Monday, November 17, 2008

a new experience at hsc

Hi, this is Isabella Wong. I've been here around three weeks. During this period, I'm learning a lot of different stuffs and skills, especially the block design that I'm working on right now. I've find it is fun to play with different colors of blocks, its like a professional verison of "lego", lol.
I'm also learning how to do a design on computer by using graphic design software which is pretty cool. Basically, I like all the projects that I've been doing.
Above this, the most exciting project is designing my high school's cafeteria.
My school is planning to redesign our cafeteria, so me and my intern- partners are working together to design the whole new looking cafteria. In the process, we did documentary which is taking photos from different angles and combined it together by graphic design software. We also created a survey for our student, so that we can know more about their ideal cafeteria. In the survey, we've created about 10 questions which are all about the environment of the cafeteria. This is the first time for me to make a survey and it is also a really nice experience. I see that the software program is very useful and important which can suitable for many projects, including our cafeteria survey.
Even though we are still working on on the project but I feel happy to work with a project thats related to us and our school. I can't wait to see the "new cafeteria!"
Btw! I'm absolutely glad that I can be an intern in Hester Street! lmao" :)

wats goin on at hester st.

Hey Abdur-Rahman here :D. I guess I can consider this my second week here and so far so good. Bin playing with blocks for a while I gotta say it’s not the most entertaining thing to do hah but its for a good cause. First of all the reason I bin messing with these blocks is because I’m trying to put together a mosaic for a project HSC is trying to put together for a near by public school. It’s more complicated then you think but we tried multiple ways of doing it. We tried different sized blocks at first to see which fits together and is able to show the image more clearly. Also colors played an important role we decided to stick with more vibrant colors rather then dull ones because they tend to blend into each other. Second thing we tried was using symbols. African symbols gave us a good idea how to simplify the images at the same time carry some sort of meaning. Last of was the paper cut outs we used to make chalazas that version simplified it the most. So using those experiments I came up with a theme for my mosaic that was inspired through my cut out test drive hah. I chose to go with a step pyramid. My reason for doing so is that I wanted the steps in the pyramid to represent a person taking steps to go higher and higher in his/her life to final reach the top therefore achieving his/her goals in life whatever that maybe. Still the concept of my mosaic was easy to come up wit but getting it to look decent is steal a pain in neck hah -_- but I’m betting the school students will figure out some way to breeze through the whole complex world of the mosaic *dum dum dum* hah. But for now I’m just gonna do my best to make a mosaic that’s actual useful to HSC. I’m not really to found of not being able to complete any task I’m given
On the other hand there’s one other project were doing over here. One I’m very interested in seeing the out come of. The project is a renovation of my schools cafeteria my schools MCNDHS by the way. Isabella, Jun and myself are working together on this project. So far we’re still beginning but we have a decent draft so far of our survey :D. We made sure the survey covered the most important questions such as what the students think of the cafeteria how it makes them feel. Also what is it that they dislike weither it be the color of the walls or the long cramp lunch tables. I personally think this cafeteria was crying for a face lift hah. The survey is important because not all the students eat there only its also used for other things. Some people have art classes there others have tutoring sessions. So I’ think they’d appreciate more comfortable surroundings. So hopefully we can start as soon as possible but for now we still need to finalize the survey.
Now for the last activity I participated in at HSC was the stripping of the signs at the Allen st. malls. I found that pretty fun because I didn’t have to sit in place and play with the blocks hah but it was a shame they had to come down. They looked better hanging there then nothing at all. But they had to come down Maybe HSC will put something up again. So ya that was pretty much my first couple weeks at HSC and I’ll update again some other time when there’s more to write about. LATER xD

Monday, November 03, 2008

Introducing SPURA to me and you

Hi I’m Kashawn Henry, a new intern here at HSC. The other day Johnathan, another intern, and I went to a community meeting with Anne about Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA).It has been 40 years since the city took ownership of a piece of the lower east side known as SPURA. Bordered by Essex, Delancy, Grand, and Willet Streets, SPURA is the biggest plot of undeveloped land south of 96th street which is perfect for this new project for our principal. We went to this meeting because our brilliant principal Scott Conti envisioned a project; he calls it, New Design House (NDH). New Design House is a home for children who have unstable home environment. We went to the meeting because we needed an idea for where NDH would be located. In the meeting we did this Activity which involved money. They gave us 20 stickers and each sticker represented 1 million dollars, they also gave us this paper that had a bunch of different things we would want in the neighborhood such as affordable housing and new schools, day-cares, new movie theaters and markets. Half of my money went toward affordable housing and new schools because if you think about it NDH is a combination of both of those. We are currently still working on where to put it and a design for the interior of the building.

my Experience with (SPURA)

For the past two weeks kashawn and I have been developing our skills on making floor plans on paper. We need this skill to help us plan out the floor scheme for new design housing. NDH is a project that kashawn and I are developing for our principle and his idea of housing several students to help and support them through high school.
Last Wednesday kashawn, Anne, and I attended a community meeting for the Seward Park Urban Renew Area (SPURA). The SPURA site is a part of the lower east side that is government owned; meaning that the community can have a say on what they would like to see in the area. SPURA is located between Essex and Delancey; willet and grand.
When participants arrived they were all given separate numbers depending on where they lived in the L.E.S. because I live in the les I was at table 3 while kashawn and Anne were at table 4. After receiving a number we sat with our groups and introduced ourselves to one another. When the group introductions were done we sat and listened to two speakers talk about the S.P.U.R.A site and its background history from two different points of view. Hearing all the information about the history got us to thinking about what this area can be used for since it hasn’t been used in almost 40 years. When the speaker’s were done with their presentations we participated in group activities in which we had to do as a group and no one was left out.
For first activity was look at a bird’s eye view map of the S.P.U.R.A site and the surrounding areas and mark off what ever you know on the map such as convenience stores or schools and parks etc.…
The second group activity we all were given 20 yellow dots which represented a million dollars each. We were given a list of potential things we can do on the site and added what ever wasn’t on the list that we felt should have been on it. They told us to use up all your money on what we thought we would want to spend it on. So I added the project that kashawn and I are working on the NDH and other stuff. When every body spent there money we were told to calculate the total and report out to everyone what were our top three money makers.
My group’s top three money makers were NDH, affordable housing, and mixed income housing each have a specific reason for being chosen.
NDH was chosen because I explained that NDH is going to be a housing complex for students that have unstable houses or live in foster care. To change the statistics of teen’s dropping out all they need is a strong foundation to stand on. That is what this house is going to be the rock of support under the 60 selected students of new design high school. So everyone thought that the project was a good idea and altogether 15 million dollars was spent on it.
The affordable housing was chosen because honestly who doesn’t want affordable housing and we spent at least 10 million on that. Mixed income housing was chosen because it would be able affordable housing for everyone. No one has to feel like there getting kicked out of there homes because they don’t have the money for it. For example if you charge one person 2500 for rent, then charge a single mother with four kids 800 on rent to work with living situation and leaving enough money for food to be on the table. My group and I came to realize if mixed income buildings were built that it would balance itself out cause of the mixed income being brought into the neighborhood.
It was fun being there even though at first I thought I was going to be board but learning more about the area I live in interested me a lot. Doing the activities I just lost track of time I even forgot for a second that I was with Anne and kashawn. When the night was coming to an end we meet at the front entrance and expressed how we thought the whole thing went and kashawn and I both said that it was fun. Also nerve racking because we both had to stand up and present our top three choices to a room of people we have never meet before but at the same time a learning experience.