Past Hokudai/Cast Entries

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Hokudai/Cast 65: Architect and Archangels

Click on the title to hear Hokudai/Cast 65
Click on the player at left to Listen to these Notes.

This week at Hokuriku University, students spent time not going to class. It's a new innovation here called Liberal Arts Week. Students attend different lectures, read books, go for long walks and learn about subjects not on their normal class schedule. One class went to an architect's office to learn about becoming an architect, what is the most difficult part of being an architect, and what is most enjoyable. 
The word 'architect' is a combination of two Greek words, 'arch' and 'tekton'. Arch means 'chief,' or major person, or leader.Tekton means 'builder.' Naturally, an architect is the chief builder. Other words that have 'arch' in them are arch-enemy (the main enemy), and arch-angel (the most important angel).
The students discovered that this architect enjoys all parts of his job: from thinking about the design, discovering new ways to build, and watching his buildings being built. The most difficult part is negotiating the prices of everything - from the price of wood he uses to the amount his clients pay him. 

The architect showed the students models of the homes he has built and described the reasons why. For example, he often uses large windows so people in the houses can see a good view. But he also uses smaller windows so they can communicate with people outside. The main feature in many of his houses is communication: there are few walls, walls having openings, and the flow of air and peolple is unimpeded. Openness and full of light. That describes this architect's designs.

What does 'unimpeded' mean? Let's look: impede means 'block or stop.' Un means 'not' so unimpede means 'not blocked.' The flow of air in this architect's homes is not blocked. It flows easily from room to room. By the way, part of the word 'impede' is 'ped or pede.' This means 'foot.' 'impede' meant to tie a person's feet together so he couldn't move. He was blocked from moving. ('unimpeded' was first used by Shakespeare.)

The music is by Bob Maus and is called Next Step. It can be found at

Additional Music is by Kanazawa Indies band Manzi.

Next week: A CM producer and the End of Dead Men Don't Travel.
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Mirai Sozo is the School of Future Learning at Hokuriku University. The primary focus is on language (English and Chinese) and management (hospital administration, sports, and business).
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