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September 15, 2005

Palladio Piazza, Vicenza

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Here it is, the final report. I want to thank all the friends I met along the way. You are the ones that kept me going and kept me sane. My perspective and viewpoints have greatly broadened because of you. I see the world with new lights and shades, you are the ones that made this trip for me something more than just an architectural journal. I have not written down all our conversations and ideas but I plan to do so upon my return. Still it is impossible to get it all, but it remains in my memory forever. I want to thank my friends and family at home for constantly checking up on me, making me laugh in front of the computer, and not forgetting about me. I cannot wait to get home to see you, it has been a long journey and I look forward to some rest and reflection. These last paragraphs are starting that reflection period I am starting to go through, including how the hell I go to this point.

Posted by follett at 09:18 AM | Comments (90)

September 14, 2005

Piazza San Marco, Venice

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I moved to Boston ten years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I wanted a change, I wanted to see the rest of the world. When I arrived at the Boston Architectural Center one of the first things I saw were some beautiful drawings with the title “The Rotch Traveling Scholarship.” These drawings and ideas about traveling the world inspired me through some difficult yet rewarding years at the BAC. I want to thank the Rotch Scholarship committee and all my teachers and peers that helped me achieve my inspirations. This trip is as much yours as it is mine. There are many people along my journey that would tell me a story about a certain place and that would lock into my brain as a destination.
The beginning ideas of this trip started with seeing the ancient worlds of Egypt, Greece, Rome, Byzantium, and the Ottomans. What I discovered along the way was infinitely more rich cultures I was ever aware. These new cultures have led to other inspiring journeys. I have seen about 25 countries, 200 cities, taken 10,000 photos (no exaggeration), over 100 drawings, countless seas and lands. I have only covered a small area, there are still 175 counties to see as well as countless more seas and lands.

Posted by follett at 09:20 AM | Comments (327)

September 13, 2005

Ponte Rialto, Venice

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Four years ago I felt very hopeless staring had the worst images I had witnessed in my life, the images of 911. I understand the world through architecture and art. I do not trust humans, they are deceptive, but their art is always true. Architecture and human life vaporized into dust that day, it was supposed to change the world. Yet I do not think it has changed the world. Has anyone in “the west” read the history of the middle east, has anyone read the Koran, has anyone read the 911 commission report, has anyone enjoyed the Middle East’s rich and diverse culture and art? No, we seek to destroy it and pervert it into our own. We want to change it into a “daytrip” like amny other of our Western tourist stops. When you travel to these countries you discover a different world than what you see on the news. I urge everyone to start looking outside the first world, there is a lot to discover other than Hollywood, BBC, NPR, FOX, or whatever the television or radio produces. They are glimpses at a much more complicated and beautiful world.

Posted by follett at 09:22 AM | Comments (515)

September 12, 2005

Todi Piazza, Umbria

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Four years ago I felt very hopeless staring had the worst images I had witnessed in my life, the images of 911. I understand the world through architecture and art. I do not trust humans, they are deceptive, but their art is always true. Architecture and human life vaporized into dust that day, it was supposed to change the world. Yet I do not think it has changed the world. Has anyone in “the west” read the history of the middle east, has anyone read the Koran, has anyone read the 911 commission report, has anyone enjoyed the Middle East’s rich and diverse culture and art? No, we seek to destroy it and pervert it into our own. We want to change it into a “daytrip” like amny other of our Western tourist stops. When you travel to these countries you discover a different world than what you see on the news. I urge everyone to start looking outside the first world, there is a lot to discover other than Hollywood, BBC, NPR, FOX, or whatever the television or radio produces. They are glimpses at a much more complicated and beautiful world.

Posted by follett at 09:28 AM | Comments (2493)

September 11, 2005

Gubbio, Umbria

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I grew up for the first 13 years of my life in rural Minnesota and North Dakota. I only remember bits and pieces of those years but what I firmly remember is moving to Crystal, Minnesota and driving through the center of town, a vast parking lot surrounded by strip malls. A very different center of town than that of Pirenza, Italy. Yet there exists something similar, a public gathering space. I would hang out in these spaces all over Minneapolis as a kid and terrorize the local policemen. I think this experience might be what has shaped my approach to architecture. It is the most free space in a city where all walks of life pass through because we are in the end social creatures as much as we want to privatize. In the end of the day, all over the world, people like to walk down a promenade, a park, or a piazza, dress up, look “cool,” look at each other and talk. The danger in privatization is we do not allow all walks of life in, this is dangerous because it leads to stagnation of ideas. The great cultures of this world when you go and discover them, were completely open to all cultures, and all ideas. This is in fact what made them great, once they closed their mind their culture unraveled. Look at the history of America, look at the history of Greece, Rome, Egypt, Persia, Turkey, the list goes on, it is all the same. History I believe is not like the Eastern circle, or is it like the Western path, it is a marriage of the two, a spiral that if you look at two dimensionally is very simple but if you look at it three dimensionally is incredibly complex. All great works of art understand this spiral and our open to many cultures and this is what makes them heroic.

Posted by follett at 09:32 AM | Comments (211)

Perugia Piazza, Umbria

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I realize that I am very lucky with this opportunity, but it has made me realize that other cultures our discovering the world and America is not. We are supposed to be the richest world power yet I saw few Americans traveling. We are trapped in a system that allows us to leave the country for two weeks if we are lucky. We go to school, have enormous debts from reading about other cultures rather than experiencing them. The books are as much a simplification as television. No theory in a book can show the complexity or beauty in this world. There are many people traveling on very little money from other countries. The secret, do not go the first world go to others. No there are not any Best Westerns and travel is more difficult, it is not a vacation, it is an education that is beyond any degree you will achieve.
I have a friend who refuses to live in the first world as she says we no longer understand life, we have no struggle. She says we are like the animals on a small island that no longer have predators so we have to create them. Our ideals have become distorted. Achievement of a big car, a big house, a big wife, a big family, a big belly, a big salary, and a big pension is a distorted reality. In other worlds than the West people understand what are life's great achievements. When you go to a third world country and then come back to a first world country you notice a dramatic change. People look at you in a different way and people in the third world actually “have time” to sit and talk. The invention of the clock was a dangerous invention. We measure time and money, but we cannot measure life, it is impossible.

Posted by follett at 09:30 AM | Comments (23)

September 10, 2005

Cortona Piazza, Tuscany

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Another Tuscan building that is a wall, a tower, a portal, a stairway, and a public porch.

Posted by follett at 09:34 AM | Comments (9)

September 09, 2005

Italy

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I don't think I need to translate.

Posted by follett at 09:56 AM | Comments (8)

Pirenza, Tuscany

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Thanks Mike for the suggestion. One of the most peaceful facaedes I have ever been to, a great piazza as well with a rockin festival.

Posted by follett at 09:36 AM | Comments (23)

September 08, 2005

Pirenza, Tuscany

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A view from the city hall of the piazza.

Posted by follett at 09:39 AM | Comments (7)

September 07, 2005

Umbria, Italy

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At sunrise

Posted by follett at 09:41 AM | Comments (18)

September 06, 2005

Umbria, Italy

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Funny.

Posted by follett at 09:43 AM | Comments (27)

September 04, 2005

Rome

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I have five cars now I want to buy, too bad I have no more money.

Posted by follett at 09:45 AM | Comments (17)

Venice

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Beautiful stone color composition

Posted by follett at 09:44 AM | Comments (489)

September 03, 2005

Colliseum, Rome

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I told you I was drinking.

Posted by follett at 09:52 AM | Comments (7)

Parthenon, Rome

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Out drinking in the Piazza's of Rome, nothing better.

Posted by follett at 09:50 AM | Comments (9)

Uffici, Florence

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A stormy night in Florence, beautiful.

Posted by follett at 09:47 AM | Comments (28)

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

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This trip has finally gone full circle. Florence is this city that inspired my focus in architecture eight years ago when I last visited. When I visited last I asked myself why architects today were not thinking this way about space. We have as I have learned on this trip from an Australian, "Lost the plot!" It has been the plot of this trip and I hope I have developed the plot since the beginning. I think my purpose at the beginning was a little lost but I think after the past ten months the plot is very clear and hopefully all the charaters involved are developed through my drawings as I know my writing needs work. Well, here it is, the Ponte Vecchio, a bridge, a market, a continuation of the street, a room with a view, a milestone in space making, a beautiful place to sit and talk with other artists in all the things we have gone through to do a stupid drawing.

Posted by follett at 08:16 AM | Comments (400)

September 02, 2005

Mercato Nouvo, Florence, Italy

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Another one of my favorites in Florence, the new market. This is like the market building in Tripoli, Lebanon but stays within the the property boundaries of the street. The interior arches are not as dramatic but its thick layering of the exterior wall is well, very Tuscan and beautiful. Located at the turning of the street grid, its arches protride into the sight lines of the street grabbing pedestrians attention and directing them into the many goods within.

Posted by follett at 08:26 AM | Comments (139)

September 01, 2005

Piazza della Signoria, Florence, Italy

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The great ideal of all piazzas. a well defined large room with corners nipped and tucked tayloring to the viewing of some big Italian studs, like Michelangelo's David (a copy currently in the plaza).

Posted by follett at 08:34 AM | Comments (78)

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"The room is the beginning of architecture. It is the place of the mind. You in the room with its dimensions, its structure, its light respond to its character, its spiritual aura, recognizing, that whatever the human proposes and makes, becomes a life."

LOUIS KAHN, Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement Award Acceptance Speech
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