Was What I Read What I Saw?
Downtown, Oklahoma City, U.S.A
When I decided to move to Oklahoma, 4 years ago, my first thought was to find the interesting places I could visit, or rather hang out at, in Oklahoma City. I asked my friends and family who lived here before to name the places I could visit, the name that was brought up most often was Oklahoma City Downtown, better known as Bricktown area. I looked it up on google and I found quite a few blogs and a large archives of photos, from either visitors or professional photographers, about it. When I looked at the photos the thing that stood out the most was the canal and the over passes that went over it connecting the bars and candy shops on both sides of the canal. I even found a few sketches by local artists and students, but the sketches emphasized more on the buildings surrounding the canal rather than what was going on in the initial premise of the canal. The image I created in my mind about the place was a canal surrounded with old brick buildings.
I finally got here on December of 2013 and without wasting anytime went to see the famous Bricktown for myself. To my surprise it was very different, or at least had a very different feeling to it than what I had imagined from the descriptions and photos. There were difficult and narrow staircases leading to the canal’s side, the kind of narrow that creates an awkward situation if someone is coming from the opposite direction. It wasn’t just the canal and the shops on its sides, but it was also connected to a larger area by buildings that had entrances from the main street side and the sidewalks circling the canal. There was even an arcade place at the end of the canal accompanied by a mini golf course right next to the canal.
All the images I had in my head from looking down on the canal from the overpasses, but I didn’t really understand the , or better put, experienced the place until I made my way down to the sidewalks and looked at it from a cozy corner with plants growing and climbing all over the worn of cement wall. The building were not just bars and candy shops, most of them were warehouses and old storage places, probably used by small boats sailing across the canal a long time ago, that were now turned into shops.
As I said before the Bricktown spread further than just the canals immediate surroundings, it started right when you got out of the car and stepped on the crimson brick roads leading to the center of it all, the canal. Since then, Bricktown has become one of my favorite places to visit and use as photoshoot place. I try to look at it from different angles every time I go there. I even park the car on different spots so I can go and explore the downtown and experience it for myself.
A Reflection on Bjarke Ingels Ideologies in Architecture
Knowing your potential; as it might have come to your mind, architecture is neither an exclusively artistic form nor a dry engineering course, but it’s a mixture of both. Knowing what you are capable of and what interests you is an important part of becoming an architect. Bjarke Ingels initially wanted to become a comic book, because he knew his sketches had potential and he felt a strong passion for drawing and sketching, but due to circumstances he entered a school of architecture to improve his sketching skills. As time passed by he realized there is more to architecture and recognized a new found interest in continuing his studies as an architecture student. Becoming an architect just because of the social status or money is not going to end well!
Problem Solving; Architecture isn’t like most other majors, it needs a certain kind of passion and process of thinking! A successful architect always has everything about his/her project in mind, so he/she will know when to make a compromise or not to make one. As Bjarke Ingels put it, to solve problems as an architect you need to see and tackle some matters with a non-problematic approach, instead of digging in the ground to create artificial hills cover it with elevated wooden decks at much lower cost.
Tireless efforts; Here is a solid fact, no one becomes a successful architect right of the bat, it needs effort and time. When Bjarke started hi firm, there were three major firms that received almost all the commissions in Copenhagen and most of Denmark. There was an unwritten rule, if you want to get the commission for a building or project, you should already have built that type of building or project. None of that stopped him and his partners. They looked at things other firms skipped, like cost reduction, regional culture and the environmental impacts and managed to receive their first commission and even afterwards they kept pushing their limits to get where they are today.