2/ finding change in places


How do we understand the world around us? What does the built environment express when we're not a part of the building process? What do we read from the people when we're not a part of the community? As I walked around Wilkinsburg, PA this past week, I kept returning to these questions, and finding different answers to them at each bus stop sign, each street corner, and each abandoned property.

Wilkinsburg has changed. It used to be busy; it used to be in a higher income bracket than it is now; it used to be a different shade. At this moment, the neighborhood seems poised to change again. Community groups are developing, residents that I spoke to are looking forward to what the future holds, and an energy exuded from the painted boarded houses that I felt as I passed by. The future is always exciting and can bring revitalization and renovation, but if carried out irresponsibly, it can bring unwelcome change and create pressures that disrupt existing cultures. 

By wandering through a neighborhood, one stumbles into things that were once manifestations of prosperity that sit as objects indefensible to the forces of the environment and the passage of time. Some times, the walk revealed spaces reflecting the beauty of human participation in the built environment (like painted boards covering broken windows). Other times, the neglect and struggle of survival is evident as people tried to salvage everything they can from a forgotten property. As Wilkinsburg enters into what could be a massive community revitalization, it is critical to pay attention to the history of the place and of the people that invested energy, even when all seemed lost. 


P.O.I./ what I'm currently working on!

P.O.I./ what I'm currently working on!

This past semester has been an eye-opening experience of education and architecture. School has been an extremely arduous process of late, but despite the copious amounts of hard work ahead of me, today I found the time to watch the sunset as one of my studiomates accurately pointed to our work and exclaimed, "this will still be here after the sunset!" I thought for a second and realized, she's right. There will always be a project and a task to be completed, and just like the sun will rise in the morning, it will all be completed when it needs to be. So, here I am, writing a blog post, and enjoying the sun setting.

Recently, a common discussion among my fellow B.Arch Undergrads has revolved around the essential question, why the fifth-year and what happens after? As starry-eyed freshman, we all bounded through the doorway to Margaret Morrison happily meeting each other as we wondered what our so-called "second home" would be like and whether our classes would really have copious amounts of work. Looking at the fifth-years, I marveled at how they all looked so big and old, there's no way that I would be like that, or so I thought.

As a fourth-year watching the current fifth-years prepare for graduation and pin-up their thesis projects, I can't help but think how quickly the years have passed.

Thus, I begin my blog of my journey through the project that only existed in my dreams for the past four years, my own thesis project. 

This blog is a collection of thoughts of the day, interim updates on current endeavors, and really just an update from a parallel life to the very one that you are currently experiencing.