turning tables

Dearest ______,

With huge excitement surrounding technology’s latest creations such as the Google Glass or the Oculus Rift or Samsung’s android phones the Mars Curiosity Rover, it’s such a tickle how the oldest gadgets can also garner as much buzz these days.

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Case in point: the return of turntables. Yes, your parents’ “record player”. Yes, your grand parents’ “gramophone”.

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the “internets”

Dearest ______,

I count myself lucky to have Iived through one of the biggest (if not the biggest) events in human history. More than just watching the 1900’s get shelved to usher in the 2000’s, I’m talking about how everything else had been shelved by the juggernaut that has been, or is, the Internet.

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Continue reading “the “internets””

building

Dearest ______,

I was at a job’s site earlier today when I saw this stunning sky line:

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It suddenly dawned on me how a lot of people might find it hard to understand how infinitely profound building environments is (unless one is doing just that, of course). Existence is, after all, greatly defined by a quantified amount of space. And all civilizations have also been greatly defined or influenced by Geography and place, or so intones Fernand Braudel.

And so there I was, staring at the random rubble of a yet barren piece of land… an empty space where, in three years time, nine blocks of 16- storey apartments will define and influence the daily lives of many families, friends- people.

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Do you know how everything is designed and detailed down to the most minute of nosing tiles? Nosing tiles are those strips of rough surface right at the tip of staircase steps, so shoes and feet don’t slip and slide off. You step on nosing tiles every single day and yet you don’t really know how groups of people have to think of installing them properly, cut the tiles, slap on some plastering or mortar on bare concrete surface, wait for everything to align and dry, etc.

Every trade applied in the building of environments (infrastructures, roads, etc) has it’s own sub- trade, and so on and so forth. It really is quite profound, the whole thing… Like when Agent J opens the locker in Men In Black, and everything kind of pans out to bigger and bigger things, layer after layer.

Here’s to hoping that we build things that truly define and inspire.

Love,
Karlita

PHOTOGRAPHY & TEXT BY AUTHOR UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

green- minded

Dearest ______,

I went to the FuturArc Forum 2011 all day today at the La Salle College of the Arts, here in Singapore.  The event is basically a conference and exhibition which happens all around South East Asia and Hong Kong “to advocate the cause of sustainable design and green building in (our) the region“.

For those of you who are in the same line as I am (Architecture, Construction, Design, Engineering, etc), you probably know Sustainable Development by now (and probably going “Oh Gad, this again?”), since it has been widely relevant and much- discussed for the passed 10-15 years or so.  But for those of you who might be going “Eh?” this very moment, allow me to humbly provide you with my most basic of explanations.  I, myself, cannot tolerate too much complexities in things which I deem should be quite inherent, necessary,  and fundamental.

For schedules of the Forums, please visit there website.

So you’ve probably heard all about Global Warming, the Energy Crisis, climate change, etc, etc, right?  Now just like everybody else,  architecture in the built environment (houses, buildings, etc) and urban development (of cities, roads, etc) play quite a part in the steady depletion of the world’s resources.  If truth be told, recent studies have shown that 40% of the world’s waste may actually be from construction and building management.  But don’t put all the blame on us though, because everybody is accountable for leaving carbon footprints- big and small.

In light of Earth’s progressing environmental and ecological problems, Sustainable Development (which has been employed since the 1970’s) “is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (United Nations, 1987).  With it, we aspire to create and build things with as little environmental impact as possible.  This entails using environmental- friendly materials, using building technologies which allow more efficient energy and water use, etc etc.

One of today’s main keynote speakers was Prof. Dr. Deo Prasad from the University of New South Wales’ (AU), who is an international authority in sustainable buildings and cities.  Of the many things I picked up today, one of his points kind of got stuck in my head and gave me a really cool mental picture:

Pardon my haphazard Photoshop skills, I only wanted to show you what Professor Prasad showed us today.

The gist of the above:

If 240 people travel to work everyday,

there would be 173 Cars, if they opted to drive individually;

there would be three long Buses for that;

and only one Tram to accommodate all.

This scenario can be applied in a Macro level of Urban Design (i.e. in developing cities and roads).

If one must, design should increase the livability of spaces and areas.  To make these areas more livable, they have to allow more fulfilling and comfortable lifestyles- jogging, biking, breathing spaces.  And this will eventually create better social dynamics.

I know that this is only the tip of the Sustainable Development and Green- Living iceberg.  But it’s great to start somewhere.  And it’s best to start now.

 

Love,

Karlita

PHOTOGRAPHY & TEXT BY AUTHOR UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

 

he said, she said 1: battle of the browser stars

Dearest ______,

Illustration from http://www.reddit.com, for all things geeky and cool. Illustration by Moie Preisenberger.

MOZILLA FIREFOX

He Said: Highly customizable. Like LEGO!

She Said: …Foxy! With the full white stole, PETA is not happy.

OPERA

He Said: lolwut?

She Said: This reminds me of Cher Horowitz’s mugging after that Sun Valley party (Clueless, 1995):

Cher: You don’t understand… this is an Alaia…

Mugger: An Ah- whatta?

Cher: It’s like a totally important designer…

Mugger: …And I will totally shoot you in the head.

INTERNET EXPLORER

He Said: Dear ___, Internet Explorer is the best thing ever.  Love, Your Grandma

She Said: A little tired- looking.  Versace SS Collection, after Donatella’s rehab stint a few years back…

GOOGLE CHROME

He Said: Clean, crisp, sleek, overused. The Helvetica of browsers.

She Said:  Very now and fun!  Homegirl Selena Gomez could totally rock this look at the Teen Choice Awards.  Or (of course!) Emma Stone!

SAFARI

He Said: Fixed gear bikes, thick- framed specs, garage- indie music, art films, lomography, Safari

She Said:  The hair is very Kristen McMenamy.  Uber luxe.

He adds: Hey, you forgot Netscape Navigator.

/sarcasm

Love,

Karlita

PHOTOGRAPHY & TEXT BY AUTHOR UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.