Staying in the conference hotel completely insulates you from the surrounding city and its essential humanity Continue reading Subverting the conference-industrial complex
The hotel tube tells would-be users that it is an exclusive place for hotel guests that bypasses the public space of the sidewalk Continue reading Bad Design: The Redevelopment Zone Hotel Tube
What is it about bikes at MSU? Here’s a look at the relation between people, bikes, and the environment they inhabit – and create – at MSU. LINK –> Essential Nuisance (iPad optimized PDF document) Continue reading Bikes: Essential Nuisance
I thought Ian Cowburn was joking about a flat-pack couch, but apparently Ikea sells them. 2 weeks later, it’s part of the living room. I like the design constraints of flat-pack furniture, although at 17″ x 36″ x 78″ – you already need a truck to bring this piece of furniture home. Assembly is the part that runs smoothly with most Ikea pieces – it is generally idiot proof, and this couch proved no exception. I have always enjoyed the feeling you get when the plastic bag of screws and bolts has no left-overs. Some furniture has add-ons, options … Continue reading Flat-pack couch
If you have ever been nearly hit by a texting driver that is drag-racing around Circle Drive, you might get to breathe a little easier when you walk around the MSU campus from now on.
After tearing up Beal Street and Circle Drive for improvements to the campus-wide steam heating system, construction crews have made a few major changes to the roads and sidewalks. Most notably, the sidewalk which runs on the south side of Beal Street, high above a bank on the Red Cedar River, now only extends from the IM Circle building to the intersection with Circle Drive. Probably a good idea to remove that sidewalk, as it was slowly sliding down the bank towards the river. The new sidewalk now gives a pedestrian crosswalk to the north side of the street. Note to MSU, it would be good to install a traffic sign for eastbound traffic on Beal Street at this crossing.
If there is one thing to be said for the Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum ( Web | Twitter ) nearing completion in East Lansing, it is that everyone seems to have an opinion on it. Buildings in East Lansing have a few different feelings, ranging from depression-era projects, cheap glass and steel ventures from the boom years of the 1950s, and a few structures pre-dating World War I. The Broad Museum, a project of Zaha Hadid Architects, sticks in your eye, which is exactly why I like it so much. Not every building on a college campus should look the same. The new design helps to give the Michigan State University campus a more timeless feel – suggesting that the university has lived through more than one time period. It shakes up the routine of college buildings that are nice to look at, but predictable.
Here’s my entry for a photo-blog for an upcoming trip to Botswana with the MSU College of Education. I’ve got five photos to encapsulate five elements of culture and geography in the USA. Want to guess what I chose for a landscape? It’s a landscape only a few would choose. My view of The States (Andy Driska) « msubotswana2012. Continue reading My view of The States (Andy Driska) « msubotswana2012
This morning, I woke up around 6:15am, and came across this article of a Day of Higher Ed on my LinkedIn reading list, suggesting that academics respond to a recent critique in a Washington Post editorial that academics are “underworked.” It resonated, given my recent frustrations with managing my workload, and my feelings that my “work” as a research assistant and teaching assistant has compromised my experience as a doctoral student. I think it’s always important to really document the “problem” so I figured I would track my day and add it to the conversation on Twitter with the #dayofhighered hash-tag.
So here goes… Continue reading “Day in the Life – #dayofhighered”
I am really torn about this debt ceiling debate. On one hand, I see a noisy Republican majority in the House who doesn’t care if the government shuts down, a reckless attitude that ignores the impact that this will have of millions of people’s lives. On the other hand, the Fed’s desire to continue raising the debt ceiling has been somewhat callous and ignorant. The sub-text here is that there are two separate debates: one political, one economic. The political debate has been a theater of incompetence; the Daily Show on Monday, July 25th, characterized it with a YouTube video of a skunk with its head stuck in a peanut butter jar. The economic debate has not been very visible at all — carried on in the pages of the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.
On a recent trip to Chicago, I caught the final day of the Public Works exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Photography. This was right up my alley, I love looking at the landscape and what humans do to it. In most cases, “progress” on the landscape involves a typical set of development behaviors; cut down the trees, grade the land, put in drainage, etc. These behaviors are so deeply ingrained into the default construction code that trying to do something different requires too much thought. When we see the cranes and bulldozers, we typically think “progress,” and so we don’t tend to ask too many questions.
Frank Breuer, Untitled, 2004 (1523 Plum Island, MA)