Tag: Architecture

On Seeing the Real Thing

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Athens, Greece—Whenever I’m able to see a historic site as I travel to a new city, I try to make it a priority—even though they’re usually teeming with tourists. Greece was no exception. On my second day in the country, I visited the Acropolis in Athens. The Parthenon was the most memorable structure (mainly because it’s the one that I remember most from Humanities classes in school).

I like to see art/architecture in person for many reasons. It helps me to understand the creative process, and the context in which it was created. When art is presented out of context—in a textbook, for instance—there’s a danger that it will just become an abstract idea (like the Parthenon was to me before last week). Being in the environment sparked questions about the culture, religion, politics, and daily life in ancient Greece which led me to trace the design/function problems that artists potentially faced with their creative process.

My theory is that understanding the context in which art is created can also help one to understand its culture/perspective.

So if ever you’re able to see art and/or architecture in its original context, you should definitely consider it. It could potentially help you to solve problems in your own work.

 

A Little Recap (Where I’ve Been)

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Machu Picchu wasn’t on my list of ‘Things I MUST See,’ but I figured since I was so close, I couldn’t leave South America without seeing it. It was awe-inspiring. I had to keep reminding myself that humans built it. It was foggy in the morning when I visited, which bummed some of my fellow tourists out, but I was so thankful for the fog to get this great shot, which appropriately creates a mysterious feel. I was not disappointed.

Whew! These past 4 months have flown by. My time has been dedicated to wrapping up a project which had a mid-October deadline and because I’ve been moving around so quickly, I haven’t been posting as many blog updates as I’d like. Also, the lack of consistent internet prevented me from getting a lot of things done, which was a source of frustration. Well, I met my deadline and I am now in a place that has reliable internet so expect more frequent updates! Also, check out my Instagram (@myieshagordon) as I post there pretty frequently.

Here’s where I’ve been so far:

NYC > Dallas

Dallas, Texas > Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan > Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida > San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico > São Paulo, Brazil

São Paulo, Brazil > Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil > Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina > La Rioja, Argentina

La Rioja, Argentina > Uyuni, Bolivia

Uyuni, Bolivia > La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz, Bolivia > Cusco, Peru

Cusco, Peru > Lima, Peru

Lima, Peru > Santiago, Chile

Santiago, Chile > Punta Arenas, Chile

Punta Arenas, Chile > Liberia, Costa Rica

Liberia, Costa Rica > Panama City, Panama

Panama City, Panama > Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico > San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California > Tokyo Japan

Which brings us up to date! Yesterday I arrived in Tokyo (one of my dream destinations). I’m looking forward to exploring the city and telling you about it.

About That Farm Life

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The view from my work space, which is just a large rock.

La Rioja, Argentina — I’m living on a farm in the middle of nowhere. The nearest town with people (and Internet access) is 187 miles away.

I have been interested in Homesteading for several years now. It all started with a book that changed how I thought about work, time and money. The premise is simple: if you don’t need a lot of money (i.e.an expensive lifestyle), then you don’t need to make a lot of money, and you can spend more time doing things you want to do.

So for the next 3 weeks, I’m doing something I’ve always wanted to do.  I’m living on a farm. The family that owns the farm has lived in La Rioja for over 18 years and  they built everything from the ground up, including 2 houses, the plumbing system and solar panels for electricity. It’s modern and well-designed. While I’m here, I will be helping with chores; gardening, building stuff, feeding animals, whatever they need. In return, I’ll learn about managing a family farm and improve my Spanish (they don’t speak English). It’s basically a masterclass in innovation and sustainable living.

On one hand, it’s glorious (because I’m an introvert from NYC, so I know the value of quiet spaces). On the other hand, it’s a little terrifying because I have an overly active imagination, I’m a bit paranoid and low-key afraid of the dark.

In addition to learning Spanish, I’m helping them with their English. Just the other night, we gathered around the dinner table to play a trivia game on their iPad. While the words were in Spanish, the topics were international. There were questions about celebrities, religion, history, movies, popular culture…everything. Well, a question popped up on the screen and I laughed out loud. My Spanish vocabulary is the equivalent of a three-year-old’s, mind you but I knew what the question was about. They all looked at me a bit puzzled, waiting for me to explain myself. But I didn’t have the heart to tell them what ‘twerking’ was. Not yet.