly awesome models, some of which have the most hilly sites - and therefore massive stacks of cardboard - I've ever seen.<br><br><i>The Marmol Radziner conference room is filled with photographs of their body of work, plus some great models.</i><br><img src=""><br><br> After the offices, we went to Leo Marmol's home, which is a prefab house in Venice based on their Skyliner series. All of the pictures from the field trip, including a couple pictures of that house, are availa...</p> 4.15 :: Postopolis! (continues...) Emily Kemper 2009-04-04T02:58:54-04:00 >2022-03-16T09:16:08-04:00 <p>Well, <a href="" target="_blank">Scott</a> caught the first night of <a href="" target="_blank">Postopolis! LA</a>, but I couldn't make it there until the third night...just in time to see our very own <a href="" target="_blank">Orhan Ayy&uuml;ce</a> present! How exciting. It's always a new adventure whenever I get to meet an Archinecteur in person, especially if I've known them for years but only online.<br><br><i>Look! It's Orhan presenting!</i><br><img src=""><br><br> Orhan told me when I arrived that he had just posted his presentation on Archinect, but I didn't quite understand him...until he started his talk and presented <a href="" target="_blank">directly from Archinect</a>! This means that you can basically experience his presentation much the same way that I did, except for maybe the story about George Michael and Will Rogers Park. But I digress...<br><br><i>Alex took a picture of me while I took a picture of him, Archinect Paul, and everyone else</i><br><img src=""><br><br> By the way, in case you hadn't noticed, the roof top of the Standard Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles is pretty much the perfect place to have an event with a bunch of designers like this. You get to ...</p> 4.14 :: Never rest... Emily Kemper 2009-03-31T17:52:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Today I had the opportunity to have lunch with some of the trustees of the University. I was invited, along with several other students from various disciplines, to come and discuss some of the work that I've been doing as a graduate student and with the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation. I sat between two trustees: Frank was a co-founder of Telemundo and Norm is an author, media expert, and professor in the School of Cinematic Arts. It was lovely and a great opportunity to see first hand that the Trojan community is so robust because it has some very enthusiastic people helping to run it.<br><br> I also just found out that I am a finalist for a Traveling Fellowship that I applied for. This is exciting, except I applied based on the assumption that I would be joining a group from my school on a two-week International Lab excursion to Rio de Janeiro, and apparently my school isn't doing that anymore. So I need to revise my itinerary....<br><br> ALSO, over the weekend we had a Beaux Arts Ba...</p> 4.13 :: Oh crap. Emily Kemper 2009-03-25T14:44:12-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>So apparently I've been nominated to speak at our graduation ceremony. (!!!)<br><br> I have 3-5 minutes. What should I talk about? Post suggestions below. :o)</p> 4.12 :: I just had breakfast with CNN... Emily Kemper 2009-03-24T17:42:42-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>...and I won an iPod Shuffle! Not bad for a Tuesday morning :oP<br><br> Let me explain. Hot on the heels of our <a href="" target="_blank">TEDx USC</a> conference yesterday - <br><a href="" target="_blank">which CNN cosponsored</a> - some folks from CNN wanted to have a brainstorming session with USC students to discuss the future of news, and in particular, the future of their Web site's contribution to the news. We were divided into 5 teams and given an hour to come up with answers to their questions in the form of a new design for I don't want to say that my team had an advantage with my design background, my friend from the School of Art, and a Master's of Journalism student at our table, but ... it's possible. We were co-winners with one other team and were given a new iPod Shuffle for our win. Bonus!<br><br> Some of my thoughts about the exercise are following, and feel free to agree or disagree in the comments:<br><br> Since CNN is the first and original 24-hour "cable news network", I think it is imperative that CNN stick with their journalisti...</p> 4.11 :: Acknowledgements Emily Kemper 2009-03-17T03:46:13-04:00 >2022-03-16T09:16:08-04:00 <p>I just completed formatting my thesis document in its entirety - essentially it's done - and I thought I'd celebrate by posting my <b>Acknowledgements</b> page from the front of the document here. In case it's not clear, I'm thanking pretty much everyone, including all of you.<br><br> I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Graduate Building Science Faculty at the USC School of Architecture, without whom this thesis would not have been possible. Specifically, I would like to thank my Thesis Committee Chair, Program Director and Professor Marc Schiler, and Second Chair, PhD Director and Professor Doug Noble, for their outstanding guidance, mentorship, perspective and sense of humor throughout this whole process.<br><br> I would also like to thank my other committee members; Professor Murray Milne, for his expertise and pragmatism; and Founder and Creator of Paul Petrunia, for his vision and outside-the-box thinking.<br><br> Measuring the effectiveness of an interactive Web site is ...</p> 4.10 :: Woo hoo for all things green Emily Kemper 2009-03-12T13:01:16-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Apologies for the blogging absence, things have picked up to a brisk pace in the past couple of weeks because I gave my final thesis presentation yesterday. <br><br> Speaking of, <b>I GAVE MY FINAL THESIS PRESENTATION YESTERDAY.</b> Yes, that's right, final of the whole year! I still have to finish the document, which is due on April 1, but that's in good shape and I basically just have to make some revisions and finish the formatting. <br><i><br> (Note: I didn't get a chance to take pictures, unfortunately, as we were in a dark cave and frankly I was preoccupied anyway. Since I know you like pictures so much, I will therefore intersperse my post with some photos from St. Patrick's Day from years past to get you excited for the BEST DAY OF THE YEAR next week!)</i><br><br><img src=""><br><i>St. Patrick's Day Parade 2008 in Downtown LA = kilts!!!</i><br><br> The presentation went well. I am pleased with <a href="" target="_blank">the amount of work that I did</a> and glad that I got some results in time for my presentation, and the response to my project was almost entirely...</p> 4.9 :: Juggling Emily Kemper 2009-03-03T18:45:11-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Sometimes I am amazed at how productive I can be in any given period of time, until I remember that I attended design school for six years where you learn that you HAVE to focus and be productive in order to get anything done by your deadline. This type of focus, applied to tasks other than designing a building, may be why I have attempted to juggle so many activities since arriving in Southern California, and have managed to avoid total meltdown (which means I'm doing better than the stock market, conceivably).<br><br> One of the things I have in the air currently is an event that I am planning with fellow members of my Innovation Leadership Council called the <a href="" target="_blank"><b>2009 I-VENT</b></a>. If I know you, you go to USC, and you are on my Facebook, you have already been invited to this event. It should be a lot of fun. Check out the Web page for details and let me know what you think of the idea behind our event... <br><br> Another thing is that I've started a seminar about BIM. More specifically, it's about ...</p> 4.8 :: Last Call Emily Kemper 2009-02-23T18:12:24-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I just wanted to give mad props to those of you who have visited my <a href="" target="_blank">thesis Web site</a> and taken the survey. I've gotten lots of good feedback thus far, and much of the data from the survey - even though it is unscientific - will make it into my final thesis document. (Except perhaps those who have left comments like "Good job cousin!"...Sorry.)<br><br> To those of you who want to make it into my thesis document, there is still time; I will probably take one last look at the survey this weekend before I have to compile everything for my final presentation in 2 weeks. So by all means, please visit, and take the survey (linked to at the bottom of each page):<br><br><a href="" target="_blank"><b></b></a><br><br> And for those of you who already have visited, you touched on many of what I see as my weaknesses with the site, including the not-necessarily-polished design, some inadequacy with the zone maps, and awkwardness of some of the pages. Essentially with this project I had to work within the boundaries of what ...</p> 4.7 :: Job Fair ("It's rough out there") Emily Kemper 2009-02-20T19:11:54-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>The Architectural Guild sponsored a job fair at the USC School of Architecture today. Bless them. They work hard for us, even if the amount of firm tables was about half of what it was last year.<br><br><img src=""><br><br> The general mood was not great, but also not universally bad. A few firms were still doing OK and holding steady. Some firms were not hiring but just showed up to represent their work and talk to students. Some firms were hiring but only for summer internships. Everyone was very, very nice, and I started to feel bad knowing that many of them had to say the same things over and over again: "no we're not hiring, but we'd be glad to take your resume and keep it on file." Not being a native to LA, I didn't know several of the firms that are probably familiar to younger students, but I was impressed with the all of the work they presented.<br><br> Needless to say, I am rooting for all of them, us, and everyone else out there. </p> 4.6 :: Intermission / Rainy Season Emily Kemper 2009-02-19T14:39:38-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>So just an FYI, I firmly believe in taking breaks to rejuvenate your mind and body, and primarily, your creative spirit. When I am wiped out or exhausted, I just walk away and stick my nose into something new and see what happens.<br><br> Also, California is an interesting place, and I would feel remiss if I didn't present you with my perspective of it, in all its glory.<br><br> With that in mind, I present to you some photos from the "mental break weekend" I took up in San Francisco over the President's Day holiday. I used to live in San Fran when I was in undergrad and did two co-op stints there, and I've been aching to go back since I moved to LA. I love that city. Anyway, since it's Winter that means it's "rainy season" in California and ... let's just say my mental break weekend was pretty soggy.<br><br><img src=""><br><i>Probably the best photo I took of the Morphosis Federal Building. You can't tell from the picture but I was being pelted with rain while I took it.</i><br><br><img src=""><br><i>A cable car traffic jam! One of the cars got st...</i></p> 4.5 :: Musings on financial turmoil, beauty, and Chicago Emily Kemper 2009-02-10T16:32:03-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Immediately following <a href="" target="_blank">last week's launch</a> of the <a href="" target="_blank">Web site</a> that is the product of my thesis research, I started getting feedback from people, which I do appreciate. However, if you didn't fill out a survey, I may not be able to collect your feedback in any kind of formal way for inclusion in my final report, although I will certainly take it into account for any revisions I attempt before my final presentations.<br><br> Another reason for the survey is so I could walk away from it for a bit. Several months of creating something like that, day in and day out, and your head just gets cloudy. So this last week has been my time to unwind a bit, to sort of press my own "reset" button. Naturally a plethora of thoughts has rushed to fill the void once occupied by HTML code, so I will now share some of them with you:<br><br><b>On financial turmoil:</b><br><img src=""><br> I discovered this graph over the weekend, which was produced and released by Speaker Pelosi's office. In case you can't read the fine print, the blue line is ...</p> 4.4 :: Q: What do the groundhog and my thesis have in common? Emily Kemper 2009-02-02T14:01:18-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>A: Both come out of hiding today! And both tell us something about climate (although I think I've done more research...)<br><br> Dear friends, Happy Groundhog Day!<br><br> I decided last year to create a "learning tool" for my Master's thesis in Building Science; my goal was to teach people about alternative ways to save energy in their home, based on their climate. I've mentioned it several times on my blog here before, and, well, I think it's ready for everyone to try out. Specifically I hope you'll try out the <b>"green your home"</b> tool, and take the survey (linked to at the bottom of each page) - I promise it won't take long, and then you can go back to Archinecting, working on your portfolio, looking for a job, etc.<br><br> My apologies if you may have seen this in one of the other 15 places I am posting it...clearly, I am hoping for a lot of feedback. And in this forum, if anyone has any suggestions for making my CSS cleaner, feel free to comment below.<br><br><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br> Thanks for your ...</p> 4.3 :: Ian Ritchie and true "sustainability" Emily Kemper 2009-01-24T17:27:07-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>This past Wednesday evening we had a "Visions &amp; Voices" event at USC in Bovard Auditorium: a lecture by Ian Ritchie, British architect, artist, environmentalist, engineer, poet and all-around generally cool guy. Visions &amp; Voices events tend to be large and open to the entire university, and I'm proud that we hosted an architect that thinks so far outside of the box for the larger student body to see.<br><br> Mr. Ritchie's lecture was long, but he had a lot to cover, and he didn't actually finish. Some highlights (for me) were his brief history of climate science vs. politics, summed up nicely in one slide:<br><br><img src=""><br><br> ...and his conversation after the slide show with Frances Anderton of KCRW's show "DnA" and Los Angeles editor of Dwell magazine:<br><br><img src=""><br><br> During the Q&amp;A session, Frances asked Ian about a statement that he made during the lecture, which essentially expressed his sentiment that he wouldn't build buildings that didn't need to be built; this amounted to a staggering amount of work that he had <i>r...</i></p> 4.2 :: History / Learning outside the classroom Emily Kemper 2009-01-20T14:20:17-05:00 >2011-09-23T13:01:16-04:00 <i>Where were you when Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States?</i><br><br> A lot of people in the media and news have been saying this over the past couple of days, as an indication that we should take stock of this day, and remember this moment in our country's history. I couldn't agree more, and it's one of the reasons I love blogging so much. Generally speaking, my long-term memory is horrible; so, if I get to blog about this day, and share it with everyone, perhaps I will remember a little better.<br><br> So, in answer to my own question, I was sitting on the living room couch at 9:05 am PST, in my loft apartment in Downtown Los Angeles, drinking water out of my Obama mug, and fighting back tears of pride.<br><br><img src=""><br><i>view on my TV</i><br><br> Perhaps it's because I relate to this person so much, perhaps it's because since our introduction to him over 4 years ago, I really <i>got</i> what he was trying to say; and perhaps it's because not only did I get it, but I agreed with him, and I decided to trust him ... 4.1 :: Bragging about the weather Emily Kemper 2009-01-13T15:19:53-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>The first day of Spring Semester 2009 at USC was yesterday, and I'm starting to experience what can best be described as "senioritis." This includes a sense of impatience with formal class time, an indescribable urge to work harder and faster than ever before, and an ulcer growing in the pit of my stomach caused by job search angst. Graduation is certainly on the horizon, but before I can get there, I have to finish my web site, write a giant thesis document, do a couple of seminars, and help write a book, all while sending out resumes and positive "hire me" vibes. Maybe <i>that's</i> why I'm moving so fast.<br><br> The good news is my web site is nearly ready and should be rolled out in the next couple of weeks. Until then, I am going to try to enjoy the sunshine every time I walk to and from my apartment and school (but that's pretty much it - let's face it, you can't code on the beach). It's January, and being relatively new to the area, I am still trying to get used to wearing short slee...</p> 3.21 :: Bonus Blog! The AFH Container Studio Review Emily Kemper 2008-12-16T21:22:42-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I learned last week that <a href="" target="_blank">Cameron Sinclair</a> would be swooping through Los Angeles to preside over reviews for an Architecture For Humanity-affiliated 4th/5th-year topic studio at USC. I had heard of this studio at the beginning of the year and I saw the shipping container being delivered a few weeks ago, but I didn't put the two together until I heard about Cameron's visit.<br><br> I stopped by the reviews yesterday afternoon to take some photos and share this project with everyone on Archinect. Cameron told me about the program - the container is to be a drop-in supply building for a school in Haiti, which was recently ravaged by hurricanes. The thought behind setting up a school as quickly as possible in this area is that by getting the children back in school, it will give their parents the opportunity to get back to work rebuilding their community. The studio was led by Scott Mitchell and assisted by Cameron's associate Nathaniel. For more information on the evolution of the project...</p> 3.20 :: Semester Finale Emily Kemper 2008-12-09T18:18:42-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I presented my thesis for the final time this semester last Friday to an audience of roughly 10 professors (including my four committee members) and 20 additional students, including my own classmates. To recap, the thesis is a year-long research project in the Graduate Building Science program at USC; my project, in particular, is devoted to finding a way to communicate with the public in general, and single-family homeowners specifically, about energy-saving design strategies for their homes. I am attempting to do this through the design of a web site that I have dubbed the Green Design Collective, the tagline of which is currently "empowering your community to save energy through design," and the main thrust of which is to present and educate people about architectural solutions for saving energy. As President-Elect Obama said in the second Presidential debate on October 7, &ldquo;each and every one of us can start thinking about how can we save energy in our homes, in our buildings...</p> 3.19 :: This is awesome. Fight on. Emily Kemper 2008-12-03T16:33:31-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>This is not your average day at the University of Southern California...campus is abuzz, and not just because it is the last full week of classes before Winter Break. My final thesis presentation for the semester is on Friday and I think I am in good shape for it. I would tell you more about it but it's too hard to explain, so I will just try to get it up and running over break, and I'll let you know when I do. In the meantime, let me take you on a tour around campus this morning.<br><br> Today we had final presentations in my urbanism class, which meant that people wrote papers and then we tacked them to the wall. (Strange, yes, but I'll get to that in a minute.) Each student in the class was to select one of three topics to study: 1) a traditional city, 2) some portion of Los Angeles, or 3) a city that has urbanized rapidly in the last century or so. Never one to conform, I decided to pursue a topic I have been obsessing over lately - <a href="" target="_blank">the topic of sustainable cities</a>, or "ecocities...</p> 3.18 :: Eye of the Tiger Emily Kemper 2008-11-27T04:35:45-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <a href="" target="_blank">ACfA's last post</a> reminded me of this, and frankly I couldn't resist. It's just too funny.<br><br><br><br> Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!! 3.17 :: Election!...and how not to build a concrete textile block house Emily Kemper 2008-11-25T14:04:30-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>I am currently, and have been since the beginning of the year, the President of the Graduate Architecture Student Association in the USC School of Architecture. GASA, as we call it, is an umbrella organization for all the graduate students in the architecture school. It's important that we have this umbrella organization because at USC, the amount of money an organization gets is based upon how many students it has. Additionally, GASA sends a representative to the Graduate and Professional Student Senate, which represents all of the Graduate and PhD students in the entire university. GASA, whether the graduate students realize it or not, represents their interests in the larger university community.<br><br> So we are having elections tomorrow! And that's pretty exciting. You might ask <i>"why in the world are you having elections the day before Thanksgiving"</i> and it's simple - it all has to do with the amount of time students spend in our school. Most of the graduate students in the USC...</p>