TREK 2006: Amsterdam: XL
Music might seem basic at first glance. Nearly all modern rock & roll is derived from the Blues, which is primarily based on notes from the pentatonic scale. These notes are then arranged by each Musician using elements of rhythm, harmony, melody, tempo, and other dynamics in an attempt to create a unique composition. These elements are further embellished using fundamentals like progressions, turnarounds, breakdowns, relative minors and odd blue note. I would argue that the Musician is to the Blues song what the Designer is to the City.
There are infinite numbers of traits that one could use to classify a city as successful. In this case, it is not based upon population growth rates, economical prowess, average human life span, environmental awareness, annual income per capita, or any other such quantitative measurements. Rather, the basis for this comparison relates to energy. A well-designed city will eventually result in a place interesting because of its diversified population, interesting exploration of architecture both indoor and out, livability, beautiful spaces, an acceptable standard of living and mainly an energy on the streets that keeps the city in a constant state of welcomed change. This ever-evolving urban renewal draws people to the city and keeps them there, keeping things interesting and allowing that place to reinvent itself within a framework that has already been established.
To investigate this (undeniably qualitative) hypothesis, I propose to visit a city that undoubtedly beholds the energy for which we long. A city world-renown for its progressive thinking in all fields of design, from Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Planning, Urban Design, continuing through all forms of design media, including Graphic Design, Industrial Design, and the Arts. I propose a TREK to Amsterdam. I propose the use of modern communication tools: interactive panoramic photography; a soundtrack that works; and most importantly, video utilizing time-lapse photography to provide insight into how a space really functions, thus defining why it may or may not be successful.