Better Presentations

Master of Architecture student presents her thesis project.

Master of Architecture student presents her thesis project.

During the architecture program masters thesis presentations, the issue of taking up space to be more powerful came up. Truly, stretching out, putting your shoulders back and chin up, puts you in a more powerful pose, and the act of maintaining a powerful pose actually causes you to behave more powerfully.
For anyone making a major presentation – Masters Thesis, Capstone, PhD dissertation defense, course lecture, – this is useful information.
You want to be the person who is viewed as an expert on your topic. This may have personal relevance and or teaching relevance as something to share with students as they work on their presentations skills.
I am including links to a Ted Talk, Wired Magazine article, and Harvard Researcher bio so that you can continue this exploration.

Ted Talk:
http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html

Wired – Power Postures Can Make You Feel More Powerful:

Cuddy Bio:

What should I do with my Degree?

The School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation grants graduate degrees in Historic Preservation, Architecture and Real Estate Development, as well as a Ph.D. program in Urban and Regional Planning and Design. At the undergraduate level you can get a Bachelor of Science Degree in Architecture.  But, what do you do with one of these? You could pursue the Architectural License, but you could also go into industrial design, or be an urban planner, or civil engineer.  For encouragement and consideration of the various options now open to you, please read Dr. Lee Waldreps’ brief and informative article titled, “Architecture and Beyond: Opportunities Abound”.

 

Remember, you are always learning people skills, communication and collaboration skills, and these will serve you well for any job.

Websites of Interest – Sustainability

From time to time, I will post about websites that deal with Sustainability in its many permutations: architecture, real estate, city planning, historic preservation, and energy. The following list will start us off with connections to a broad selection of technologies, building design, and event tax credits.

http://inhabitat.com/

Website covers topics on emerging technologies, green building, energy efficient interior design, emerging sources of renewable energy and sustainable product design

http://energy.gov/

Links to public services initiatives, science and innovation, news, blogs, maps and data concerning the following topics: tax credits, heating and cooling, solar energy, home weatherization, appliances and electronics.

http://www.eere.energy.gov/

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Examples of energy efficient homes, buildings, cars and diagrams of solar energy, wind energy, water conservation and various fuels.

Favorite Buildings

From time to time, I will post an blog entry by one of my staff, about a favorite building.  Today’s entry is by Lucinda Philumalee, current MRED candidate and Historic Preservation degree holder.

Eisenhower Executive Office Building: Eyesore or Icon?

Located just west of the White House is a Federal building built in the Second Empire style that has been a staple of Washington DC since 1871.  It was designed by a former Supervising Architect, Alfred Mullet, in the Second Empire style.  Formerly known as the Old Executive Office Building, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building has been a source of strong opinion to many who encounter it.

Named for the Second French Empire, Second Empire architecture is a style that became popular in the mid-to-late 1800s and is distinctly European. While Second Empire residential buildings are located around DC, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building is the one of the few, if only, Federal buildings built in this style.

America’s most iconic Federal buildings were built in the style of Greek Revival, which became popular in the 18th and 19th century.  DC was established as the nation’s capital in 1790; thus the built environment reflected what was prominent at the time.  As a result, Americans have a predisposition of what Federal buildings should look like.  Compounded with the fact that Americans are often turned off from anything that is iconoclastic with what they are used to representing the capital and the nation, the Second Empire Eisenhower Executive Office Building is often perceived with distaste.

President Truman described the Eisenhower Executive Office Building as the greatest monstrosity in America.  Mark Twain called it the ugliest building in America.  Perhaps most graphic, historian and author Henry Adams referred to it as Mullet’s “architectural infant asylum.”  Likely it was sentiments such as these, along with the notion that it was an inefficient building that put it at risk for demolition in the 1950s, however those plans never came to fruition.

Once despised for its nonconformist style, opinions of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building have since neutralized.  It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the 1960s and designated as a National Historic Landmark shortly thereafter.  While many other Greek Revival style Federal buildings require a second glance for identification, the Second Empire Federal building is undoubtedly the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and a DC icon.

Below are a few pictures; If you travel to DC you can make your own decision!

Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Phot from School of Architecture, Plannign and Preservation Visual resources Collection

Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Phot from School of Architecture, Planning, & Preservation Visual Resources Collection

Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Picture form A. D. White Architectural Photographs, Cornell University Library, via The Commons.

Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Picture form A. D. White Architectural Photographs, Cornell University Library, via The Commons.

Eisenhower Executive Office Building from the street. Image from the School of Architecture, Planning, & Preservation, Visual Resources Collection.

Eisenhower Executive Office Building from the street. Image from the School of Architecture, Planning, & Preservation, Visual Resources Collection.

What should I do with my old slides?

Here in the Visual Resources Collection we are taking an inventory of everything in the room.

We have LCD projectors, slide projectors, cameras, video cameras, light sets, some books and travel guides; even film cameras of the Nikon variety.

However, the slides, slides, slides, are what I have in the most quantity.  Now, slides are small, so it takes alot of them to take up any amount of space – we have at least 265 drawers full of slides. As part of the stocktaking, the Graduate Assistants are looking at boxes of slides, drawers of slides, scans of slides. We have your pink variety, your purply-orange variety, your overexposed and your really dark variety.  Then there are the fabulously colored Fujichrome and Kodachrome slides of trips from around the world that our professors and students have shared with us over the years.  Records of moments in time, a particularly sunny day, a freshly painted facade, a brand new structure or a really old structure.  Images that document not only an architecture, but a city, a style of car or hairdo, caught on the film chip.

Sidi-Bou-Said, Tunisia. Photo by Bill Bechhoefer

Sidi-Bou-Said, Tunisia. Photo by Bill Bechhoefer

The challenge for me and my student assistants is to decide what stays and what goes.  What is relevant to the School’s mission, and what is just taking up space. Is this slide primary source material or outdated copywork from a book that has been re-issued and updated umpteen times since that slide was taken? For slides that are going to go, here is a beautiful and useful project: Curtains. Or maybe a handbag would be nice.

I plan to post more lovely pictures as we continue with the collection assessment.

Presentation Method -Prezi

For Architects, Planners, Historic Preservationists, and Real Estate Developers, the Prezi format for presentations offers a flexible canvas for building your case, or explaining a topic, or presenting a thesis. It is not easier than Powerpoint, but rather, different. An image can become the framework for the entire presentation.
Start at Prezi.com
and register for an account.
Teachers and students – Register with your umd.edu email address for the educational account – its Free! Use the Sign-up now button.
Use the LEARN and EXPLORE tabs to learn more about Prezi features.

Shows some good features of Prezi.
I will be giving an introductory tutorial on Prezi, on Monday October 31, at 12:15 in room 1111.

Let’s Talk ARTstor

Let’s Talk – starting on Tuesday October 11th, the VRC will be conducting weekly conversations, demonstrations and collaborations focused on digital media, teaching tools, university resources and your suggestions.

We will start off with “How to Navigate Artstor – the Basics” On Tuesday 10/11 from 12 to 12:30, and again on Friday 10/14 from 12 to 12:30.  Please meet in 1115, the Media Lab.  Artstor has over 1 million images available for use in lectures and research.

The Past Superimposed on the Present.

Take a look at What Was There: http://www.whatwasthere.com/ This website adds photos to places, tagged by location and year.  If there is a street view in Google maps, the photograph is  lined up from the same point of view to provide a glimpse of the same place at a different time. You can see how the streetscape has changed, as well as the architecture, car design, and fashions.

The site even allows you to fade the photograph in and out.  Cities in the United States have more photographs than other parts of the world, but I am sure that will change as more people travel the site. You can upload photographs yourself, although I have not tried that yet. This could be useful for preservationists, architects, and urban planners.

Enjoy.