Assignment #10

In the film Guns, Germs, and Steel, professor Diamond from UCLA discussed about his view toward the inequality of today’s world in different countries. Professor Diamond traveled to Nevini in the first part of the video and talks how the people in Nevini impressed him so much by their adaptability, skills, and smartness. Because of that, he can not find the answer to the inequality of their country comparing the the U.S. After his exploration and thinking, he talks about how hunting and gathering requires many elements like time, skill, and climate. On the other hand, Farming and domestic animals are so much more predictable and controllable. Therefore, it were able to produce enough food for large population and that leads to bigger society. On the second part of the video, “conquest”, he explains the self-center of human kinds and discrimination that all humans have creates this inequality. As humans put themselves in a group because of their pride in their nationality, we treat people base on them being in a different “group”. I think this is a strategies to make citizens more patriotic, and that the leaders used to make their population stronger and bigger geographically. Because of this self-centered thinking in everyone’s mind, it creates inequality, the group that had better natural resources will not use that to help the others, but instead, they use the resources against them to conquer more resources and land. In my opinion, there will always be inequality in our world because humans naturally selfish and self centered.

As a student in architecture major, sustainability is one of the important consideration when designing a building. However before taking this class, my understanding of sustainability are only on using passive strategies or high technology to reduce the use of air conditioning and using sustainable materials. After taking this class, building renovation and designing buildings with multi uses are much more important than what i have learned so far. The reason being is that by using those strategies will only decrease the speed of degenerative cycle, and what architects need to do is to turn the cycle in to a regenerative system, which requires not only reduce the carbon footprint of the buildings but preventing the demolition of buildings. In my career, i will focus on preservation and renovation of buildings, integrating sustainability in to the old buildings, instead of demolishing old building to replace it with “sustainable” green building.


Assignment #9

In the reading double nature of fitness for survival by Jacobs’s book the nature of economics, it gives me a different view on the theory of fitness for survival. It is obvious that all organisms compete to survive. The reading gives examples of different kinds of animals, cats, elephant, etc. It is a fact that if there are increase amount of cats, there will not be enough preys for all of them. When it is related to humans, we work the same way, and the economic system is just like natural selection, which is about competing and being selfish. We gather as a group and defeat our enemies. However, I have a different thought on the reason human kinds destroys the nature environment. The reason for destruction of our habitat is because we use it as a tool to defeat out enemies. We burn out enemies place, so they would have no place to live, and in the economic point of view, we dig in their ground for oil to get the money’s out of their pockets. The nature of competition had been refined and evolved into a smarter method in order to protect ourselves as well when we defeat out enemies that shares our habitat and foods.

The interview with economist Manfred Max-Neef is basically explaining what life is about in a different way. Knowledge is everywhere, on the Internet, library , etc. However, as human being we need to experience in order to understand them and not only know about them. It is fact that when we are part of something, we understand it. And when we are separated, the most it can be is knowledge. The same ad sustainability. We know about how we are being unsustainable and destroying the environment, but we need to suffer from it before we really understand it and would spend time fixing it. Do we have to go through all these every time to understand something? My own opinion is that most people have limited imagination and creativity, we do not need to suffer to understand only if we have more imagination that we can appreciate what we have now.


Assignment #8

The import replacing concept that was mentioned on Jane Jacobs’ Cities and the Wealth of Nations give us an alternative way of creating a sustainable community by changing the way the economy system works in countries. Many countries are focusing on producing things for exporting to foreign countries and importing goods from other countries. The import replacing concept encourage the cities to produce their own goods with their local resources. However, i think that the problem of countries are so devoted to exporting to boost their economy is actually caused by the division of different nations. countries would always think of ways to improve their economy and improve the life of their citizens even if it is creating problem or harming other countries. On the other hand, if countries like the United States of America is not so self centered, so proud of themselves, and there are no racing or comparing between different countries, the game of importing and exporting would be meaningless, and eventually countries would start using its own local resources to produce their own goods.

Another reading from Jane Jacobs, chapter 4 from the nature of economies, once again encourage the use of local material for production of goods. it basically proposes the nature as a model in the economic system. By reshaping the economy into a more organic form rather than a mechanic form like what we have now, can encourage countries to produce their own good. An organic economic system works like a living thing, which produces its own energy and is able to refuel by itself. An organic economic system would be a similar situation when a person is using its own energy to harvest, farm, or hunt for food, and refueling the energy by eating his or her prey. However, I can never see this to happen with all the patriotic countries, because it is the nature of human kind to be better than others.


Assignment #7

In my opinion, designing requires stealing ideas from previous ideas. The process of design always start with precedence studies, taking elements that is consider a good idea, then put in to the design of our own and further develop them, alter them, or reverse them to discover new designs. I think remixes are one of the creativity that base very heavily on previous productions. We should not think that it is copying by instead we should appreciate how the artists bolds the elements from the other musics.

It is clear that the government does not really care about us. They only care about money. We can see that by how government regulations always favors the gas company, which earns them money. Even when global warming is getting worse and harming us everyday, when we know that we are over producing and creating too much waste which harms our environment, people that work in the government only cares about the money they are earning at the moment, and keeping the electrical cars away from the public even though it is well developed long time ago already, because it conflicts with the money they earn by selling gas. Maybe society that runs with a money will never lead us to sustainability, and that is why it is so hard for us to promote sustainability, because sustainability and money cannot be existing at the same time.



Assignment #6

As an architecture student i never thought that money is the thing that motivates us the most. The freedom to have our own creativity and the chances for us to do what we want to do really motivates it. It is easy to explain, as long as its something that we enjoy doing, we can do it for free and still have motivations. People that work hard for money is never happy and never enjoyed their job in my opinion. Humans are organic not mechanic, therefore it is impossible for us to be motivated by money. Even if the wages increased, it can only be a temporary motivation. Because i work in an architectural firm, money was never my motivation but the ability to generate design ideas that i really enjoy doing.

In the reading by Blink, the Power of Thinking Without Thinking, it shows that people always judge others by just looking at how they look on the outside, and by doing that can buried some talented people. For example, when people look at a tall person, they would think that tall people are strong, healthy, and handsome, but when they see short people, they will think the opposite. We should not judge by superficially, and focus on discovering different talents in all of us. By doing that, it can always benefit our community. But i think one of the problem is that people let others judge them from the outside and do not have self confident to present their part that is talented.




Assignment #5

In order to become absolutely sustainable, we need to be regenerative. To be come regenerative, we need to imitate the system of nature. I agree that emergence complexity is the rules of the nature, and we should study and learn from it then try to apply the same method into our technologies. All the energy we use from the time human kinds’ existence was from nature. Therefore, we should go back to the source of energy, which is the sun. Emergence complexity shows that all living things are living by the rules set by nature, and we can set the same rules to our technology, for example, computers, cars, buildings.

We can see signs of the next industrial revolution today as we see more and more sustainable small companies are raising. Some small companies had grown big because of its success. Tesla is a company that produces electrical cars which had became relatively big company and it is still growing. Electrical cars might be the next generation of cars and hybrid cars are basically incompatible because it still uses gas, which only slow down the degenerative cycle, and does not change the system into a regenerative cycle. However, tesla successfully created cars that can use the energy generated by solar panels, which is completely regenerative since the sun comes up everyday. As time goes on, more and more companies will eventually become a part of the next industrial revolution.


Assignment #4

By building transportation center that provide solar electric charging stations for different kind of transportation methods can greatly reduce carbon emission. Placing more solar panels on the building for it to generate enough electricity to provide power to itself and even provide electricity to neighboring areas can start a regenerative cycle. It is also a solution as a connection between all big cities around the country. Combining different programs like the art center into the transportation center, it can also attract more users and make the station a more interesting place to be in. Therefore, architects should focus more on influencing the public to have a more sustainable habit than just creating sustainable buildings, for example, making public transportation more convenience and popular.

In the video, the next industrial revolution, the architect William McDonough created a office building with a lot of plantings within it. He believe that architects should look at building as a tree, where it is self regenerative. I also agree with him that the sun is the best source of energy. Everything on earth got their energy from the sun since before humans existed, and it is a form of energy that we can get everyday after the sun comes up. Therefore, we should use the advantage by creating solar based energy buildings. Passive sustainable strategies should be integrated to make the building into a comfort place for human to live in with out having to turn on air conditioners. Sun light should be cleverly used to reduce the use of artificial lighting as well.