I’d like to share with you today my experience with a new approach to building a house. It’s called Envelop Building. Essentially, what it means is that as you are building a house, you try to leave the landscape feature on the land, especially the vegetation in the original condition. So what you are not doing is the usual practice of land scraping. By which I mean literally scraping or cleaning the land of any and all the original plants. Why is the approach called Envelop Building? Because instead of clearing everything away, you let your original landscape elements envelop or surround your house. Let the vegetation physical features such as hills and slopes or interesting rock formations, constituted a significant part of the character of the building sight. The design of the house should take these features of the property into account. Actually integrating your original wild landscape with a house is not that new. The famous American architect Wright was doing it about 65 years ago. So we are in good company. Envelop Building is not as easy as it sounds though. It’s not just that you build your house and leave the land alone. By building, you are already damaging the original landscape. But as architects, we should try to work with environment, not against it. A creative architect can find ways to incorporate natural landscape into the overall design. For example, why used the massive boulders on the side of one of the most famous houses as part of the house foundation?
Today we are going to talk about copyrighting works of art. A copyright is a proof of authorship. It protects artists against someone else using their work without their permission. It’s important to remember that United States Copyright Law protects artistic expressions such as paintings, but does not protect any ideas, concept, procedure or technique. In all the United States Copyright Law, Artists needed to take several steps to obtain copyright protection. The law as changed in 1978 and again 1989. For artists the current law means everything they create is automatically and immediately copyrighted. They don’t have to file any documents and under the protection of the Copyright Law, any recreation of their original work such as prints are also covered by the artists copyright. Further more, any changes artists made to their original works are covered. The Law also makes it clear that when someone buys the work of art, they are not allowed to destroy or change that work of art. Artists keep the copyright even after selling the work of art. The purchaser may buy the physical work, but the right to make prints or copies is still the artists’ and buyers does not automatically have any right to make and sell prints or copies of work. Although works are automatically copyrighted, artists are encouraged to register their work with United States Copyright Office. Registering art provides additional legal protection and also gives the people around the world the ability to approach the honors about licensing and purchasing right.
Today let’s talk about synesthesia, that’s a brain condition in which a person’s sense are combined in a unusual ways. For example, a person with synesthesia may taste sounds. To them, a musical note may taste like a pickle. Many people who have synesthesia experience intense colors when they hear specific words. For example, they might see a flash of pink every time they hear the word “jump”. For a long time, many scientists were unconvinced that synesthesia really exists. So in the 1990s an experiment was done to find our for sure. Two groups were studied. One was a group of people who claim to experience colors when they heard certain words. The other was a controlled group, people who experience nothing out of the ordinary when hearing words. Each group was asked to describe the colors they thought of when they heard a list of spoken words. When the test was repeated, the difference between the two groups was startling. After just a week, the controlled group gave the same answers only a third of the time. But even a year and a half later, the synesthetic group gave the same answers 92% of the time. Clearly, this is not just a matter of memory. Scientists are still not sure just why synesthesia happens. But certain drugs are reportedly able to produce it artificially. So we all probably have brains with connections that could synesthesia. It’s just the connections normally we used in that way.