martes, 23 de diciembre de 2014

Research Week 2 Summary


Podshare is a 'hostel' company that is attempting to put a twist on typical hostel typology, out of San Francisco, I believe. They offer a communal type of sleep space where you get a bed, TV, some storage on one side, but on the other is a hall with other roomies. There are also bunk beds above them. They provide towel, toothpaste, body wash, shampoo, wifi, community kitchen, bathroom, shower, computer station. Their mission was to "create more privacy than traditional bed, without closing like a Japanese capsule". Their plan is to build a network of these across the country. There is also a membership number that is unique to the user, it is theirs for each future podshare experience. In the time they have been in operation, 90% of the users have been travelers, 5% temporary housing, 5% transitional housing. The overall goal was to give a sense of authorship to the hostel experience while offering a communal experience.

Takeaways - I wonder how much justice the sleep aspect of this set up is given as you sleep with an open view to complete strangers. I know, I know, we're all friends, but as far as SLEEP goes, it should be no doubt a safe environment. I get excited for things like this because just imagine the ideas that are allowed to be exchanged. If they are successful in given people what I have been calling 'faculty', the sense of feeling in control of your lifes actions, If they are able to achieve this, and everyone feels expressive, the ideas would be beautiful. But... travelers in general that would sign up for something like this would already be willing to be expressive. I am wondering how to enable the average work a day person to appreciate this type of lifestyle. I am wondering if a situation of 'vagabond' life could be attractive as a life for someone who isn't already a rebel. MAybe I'll be wondering that forever.

Villa Spatiale

This was a concept by Yona Friedman in which the city becomes more compact and goes upward. It would essentially be a grid of cubes suspended above the ground level where people are allowed to plan their own housing. He believed in a 'fundamental right of self expression'. He believed the flexibility of a housing situation enhanced the freedom of choice for the individual.

Takeaways - I began my thesis with the idea that life was for the ground plane, and rest was for the vertical. That is what drew me to this mans work. The 'cages' he designed were purposefully giving the ground for trade, activity, sharing of ideas, while the sky was reserved for the individual. I will probably research him further into his ideas for self expression and the like.

Adolf Loos - Architecture 1910

Adolf Loos wrote an essay talking about the profession of the architect. He broke down the difference between the master builder and the architect. The builder takes the present and puts a building together only for the purpose of usefulness. It is a more scientific process. He believes the architect is tainted by 'ornamentation' and indoctrination. The architect worries about how their building stands in relation to the history of buildings and other buildings in other parts of the world. The architect also seeks validation in publications. Both of these aspirations are detrimental to the actual building that is being put up, as long as he receives acclaim, he doesn't care if the building performs.

Loos also spoke on culture. His definition is: Culture: Balance between our physical, mental and spiritual being which alone can guarantee sensible thought and action. So basically, being in touch with the vibration of the universe and being present. This flies in the face of the way most of us think about culture and tradition. We generally call something traditional or cultural if it is what people do over and over again, usually non-essentially, artfully. But Loos is saying culture is alive and it is only in the present, you are culture.

Another point he made that I liked was; Only the real example has the power to influence as opposed to drawings or publications. This means only the built form, only the object can teach, not the article talking about the object. That is the purest communication. So to build for validation of publication and to 'get your work out' doesn't mean anything according to Loos, because those that might know your building on a web page can't 'know' your building in the real sense of all 5 senses.

Takeaways - I like his definition of culture. We are all futurists, some of us are in denial though. As people, our natural desire is to do things that matter, that other people notice. To exist. So why would people be so quick to be 'traditional' to 'blend in'? I don't know. I wish I could figure it out. Now, I'm not saying be different for sake of being different, but let yourself lead your way and do new things if your essence wills it. I bet if you knew that doing something new would win you acclaim and validation everyone would be 'avant-garde'. But for some reason, general culture is geared towards acceptance of sameness. To make sure I am 'normal'.

Here what I have to say about that:

If you can feel the warmth of the sun on your face, and think 'I feel the sun on my face', then that is all the culture and tradition you need. You are human, move on and create new!

The Lottery of Birth

I don't really remember the details of this documentary, but it mainly just validated everything I've been thinking about. Here is the imdb summary:

THE LOTTERY OF BIRTH is the first in a three-part documentary series entitled 'Creating Freedom' exploring the relationship between freedom, power and control in Western democracies. The series draws together interviews with some of the world's leading intellectuals, journalists and activists to offer an alternative perspective on today's society and the future we're creating. We do not choose to exist, or the environment we grow up in. Our starting point in life is one of passive reliance on forces over which we have no control. THE LOTTERY OF BIRTH shows that from birth onwards our minds are a battleground of competing forces: familial, educational, cultural, and professional. The outcome of this battle not only determines who we become, but the society that we create.

Takeaways - There were some ideas sparked about 'other-culture' as I have been thinking about it. There just needs to be an option of systems, that's all I want.

It's a Wonderful Life

1940's movie centered around a man that had to put off his dreams indefinitely to help others.

Takeaways - It was a nice movie, but it was kind of haunting that he had to be happy with his struggle, I guess I am used to the completely happy ending model. I guess the takeaway was that life has achievements that aren't as clear as winning a gold medal. The struggle is the achievement? And you can't know that until you die? Ahhh.

But anyway, during the movie, he was a man that gave people loans for houses. He was honestly for the goodness of people, whereas the other man in town was the classic heartless developer. It shows a sort of example of the choice I've been going on about. The bank the main character had wasn't the best about getting the money out, but it was more of a communal system, whereas the heartless guy's was secure and everything. The main character even went so far as to build a tract of houses for the community at discounted rates. Imagine the unity and culture of the place with that amount of shared trust.