Archive | April 2014

Lucky Seven!

Hi. Hi…? Hi!

Yeah so here’s something to wrap your head around:

Motorists say 7th circle traffic lights are easing congestion.

 

Did you read it? Good. Now look at the news feed of people from around 2 weeks ago.

See that? Yeah I thought so, too! It looks like a big box of shut up (with sprinkles)!

But of course not, we just love to talk and criticize don’t we? Actually if you think about it, Jordanian citizens are pretty much a good definition of “disrespectfully agreeing” in a way. It’s sad, yes, but it really is that way. We just talk, we disrespect the decisions made despite agreeing with what is happening by going with the flow (hence agreeing); we talk and yap about it for weeks to come, and at the slightest word of someone agreeing with our point, we start using it as backup for our argument, and we don’t mention the ones that are against it, because god forbid any of us should make the mistake of, well, making a mistake or saying “I don’t know”.

Some people were whole-heartedly hating on the government, hating on the statue going away (where did that thing go anyway?). Well, there you go you car-abusing kids, what they did is actually fixing. I, for one, am for a better public transportation system and letting the drivers have a disadvantage in one way or another for their choice to not be more sustainable, but this article is just to show that some solutions are not as bad as people make them out to be. The traffic lights are doing their job better than the circle (which is most probably because some people are too stubborn and selfish to let some people pass before them, let alone to respect their priorities).

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Anyway, my dumb ideas/analysis aside, I must say this:

Dear GAM (Greater Amman Municipality),

Congratulations on making a positive impact in the hellish prison that is the Ammani transportation system. I bet it feels nice to make some people realize that you do (sometimes) make some good decisions, even if it is just a stitch to try and reduce the bleeding in our streets and earth.

I do hope you understand the true problem here, though: The people still do not trust you that much. Yes, there are many urban enthusiasts rising here and there, and yes, there are articles leaking wonderful ideas (yes I’m giving myself a high five) on the internet, but what about people who do not study such ideas?

People need to see results in their lives, they do not care what anyone says, and many of them are probably juggling two jobs trying to get by and do not have time to read what people think. Nobody has the care to read what people have to say if they are just swamped trying to survive.

All in all, you just need to get people to trust you. The thing is, you probably do have a wonderful amount of ideas you try to implement, and you probably have a good plan (I doubt that a mere fresh-grad has more experience in making working plans for cities), but the implementation of your plans is usually horribly done, and that is all that people see, making them such overly-cynical children who despise their parents.

Remember the bus plans you had? The money just vanished, and (if you really are working on it) you are not giving it enough exposure to regain a bit of trust for your own benefit, and some dignity for the working person’s tax money. Corruption is born out of the people themselves, but it is also born out of the feeling that nothing could happen to the corrupt. The system itself just needs some more bureaucracy for the higher-level deals and workers, not the commoners who have to run up and down stairs to get a paper done (or a map), but for the serious paperwork that concerns a huge amount of investment. I might just be naive, but how about you teach some workers that they would not lose their job if they suspect some corruption or if they are sure of it.

Bah, I might just be talking like everyone else who just run their mouth, but I like to think I make sense.

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Sincerely,

Saed

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Thoughts

Well this is just one of those personal, random thought-rants that I just felt like putting out there.

 

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Truth is, I had a pretty good discussion with a good friend, and one with a close friend, another with a friend who was being quite negative. And well, I honestly do not care enough to make it a point to talk about the negative one (despite the fact that [s/he] was wishing for such an opportunity). Anyway, all these discussions just made me reconsider the “elderly/parental” advice of being careful of who you hang out with; because the truth is that your “friends” really do impact the way you think, feel, and react.

So even though you might feel bad for speaking your mind and hurting someone, you should really not care about it, because the truth is, they really are able to bring you down. If you believe in yourself enough to realize that this person was just pulling you down, you would understand who is good for you. The person was just not making any sense at all about what they were so “passionate” about, yet they talk about how they wish to make it, yet they do not even go along with its flow; they just do not act like they want it, they just rather act like they want the attention from it or its reputation.

Some people, despite being so aggressive/friendly, petty/deep, annoying/funny can make an honest impression, even by just being fake. It’s just amazing, to find out that what your “mentor” said about feeling what people are is actually so incredibly true. Sure the friend says
“oh I’m excited about it”, but through the “normal” tone, you can sense that they’re merely passion-less, empty people.

It’s annoying just because of the fact that you wasted a small bit of sense on them, only to realize that they are only wasting your time and effort (even passion) just by being themselves. It’s just that you realize that the person automatically started being an “adult, smart, reasonable” person about a dream and an awesome chance, just by being him/herself. Well it’s just absolutely annoying.

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I thought my words might not make enough sense for a reader to understand/connect to, so I’ll try and rephrase:

You have been “wanting” to do something for such a long time, you have been wishing to be that something, and you have been talking about how you wish to be that thing. Yet at the time of reality, you have been nothing but a thorn up your own bum. You talk more than a politician, because it makes you feel better about yourself; and only when it gives you an excuse for why you are such an absolute failure will you ever chase it. You know why? Because you did not have the balls to say what you wanted to. Truth is, since you decided on not taking action by speaking your mind, you have misled yourself (and your other self), into believing that you are doing your best.

I find it sad and pathetic. I find it annoying that your other self just let you take the fall for their own weakness instead of standing up and speaking for themselves, and I find it annoying that you just let people use you by being selfish, tantrum-throwing “adults”.

Thankfully I have a few friends that just make me feel happy about everything that goes on, by being themselves, and by reminding me of how they have so positively influenced my personality.

 

Ah, well it’s just there are so many things that I could say, but it’s just not worth the while, I’m pretty sure that I’ve given people I care about their share of love.

Actually that makes me feel really happy.

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Here’s to those friends. I’m sure I have already let you know by now, of how much I appreciate and look up to your patience, ability, performances, motivation, and strengths. Truth is, we are what our surroundings make us out to be.

 

Arigatou!

Saed

Globalization

Living in Jordan, it seems as though many of the common people see globalization as a conspiracy against Arabs and culture; and how the “West” is trying to take over. Although I am a proud Arab myself, I do not see such a phenomenon as a conspiracy, nor a godsent miracle sent to save us from extremism, but rather a tool; a global-scale phenomenon at one’s disposal.

For those not keeping up with every news update, globalization would be a shock, since people usually – and naturally – fear that which they do not understand. In this time, even those not following up know about the existing technologies that have already led to globalization. However, new communication media, which were made possible through the internet, are still unattainable for many of Jordan’s people; thus, many still do not quite grasp the reality of globalization. That misunderstanding of the subject at hand could indeed turn that lack of knowledge into a passed-on reputation of a brainwashing tool and “Western Media”. Just like we have rumors about where the 7th circle’s sculpture goes, and not enough people read reliable news, but would rather listen to what others tell them is going on; because we trust that person to tell us the truth, even if they happened to have no credibility nor source to go by. Mind you, this includes people whose “source” is one of those news outlets that only copy news from somewhere else; not questioning what they’re publishing, and not realizing what they’re saying, nor its impact.

Is journalism dying? Aye, it is. But I digress…

Proof of this bad image of globalization is the fact that so many adults tell their children and others’ to not “copy the western style”. I personally experienced many of those comments due to having long hair, and I was asked why the youth imitates the west, this of course followed by “are you Jordanian?”. Such situations show the image in many people’s mind: globalization is corrupting our youth. This is now much less of a deal than a few years ago, the comments that you get for having long hair as a dude have become nothing but stares and smirks. But the truth is, while some people may take the negative from globalization, it actually comes down to people’s deeper, more personal traits that could affect the way an individual’s thoughts/actions. Yes, they can be impacted by the things they see on TV (especially if the parents are not even bothered to spend time with their kids), but the extent of negativity is based on education, and the level of respect and value a person has for the traditions that are (in this case) being tossed aside. If this “youth” understood why the traditions were so important, and why they are even done, they would think twice before ditching it and copying the “west”.

Then again, when this tool is understood by people, it is an asset; businesses utilize globalization quite often. Logically speaking, what better marketing tool is there than a cheap, popular, and easy method which pretty much has the ability to cover a vast area and provide a gargantuan scale of exposure? It isn’t as personal as having a direct relation to the business and some of its workers, but this also has been addressed by some companies. Mainly by them consistently appearing on the news feed of some pages by uploading pictures that make their “followers” respond to their presence. This increases exposure to the company, and increases people’s familiarity with what they do. That more secure feeling you get when you deal with someone you know is what companies go for when they get exposure and likes. This, however, could be seen as a negative or positive thing, depends on what side you’re on really. If you own a business and this helps you, this is great. But some people would go to say that this is pathetic and is just bum-kissing people so you can bring yourself more money.

Globalization ha even affected the ease of which someone can share their own ideas and see others’ (hello, blog). It has even led to the birth of the Jordanian website 7iber.org, which pretty much gives an opportunity for anyone with an internet connection to discuss anything entertaining, political, miserable, or controversial with the choice of remaining anonymous to allow for a less pressuring atmosphere of  expression.

Another idea that shows the the versatile use of globalization is exploration. While we, in Jordan, do indeed have censorship and social barriers that (for some) could hinder creativity and maybe communication, the internet allows a self-paced gain of information which lets people widen their horizon. A big example of this would be the music that used to be “banned” from being sold in Jordan.

All that being said, globalization, in my humble opinion, rids the world of localization to an extent. If you knew how someone dealt with something, the knowledge could very much lead your creativity into a comfort zone or a single path that would forever be your origin of thinking when tackling a subject; pretty much discontinuing the mind’s ability to wonder along on its own trying to reinvent the wheel into a new more local method. In housing, for example, concrete is the norm, despite the fact that tents are way more sustainable for a desert climate, even mud & stone houses are better at insulating and working with our climate, but we automatically start designing a house by thinking of what this structure would be, and how it would be massed according to the concrete’s ability. Give a child a piece of paper, and tell them to draw a house, and they will create something completely different than what we are used to. Granted it would be a huge discomfort without the technical knowledge, but the fact that we become so comfortable in knowing, discontinues creativity, unlike the child who explores creativity, and then lets his parents dumb the design down to a workable form.

Can you blame people for being against western culture? Not really, because it is not ours. But the same exact people who are against it, would probably be huge fans of Autostrad and Jadal; despite the fact that they are “western” (e.g. rock), they are localized to fit our culture. The same should be done to everything else. We must stop following, and start adapting and thinking.

Why do I feel like I ranted about this before? Oh, well… I think that made sense.

Right…?

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I guess,

Saed

Sketches

Just a random sketch I made yesterday. I felt the blog wasn’t quite having enough visual work so.. Yeah here’s this one.

Image

 

And then there are these old sketches I made of Kurt Cobain and Bob Marley. I figured they’re not too bad, the resolution is.

Image

Image

 

Alright then!
Bye!

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Cheers!

Saed

Concepts

As interesting as concepts are, I think there is a fine line that people sometimes ignore; concepts are born out of our world, and they shouldn’t be superimposed on it if it isn’t made for it. Of course it’s important to put it out there as “paper architecture” or “paper designs”, what else is going to push the limit of the human mind (apart from drugs of course).

Anyway…

Aren’t clothes supposed to fit people rather than the other way around? And at least, if you’re going to force your client to compromise and wear what they hate with the excuse of “get with the program” or “all the cats are doing it”, make it humane. Your audience should not be weighing the same as an empty, bloody organ to wear your clothes. Or at least conceptualize something for your audience before you say “oh they are so unaware of my geniality” (I guess geniality is a word).

Same with architecture. The moment your concept is choking people’s culture, it’s just as bad as Nazi architecture really. Just imposing something that isn’t there. But of course you have to impose if you wish to create change. Then again there is a difference between creating a parking-less building to motivate a lower use of cars, and creating a building that is meant to be shelter without having the factors that make it one (like warmth in winter).

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If you see a need to lie about your project, the process you went through to make it was utter crap.

Also if this is about the concept phase, that’s just something to create an aim for you as an architect. They ask for it in uni submissions so that they use it to see how well you transformed your own vision (from an image in your head or idea, into a building).

This is all in theory, and is just one “school of thought” as far as I know.

But yeah, you know what I said kinda intend to say? If Architecture students slept enough (and if the teachers were actually smart enough to make the students understand things rather than having it rammed down their throats like conservative dogma) they would be able to appreciate ideas and concepts more, and be more critical of what happens around them, and be more able (and willing) to express a concept along with themselves.

The concept does not always have to be deep, your concept is whatever made you design that way. So for example, the concept for every “poorly designed” house in Amman, is that it is (in concept) as cheap as possible, yet inhabitable. Unless the client chooses otherwise. That’s what a concept is. It’s the idea behind the project.

I want to make a house that is shocking, so I’ll make it literally a huge sphere of concrete to make the whole mass shock and impose. Whatever.

But as a closing remark, when you try dividing and injecting project aims, goals, objectives, and visions before the concept, when the student doesn’t understand why, you should not be shocked if the students find you as anal as a rectal thermometer (only the thermometer is more justified than your teaching methods [I lol’d]).

Anyway, good people.

Good night.

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I guess,

Saed

Reactions

Found this piece of writing today, I haven’t had anything that I felt strongly about lately (except for being pissed at the university’s registrars for not picking the damn phone up), I’ve just been keeping up the 3-hour practice schedule everyday.

I will probably be doing research soon on “Heterotopia” again because I started a post about it when I started the blog but never got to finishing it and connecting it to Amman. It’s annoyingly complicated for some reason, I can’t seem to dumb it down for myself to get a practical grip over it. I discussed it with a friend and I understood a part of it but… It’s just not influencing my thinking and analysis.

Well then, I hope you enjoy this piece, I thought it was interesting really. It’s kind of obvious but hearing the idea in class once kind of drove me to ramble on and write this. So stating the obvious isn’t as bad as you think really, you just like to put people down and feel like you’re smarter than them.

 

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Technically speaking, everything in our lives is a reaction to everything around us, pretty much like BF Skinner said. We’re more reactive than proactive, and any proactivity we have in us has been provoked by previous influences. and the chance of a certain reactions is determined by other influences. Each influence increasing the probability of a reaction, and thus the readability of a person.

That’s why people who witness more violence when they’re young are accustomed to it.

Specification is the future, Jacks of all trades are not what bring strength, unless they are to be leaders. You can see that in many European countries, even their hobbies, they go full-on into it. They love something when they’re kids and they stick to it. Maybe it’s the way they were raised. But us, we have so many different cultural and educational influences in our lives that we have become a very fragmented society. Further fragmented by the different combinations of influences that we have in our lives, Creating many radicals (mind you, even atheist radicals, not only islamists).

Influences at a younger age have a bigger effect. Pretty much like levelling up in games; it’s faster and you learn more at a lower level than when you grow up. The more multi-disciplined you are, the more time you need to master. So much more. Because back then you find something you like and you learn it and get entertained learning it and working with it and experimenting. Everyone had a passion, everyone had something to do. Now you can be and learn anything. And all the knowledge you get is shared by everyone, everyone knows everything and everything is nothing because every conversation you have is the same. Everyone is talking about the same stuff, everybody knows the same topics and is following the same trends. Popular things are everyone’s and we own nothing, things become popular by a click rather than hard work, and media and selling are all that matters. Sex is an unattainable image that people look to because they see it everywhere else, hence it sells; because it has sold before, and it will keep selling until there is a conscious action to sell in another way.

Because last time you read an “original” idea it was sold to you by hollywood’s followers who say things because they should rather than because they believe it. It is the time of belief by imprint rather than belief by faith; Science as a weapon rather than science as interest; Money as food rather than a means to an end.

We will agree with everything we are currently hearing because our culture was too icky for hollywood, so now we are unsure of how acceptable it is. We lack beliefs because we wish to do other things that look better. We are not in control of our own lives, our leaders are not leading us anymore, and I think we definitely need to take our own futures into the direction we wish. Maybe this is the time which leads to the historicist breakthrough for everyone, hence the muslim brotherhood is on the rise and are hanging on to the culture we once had (religion, go figure). We will need the 2 extremes for this time, so that we can finally have the perfect balance we yearn. I give jordan 20 years max and it will be able to rise as a nation that is only if it is well-planned. Dare I say I think a civil war or some big meanie to be the main evil image is the next step to unite us? We’ve had that kind of meanie for a long time (israel) but it still fails as it is more on a political level, and is not a tangible threat to us as we have never needed to fight for our freedom like those before us. Bin laden was the meanie for america, who was supposed to make the whole country band together to fight terrorism.

Who is it for us? is it even possible to defeat our meanie from our position? we are a powerless country, meaning we would have a much stronger comeback and banding if we ever get rid of our “meanie”.

I think the closest thing we have to that is hollywood and the loss of culture. And we are well on our way to defeating the loss of culture, although we are rather accepting it and adapting to it (we use western references in our reclamation of culture). We are using the western culture in our own culture to soothe the pain of losing our roots. The existence of anti-west people is what helped keep us rooted down.