**eastward movement is included



this semester i'm going to once again attempt to write more spontaneously, which will hopefully create a more lucid and accurate description of what occurs here each day. the largest surprise about columbia so far is that we are incapable of maintaining focus. this is clearly by design, but this occurs almost daily; i have a conversation, a realization, or a lecture that absolutely blows me away and i want to document it here, but as soon as i leave that moment another task presents itself and i must move into another territory of thought. it didn't frustrate me until now, when i have time to think about it more (go figure).

all that said, i will make a concerted effort this fall to address this issue. this is largely a commitment to myself and is therefore largely self-indulgent, but i guess that's the point of most blogs anyhow.

[ studio ]

my instructor this semester is mabel wilson, and the title or topic is 'urban futures / future architectures.' broadly speaking, the focus will be on the african continent, but will focus most of our attention on lagos, the former capital of nigeria and one of the fastest growing cities in the world, and abuja, the high-modernist city planned by kenzo tange. we will use these two places as stages a discussion about the forces, both internal and external, that have shaped their cultural and architectural identities as well as their respective flows of operation. in other words, these two cities, like africa in general, are linked to the rest of the world through an inconceivably complex network of connections. it is our task to examine these forces and consider architectural solutions through which they can be addressed and questioned.

the initial exercises require us to trace the trail of various resources, raw materials, fuel, and finance. data mining and mapping these commodities will presumably result in new ways of understanding the complexity of their formulation, providing us with tools to utilize later in the semester. my resource? milk.

[ swarm intelligence ]

this is one of the two visual studies classes i'll be taking this semester, and it is basically a scripting course taught by roland snooks, partner and design director of his studio, kokkugia. the software we are using is called processing. this is completely unfamiliar territory for me, seeing as the closest thing i've experienced to scripting is actionscript 3 in flash. i've decided this is the semester of discomfort and unfamiliarity, so this is basically where i belong. i'm hoping that learning this software and understanding a new language technique will be more useful and interesting than learning maya or taking a risk on a utilitarian but forgettable rendering class.

[ 12 dialogical / poetic strategies ]

taught by yehuda safran. i missed the first class because i was enrolled for another, but i switched out because it wasn't exactly what i wanted. hopefully this class will blow my mind / knock my socks off.

[ surface, screen, structure ]

this is a technical seminar that i elected to take at the last minute as well. we will basically be working in teams, designing and fabricating our own sun screening devices. we'll be using sheet metal to create prototypes, which is something i've fantasized about for some time now. i'm really looking forward to aggressively looking at these new softwares to cleverly fabricate actual screening elements. most of us aren't as familiar with the software, so working in teams should be worthwhile.


that's all for now. it doesn't sound like much, but the workload will be robust, diverse, and beyond overwhelming - which is the way it should be, i suppose. now i must rest for a sss team-meeting in the morning. conceptual proposal is due by six tomorrow before class, and then i have a presentation on friday for studio.

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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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