Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Call to Joining Creation

Global Warming After Gore

AlterNet. Posted November 10, 2007. Speaking about young activists, Teryn Norris writes:

The "old-fashioned" tactics of protest, demand and complaint just aren't enough. Global warming is one of the most complex challenges the world has ever faced, vastly different from those of the 1960s. It calls upon us to innovate, politically and economically, at an unprecedented scale. Our politics must be retooled, not only to achieve immediate policy changes but to create new and lasting political majorities. And instead of constraining our economy, we need to unleash it, driving our engineers, scientists and manufacturers to hone their skills and knowledge, and put these forces to work toward building the next energy economy.

A powerful climate movement -- one capable of capturing the public imagination, defining new political identities and fully unleashing our economy -- should put forth an even stronger vision of American greatness than the neoconservatives once offered. It must tap the optimism and can-do spirit embedded in our nation's history that has driven us to overcome the daunting crises of the past. "A new story of American Power begins by acknowledging what our country is great at: imagining, experimenting and inventing the future," argue Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, authors of Break Through. "First we dream -- and then we invent."

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Climbing onward in travels

The study of human cultures reveals shared concepts across early civilizations. Many of these ideas are embodied in the monumental structures of prehistory, such as the Pyramids of Egypt and those on the Yucatan Peninsula and in Mexico, including Monte Alban which overlooks a stunning valley. Other monumental structures were fashioned to focus on the orientation of the sun in specific places and times, such as the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu, of which the Intihuatana (pictured above) is one focus. August, 2004

All of these places exhibit a profound orientation to sun, sky, stars and moon, as well as a formal procession through different physical levels, tied to cultural and spiritual practices. This includes astronomy for the purposes of determining agricultural cycles in societies which had settled into stable farming communities. Monuments and tombs are also oriented in specific directions, with carefully constructed entry sequences. These sequences produce the sacred experiences for those who journey to such places, sometimes at specific times of year or day.

Full screen panoramic in QT video is here

Going down in

Traversing the canyons leads to the discovery of powerful spaces, enchanting enclosures, broad vistas, and a place to rest, think, regenerate and recharge. The stuff of space and ground is the stuff of life.

Starting out

Architecture is an earth science, which is why the brown tassel is moved to the left when we graduate from our professional program. Beginning with a world view grounded in the earth, my early study of arcology and experience in my Arcosanti workshop led to a greater understanding of the natural processes involved with the built environment. For example, climbing through and experiencing the natural sepulchres that are created where landforms and water meet in the Grand Canyon and Colorado River go far beyond academics and theory. This subjectivity of place and form is part of the "haptic" sense of space that generates our world view and the understandings that we have. So it's a key part of creating spaces that are not just sustainable, but give rich meaning to experience.

Climbing the canyon and river walls takes one back to the fundamentals of living in and understanding the natural world that all people originate from. How does the space and light make you feel, and how does one get from one place to another? What's the purpose and the need being served? How do these places exist in form and energy, what generates them in natures' profoundly efficient method of unfolding form?