This morning I came across this short video on efforts by the Open Source Ecology initiative to develop prototypes for easy cast, easily assembled, low cost farming and building technologies, what they’re calling the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS). It connected with some of the things I’ve been thinking about for ENGL505: Rhetoric of Science and Technology this fall.
How? First, we hear nowadays about everything “ecology.” And I have ideas about how “ecology” in many cases functions as a metonym for rhetorical action, which of course includes readily identifiable material qualities in the case of OSE. The video itself is not all that different from Marcin Jakubowski’s short TED Talk, and I haven’t spent much time going carefully over what’s posted at the site and wiki (wish there was an RSS feed or date stamps for their blog). But I can already see issues of modularity and scale foregrounded here, which, combined with the ideals of open source might be enough to return to this as a rich case for further consideration.
Dropped by Hoyt Hall Friday afternoon to pick up a couple of final items and help a colleague move a table. Others needed a hand with a chair, too, which turned into an impressive feat, considering the only way to fit the base of the recliner into the truck cab was to leave the window rolled down. In any case, the College of Arts and Sciences is officially in a transitional phase, boxed and binned somewhere between the dormitory where we’ve held office since May 2010 and the new, improved Pray-Harrold.
I am sure the new digs will be better than the temporary ones, but I already know I am returning to PH612M, the same office I was in before the renovations. The bad of it is that I will be giving up the light of day, running water, in-office toilet, a window that opens, and roughly 40% of the square footage I enjoyed in the dorm. The good of the transition is that the window that opened and let in light also leaked water when torrents of rain washed against the NW face of the building, assorted carpet odors, in-office toilet, and climate control that doesn’t involve opening a window in the dead of winter. I’m sure the good will outweigh the bad, ultimately, but visual confirmation has to wait until August 24th, the day when we are welcome to reunite with our stuff in the old-now-new building.
It’s too soon to say whether I will one day feel sad about never returning to Hoyt 810. I spent a lot of time in that office–five days a week without interruption for the better part of 14 months, and I got some important work done there. I also had room for all of my books, which I unfortunately don’t expect to be the case in the new office.