Blog 5

This week we watched a couple of videos including a TedTalk by Elora Hardy. Hardy is an architect who grew up and lived in Bali all her life. This country is in a tropical region filled to the abundance with bamboo. What I found out about bamboo in this TedTalk was the fact that bamboo grows really fast which makes it an excellent resource to use quite frequently and would be able to regenerate again in just three years’ time.

Hardy and her team uses bamboo to build buildings, such as houses and schools. These buildings are surprisingly sturdy and earthquake-resistant along with keeping to the island paradise feel of the environment. I thought it was interesting that Elora Hardy works with bamboo and builds on its strengths. It was fascinating as Hardy and her team bended the bamboo and manipulated it to form these structures. The bamboo basket room was one of the most interesting concepts she built to create a light and airy space.

The Edible video talked about edible utensils. Edible utensils are made mainly from rice and are not only good for the environment but also good for the people that eat them. It is never really considered how plastic spoons are made but quote obvious that they were made with chemicals that we are later putting in our mouths on a daily basis. A great alternative to using plastic utensils would be able to have these edible utensils offered. The product also empowers women in India because they are the ones hired to construct the product. The only downside to this product was the fact that the packaging of the product was plastic. This could be solved by simply switching over the plastic packaging into paper packaging.

I actually have visited one of the Biophilic Design examples that was shown to us in class. Back in 2014 I had the opportunity to visit the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon. I agree that the garden captures the sense of mystery even before you step into the gates. Set in the middle of downtown Portland and surrounded by the China Town district there; no person just walking down the street would realize that there was such a beautiful garden behind tall cement walls. When I walked inside with my friend we were taken down this walkway that took us from one small courtyard to the next until you came across the walkway that hovered over the pond. The walkways were zig-zagged throughout the area and I never knew where it was leading me until I was there. With the gorgeous waterfall and the tiny temples here and there the entire place seemed shrouded in mystery and tranquility.

I thought the visit on Tuesday was pretty informative. It was nice to know that the university is doing its part to be environmentally friendly. I also thought it was impressive that by recycling the cardboard and other miscellaneous paper products Oklahoma State University was also making a small profit by it. It was impressive that only a few workers manage to do the amount of work they do on a daily basis but I also got the sense by the man who spoke to us about all their work that the group of workers would get a lot more done if there were more of them. I was surprised to find out on my visit there that only whole foods can be used to compost. I was not surprised to hear that if the university was more strategically placed in a bigger city it would have more options to recycle and or reuse. It is because Stillwater is in a more remote location that not many vendors are willing to go out and do business with the university which makes sense but is also disheartening to hear of this disadvantage.

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