Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Arch+Details: Roofs

I am glad to be back with another installment of my Architecture series: Arch+Details. A lot of people have been asking me when the next entry would be released and.......BOOM!! It is here!! This time I am focusing on roofs. I guess it is safe to say that this feature of the structure is the icing on the cake; but as we all know, not all icing is good, and too much icing is not a good thing. Luckily most structures are capped really well, and leave a lasting impression. From my research and education throughout the years I really feel like the roof has, and is the one feature that has dramatically changed over the years; Both in material and function, roof design has become more sophisticated and more creative than ever.

Being from Los Angeles and going to school in New York I really saw the craze and fascination of roofs. In the present they have gone from a protective structural feature to a luxurious and social status where the wealthy, relevant and popular people escape to from the rest of reality. They skylines of both cities include dozens of high end bars, clubs, lounges etc. at the top of the most expensive and prestigious buildings. Not to say I am wealthy and popular, but I have been to a couple, and they really are fun and an awesome opportunity to overlook the city, (and for me personally) enjoy the architecture that defines the city. But most roofs don't offer high end clubs, but rather something economical and environmentally friendly: gardens. In New York especially, gardens are sprouting all over building tops because there is no room on the ground to have them. It is both aesthetically pleasing, and compliments the steel and glass, but it helps the environment and helps save a few bucks reducing energy costs. These I enjoy because if you have ever been in the Concrete Jungle, it is nice to escape to an Oasis not named Central Park. (And for you non-New Yorkers', Central Park is not the only park in the city, even though it feels that way.)

Anyway, check out the examples below! From traditional high pitched roofs to roof-top gardens and so on, this architectural feature has changed dramatically. Still providing the basic and essential function of protecting the inside from the elements, roofs have been stretched in their functionality to maximize its potential. Whether it is for a luxurious purpose, or environmental one, roofs really do bring the house to life. Below you will see a variety of materials and design concepts. Again, let your imagination run wild! What roof would you like to cap your house? Just like your imagination, Architecture is endless, and trust me, you can use almost any material to build, including tires!! Which roof below do you think is made from recycled tires?! ENJOY!!














Friday, May 24, 2013

#TheTakover I

Hey guys! Excited to release my first official post of my "Project Takeover" since I released it last month. I have been getting some awesome submissions from all over the place. From Minneapolis, Austin and even Barbados!! Keep your submissions coming, remember, email them to to see them uploaded on my blog and to get your complimentary 1st Edition "Can I Live?" memorabilia. Also, make sure you follow me on Instagram to stay updated on all the things going on with my movement (can_i_live_12). This project is mostly for outside people sending me photos, but my account includes my personal photos involving #ProjectTakeOver.

If this is the first time you have heard about the project, I posted the link below to the original and official post when I released it last month!

The image was sent to me initially from Baylor University when I released the project. I didn't know, but it is very common for students on campus to use chalk as a way to promote student events etc. I liked the photo because it highlights the student-athletes on campus by lighting their tower green when the school's teams win during the week. It is tough being a student-athlete and there is defitinitely still a tension out there across the country between the regular student body and the athletes. No one really appreciates the life-style unless you lived it, or have close friends who do it.

A week a later, the student who wrote "Can I Live?" went back to see if it was still up there, and he was blown away by the response. I was, because it showed me that everybody has an interpretation of the phrase and what it means to them! As you can, the way was covered by many responses. Some of them were comical like "for the puppies," other were more serious by incorporating religion, and others saw it as a cry for help by showing much love and support on the wall. 

I usually don't comment on photo submissions at length but This one still blows me away, and it shows me we all can relate in someway! I am excited to release my newest project, because it will definitely demand attention!

Major shout out to the fam out in Barbados! My boy Tj and Rorrey living it up in paradise. Get ready, the Reunion coming soon!

Shout out to my boy Neyson linking me to his friend Norma! "Can I Live?" has been taking over IG! 

Summer is around the corner, and for those of you lucky enough to live by a beach definitely enjoy it!! (Santa Monica)

Oh snap! Yup, we mobile now too!! "Can I Live?" riding dirty in Austin, TX! (On a side note, I need bigger stickers!! lol)

Congrats to everybody who graduated the year! It is only the beginning and there is still a lot of hard work to be done before you can just lay back and chill. I know all students can relate to this one. Being stuck in a library studying all night! lol

Friday, May 17, 2013

Perception; Interpretation: The Nolli (Our Life) Plan

My blog covers a lot of topics in various areas. Music, politics, sexuality, sports, architecture etc, but even though I talk about anything and everything, there is a purpose, or what I like to say: "there is a method behind the madness." "Can I Live?" has morphed and transformed over and over again, but that is okay, because that is where I wanted it to be. Perception and Interpretation is what my movement is all about. The fact that we all posses the ability to doing something great, and leave a legacy behind is incredible. Everytime I am on the bus or out and about, I really do wonder about peoples' story. What is their mission? Purpose? How do they view themselves? Both on an individual and whole level.

When designing the structure of my blog I didn't know what direction to go on. Your impression and reputation are 2 of the biggest things I believe people should always have right, because at the end of the day we don't have our resumes stapled to our foreheads. I wanted to do something architecturally related because that is a big part of me. So I wanted MY blog to reflect ME and give a lasting impression. Long story short, I gravitated to "The Nolli Plan."

In short, Giambattista Nolli created "The Nolli Plan" when Pope Benedict XIV commissioned him to do the project to help him create the demarcations of Rome's 14 districts. Nolli used a similar format as surveyor Bufalini did in his 1551 map. The major differences though are the position in which the city is oriented (East) and how he interpreted open spaces.

You might think I'm talking out of my ass, but there is a deep connection on how we live our lives. 2 men took the same thing, and produced 2 different outcomes. They interpreted Rome in a different manner, but they both produced long living images. What image do you want to leave behind? For example, why did Nolli choose black and white for his map. Do the white spaces represent positive spaces? Do the black spaces represent negative spaces? Are the black spaces open, or closed? Or does black mean positive and open, and white mean negative and closed? Don't get all tied up trying to figure it out, because the best and only answer is that there isn't one. Just like there is not a specific way to live life, this plan does not really have a specific way to read. Take it for what it is and run with it.

I have had a lot of people message me and tell me they love the look of my blog, but are confused on what it is, and it is really amusing that I've had my blog for 10 months and I have never described the image. But now you have an idea. That is why my background uses the image above, because it is just a simple and effective message of how I live my life and view the world. And through this journey I just want to inspire everybody, especially the younger generations because soon enough we will be the latest CEO's, professional athletes, political leaders etc of the world. So how will you design Your (nolli) Plan? What does your "nolli" plan look like so far?

"Can I Live?" in short is a hustle, mind-set, attitude and belief that our interpretation and perception of life is unique, and so should be our journeys. Stop trying to live somebody else's life, because you will miss out on your own, and stop worrying about everybody else and what they are doing, because soon enough you'll lose sight about caring about one of the most important things in life: yourself! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Babies and Memories: 1 year later

Did it really happen? It is one of those questions a lot of my friends, including I, ask ourselves about college. And for me, its even a further memory because literally, I am so far away from where I went to school. As the class of 2013 sit patiently in their seats waiting for their names to be called, I am in Los Angeles reminiscing about my last week in college. The biggest thing I took away from college was "where" I was graduating from. A lot of family and friends would remind me throughout my 4 years how significant my degree would be, but it didn't hit me until I listened to all the distinguished speakers and crossed that stage.

"Holy Crap I am an Ivy League Graduate!!"

That went through my mind when I saw my parents after the ceremony. For me it was a huge stepping stone due to where I came from, both finically and culturally. Not in my wildest dreams did I think I would be "Ivy League" worthy, but somehow someway I kept my head above water and crossed that stage. The 4 years had its struggles but I wouldn't change anything. A big reason why I didn't get overhyped in where I went to school was because I was too busy either with football commitments, homework and Architecture work. To be honest, for me, the New York I know exists from 110th to 125th, between Broadway and Amsterdam, and the football stadium at 218th and Broadway. I was just so busy and distracted with things sometimes I forgot where I lived and where I went to school. I tried hard not to let the whole "Ivy" thing intimidate me. I just saw it as school, and after it was all said and done, I can say I learned more outside the classroom than inside.

People always ask me what is it that makes an Ivy League education so special and expensive. Personally, it's the students you go to class with, and in some cases the Professors who teach the class. It is not so much what they are teaching, but who is teaching. For example, I had an Art History teacher who missed half the semester because he was being invited by museums all over the world to speak at special exhibits and events. This was sophomore year, and from that point on I realized that some of these professors are legit lol. It was very common for my own professors to use their own books, and other material from fellow faculty, which at times where professors I previously had. But hands down it is the peers in your classes. I can honestly say that some of these students will be millionaires before they are 30, and that the next greatest Social Media site, app, movie, book, invention, design will come from one of the students sitting right next to me in CC, Music Hum, Art Hum or pretty much every class I had. 

Exactly a year later and all I can say about my college career is "babies and memories." I met some of my best friends, future business partners and rejuvenated my ambition and drive in college. In High School I didn't feel any competition or intensity. It was such a small bubble, even though we had 4,000 students, but it was small in the sense of goals, ambition and drive. There were some smart people at my school, but I only measured myself against my brother because his potential is on a whole different level. At Columbia, you can pretty much say that about everybody who walks on that campus, and that is the difference between Ivy League schools and other colleges around the country. At my high school, kids dropped out all the time, were caught up in chasing girls rather their grades, girls got pregnant etc I love my High School to death, but at the time it was not a place revered as a school to get a good education. Anyway, the 180 degree flip I saw in culture at Columbia opened my eyes. I wish everybody can experience what I did at school, because it really does put your life in perspective and is a good measuring stick. When the President of the school and my Dean started listing the statistics on how many living Columbia alum are their in the world, and that we are next generation of that family, that is when it hit me: like I have accomplished something significant and it it is something I will allays take to heart and be thankful for!!

This past year has been hard, it's not the way I planned it, but nothing ever is in life. But I can say I am in a good place, not so much financially (which right now is not really my motivation), but rather my state of my mind and ambition is where I want it to be. I am working on incredible projects with incredible people, and my blog is at a place where I never thought it would be possible to reach. And the scary part is that it's just the beginning of what is about to happen in my life. It excites me, but I know there is a lot of hard work ahead of me. Even though I am 3,000 miles away, I still wake up to the same measuring stick and remind myself about the opportunities that do exist out there in life. It doesn't matter about what your age , what education you receive, it boils down to a mind set and work ethic. I am just very blessed that my education has uplifted me to a unique level, and puts me ahead of the curve in a lot of areas. 

To my friends in the Class of 2013, let me leave you with the 2 songs that played as I walked off that campus. Congrats to everybody and wish you guys the best!!