Nov 7. 2014


  • Ideation & Research
  • Found focus area & client
  • Proposed letter to Villa Verde
  • Movie on Ecological design

A lot has changed on the way I approach thing during this research project since I have written my proposal; the major thing being that I’m primarily focusing on one prototype rather than user testing three of them. In fact, I’m hoping to provide an alternative to what’s currently happening right now: create an ecomuseum+park+restaurant instead of constructing a fast food restaurant with a visitor center at the entrance of Santa Elena. I think I’m on the right track, considering my idea is simple, ecologically & culturally sensitive. Also, I’m just going to do it anyways because well it’s the right thing to do, given what I have learned during my time here in Costa Rica. Although frankly I have no idea what direction I’m taking; guts, guts, and some forethought is all we need right? All I can hope for is that by providing choices, people will listen, see things differently, have a change of heart and take a different route from what’s normally expected.

My focus area:

Map of SE

So my client is Villa Verde:

DSCF2359 DSCF2360 DSCF2361 DSCF2362 DSCF2363 DSCF2365

Schematics & Brainstorming:

DSCF2542photo 2 (17)photo 1 (15)

For Spanish class, we had to write a card which suggests a solution. I took advantage of this assignment by applying it o my project!

DSCF2543 DSCF2545 DSCF2546 DSCF2547 DSCF2548 Monteverde Draft Parking Lot SE Internet

I watched a movie on ecological design and received some good insights:

  • 1910s, architects and designers were inspired by industrial revolution
  • => a building was an isolated object in space; isolated from environment, urban space and history
  • But that’s No longer the case
  • 2 strategies: build taller (towers) or sprawl (suburbs); was futuristic
  • The problem with art: do what’s most interesting; they are pioneers, but need to be informed; what is the next step?
  • Machines influenced the first half of the century
  • Now some concern for the environment=> a psychological revolution
  • Design Revolution
  • “The Outlaw Perspective”
  • Design outlaw:
  • Stewart Brand, Author
  • Advantage => freedom to go dead at something rather than cycle off the ideas and thoughts from an institution
  • Figure out what’s nifty to do next with what’s available in the way of tools
  • Ted Nelson, Software Designer
  • Responsibility of the Designer:
  • => to be an the outlaw thinker
  • => To reach forward beyond the restrictions of today, beyond the stupidity of current political situation, the current way things are done and say “God, how the hell should we be doing thing”
  • Douglas Adams, Novelist
  • They are crazy and mad, but “we need them like hell”
  • The ones who give fresh ways of looking at things
  • R. Buckmister Fuller “Bucky,” Design Science Explorer
  • Was able to live on the frontier, learned to survive there without having anyone telling him to do or doubting him by
  • Never trying to persuade; never trying to sell; you see what needs to be done and you do it
  • John Todd, Biochemist
  • Outlaws have an extreme sense of urgency
  • The system we have created have the potential to undo everything that we would like to see happen
  • Bucky
  • quintenssial designer
  • 1927, at 32 dedicated himself to a design revolution to optimize the way we use the earth’s resources; first experiments in ecological design
  • “doing more with less”
  • responding to a housing shortage
  • The “dymessiam”house and car => self- sufficient house, recycle everything, technological smart and social responsible
  • Lightness and efficiency
  • the future is something to be dealt with rather than simply met by going about the same way we always had
  • We can design our way instead of taking things that come out the factory, the way we market to consumer; that was revolutionary
  • Invented his own geometry, synergetics, to model nature’s way of doing things
  • ex. the domes, the lightest and strong structure ever devised
  • 1960s, realized technology can have horrors; self-sufficiency was ideal, small was beautiful
  • Stewart Brand, Founder of “Whole Earth Catalog” (which celebrated design as a way of life; inspired by Bucky)
  • Tied whole systems + tools
  • If people have good information, they will do the right thing
  • To become smart and inventive about technology
  • We can’t put it together, it is together
  • Designers must live in what they are doing; become the world’s expert in what you’re doing and unable to ask anyone for advice
  • You can take any block in a city and can redesign into something living
  • The true designer even though she is working with a small patch of earth, sees it as part of a whole system.


What’s Next:

  • Meeting with my advisor, Alan
  • Narrow down on conceptual design
  • Research, problem-solve and look for inspiration