A Disillusioned Architecture Student

Being a design student, an architecture student more specifically, day after day I listen to individuals defend their work. I listen to them try to sell their work to our professor and explain why their work is the best. Most of the time, their efforts are futile, as we are only in our first semester and we do not know enough to make our designs effective in every aspect.

Our professor is passive when he views our work. He might say, “this is not what we were asking for”, but he has never said, “this is right” or “this is wrong”. This is not only the case with our architecture professor, but also with the state of the world that we live in. It seems that everything is up for debate. Nothing is black and white. Modern architecture moves toward objects that cannot be named, flowing and sweeping things. The world calls for things indeterminable, such as buildings made of bits and pieces of things. Just yesterday, our professor stated that there is no composition or order in things that are chaotic, but there can be order where there is chaos in the way that things are composed.

The world is moving away from workmen building from the ground up, brick by brick. In my mind, I see “Old Main Street America”. I see buildings made of stucco and brick, with shingled roofs. I see old theater marquee signs. I see the Bank on one corner of the strip and the post office on the other. Perhaps, it is that this image, which resonates in my mind, is from the days of black and white. In those days, man-made it a point to make a presence and set himself apart from the chaos of the wilderness. Every building called for a different tradesman to come and perform his special brand of magic. If you walk into a building from the nineteenth century or early twentieth century, more than likely you will see crown molding, which amazes me. There is no purpose for crown molding, other than to cover flaws in the wall, or to frame it. In some cases, this molding would be handmade. Anything made with the hands is going to have character. Even the most careful work will have characteristics that sets it apart from a piece that is made just like it. Every building was a monument to our humanness.

Frank Lloyd Wright is the father of architecture, as we know it today. The architecture, which he gave birth to, is one that celebrates nature and is almost self-conscious not to offend it. Where men in older days would say, “What a beautiful view off of this hill, let’s build the house on top of it!” Wright would avoid building on top of the hill at all costs, for the fear that he might destroy the beautiful view. It is no longer the focus of architecture to rise up out of nature and say, “I am here”. These days, architecture communicates with all aspects of the natural environment. Modern architecture compromises with light, natural elements, and space, instead of interrupting it

Below, are a few sketches by the modern Architect Frank Gehry. They are in fact, drawings of buildings, but more importantly they are drawings of nothing.

frankgehry frankgehry2 frankgehry3

They are celebrated around the world, simply because you cannot call them by a name. If you ask this building “What are you?” It will likely answer, “I don’t know. What do you think?” Frank Gehry’s buildings are cascading and shining. They play with the light and cast shadows unimaginable. They bend the imagination. It is like Gehry decided to build them, because they make no sense and he wanted to prove he could.

Frank Gehry’s designs truly might open the eyes and mind of people all over the world. However, they are focused on the individual. I say this, because of the fact that they speak to everyone differently. They are the subject of endless debate, because they mean something different to everyone who is able to form coherent thought about anything. In that way, it separates people and I have not yet decided how I feel about that.

Architecture is the hand print of humans made in society. Each building speaks measures about the generation it came from. The voice of the work of architects of the modern-day is unclear. Being ecofriendly matters, but we should not sacrifice character for that. I believe individuality and being equally human and knowing that makes you the same as everyone else are equally important. Individuality is important, because everyone has something to offer to the world. Everyone should be allowed to be themselves. Knowing that we are equally human is important, because it gives us a sense of unity. These days, it is easy to lose sight of oneself because society calls the individual to question everything. The fact that we are human is not up for debate, and I believe that is something that should be celebrated. It is important to question things, but I believe that it is equally important to know who you are and not lose sight of yourself. This is important on the personal level, as well as in architecture.

I am completely disillusioned with the direction that the preferred architecture of the world is heading. However, I am optimistic. I am able to attend architecture studio three days a week, with a smile on my face, because I know that before it is all over with I will have a chance to put my two cents in, and ultimately leave a resonating, definite impression on the world.

I promise, it will be perfectly clear.


People are Humans

I often find myself frustrated with people who think they know it all. Often, these people are overly confident in themselves and their experiences, which is not necessarily a bad thing. They are not easily troubled. They travel through life, never phased by the petty frustrations of every day.

They are rarely ever left wondering, because they are able to find certainty in the knowledge that they have already obtained and they feel no need to search for more. They do not need answers. There is nothing for them to figure out.

The most bothersome thing about this type of individual is the fact that they pick up on small useless fragments of information so keenly. Being confident in the “wisdom” which they so frequently consult, these people draw enormous conclusions based off of the little thing they have picked up. They do not feel a need to find out the nature of what they happened to stumble across. They are not interested in the whole story. They merely go on about their self-righteous lives with a lack of ability to interpret and desire to investigate. Generally, after they have drawn their conclusion, they move on and never look back. The majority live on, blissfully unaware of all of the questions they have left unanswered. The rest, are aware that they do not know the whole story and still they go on, because they do not care. Further questioning would discredit all previous conclusions they have drawn, so why bother?

Although they are of a class all their own, know-it-all’s have a great deal in common with the general population of the world. It seems that these days, people are only concerned with getting from point A to point B. Most people are willing to do whatever they have to in order to keep themselves on top. Personal advancement is so high on the list, that many people forget that they are surrounded by others trying to live their lives as well.

Over seven billion people live on Earth. I do not believe I venture too far when I say that each of us wake up everyday with the hope that we can be better than we were yesterday. No one is looking to get worse. So, if the general population is so ambitious and is looking to advance, why is it that the same old problems keep occurring over and over in the world that we live in?

Consider the civil rights movement, which was necessary because prejudice would not, and will not, die. People from all walks of life marched, risking their lives so every single type of person in the United States could obtain equal rights in law. In the end, equality triumphed over all opposition. In my opinion, opposition should have never existed. The Declaration of Independence says that ALL men were created equal. It doesn’t say that only white men were created equal, or only Jewish men were created equal. Since its discovery, America has been a land of promise and opportunity, welcoming those running for their lives from the oppressors that bound them. That promise has always had loopholes that only exist because certain people want to hold their place in society above others. While their prejudice, combined with their influence might allow their particular group to move up in society, it is detrimental to society as a whole.

Regardless of our differences, people are humans, all of us. Every other attribute, good and bad, that one might posses is an extra piece of the puzzle.

People tell me all the time that world peace is impossible. Imagine what the world would be like, if it was popular belief that we were humans first and ourselves second. If we did not pick and choose who we will love and not love based on the sub-details of being human, like mistakes and other life decisions, or ethnicity, or religion, or sexual orientation, or political affiliation. What if, instead of building walls around ourselves because of the ways that we are different, we celebrated our humanness that makes us the same. People say that they stand for freedom and equality for all, but they hold onto prejudice. They want a better world, but they refuse to step outside of their ant-hill and look at the bigger picture.

Moving forward, in all aspects of life, requires letting go. We must let go of the idea that there is any quality that one might possess that can separate us or place us above the rest of the world. We must stop looking at people based on the little things about them. It is not that all convictions that individuals hold to themselves must disappear. People need to stop trying to impose their moral convictions on others. No one will ever be the same, it is a useless fight. No single person has achieved perfection so far. Therefore, no one person has a place where they can stand and judge another based off of the way they life their life.

We are all doing the best that we can.

Music Monday


“Old Habits” 

By: Justin Moore (ft. Miranda Lambert)

I say goodnight to an empty space beside me
The only reply is the beat of my heart
I wake up and I make two black cups of coffee
The routine being with you taught me left its mark
These old, old habits die hard

I get in the car and turn the radio on
Expecting you to sing along but you never start
It’s a lonely road and I can’t see where it ends
Where I’m goin’ and where we’ve been are so far apart
These old, old habits die hard

I said goodbye when you let go
Still I hold on to all I’ve known
Wherever I am there you are
‘Cause old, old habits die hard

These four walls are slowly closing in around me
Without your light I’m here drowning in the dark
I pick up the phone then I come straight to my senses
I know the consequences of going that far
Old, old habits die hard

I said goodbye when you let go
Still I hold on to all I’ve known
Wherever I am there you are
These old, old habits die hard

I say goodnight to an empty space beside me
The only reply is the beat of my heart

Music Monday


“Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967” 

by: John Mayer

Walt Grace, desperately hating his old place
Dreamed to discover a new space and buried himself alive
Inside his basement
The tongue on the side of his face meant
He’s working away on displacement
And what it would take to survive

‘Cause when you’re done with this world
You know the next is up to you

And his wife told his kids he was crazy
And his friends said he’d fail if he tried
But with the will to work hard and a library card
He took a homemade, fan blade, one-man submarine ride

That morning the sea was mad and I mean it
Waves as big as he’d seen it deep in his dreams at home
From dry land, he rolled it over to wet sand
Closed the hatch up with one hand
And pedaled off alone

‘Cause when you’re done with this world
You know the next is up to you

And for once in his life, it was quiet
As he learned how to turn in the tide
And the sky was aflare when he came up for air
In his homemade, fan blade, one-man submarine ride

One evening, when weeks had passed since his leaving
The call she planned on receiving finally made it home
She accepted the news she never expected
The operator connected the call from Tokyo
‘Cause when you’re done with this world
You know the next is up to you

Now his friends bring him up when they’re drinking
At the bar with his name on the side
And they smile when they can, as they speak of the man
Who took a homemade, fan blade, one-man submarine ride

Art is like People

Art and people are the same. No matter how the painter, writer, architect, or any other variation of designer may try to perfect his piece to convince the public that it is complete and it is perfect it isn’t. Paintings have brushstrokes that aren’t quite in line with all the ones around them. Most of the time, a painting that an artist ends up with is far different from the one that he envisioned in the enlightened moment when the ideas for said painting first came into his mind. Writers can’t get the “right words” out a lot of the time. Most of the time feeling rushes over them, through them, and all around them and they still don’t know how to put pen to paper and express what they are trying to say. No matter how many times an architect redraws his blueprints and calculates his measurements, most of the time when he delivers them to the construction company that is about to bring his masterpiece to life, they will slip up on or leave out a detail that they believe is small and unimportant, but to the architect it was that facet of the project that made the piece what it was dreamt to be. Art is not perfect. Art starts as magic dust that enters the dreams of the heads of those who least expect it. It is any and everything that can be made. It is something where there was nothing before. It is any time anyone dares to share their fantasies with the public and by chance, someone humors that dream and all at once, the person who first dreamt it becomes an artist. Art is not something to be marveled at. It cannot be pinned down. It cannot be trapped. You can’t make a science out of it. Art is merely a consequence. The beauty of it is that you never know how it is going to end up. The strongest buildings will fall eventually. They will crack and they will crumble. Eventually, they will need repairs or will become condemned, be demolished, and become forgotten not long after that. With every brushstroke a painter makes he may see duck. He may know that he is painting the most beautiful duck the world has ever seen. It may hang up in the world’s most prestigious gallery for hundreds of years and be heralded and praised by the thousands of people who pass it. Then, someone completely unfamiliar with the famous Artwork may walk by. That person, could take one look at the famous duck and fall to his knees because the painting touched his heart, because it isn’t just a beautiful painting of a duck to him. It make make him think of his childhood and his home. It might make him think of the first girl he ever loved. That is how art is like people. People, like art may not be loved by all. People may crumble. People might lie, cheat, and steal. People lose their jobs. People go bankrupt. People get divorced. People and art are the farthest thing there is from perfection, but at the same time they are very close to it. Despite where a certain masterpiece may travel, or what it may endure, there was a time when loving hands spent hours shaping it. There was a time when satisfied eyes admired the work it had done. There was a time when a certain heart felt great hope for its work. When that heart hoped and prayed every night that the world accepted it. People and Art are the same because their beauty is not definite. In Fact , neither of the two can be defined at all. Their beauty lies in the way that the world perceives them, be it good or bad. The beauty is not in the way that the piece of art work is laid out or the way a person is made, it’s the journey they both go through. So, to all of my fellow humans: don’t be afraid to expose your wounds. The things that you have endured have no doubt made you into a piece of work and even though you may not have found that person yet, someone is going to fall in love with you for them.

Hypersensitivity: The Modern Era


I am filled with great sadness. When I look around, I see people roaming. People are searching all around. Everyone wears a generic, socially acceptable shell, straight off of the assembly line. Inside this shell, we are all seeking. We wait to discuss what is on the inside until we are with the closest of friends and family. These meetings with loved ones are tearful and the voices used are never louder than a whisper. We don’t want outsiders to hear. We must avoid our secrets getting out. We have to be happy, be productive, and make only a “positive contribution” to society, at all costs. We weren’t always lost.

 We haven’t always had to hide. People haven’t always been lurking around the corner, waiting for the innocent to speak their minds. People see voiced opinions as a chance to set their resentment and anger free. We weren’t always statues. We haven’t always had to watch our backs. We weren’t always this cautious.

Or were we? Who are we? What are we? What am I? What are you? What is your business here?

All of these questions fly around. No Joke, they are pitched by the hundreds, every minute on the minute. For no other reason than to weed out those who didn’t turn out how they were expected to. These questions are imposed to make sure that outsiders are thrown out and condemned. Outsiders are pushed away, pressed down, locked up, so that they are clearly separated from the rest of society so that society will know that those outsiders are unacceptable. It is imperative that society knows that. Society is pristine. It is defined. There are no jagged edges. Outsiders melting into the pot of society would be the very detriment of it. There would be no divide. We must hold onto the way things were. We can’t let go of the past.

Change is only a six letter word. There are much more intimidating and complex words in the English language.  However, pronouncing it, reading it, and spelling are much easier than doing it. We may not have seen the events used to justify the standards that we uphold, but our ancestors did. They are traditional. They have always been applied. They are a part of us. They transcend generation in our eyes. And that’s okay…right? 

If we are to let go of old ways, what are we to expect?

When I look around I am filled with sadness over the tremendous loss that society, as a whole, has been dealt. Individuals are always soul-searching. We are constantly looking inside of ourselves for attributes that we can use as evidence that we are not like everyone else. In this day and time, we all feel a need to be concrete and defined. Some people hold on to what their parents taught them was right and they never waver from that. Some people have been taught by their parents that there is only one way to live and they feel that they have never really been able to be content with that.  So, in 2015, we have, for instance, Transgender people stepping out into the world and being who they are. On the other end, we have people saying that being Transgender and embracing it is immoral. We have Rachel Dolezal, the President of the NAACP, who says she identifies as Black when she is White. Just now, people find the Confederate flag offensive, so they are rallying to have it taken off of everything. There is a specific sector of people who think that police officers are out to get Black people. There is a sector that believes that police officers are pure evil, that all they do is oppress people with their authority and kill in an unjustified manner. Straight people can’t say anything about gay people. Gay people can’t say anything about straight people. Same-sex marriage is becoming more common. Regardless of your upbringing, or what made you who you are, we all want to know there is something that sets us apart. The little subcategories of society are taking over in such a way that they are beginning to overshadow society as a whole.

I am saddened because society no longer has an identity. It is just a thing. By society, I do not mean people in The United States. I do not mean people in any specific category. I mean all people.

To me, the only word that people should use to define themselves is Human.

No matter where you look up the definition of human, basically all you get is that we are human. There is no reason for it, as far as we know. We just are. If you’re alive it is because your parents made you. They just did. All species reproduce so that things like them can keep existing. Why? No one wants to be the last member of their species. No one wants their species to go extinct. It is just how we are. Why are humans the only intelligent life form on this Earth? Why do we consistently dominate? We just do. We are– and that’s all there is to it.

I don’t use a word to define my mind. I don’t think my mind is a boy or a girl. According to science and anatomy, “I just am” a girl. That’s all there is to it. That is how I was made. Of course, on the inside I have intestines, a heart, lungs, all the physical stuff. You can find those things. They are tangible. However, inside of me there is also a mind and a soul, a spirit. I guess those things are in my brain, but no one can define them. No one can pinpoint exactly where they are. Where is love? Where is anger? Where are thoughts? What do they sound like? What do they look like? When we feel anything on the inside, where is it? Science can define us roughly, by the things that it can clearly see. Society can do the same. It can take whatever it wants and generally, that’s what it does. It can use our exterior, the surface, and analyze it to form a hypothesis. Society can define you based on those things, but it can’t tell you who you are.

I know we all have minds and souls. However, I will never be able to feel someone else’s pain. I will never be able to see anyone else’s mind the way they do. I will never feel the same love the same exact way that another person does. What about the things that people hide in their hearts, the things they never show? These are the things that make us what we are. They are inside of us and we are the only people who ever catch a glimpse of them. We can express what they are like to the best of our ability, but no one will ever be able to understand them exactly. So, in reality, every category science, yourself, and society can put you in, is invalid. You might have things in common with other people, but that doesn’t mean you are alike. Just because you can relate to certain people that doesn’t mean you belong with only them. It doesn’t really mean anything at all. In fact, I don’t believe anyone belongs anywhere. There is no deciding factor, no application process to be accepted. I believe that by being alive we belong and that by existing, we are sufficient.

There is no reason to get offended by what other people say about the subcategory you associate yourself with. For example, Tom just said he didn’t like Michael because he is Latino. Michael gets offended. Since he is offended, Michael says that he doesn’t like Tom because he is a  presumptuous racist. In reality, there is no reason for either of those guys to call each other out based on one quality they show. It just doesn’t make sense. That one quality doesn’t make up their whole person.

No matter what subcategory you associate yourself with, we are all human. Yes, here I am referring to our whole species as one thing. Since we exist, we belong. We think. We feel. We are worthy of love. We are perfectly imperfect.

That’s what’s to love about humans.

So, stop being so offended all the time.

Stop being Hypersensitive, your category doesn’t matter anyways.

The beautiful painting above was found at: Source: http://www.picassoartpage.com/?attachment_id=169

the semicolon project

This is beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful. I have always known that if I was going to get a tattoo it would have to be something that means something. It would have to be special. The thought never crossed my mind that it could be something so simplistic. A semi colon is such a small mark. It’s basically two dots, but in your case and in the case of many other people, there may not be enough words in the world to explain why you wanted to wear it on your skin until you’re a hundred. This is beautiful because of all you went through. You can keep this semi colon on you your whole life and know you have been through hell and back and that’s the only mark it left on you. I love this so much.


FullSizeRender-1FullSizeRender Today I went to a tattoo artist, and for $60 I let a man with a giant Jesus-tattoo on his head ink a semi-colon onto my wrist where it will stay until the day I die. By now, enough people have started asking questions that it made sense for me to start talking, and talking about things that aren’t particularly easy.

We’ll start here: a semi-colon is a place in a sentence where the author has the decision to stop with a period, but chooses not to. A semi-colon is a reminder to pause and then keep going. 

In April I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. By the beginning of May I was popping anti-depressents every morning with a breakfast I could barely stomach. In June, I had to leave a job I’d wanted since I first set foot on this campus as an incoming freshmen because of my mental…

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