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Monday, December 14, 2009
Suzi made several items from dryer sheets, silver and red thread for her 2nd project. She was able to synthesize all of these very different aspects into one very pretty design. My favorite was the broach which really took the 3 mediums and capitalized on her strong sense of design.
Can't wait to see what Suzi and Tai come up with for their final project!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I have been recycling as much as possible. When I buy produce at the store I try to see if I can get it home without a clear plastic bag , why can't it be placed right in the final paper bag that I am taking other food home in? One less piece of plastic in the world because of me.
While meeting with the employees at Kinkos I told them the premise of our class and explained why I had chosen certain products for the calendar. They listened politely and seemed interested in what we were trying to achieve.
I hope to keep thinking about ways that I can make a small difference to my minute area of the world.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the ideas and resources that my classmates have utilized in order to "Make Good" design in a sustainable and ecological way. Go Forth and Be Green:-)
Prior to the climate change summit in Denmark- this novelist wrote of her worries and visions of the future if issues are not addressed now.
The other op-ed piece was from a South African playwright by the name of Zakes Mda. He discuses the eco-system downfall and the dangers that are changing the country's "Protea" flowers. Fires endanger the plants that were once abundant as the seasons have become unpredictable. A once treasureed lifestyle, plant and weather pattern have become almost extinct.
A patient with Multiple Sclerosis tried the concept for a month and was found to be less symptomatic.
There have been numerous studies to back up these results. The thought is that altruism might be an antidote to stress, in contrast being self-centered may be damaging to ones health!
So keep holding doors open for others and saying hi to people on campus. You could be a walking medical miracle:-)
The new Head doesn't develop environmental policy, but plays a" crucial role in shaping and enforcing policy." People in the know feel that Mr. Holloway is a quick study and excellent problem solver and should be quite capable of running a budget of over $1 billion dollars.
Greg and I realized that we were running in parallel lines with our research for project 2 and 3. Our Design Statement:
1) To help the students express their feelings about their school and environment and the lack of natural light.
2) Engaging them in the Design Process by giving them the tools and opportunity to dream of a better world ecologically, scholastically, environmentally and emotionally.
3) Utilizing the view of their world and implementing that into the design process.
4) Most importantly introducing the students to the design concepts: META-DESIGN, EMPATHETIC DESIGN, INCLUSIVE-UNIVERSAL DESIGN and CO-DESIGN.
5) Establishing collaboration between the students and the design process
We have already gone to the school to meet the children that won the competition and Melissa, Bridgett and I ( along with Greg) had a blast painting the art onto the cafeteria walls with them. The children were, bright, creative and a pleasure to be around. It was a match made in heaven!
The interchangeable pieces and the mixed medium make it very versatile while still relying on the actual corrugation of the product.
Tai has a unique "eye" when he in envisioning a design and he was inspired and saw many elements for his jewelry in everyday details. It was very interesting to see how he works his concept!
From the etched glass ware and plates to the printed tablecloth and napkins everything was well thought out. She has Incorporated the theme "Enjoy" in several different languages to make people think about the social aspects of eating and the rewards of doing it in a beautifully civilized way. Great Job!
Note only was there variety within the paper pulp, but it was also laden with seed and herbs to provided a pleasant aromatic experience. Meticulously detailed- a great job!
They ideas were so finely presented from the initial concept onto the final prototype- I would definitely buy one if they were in a store!
I felt that her final project was very interesting and much better than the original prototype. Her ideas and creation had come along way.
Something to think about as I continue to print.
We have continued the premise of this class by using recycled clay from the ceramics department.
Following that segment I found an article concerning "Switchgrass replacing coal at Power Plants" by Ariel Schwartz featured in FASTCOMPANY/Ethonomics.
The article suggested plant based solutions to keep the byproducts from literally flying into the air and away from the mining and deposit sights. The idea was to stabilize the ground with switchgrass and to help insure ground deposit stability and prevent future run-off problems which had been disastrous in the past.
Monday, October 26, 2009
As stated in my Power Point Presentation: When lighting environment is stimulating the students and staff's mental, physiological, visual performance all improve.
Alertness and mood improve.
There is a demonstrated increase in the willingness to help others, better recall, increased innovation and creativity with better problem solving. (Isen and Baron 1991)
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Let's take pictures of the kids and their art so that we can document their achievements. Hopefully this will help make an impact on how they see their world and the world outside of downtown Baltimore.
Come play with us!
Tai's cardboard jewelry is well thought out and could go in many directions. I really liked the idea of the individual pieces of the design being able to be reconfigured. The corrugated edges give it a very "now" vibe and make cardboard cool.
Bridget's leaf project is full of possibilities. I was inspired by the idea of creating an object out of the leaves that could function as a piece of art by itself but could also be recycled. The leaf recycle compost bag and leaf bowl, etc. are very exciting.
As always class was a blast!
As students we take for granted the natural light that plays such an important part in our creativity. I find enclosed rooms with no light dreadful. They suck the life out of creativity and merge into a black hole.
Greg' students don't have that luxury, that is why it is so important that we help create an environment that helps their imagination flourish. I hope to see many people from the class next week at Greg's school.
Meanwhile I am going to attempt to download the pic's onto this blog. Wish me luck! :-)
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Hybrid Cars May Include Fake Vroom for Safety
For decades, automakers have been on a quest to make cars quieter: an auto that purrs, and glides almost silently in traffic.
They have finally succeeded. Plug-in hybrid and electric cars, it turns out, not only reduce air pollution, they cut noise pollution as well with their whisper-quiet motors. But that has created a different problem. They aren’t noisy enough.
So safety experts, worried that hybrids pose a threat if pedestrians, children and others can’t hear them approaching, want automakers to supply some digitally enhanced vroom. Indeed, just as cellphones have ring tones, “car tones” may not be far behind — an option for owners of electric vehicles to choose the sound their cars emit.
Working with Hollywood special-effects wizards, some hybrid auto companies have started tinkering in sound studios, rather than machine shops, to customize engine noises. The Fisker Karma, an $87,900 plug-in hybrid expected to go on sale next year, will emit a sound — pumped out of speakers in the bumpers — that the company founder, Henrik Fisker, describes as “a cross between a starship and a Formula One car.”
Nissan is also consulting with the film industry on sounds that could be emitted by its forthcoming Leaf battery-electric vehicle, while Toyota has been working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Federation of the Blind and the Society of Automotive Engineers on sounds for electric vehicles.
“One possibility is choosing your own noise,” said Nathalie Bauters, a spokeswoman forBMW’s Mini division, who added that such technology could be added to one of BMW’s electric vehicles in the future.
The notion that battery E.V.’s and plug-in hybrids might be too quiet has gained backing in Congress, among federal regulators and on the Internet. The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, introduced early this year, would require a federal safety standard to protect pedestrians from ultra-quiet cars.
Karen Aldana, a spokeswoman for traffic safety agency, which is also working on the issue, said, “We’re looking at data on noise and E.V. safety, but manufacturers are starting to address it voluntarily.”
A Toyota spokesman, John Hanson, said: “I don’t know of any injuries related to this, but it is a concern. We are moving rapidly toward broader use of electrification in vehicles, and it’s a fact that these cars are very quiet and could pose a risk to unsighted people.”
A study published last year by the University of California, Riverside and financed by the National Federation of the Blind evaluated the effect of sounds emitted by hybrid and internal-combustion cars traveling at 5 miles per hour.
People listening in a lab could correctly detect a gas-powered car’s approach when it was 28 feet away, but could not hear the arrival of a hybrid operating in silent battery mode until it was only seven feet away.
Some electric-vehicle drivers have taken a low-tech approach to alerting pedestrians. When Paul Scott of Santa Monica, Calif., drives his 2002 Toyota RAV4 electric car, he often rolls down the windows along busy streets and turns up his radio so people know his virtually silent vehicle is there.
Mr. Scott, vice president of the advocacy group Plug In America, said he would prefer giving drivers control over whether the motor makes noise, unlike, say, the Fisker Karma, which will make its warning noise automatically.
“Quiet cars need to stay quiet — we worked so hard to make them that way,” he said. “It’s the driver’s responsibility not to hit somebody.”
Mr. Scott has already warmed up to the idea of a car ring tone.
“It should be a manually operated noisemaker, a button on the steering wheel triggering a recording of your choice,” he said. “It could play ‘In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida,’ or anything you like.”
The Young and the Neuro
When you go to an academic conference you expect to see some geeks, gravitas and graying professors giving lectures. But the people who showed up at the Social and Affective Neuroscience Society’s conference in Lower Manhattan last weekend were so damned young, hip and attractive. The leading figures at this conference were in their 30s, and most of the work was done by people in their 20s. When you spoke with them, you felt yourself near the beginning of something long and important.
In 2001, an Internet search of the phrase “social cognitive neuroscience” yielded 53 hits. Now you get more than a million on Google. Young scholars have been drawn to this field from psychology, economics, political science and beyond in the hopes that by looking into the brain they can help settle some old arguments about how people interact.
These people study the way biology, in the form of genes, influences behavior. But they’re also trying to understand the complementary process of how social behavior changes biology. Matthew Lieberman of U.C.L.A. is doing research into what happens in the brain when people are persuaded by an argument.
Keely Muscatell, one of his doctoral students, and others presented a study in which they showed people from various social strata some images of menacing faces. People whose parents had low social status exhibited more activation in the amygdala (the busy little part of the brain involved in fear and emotion) than people from high-status families.
Reem Yahya and a team from the University of Haifa studied Arabs and Jews while showing them images of hands and feet in painful situations. The two cultures perceived pain differently. The Arabs perceived higher levels of pain over all while the Jews were more sensitive to pain suffered by members of a group other than their own.
Mina Cikara of Princeton and others scanned the brains of Yankee and Red Sox fans as they watched baseball highlights. Neither reacted much to an Orioles-Blue Jays game, but when they saw their own team doing well, brain regions called the ventral striatum and nucleus accumbens were activated. This is a look at how tribal dominance struggles get processed inside.
Jonathan B. Freeman of Tufts and others peered into the reward centers of the brain such as the caudate nucleus. They found that among Americans, that region was likely to be activated by dominant behavior, whereas among Japanese, it was more likely to be activated by subordinate behavior — the same region rewarding different patterns of behavior depending on culture.
All of these studies are baby steps in a long conversation, and young academics are properly circumspect about drawing broad conclusions. But eventually their work could give us a clearer picture of what we mean by fuzzy words like ‘culture.’ It could also fill a hole in our understanding of ourselves. Economists, political scientists and policy makers treat humans as ultrarational creatures because they can’t define and systematize the emotions. This work is getting us closer to that.
The work demonstrates that we are awash in social signals, and any social science that treats individuals as discrete decision-making creatures is nonsense. But it also suggests that even though most of our reactions are fast and automatic, we still have free will and control.
Many of the studies presented here concerned the way we divide people by in-group and out-group categories in as little as 170 milliseconds. The anterior cingulate cortices in American and Chinese brains activate when people see members of their own group endure pain, but they do so at much lower levels when they see members of another group enduring it. These effects may form the basis of prejudice.
But a study by Saaid A. Mendoza and David M. Amodio of New York University showed that if you give people a strategy, such as reminding them to be racially fair, it is possible to counteract those perceptions. People feel disgust toward dehumanized groups, but a study by Claire Hoogendoorn, Elizabeth Phelps and others at N.Y.U. suggests it is possible to lower disgust and the accompanying insula activity through cognitive behavioral therapy.
In other words, consciousness is too slow to see what happens inside, but it is possible to change the lenses through which we unconsciously construe the world.
Since I’m not an academic, I’m free to speculate that this work will someday give us new categories, which will replace misleading categories like ‘emotion’ and ‘reason.’ I suspect that the work will take us beyond the obsession with I.Q. and other conscious capacities and give us a firmer understanding of motivation, equilibrium, sensitivity and other unconscious capacities.
The hard sciences are interpenetrating the social sciences. This isn’t dehumanizing. It shines attention on the things poets have traditionally cared about: the power of human attachments. It may even help policy wonks someday see people as they really are.
China's Growing Economy Mints Billionaires
BEIJING — The superrich in China have bounced back from the financial crisis with a vengeance, and China now has more known U.S.-dollar billionaires than any other country except the United States, according to a report released Tuesday.
The annual Hurun Report said that China has 130 known dollar billionaires, up from 101 last year. The number in the United States is 359, while Russia has 32 and India 24, according to Forbes magazine.
China’s rich are getting richer, with the average wealth on the list $571 million, up almost one-third from last year, said Rupert Hoogewerf, the report’s compiler. The Hurun Report is a luxury publishing and events group, its Web site says.
“With the greatest wealth destruction in the West of the last 70 years, we’ve seen China buck the trend and the wealth seems to be still growing,” Mr. Hoogewerf said in an interview on the sidelines of an event to unveil the 2009 rich list.
“They’ve put the credit crunch behind them,” he said. “The key driver has been urbanization. You’ve got all these cities being built, and that requires property developers, iron and steel manufacturers. The latest thing is cars.”
Topping the list was Wang Chuanfu, chairman of the electric car and battery maker BYD, in which the American billionaire Warren Buffett holds a stake. Mr. Wang’s personal wealth is estimated at $5.1 billion. He was also the fastest riser from last year, moving up 102 places.
Second place went to Zhang Yin and family, owners of the paper recycler Nine Dragons Paper, while in third place was Xu Rongmao and family, the owners of the Shimao property group.
Huang Guangyu, who founded Gome Electrical Appliances and owns unlisted property businesses, sank to 17th place from the top position he held last year. He is being investigated for alleged financial irregularities.
One famous name fell off the list this year — the basketball player Yao Ming, who has struggled with a foot injury for the past few months.
China’s ruling Communist Party once condemned entrepreneurs and private business people as capitalist exploiters but has welcomed them since the late reformist leader, Deng Xiaoping, began landmark economic reforms in the 1970s.
One-third of the people on the 1,000-name Hurun list are estimated to be Party members, according to the report.
Mr. Hoogewerf said the actual number of dollar billionaires could be higher than estimated.
“Either they are superdiscreet, or perhaps they haven’t come to the surface,” he said. He added that the transparency of wealth was, however, now much higher because of the greater number of listed companies.
Mr. Hoogewerf said people who probably should have been listed, but about whose wealth not enough is known, included Liu Chuanzhi, the chairman of Lenovo, one of the world’s largest makers of PCs, and Chen Feng, the founder of Hainan Airlines.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Feel free to make additions putting your initials/name in parentheses so we can track comments. [JB]
Bring YOUR sketches for this project on Tuesday, October 6
Project Runway style projects based on sustainable design/exhibit [Elise]
Why? Project [Greg]
Why? [each students' topics]
Why? Aren't there windows in elementary schools?
Why? Is there sizism?
Why? Is there rudeness?
Why? Is their sexism?
Why? Are we using/wasting so much plastic?
Why? Are you rushing?
Greg: advertise the event/project, people send in their answers to "why?", ink jet printer, print on shirts......
Make your own...shirts? screen printing
Different Rooms in CFA/different presentations- participants get a souvenir from some rooms [downplay consumerism; it's about being]
Example: a sustainable sleeve for hot drinks: "Why? Are you rushing?", "Slow Down"
Tea Salon/Go Slow- Mary?
feature this semester's tea infusers
loose tea materials [donation from local company? presented/laid out in an aesthetically pleasing manner]
sewing tea bags
3. Screen prints of Greg's windows, fundraiser...specifically for? [Anita]
4. Tangible items for purchase [Trish]
*Crucial to the success
Towerlight * I am currently working on joining the Towerlight right now. I have a bunch of contacts for Towerlight. -Trish*
see press contacts/links from TUs homepage