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A part of a whole [Part 1]

Wow… I find myself apologizing every time I come online to post on my blog. It’s like I’m not fulfilling my part of the deal, my honor to have a blog and a microphone to speak from. I can only apologize, it’s not like I’m not thinking… it’s just…. Never mind, there are no excuses.

The topic for today is an issue that’s been swirling around in my head (this is only the tip of the iceberg; there will be more on this as it develops). Many of the stuff I’m integrated in have brought this to my attention. During a discussion in one of my classes, I was getting the tone that most everyone was rather afraid of being a part of a whole. The question was posed “are we losing our sense of region?” Basically, are we losing the sense of a Chicagoan or New Yorker? Rem Koolhaas [OMA Architect] has stated that we are losing the sense of Urbanism. The skyscraper is making all the cities look the same and there’s nothing unique from city to city. I would ask, what’s wrong with being a globe and not just cities. What would happen if there were cities that ran the world as a cohesive unit, together? What’s wrong with the idea of “World City,” coming full circle? Imagine if there were a number of cities that literally ran the world, kinda like offices in a worldwide corporation. What would we be divided by then? Beliefs… if we are going to have a division, I say have the division on trivial beliefs. Something as small as, I am a White Sox fan vs. I am a Cubs fan. These are beliefs we cannot go to war over. [Possibly, a small step toward World Peace?] The only problem with having to come to an agreement on big issues is always a problem. Recently, the question of abortion was voted on again: Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life. Whether you want to believe it or not, there are advantages to both sides. I always find the answer is always somewhere in the middle. [We’ll talk about abortion some other time, gotta refocus.]

I’m a Buddhist, and for the next part of this blog, I feel I need to provide a little background information. Over time, there have been two separate ideas for Buddhism. The general goal is enlightenment; this is where the division comes. Some people in enlightenment for the individual, others believe in enlightenment for all. I am a believer in enlightenment for all. As I understand it, if we [as humans] are all trying to get to one place (whatever you wanna call the place, enlightenment or heaven) why can’t we get there, together; that’s my justification. Furthermore, whatever I do in life let it be for the good of all. Here’s how it fits into my argument for globalization.

If the cities/countries that have power, and make the selfless act of helping another city/country then we’ll all get to where we are trying to get to [enlightenment or heaven, there’s more… I know]. Things like AIDS awareness, are steps in the right direction… making things a world problem, world issue. Banning together to achieve a goal, “Together we stand, divided we fall.” Remember, we’re all on this planet… all part of a whole. I have no problem with lending a helping hand. Others will argue, we have our own problems to deal with; this is true, we do have problems, but with this design wouldn’t we be able to help each other? Some countries are hungry; some countries have an abundance of food. Keep your eyes on the goal. Then some would argue “that’s their problem, we shouldn’t make it ours.” Can you hear how selfish that is? Here we are with the tools we have to save another, yet we don’t act. Makes us look like a real hero, Superman should be jealous. Yeah, Superman… [In the comic world] an individual that saves the planet that he’s not from, a planet that would exile him if the majority knew he didn’t belong. He completes a selfless act every time the planet is in need.

Now, people would question, “what about the guy you wanted to remove from architecture school.” Furthermore, “if you have the have the tools to help someone, why don’t you?” There are some that don’t want to grasp the picture that I’m painting. Those individuals I cannot help. There are those that are trying to grasp that same image, I question if they’ll get the image before it’s too late or grasp the image in its entirety. I believe in the human being, the ability to change is phenomenal. I partner those that are willing to achieve the same goal that I am trying to achieve; I would hope that we are on the same page. How do I know my goal is right? Is my goal noble enough? Is helping somewhere else when I am most fortunate, is that noble enough? Then people always ask, why aren’t you helping now… why are you spending your money to go to school and all this other jazzy stuff. As long as it is providing me with more tools to achieve my goal, then I must give my time for it. A samurai doesn’t run into battle with just a sword and expect to win. To answer the first question I would respond, if the individual is inadequate then their help would only hurt; we would take steps backward, because the job of an architect is very powerful—thus, it has many of responsibilities. [Things like protecting people from the weather while they try to achieve their goal, and assisting people to their job, those are just a small taste.]

Others would then question, what about losing culture? What about Globalization washing the sense of region? Here’s where the job of the architect is most evident. When an architect designs, the architect would need to worry about where the architect is… pay tribute to the location… if the architect is in Paris, the design would reflect the culture. If the architect is in Tokyo, there should be evidence of that in the design. Don’t just pop-up cookie cutter buildings that have no references. If a building were to be relocated, then the building needs to feel out of place. How you express this as an architect that is your style.

Now you always have those individuals that say “Hey, if you’ve got this great idea… then how do we get there?” I answer with a simple quote: “Be the change, you want to see in the world” [Gandhi]. I believe it… and honestly, how hard is that?

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