Life Time Liberal Arts: Architecture

One of the reasons why I was drawn to Allegheny College was the Distribution requirement. Basically all departments were divided into three divisions:

  • Humanities: Think music, arts, literature
  • Social Science: Think histories, psychology, education
  • Natural Science: Think biology, chemistry, physics

To graduate, I needed to have my major in one field (social science w/Environmental Education), minor in another (humanities w/Music Theory) and take two classes in the third (geology, forest management, etc). This meant that I didn't have "general elective classes" that I was forced to take but I still was able to experience a wealth of human knowledge that is key to a liberal arts education.

As I am finishing up graduate school, I realized that my learning has not been very 'liberal artsy...' Of course in my studies I have had my mind expanded and shown a variety of viewpoints...but all in environmental education. Since July 2015 I have been focusing on myself as an environmental educator. Just as metamorphic rock is formed under intense heat and pressure I feel like I have been molded into this field in a fantastic way.

But I am more than just that. I want to be better at baking. Better at adventuring. Better at gaming! But those are all things I know how to learn about. What if I want to learn about something new...?

So solve this problem, each year I want to have a focus of what to learn about and document it with at least one post a month about the learning process. Last year I studied chemistry, but this year I want to focus on...

The frozen rivers around Pittsburgh

The frozen rivers around Pittsburgh


My love for architecture started when I was in my senior year of Allegheny. During my senior year at Allegheny, my adviser suggested I take an architecture class to help guide me in my Senior Comprehensive Project. Even though I was the only non-first year student, I had a blast during that course. It was rigid like math, but fluid like art. Some days I even considered dropping environmental education to go into sustainable architecture. But I finished my degree in education, and kept architecture appreciation as a hobby.

One of the ways I did that was to listen to an architecture podcast called 99% Invisible. The title implies that 99% of the work in a project is unseen. Yes, the building is impressive but consider all of the time someone had to think about design, and tinker. Over the past few years it has evolved from just typical architecture to all design spaces. From cow tunnels to plaques. It also helped me discover the qualities of good flag design.

So join me in this year of exploration of concrete jungles and steel mountains.