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  • On a recent trip to Thailand, we were advised by the Healthy Travel Clinic to get malarial meds if were were going to the northern part of the country near the borders. We were indeed going north, but on advise from a friend who lives in Bangkok, we decided not to pay for those meds, and we're still alive since our return. However, our Thai friend and myself attracted lots of mosquito bites, in between permethrin treated clothes and 100% DEET sprays. One thought came to mind, and that is "if we annihilate the mosquito population, it would rid this world of many life-threatening diseases". Any objections? Of course, the whole 'playing god' issue comes into play. But what do mosquitos do that are beneficial to any species? The only things I've come up with so far is that they are food to spiders, dragonflies, lizards, mosquito hawks, and certain bug-eating plants. Aside from that they are carriers of death, pain and annoyance.

    With all these deadly diseases that mosquitos carry, it's very clear we need to get to the source of the problem. Rather than spending billions on trying to find treatments and prevention, I say attack the source of it.

    This is a hard problem to find a cost-effective solution to.

  • The projects have been chosen. We are now accepting applications from Charlottesville, Virginia-area designers who would like to participate in the First Annual Design Marathon and donate 12 hours of professional expertise to meet the needs of the ten community organizations.

    Each individual designer must apply. Selected designers will be placed on the project they are best suited for. Project teams will not necessarily be made of of individuals from the same firm. If you are selected to be a designer your firm will be acknowledged as a sponsor of the event.

    The Selected NonProfits for 2008:

    • Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Network
    • Children, Youth and Family Services
    • Greene County Ruritans
    • Music Resource Center
    • Rivanna Conservation Society
    • Rockfish Sanctuary
    • Rockfish Valley Foundation
    • Service Dogs of Virginia
    • Shelter For Help In Emergency
    • Special Olympics of Virginia

    Visit the 2008 Design Marathon website to learn more:

    Alloy Workshop is an architecture, construction, and graphic design studio based in Charlottesville, Virginia. We started the Design Marathon ball rolling and hope it continues to gain momentum. Please help us get the word out!

  • Twist: the way I see it

    Environment, Industrial Design


    Imagine the place where you spend most of your time each day. where is it? - School

    Imagine it as you most want it to be.

    1.What is your #1 vision for change that will make it that way? To make our school a place where students can interact to each other regardless of majors. In my opinion, the way the school spaces out each mojor in different buildings is not sufficient for the interaction between students in different majors.

    1. After your #1 thing happens, how will everyone benefit? Students will be able to hang out more often and share the information about what they are studying in their major. I think this interaction will give students a more wider point of view on design study.
    2. Give some example of what you can do (on your own/with a group) to make your vision a reality. Design social places like a cafeteria or small campas that students form different majors can easily access.

    Imagine your neighborhod the way you most want it to be.

    1.What is your #1 vision for change that will make it that way? To make my neighborhod a more secure place at night time so that people can walk around even after sunset.

    1. After your #1 thing happens, how will your neighborhood benefit? People don't feel fear of being robbed or anything while they are out at night time.
    2. Give some example of what you can do (on your own/with a group) to make your vision a reality. Put more street lumps to light up streets. Have policemen patrol more often to prevent crimes.

    Imagine your country th...

  • Love3_132_

    Imagine the place where you spend most of your time each day.

    I want to be in the place where can enhance my body and soul.

    1. I think we all must believe in ourselves that we can have better life.
    2. If we believe in what we believe in, people’s mind and behavior will change. This will make different future.
    3. I guess having religion, or having something to believe in are important.

    Imagine your neighborhood the way you most want it to be.

    I believe in honest and compromising neighborhood.

    1. I think it’s critical to talk with your neighbor in good mannerism.
    2. People will start to respect each other.
    3. Give greetings to neighbors.

    Imagine your country the way you most want it to be.

    Happier Family, Healthier Community

    1. Well-taught education from family and school that will not only make a person’s knowledge grow but also improve personality of a person (responsibility, love, etc).
    2. If people learn to love each other and have responsibility, then there will be less sad consequences such as immoral acts, suicide, or murder, etc. This result will make healthier community and nation, moreover, the world.
    3. The least thing I can do is love my family first and care for them. Talk about my problems and don’t let it destruct yourself because it will hurt people around you as well. Then start to care about my neighborhood and friends that at least saying hello is important.

    Imagine the world the way you most want it to be.

    I want the world to be in the place that has natur...

  • Rotors_177_

    I sure could use a wind tunnel right about now. Anyone out there have a spare one in their backyard? The trouble with trying to test a wind turbine on the cheap is that you'll continuously be frustrated with your results. You'll keep saying, "If only I had a _." Our team has been at the point several times over the past couple months -- so I've made the executive decision to fork over the cash for a much needed data acquisition system. Now, if only I could source a wind tunnel...

    Wind turbine improvements this week include the addition of "caps" on the blades (see above photo). The fabulous Charlie Snyder retrofitted our turbine friend with three plywood disks that will help force the wind to blow through the blades. High School (!!) kids tested out this concept back in August with promising results. Regardless, next steps for the turbine (besides more testing) include analyzing more rotor configurations based on the test results from two weeks ago. Planning on more prototyping sessions in the upcoming weekends.

    Highlights for the wind turbine:

    • Ralf Hotchkiss joined us in today's session. Ralf is the founder of Whirlwind Wheelchair, a local organization that's been generating wheelchairs for the developing world for two decades.
    • We've also had another fabulous organization express interest in the turbine design. Could possibly be tested out in Africa in the next few months.
  • SuMin's Twist, change

    Community, Environmental Design

    The #1 thing that I want to change is that we are going through global warming. It is very important issue because if we don’t prepare and protect our nature, something we never imagined will come and destroy everything we’ve got. A lot of people are doing practices, and develop lots of new applications; ways to produce materials which doesn’t have to do with anything that is harmful to the nature. But I don’t think those are actually working effectively well enough. Even we try to reduce the amount of usage of plastics, for example, it still is very actively used in the market. So, I’d like to work on that to save the world.

  • SuMin's Twist, World

    Community, Environmental Design


    I want to discard passport and let people travel all around the world as they wish. By traveling different places, cultures, and races, traveler can learn so much that can’t be taught by the book. It will expand their thinking process, values, and will increase their maturity level. Life is just short to just live in one place; there are so many things out there that can’t be imagined. Traveling the world will educate oneself by their journey. To do it, make countries all over the world sign the agreements which will let anyone enter and travel wherever they want. But possibly make exceptions for criminals, terrorists.

  • SuMin's Twist, Country

    Community, Environmental Design


    I see a lot of illegal immigrants living in the states. Because they are not legally residents, they can’t get insurances, other many health services, and so much more. Without insurance, it is expensive to go to hospital even when you are sick. So, I saw many news dealing with this issue whether they have to get treated or not. But I think anyone should get treated when they are sick even if they are not legalized residents and has no insurance. So to do it, I want to make a law where people have to only pay about 3% of their income to get some medical treatment instead of paying much for insurance.Everyone in the nation will be benefit, whether they have money or not, by the law because it will provide medical treatments to everyone equally.

  • SuMin's Twist, neighborhood

    Community, Environmental Design


    I want my neighborhood to have best environment in learning. A lot of kids are living around my place. They gather around to play basketball together and play in the playground. It is wonderful to play and socially connected with other people. However, learning new things and how to express themselves is also important. Therefore, I'd like to create an art exhibitions, galleries, and art learning center in the neighborhood. With these companies, it will increase neighbor's aesthetic sense, and to be more educated with all fields. Galleries, exhibitions, and art learning center will teach them how to explore their ideas through art, and to be more creative.

  • SuMin's Twist, Community

    Community, Environmental Design


    I spend most of my time in my room, and my #1 vision for change is to make it more comfortable, clean, creative, and loving environment. Having sweet home is essential to everyone as it is where you can escape from all the stresses which you get from outside of the world. By having loving, creative, and comfortable place, you can be extremely relaxed, and be emotionally healthy. Home is important as it can define one's personality or character. So, having sweet, healthy home is beneficial to everyone. Also, I think home completes with having great family with strongly connected with you, and through family these loving, creative, and comfortable environment is established. So, I'd like to make some kind of easy installation, for people who live far away from their home, that looks like their room in back home to remind their real home and stay connected. Installation's design can be customized by the users.

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