DB: The aesthetics of architecture within a society not only reveal the communities interpretation of what is considered beautiful or pleasing in appearance but also differentiates between what is considered sacred or important. The symbolic significance of aesthetics in colors, designs and a place of residence can be indicative of socioeconomic standing is within society and what the community values. Jodhpur, India is well known for the beautiful wave of blue houses that dominate the landscape of a rather dry region. However, it is believed that these blue houses originally were the result of ancient caste traditions.
Brahmins (who were at the very top of the caste system) housed themselves in these “Brahmin Blue” homes to distinguish themselves from the members of other castes. Now that the Indian government officially prohibits the caste system, the use of the color blue has become more widespread. Yet Jodhpur is one of the only cities in India that stands steadfast to its widespread aesthetics obsession with the color blue which is making it increasingly unique, creating a new sense of communal solidarity among its residence.
Questions to Consider: How has color influenced the cultural geography of this area? How are the aesthetics of this community symbolic of India’s traditional past, present and possible future?
Tags: South Asia, culture, housing, landscape, unit 3 culture.
TED Talks Set aside the politics: Data shows that climate change is happening, measurably, now. And as Vicki Arroyo says, it's time to prepare our homes and cities for the new climate, with its increased risk of flooding, drought and uncertainty.
I recently co-wrote an editorial (download the full version here) with Mike Batty (UCL CASA) in which we explored some of the current issues surrounding the visualisation of large urban datasets.
An unfinished skyscraper occupied by squatters is a symbol of Venezuela’s financial crisis in the 1990s, state control of the economy and a housing shortage.
This skyscraper that was once a symbol of wealth, in an incredible paradigm shift, has now become is occupied by squatters. The lack of a vibrant formal economy and more formal housing leads to a lack of suitable options for many urban residents--especially with problems in the rural countryside. A complex web of geographic factors needs to be explained to understand this most fascinating situation. The video link "Squatters on the Skyline" embedded in the article is a must see.
Rising numbers of people of Indian origin born in the West are moving to the country their parents left decades ago in search of opportunity and a cultural connection, reports the BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan.
The Brazilian government's geographic department (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística-roughly equivalent to the U.S. Census Bureau) has compiled an fantastic interactive world factbook (available in English and Spanish as well as Portuguese). The ease of navigation allows the user to conduct a specific search of simply explore demographic, economic, environmental and development data on any country in the world.
The viral hit isn't a fluke. South Korea has been cultivating a global music business for decades.
You may already now that I've been fascinating watching the cultural diffusion of Gangnam Style throughout the world as mentioned previously. This NPR podcast looks at the economic infrastructure of the South Korean music industry that explains in greater detail how this video went viral. The distribution of this video is dependent in part on the technological sophistication and economic strategies of South Korea to associate their brands with cultural cachet.
Tags: popular culture, industry, diffusion, globalization, technology, economic, unit 6 industry.
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