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Sunday, June 14, 2009

The city as my classroom and design as an expression of myself

"We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us." - Winston Churchill

One of the interesting things about currently studying urban planning and previously having studied architecture and art/design is that one is always surrounded by what one is studying. It is different than a lot of other careers because their field tends to be less pervasive in daily life (though one could certainly argue otherwise). It's sort of hard to leave the office/classroom behind because, in a way, the city is my office/classroom.

How so? Urban planning, in the most broad of definitions, is planning for how we use space 24/7/365. We are constantly in space, and generally in at least somewhat urbanized areas, so that's a no brainer. We are constantly around architecture due to our need for shelter. Art pervades my life less so, but design certainly does through product and industrial design and even things like typefaces. Perhaps I am more strongly affected by my surroundings than others, but regardless, I am always paying attention.

I tend to geek out over mundane things like sidewalks, curb cuts, street trees and pocket parks. I choose my running routes based on what beautiful homes and parks past which I want to run. I am always interested in how things are designed, ranging from the train that takes me downtown to things like spoon rests. It is natural, therefore, that my interest in the design of my environment extends to my virtual world as well. Having (already) grown tired of the Blogger layout, it is time to redesign my blog. I started by finding a cute background (check out the link in the upper left hand corner) and have a few ideas in mind to make this more 'me' (see intro post about narcissism and blogging). So, please bear with me while changes are being made. Who knows- you might even like the final product!

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