jeweled platypus


wednesday, december 05, 2007
Unlike the artificially coherent city of Santa Barbara

This is the De La Guerra dining commons at UCSB:

an interior shot of a cafeteria

I like it because it’s one of the only new-ish buildings on campus that has an exterior style like the older buildings on campus. The lower right corner of the picture shows a little bit of this sandy stone/concrete pattern that you find on some of the older buildings, like the library:

sunshine and eucalyptus trees

Those brown textured walls and lots of windows are what a friend pointed out to me as making up the UCSB style. Nerdy amazement! I used to be faintly annoyed by the mixed-up randomness of UCSB architecture, but when he said that obvious thing, I realized I could develop extensive naive theories about why I got faintly annoyed by the architecture. Anyway, this is the style I like for my Southern California beach campus because it helps the buildings live comfortably in their surroundings:

a geometric brown stone pattern

a guy walking near the lagoon

But a lot of the newer buildings on campus have been built in a bland neutral postmodern style with lots of orange and yellow and red, and it doesn’t look good in context:

looking at the university center and the lagoon

If you look closer at that one though, it references the older style:

the stone pattern at part of the ucen

I don’t know why the newest developments — the ones built in the past ten years and currently being built — forgot about all that in favor of pastel lameness:

the blocky modern entrance to another cafeteria

A good example of the difference between the styles is these pictures showing off the old and new Engineering buildings, on one of the department websites:

Engineering I, aka Harold Frank hall Engineering I, aka Harold Frank hall

Engineering II Engineering II

The old building has that nice sandy style with vegetation and visual variety; the new one is flat and boring with no local character.

The interiors of the old buildings aren’t so great though, with their own ugly orange stuff. That’s why I like the pretty De La Guerra dining commons so much. Also because of its unlimited cookies and horchata.

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sunday, july 22, 2007
Little creatures on my shelves

a big green elephant, a small brown elephant, and a tiny orange turtle

a toy monkey sitting on wooden beads in a green bowl

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thursday, march 08, 2007
An orange’s slow decline

Who? Me.
What? An experiment in fruit decay.
When? Indefinitely.
Where? The CCS Computer Science lab.
Why? Perversity.

January 22 — shiny, happy.

little did they know

March 8 — wrinkled, deranged.

that it would be their dooom

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monday, march 05, 2007
Pictures unreasonably tinted yellow

I miss San Francisco, with its good food and public transportation and excellent people. Instead, I have Santa Barbara and a gigantic line of eucalyptus trees planted a long time ago to defy the wind. If you look into the distance, you see the ocean.

see, on the right - trees

I also have my desk, chosen and arranged like everything else. Each object has an origin story: the IKEA in Irvine, Los Angeles’ Chinatown, San Francisco garage sales, the pirate store, New Orleans, sisters.

plants and lions, oh my

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monday, february 26, 2007
Dandelions, daisies, buttercups

A survey of common weedflowers in Isla Vista, California:




None of them are native plants. (More about buttercups.)

What are the weedflowers in your area? Show me! You have an exception from this assignment if you live here too.

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I’m Britta Gustafson.

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