Archive by Author

Architecture links from reading analysis

15 Dec

View the Chris Jordan lecture here:

Project about gender in Art and Architecture:

Artists: Daiva Gauryte (Liverpool, UK) and Kofi Fosu (New York, US).
The programme explores the issues of gender in the concept of art and architecture. To analyse the theoretical and multi-disciplinary approaches of gender in relation to particular architectural sites, ideas and projects of how space is defined by gender practices, power and vision, masculinity and femininity and different parameters of spatiality, including cyberspace, as well the physical world of various architecture and the human body. The outcome in collaborative research and mutual exchange evolved to present a digital video short by Gaynor Evelyn Sweeney on Daiva Gauryte and Kofi Fosu.

Kofi Fosu Forson is an artist, performer, writer and philosopher on subjects of sexual, gender and ethnic politics in modern society, culture and arts. As musician he has written pop songs and jazz songs for various theatrical and rock and roll performances. He has served as playwright with The Riant Theater, where he participated in The Strawberry Festival and wrote and directed showcases based on variations of male/ female politics, artist and muse, as well as dramatizations of ethnicity. Since his directorial debut at Heaven, performance space, Fosu has gone on to exhibit his paintings. This began with Fosu’s Muse Series at Eickholt Gallery, where he also participated in group shows. As Press Coordinator, Fosu parlayed his role into helping develop Transvoyeur US, an art initiative in liason with Liverpool. Fosu has used this opportunity to start making digital films. First of which, CUSHION PILL, premiered in England. He’s currently a columnist with Whitehot Magazine. These blogs reflect Kofi’s philosophy of a modernist culture.


5 Fav’s

14 Dec

Needle Felting

Needle felting was very therapeutic.  The tactile sensation of the creation process is as satisfying as the resulting piece.  Matt has just shown us where this technique can go within the classroom.  I’m sure I’m not the only one planning to use this in the classroom after Matt’s presentation.  Needle felting can be fun, collaborative, and almost anyone can do it.  I’ll be making a needle felting lesson over the break to use in Apprentice Teaching.


Our dance workshop was cut a bit short.  I wish we could have expanded on our dance experience. I sometimes wish I would have gotten more into dance.  A friend of mine was reluctantly dragged to a dance class a couple years ago by his, then, girlfriend.  Next thing I know, he’s becoming an instructor (incidentally, he left his girlfriend and began dating all his female coworkers).  All his philandering aside, my friend fell into sweet gig.  Tragically, SAIC has given up on the dance department, which is threatening the Tai Chi and Yoga classes as well.  Dance, and Martial Arts workshops and pay-as-you-go classes have been springing up throughout this semester in response.  Support them if you get the chance.

Treehouse Architecture

Let’s all run away and live in a tree!  I like the idea of having the option in my back-pocket of running away and hiding from the structure of the developed world.  From the time I first heard about tree houses being used as viable living spaces years ago, I’ve been intrigued about discovering the potential of an actual Ewok lifestyle.  Learning about Terunobu Fujimori, David Greenberg, and others gives hope to my desire to one day escape the urban subterfuge. We should all aspire to get off the grid, because cutting off the Hog’s food supply is the quickest way to affect change.

Organic Architecture

Vertical gardens, rooftop gardens, the designs of Ken Yeang etc. inspire me to wonder about the potentials of my classroom.  I often wonder how far I will be able to take the design of my classroom.  I would like to work with my students to build and create organic structures inside and outside of the school building.  In fact I am a bit opposed to the standard school building in general, because of the incredible cost of building and operating these structures.  I’m willing to bet a school could afford to fund a full schedule of field trips and on site workshops if it were to forgo the glut of a building.  But, that’s just my fantasy. While conforming to the standard, and meeting my students within the classroom, I hope to implement as much nature experience as I can.


I just like getting to eating food in class, really.  But, all the foods were helpful to learn about, and generally inspired us to be healthy.  I hope I can inspire my students to be more health conscious, and their diet is key place to start.  We’re all going to need to be on top of our game as teachers, and eating right is going to be essential to keeping up with the rigors of classroom and student demands.  Plus we need to understand and be able to recognize it when our students are struggling, because of a poor diet or a lack of nourishment.  Having the resources to advocate for a proper diet is fundamental to a strong foundation of healthy learning.


6 Dec


Dr. Tae — Building A New Culture Of Teaching And Learning from Dr. Tae on Vimeo.

“Anti-architect” David Greenberg

20 Oct

Sanya on Hainan Island

Treetop resort in Hainan

“David Greenberg is trying to introduce ideas based on Zen Buddhism, Taoism and Chinese geomancy or feng shui in his projects here.” (China Daily – BEIJING, Sep. 12, 2009)

An example of Greenberg’s back-to-nature architectural concept is the ecotourist Treehouse resort at Nanshan Buddhist Culture Zone, Sanya, Hainan province. (above image)

Big Beach in the Sky

Zen philosophy holds that the attempted control of nature by humans is meaningless. Guided by that principle, Greenberg’s vision of tree houses harmonizes with the natural landscape.

Big Beach in the Sky


GuanYin Interior (top)
Hawaiian Hale Interior (bottom)

The Hale Hawaiian Treehouse Hotel and Restaurant in China

The term minimalism is also used to describe a trend in design and architecture where in the subject is reduced to its necessary elements. Minimalist design has been highly influenced by Japanese traditional design and architecture. In addition, the work of De Stijl artists is a major source of reference for this kind of work. De Stijl expanded the ideas that could be expressed by using basic elements such as lines and planes organized in very particular manners.

GuanYin Spa Treehouse

David Greenberg is an Ecological Designer and Advisor to the INBAR Global Bamboo Housing Programme (International Network of Bamboo and Rattan in Beijing, China). Architectural and Urban Designer, Consultant for development projects in Southern China. President of Treehouses of Hawaii, Inc.

Big Ideas:

Ecological Living

Lowering our carbon footprint



Hayao Miyazaki

6 Oct

Anime is animation originating in Japan. Outside Japan, anime is also referred to as “Japanese animation”. (Merriam-Webster online dictionary)

File:Hayao Miyazaki.jpg

Hayao Miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki (born January 5, 1941) is a Japanese manga artist and prominent film director and animator of many popular anime feature films. Through a career that has spanned nearly five decades, Miyazaki has attained international acclaim as a maker of animated feature films and, along with Isao Takahata, co-founded Studio Ghibli, an animation studio and production company. The success of Miyazaki’s films has invited comparisons with American animator Walt Disney, British animator Nick Park as well as Robert Zemeckis, who pioneered Motion Capture animation, and he has been named one of the most influential people by Time Magazine. (Morrison, Tim)

File:Spirited Away poster.JPG

Spirited Away

The main theme of Spirited Away is focused upon Chihiro’s transition from childhood to adulthood.  This transformation is part of a universal narrative to which we all can relate.  Particular to its popularity in the West could be the inclusion of the animal characters made familiar to Western audiences by the Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros.  Furthermore, Spirited Away is often compared to one of the most influential narratives of all time:  Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland, which was adapted in to an animated film by Disney.

The characters derive from a long history of Japanese folklore.  Plus, there are overlaps of other cultural folklore present across the story.

A female as the main protagonist is a departure from tradition, and one more opening to equality of the sexes.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Princess Mononoke

Central to the theme of Princess Mononoke is the struggle between the nature and humanity.  Nature is represented by the forest, and the supernatural guardians within it.  Humanity is seen from the standpoint of industry and war.  Nature becomes corrupted by the evils of industrialized man.  Ashitaka who is among humans who are still in touch with nature also becomes diseased by humanity’s newly emerging evil.  Humans attack the forest and consume its resources, and even conspire to take the wealth of each other.  They also try to take the head of the deer-god, who is a giver of life and death, in an effort to obtain immortality.  Humanity is, however, shown to retain a few redeaming qualities, and in the end we are left with the hope that, though war and industry cannot be stopped, nature and humanity can retain a balanced relationship.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

The Earth’s original ecosystem has been destroyed by human industrialization and war.  With many humans wiped out, the world grew back into a “toxic jungle” full of plants and giant insects.  There is human/nature conflict that dominates the film.  The warlike humans stand for the destruction of nature and development of industry.  Nature is fighting back and repairing itself while the ohmu insects are protecting nature from being retaken by humans while the forests rebuild.