**eastward movement is included

20070817

there is sun and spring and green forever.

let me start off by saying that i'm struggling with my propensity for fighting losing battles. all it takes is five days sweating in kansas city and one computer rendering to find myself up to my armpits in something new to rant about; context.

thanks to one of my reliable sources, this morning i had the privilege of viewing the latest rendering of a new parking garage at kansas state, designed by architect ken ebert of manhattan, kansas. as one would expect, the building is utterly forgettable, a missed opportunity, a good reason to annul my annual donation, etc.

i sent the image to my dad, who replied that while the building isn't anything new, {which is obviously the point} it will 'match' the buildings surrounding it. whatever.

i only slightly agree. yes, the building is borrowing from the pre-existing aesthetic, but it’s pretty apparent the amount of thought pretty much ended there.

i’m sure the older buildings were built on different principles; stability, strength, and a regionalist sensibility in terms of their materials. this new parking garage proudly mimics those principles. i use mimic because of it’s inherent negativity.

moreover, while i am aware this is occurring in rural kansas, i still don't feel as though this is a reasonable justification for giving people what they 'think' they need. ksu students and staff have been bitching for years that the campus does not provide adequate parking. RIDICULOUS. everyone wants to drive to class when manhattan is a terribly small town. it's safe to assume that this university, like most universities, is full of forward-minded professors, designers and other staff. these highly educated, new york times-reading, espresso-drinking, op-ed-writing intellectuals should have seen this as an opportunity to do something great for the school, if not the community. this could have been something that represented a little foresight; perhaps even something just slightly unconventional. instead, they’ve created a structure that is prison-like, imposing, and dangerous {I can’t wait to hear about the first reported rape occurring inside that thing.}

lastly, while back home i took advantage of the FIFTY CENT bus fare {reduced 'ozone' rate, i know} and rode the bus the entire time in kansas city. i had the pleasure of riding in an air-conditioned vehicle, complete with cushioned seats and convenient and frequent stops wherever i needed. i parlayed this experience into a host of awkward conversations with family members and a few old friends, therefore constructing my own personal island built on principle and thrift.

in the end, it's clear that i've been infected by portland. all the things this town eccentrically prides itself on aren't necessarily applicable in other big cities, for good, better, or indifferent. however, ignoring the problems that we have created for ourselves in terms of waste and limited resources is the most harmful thing we can do to ourselves. the tired notion that "it's just kansas city" or "i can't live without a car" need to run their course.

rant over.

3 comments:

Nicole said...

YES! I'm totally with you on this one. I am selling my car in a couple of weeks. (I say I, because I am the only one who drives, the only one who deals w/it, although Don rides.) This has been the plan for several months now, and has been met w/some strange reactions from family members. My favorite - "you two should save up money for when you move back to KC because you'll need 2 cars then".... [i'm sure you'll appreciate the compound hilarity of that statement] Seriously. I couldn't be more excited about this new found freedom of not having to deal with a car and the additional $3000 - $4000 we'll save every year. I've really come to find driving soooooo annoying. Don and I will have to try the KC and the Topeka bus next time.

TQ said...

I like the phrase "my own personal island built on principle and thrift."

If you haven't read it, you need to read Cradle to Cradle...all people who call themselves designers and architects should read it. I just finished it last night, and my entire paradigm of green design and sustainability has been changed. Be inspired, man, be inspired!

Did you know Chicago is on it's way to becoming the "Greenest City in the United States"? You'd think KC would have adopted some of that mentality by now.

Jessica said...

a couple of things: first and foremost i am a fan of this rant and basically feel this way most of the time. one good thing about lincoln are the bike trails that permit tons of car owning citizens to choose to instead bike their daily commute. i am one of these proud bikers.

i hate cars and what is more so i hate that i still feel like i need a car.

i am hugely offended that you referred to manhattan as rural kansas, you big city snob*.

remind me sometime to rant about how much i hate super target and the huge amounts of suvs in the parking lot and young families inside spending millions of dollars on shit that they will never need and probably will only use once.

jessriley.

*obviously i am joking.

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New York, New York, United States
I take myself too seriously most of the time and I am trying to do that less. I remind some people of Woody Allen. I occationally indulge in the weekend camping trip. I adamantly support the Kansas City Royals baseball club. My identity is wrapped up in a few simple things, most of which are continuously displayed on this here blog.

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