Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mass Customization

One of my classes today was design computing seminar; the class consists of lecturers, including us MS students, speaking on current research and exploration in the design computing field. Last week in class I gave an hour long presentation! The talk was on Mass Customization: What does this mean for design. I was nervous for it because I am not much of one for public speaking
, and while our class is pretty small I was afraid I would not be able to deliver the information in a clear way. I think it went really well. It was fun looking into mass customization and specifically its application to architecture. While I am not yet at the point of deciding upon a thesis focus, this topic keeps on popping up in my readings and it has been inspirational investigating it further. As I see it, there is a lot of potential for modular fabrication and mass customization in architecture.

Here are just a few slides from the presentation.

Image 1, NikeID. The next pair of Nikes I get are going to be customized like these!
Image 2. Helios House, a green gas station that uses modularization and concepts of mass customization in design and construction process. Office dA architecture, Los Angeles, California.
Image 3. FlatPak clients can customize their own home based on a 8' wide one story high wall module.
Image 4. Example of a built FlatPak house, Aspen, Colorado.

Delicious Fried Rice

I have successfully made Asian food again! I was about to give up on the whole region of cuisines thinking it is better left to a restaurant. Usually any Chinese food I make is worse and more expensive than what you can get at a typical restaurant. I have a Chinese cookbook and have searched recipes online (I know you may think that is where the problem lies) and my conclusion is there is something (probably basic) that they are leaving out and makes it difficult for the American home cook. So what is my secret this time? Kimchee! I know, I know, Kimchee is infact Korean not to mention the smelliest thing you have probably ever had in your refrigerator- but even if you are wary of this pickled cabbage treat please don't stop reading here. Kimchee Fried Rice is delicious, and mine is just as delicious as what I have had at a restaurant. When the Kimchee is cooked the flavors mellow out. Instead of the sharp vinegary taste it has when eaten cold, it turns into a crunchy, spicy and all around full flavored addition to otherwise pretty standard fried rice.

So here is the recipe:

Kimchee Fried Rice

vegetable and/or peanut oil (I usually use a combination)
4 cups of cooked rice (best if day old rice*)
3 eggs lightly beaten
5 green onions chopped
about 3 cups Kimchee

-Heat 4 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet on medium high heat.
-Add in eggs and scramble until partially cooked, remove from pan.
-Add 2 more tablespoons of oil into the pan. Add rice. Let fry, turning over occasionally, 5-10 minutes. You want the rice to look crispy and ready to eat, it won't really crisp up after this. Salt to taste.
-Add green onions, let stir fry 1 minute.
-Add Kimchee and some of the juice too, the rice should be red. Add eggs back in and break them up as stirring. Let fry another minute or two.

Get ready to eat!

*I have used fresh rice successfully just let it cool to room temperature first and you may have to adjust frying time accordingly.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Adventures

As many of you already know, or you may have noticed -maybe by the hardwoods underneath the Christmas tree in the holiday post, Mrs. Johnson is no longer conducting her adventures in bridgetown!  Yes that is right, we have relocated- to Seattle.  So, you may wonder, has this had to do with the huge gap in blogging?  Not really, but I have been awfully busy lately.  Back in September Mr. Johnson and I moved to Seattle so that I could go to grad school.  I am getting my M.S. in Design Computing in Architecture at the University of Washington.  Mr. Johnson left his economic consulting job to start his own business in software development.  It has been fun, a new adventure together.  It is cool that we are both in a position to take risks and get more out of our education and careers.

So school, I guess I  am a Husky now, but what an amazing season to be a Duck!  Too bad Auburn in the last two seconds, but I still think we made the exciting plays of the game.

*This is the wallpaper photo on my awesome new laptop (purchased for school)

Monday, January 10, 2011

BCS Championship!

Go Ducks!
Can't wait for the game...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Light Rail

The light rail line opened on our wedding day, interestingly enough.  Yet I had not been to see the station at the airport which I contributed to the design of.  I helped with this project over the span of several summers as an intern at Hewitt Architects.  As a fun winter afternoon adventure, Mr. Johnson and I rode the light rail to the airport and back again. It was a beautiful day with even a little snow on the ground as we approached the airport.  It was interesting to see the station built after seeing the various design stages throughout the process.

And here are two photos of the early-stage physical model that I built during the internship.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful holidays, I know I did.  This year we spent Christmas with my family on Whidbey Island it was calm and fun and so much good food- just what I needed.

Before Christmas we took a trip to Portland- by the way we are no longer in Bridgetown- more about that in an upcoming post.  That was fun, Christmas shopping -downtown Portland is so great and there is always the Rack (where Mr. Johnson and I got sneak peaks at our gifts to come), holiday time with his family, as well as saying hi to a bunch of friends.  After that start to the season, we went to little Bavaria with my family and our good family friends.  Oh Leavenworth.... according to Mr Johnson it is up there in the top cities he has visited only sharing its place with Hong Kong!  It was snowy, beautifully decorated, full of kitschy Christmas shops, and Bavarian beer.

Then it was Christmas.  Christmas eve we went into Seattle to the beautiful and impressive St. Mark's Cathedral for midnight mass.  I always enjoy Christmas eve services and this one was very special because it was so late and very ceremonial.  Christmas morning was full of opening gifts and delicious breakfast followed by a slightly odd but exciting tradition of road bowling with members of the neighborhood.  And of course more food. 

And 2011....
We welcomed in the new years with my brother and his friend in a very fun fashion.  Starting off with this Portuguese dish Clams na Cataplana.  Isn't it pretty?  Both the clams and the copper cataplana dish?

Well I hope you had a great season with family and friends!