Sunday, January 30, 2011

Social Networking in Bulgaria

Map of Bulgaria
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Bulgaria is a country in Europe bordered by Romania to the north, Turkey and Greece to the south, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, and the Black Sea to the east.  The country occupies 110,910 square kilometers, which is just a little bit bigger than the size of Tennessee.  The population of Bulgaria is around 7,204,687 people and their government is a parliamentary democracy.

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In a survey of 13,000 consumers in Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Taiwan, the UAE, and the United States 58% of them did not even know what social networking is and only 26% are members of a social network. 
One social network that has managed to reach Bulgaria is Facebook.  There are a total of 1,909,560 Facebook users in Bulgaria, which is 26.71% of the population.  The people of Bulgaria also have access to Myspace, Yahoo blogs, MSN spaces, as well as several online dating and marriage sites. 

Banya Bashi Mosque
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They are currently trying to find ways for the younger people to use social networks safer than they are at the present time.  This was started due to three recent cases of sexual abuse on minors because pedophiles found their information so easily on the current networking sites.  The people have worked together to convince social network owners to add additional protection measure, especially for users that are under the age of 18.

Bulgarian Flag
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Information sites:;jsessionid=E409B6F84B5912653EFEDE1712A34A4A?p_p_id=homeBlog_WAR_insafeportlet&p_p_lifecycle=0&p_p_state=normal&p_p_mode=view&_homeBlog_WAR_insafeportlet_action=detail&_homeBlog_WAR_insafeportlet_articleId=122225&

Blog Post 3: 10 Principle Ideas on UNCG Campus

This week for our blog post we had to take the 10 principle ideas covered in class (space, power, experience, principles, precedent, site, order, scale, technology, and surface) and apply them to things on UNC-Greensboro campus.  Then hypothesize how each of these ideas has been expressed in material form around campus.

Space: When I think of space being used on UNCG campus I think of how the campus is well spread out.  There are the dorms at one end of campus and then most of educational buildings and offices at the other end with the EUC and the Jackson Library right in the center because that is where a lot of people gather.  All of the buildings on campus are spaced out enough so that there is enough space between the buildings for people to get around campus.  There is space for roads for traffic going through campus, sidewalks, and then space for leisurely areas such as parks and sitting areas scattered around campus.  Also due to the increasing number of students coming to this university the campus is being expanded to take up even more space to accommodate for all the new students.
Campus map
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Power:  The taller the buildings in the Xianyang palace the more important that meant they were.  So it comes as no surprise that that idea is still used today.  The tallest building on campus is the library tower and it literally towers over the buildings surrounding it.  The library is also the center point on campus and between that and the EUC are at the heart of this school.  Not to mention that with the library's height and bright white exterior it can be really hard to miss and for someone knew could be used to help show them the way.
Jackson Library

Jackson Library Tower

Experience: On a college campus there are tons of experiences and UNCG is no different.  There are the experiences of being away from home for the first time, living in a dorm, having a roommate, setting your own schedule, and so much more.
UNCG Basketball Game
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Principles:  The majority of the buildings on campus are designed about the same way.  Most of them are  made of simple solid brick exteriors.  Almost none of the buildings on campus have any kind of external decoration with the exception of the gothic style Foust building.  Plus a large portion of the buildings on campus have columns flanking the front entrance with large pediments atop them.
Alumni House

Stone Building

Precedent:  Since most universities are literally a living and learning community all of the parts have to work together to make sure the students needs are met.  At this university there is a pretty distinct area where each of the students needs are met.  There is the EUC and the cafeteria for getting food and socializing then there is the library, academic buildings, and classrooms for soaking up knowledge.  There is also the health center and plenty of outdoor areas to exercise and stay fit.  Last but not least, for the students that live on campus there are the dorms where students can sleep, eat, relax, hang out, study, or anything else they want to do.
Campus map
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Site:  UNC-Greensboro campus is just a short distance from downtown Greensboro.  The campus started out pretty small when it was just a woman's college but now they have had to expand the area that the university sits on quite a lot to accommodate for remodeling buildings and a higher student population.
Original map of UNCG when it was a woman's college
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Order:  On UNC-Greensboro's campus there seems to be a place for everything.  The EUC and the Dining hall are for eating, hanging out, or stocking up on supplies.  Then there is the library for studying your heart out, writing papers, or finding a good book to read for fun if you can find the time.  Then the dorms are for some of all of the above.  With the academic buildings and offices there is even more organization.  Majors are separated into different departments and different departments are in different buildings.  Some of the most specific majors even have a building all or partly to themselves such as nursing, music, interior architecture, and art.  Everything on campus just seems to fit into its own place here at UNCG.

Music Building

Scale:  The campus is here is very spread out and yet it does not take long to get from point A to point B whether you are walking, biking, skateboarding, or driving.  The sidewalks weaving around each of the buildings makes it much easier to get where you are going faster despite the size of the campus.

Technology:  Technology is a big part on college campuses today.  There are computers, ipods, cell phones, tvs, projectors, and so much more that are all being improved upon all the time.  The school is constantly trying to update with the newest and most affordable technology to help students learn. These advancements can also be seen by looking at the buildings from, Foust, the oldest building on campus to the new dorm on Spring Garden Street, which is being built right now.  The older buildings on campus such as the quad and Foust were originally made of solid bricks.  However, now with technological advancements the newer buildings on campus such as the Gatewood Studio Arts building and the new dorm that is currently being built are made mostly of steel and are much more modern looking pieces of architecture.

Surface:  Brick seems to be the primary surface covering around campus.  There are brick walls, brick sidewalks, buildings made of brick, and even college avenue which is composed mostly of bricks.

Reading Response 3

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Light Box Final Model

For this project we had to make a five-sided box (one side open for viewing) out of either corrugated cardboard or foam core.  The exterior of the box could be any color but the interior had to be white.  The overall dimensions of the box had to be 12" x 12" x 18", with one 12" x 12" end left open.

Then using a remote light source, such as a desk lamp, flash light, etc. that shines through a series of openings in the box, creating a pattern of light within the box that divides the space into four parts.

Then for the second portion of this project we had to incorporate bamboo skewers and/or white bristol board into the box to articulate/modulate the planes and accentuate the light and shadows.

For my light box I used foam core that was white on one side and then the other side was white with grey speckles all over it.  For my light source I used a small LED flash light.  For my first model I cut two different sets of triangles on the top side.  One set of triangles were fairly small and then there were too larger triangles opposite each other.
I moved my light source around several times to create different effects but I really like the one that I ended up with.  At first I had the light source pointing straight down through the top to make a patter on the floor of the box.  Then I changed it so that the light shined in from an angle through the front of the box creating a pattern on the floor and back wall of the box.
With incorporating the skewers and the bristol board I originally had the skewers connecting each set of triangles and I tried to incorporate the bristol board but it just made it look too busy.

For my final model I decided to change all four of the triangles to be the same size and I chose the smaller size because the larger size triangles would not have worked the way that I wanted them too.  Then I took the skewers and stuck them straight down through the center of the triangles so that they came out at the point and extended the triangles and showed the direction of the light.  I like the shadow of the X that it makes of the floor of the box and then the light areas on all sides of the X.  If this were an actual space I think it would be a room where something was on display like a museum or a gallery because between the downward pointing triangles on the ceiling, the downward pointing bamboo skewers, and the light and shadow triangles on the floor they all point to the center of the black X on the floor. 
Front View

Interior of box

I also really like how when the light is shining down into my box the front triangle is silhouetted and then the light shines directly on the back triangle to make it really bright.
Interior shot of ceiling cuts

Interior view of cuts in top

Top view

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Blog Post 2: A circle, a group, and a stack

For this assignment we had to walk around campus and find buildings, objects, spaces, and places that show how some of the ideas from the earliest examples of architecture have influenced architecture today.  We had to find one example around campus of each a circle, a group, and a stack, which were the ideas that early civilizations used in their architecture to emulate what they saw in their environment.  The circles were the sun and moon, the groups were groves of trees, and the stacks were mountains.

Group - Alumni House
The columns at the front entrance to the alumni house form a group.  The tall rectilinear columns were once used in early architecture because presumably they mimicked what we now know to be trees.

Circles - EUC
The Elliot University Center was where we found some of the examples for circles.  There was a circular area both at the rear entrance to the building as well as the front entrance.  Circles were thought to be used in past architecture for ceremonies, to mark sacred spots, and to map the sun and moon.  This form seems fitting for the EUC because it is where a lot of important activities take place at UNCG.  The EUC is the center of all activities at UNCG and it is a common meeting place whether it is meeting up for coffee, meals, studying, group activities, or just hanging out.  It is where quite a few of the "rituals" at UNCG happen.  

Rear Entrance Ceiling View
Rear Entrance Floor View
Front Entrance Ceiling View

Front Entrance Floor View

Stacks - Jackson Library
The Jackson Library is a good example of the idea of stacks because each of the huge stone blocks in the library tower each represent a floor and the perfectly aligned windows in the main building give the same effect.  However, the library also represents the idea of groups with the tall marble columns at the front entrance to the library.