Reading Summary 3: Making Bathrooms More ‘Accommodating’

The main purpose of this article is to argue about the setup of bathrooms. The author feels that the terms for entering bathrooms have been fixed. Bathrooms are clearly marked men and women but the author feels that it’s unfair especially for transgender people. The author also feels that if a mistake is made by a male of female and the wrong restroom is entered, it can put the person at risk to discomfort or even real trouble. Throughout the article, the author uses examples from different cases that have come about from the controversy of bathroom usage, specifically transgender cases. The author argues on the side that is for changing the bathroom laws and for bathrooms to become more accommodating to the transgender community. Bathrooms usage laws have been a controversy for many years because, “The problem is that this vastly oversimplifies the experience of transgender people and the biology of chromosomes, which can appear in other combinations.”

Reading Summary 4: His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society

The main purpose of this article is to argue for gender neutral design. The argument was made by one of the United States’ leading textile designers. The designer sees “gender-neutral design as the next frontier in the workplace.” The author starts off by stating, “We are living in a time of gender revolution. Traditional masculine and feminine roles are being challenged through advances in science and technology, and by cultural shifts stemming from the evolution of sexual politics and media depictions of gender.” The author believes, “Identity is no longer clearly defined as female or male, but by increasingly visible manifestations of sexuality or lack thereof.” She also believes that some of the today’s landscape are still designed in a Modernism point of view. Modernism is defined as a movement shaped by a predominantly male perspective. To help build her argument, the author uses examples such as the LGBTQ movement, workplace hierarchies, and bathroom setups.

Reading Summary 6: Better Online Living Through Content Moderation

The main purpose of this article was to teach about content moderation. Content moderation can be achieved through content control features. “Content control features — block and ignore functions, content/trigger warnings, blocklists and privacy options — are valuable to people who need to moderate their time online.” Control features are used as a way for people to either avoid people or certain types of posts that they may dislike. The article argues that using these controls can make the online experience more enjoyable. Control features are looked at in both a positive and negative light. They can be positive because a person has the choice to block thing that makes them upset or uncomfortable that they shouldn’t be forced to endure seeing. They can be negative because the person using these features can be judged as weak or too sensitive. This article focuses on three areas to help build a better understanding of content moderation and why it can be positive: 1) Computer-Chair Psychology, 2) Threatening Legal Recourse, and 3) Moving Towards a More Personal Agency over Online Experiences.

Reading Summary 5: Color Walking

The purpose of this short article was to teach us about color walks and to tell us about the authors’ own experience with color walks. Color walks were created by William Burroughs. “Back in the day, William Burroughs dreamed up a tool to inspire his students: color walks.” The authors of this article came across the experiment while working on the colors show and decided to give the experiment a try and write about their experience. In their trial of the color walk the chose to be flexible and switch from color to color. The authors stated, “We first ran across color walks in this blog post from Sal Randolph, which features two great quotes from Burroughs: “Color: William Burroughs Walking on Color”.

The instructions on how to do a color walk are simple. To perform a color walk, “Just walk out your door, pick a color that catches your eye, and watch your surroundings pop as you follow the color from object to object.” In this article, the color walk started at WYNC, in lower Manhattan on a Sunday afternoon. The first color they started out with was blue. Blues led to pinks which led to violets. Their color walk took approximately 14 minutes. At the end of their walk the described the walk saying, “…the colors hung in our brains and eyes.” They also stated, “We walked away seeing a world brimming over with colors: the rusty orange of a rooftop water tower in the sun, a bright blue mohawk, and the humble yellowy greens of a new leaf all jumped into our eyes.” The authors provided a short timeline of their color walk, which included pictures, using Timeline JS.

At the end of the article, the authors offered their own advice for others interested in trying the color walk experiment. They provided three pieces of advice. The first, “Give yourself an hour of uninterrupted time, no commutes, no errands, just eye time.”  Their second piece of advice stated, “Pick a color, or let a color pick you–follow the one that makes your heart go thump-thump.” The final piece of advice that the authors gave stated, “If you get lost, pick another color. If you get really lost, you’re on the right track.”

Reading Summary 1

The main purpose of this article was to point out a physical aspect of segregation and discrimination. This physical aspect that was focused on was architecture. Even though segregation ended, architecture was used as another way to mask the secret wants of a separated population. In this article, Schindler explores 5 parts of architectural exclusion: the theory, the practice, the brief history of exclusion by law, the architectural exclusion in the court, and the problems and solutions.

One example used to prove the main point of the argument was the bridge building in New York by Robert Moses. His way of keeping segregation was through building low-hanging overpasses. One in particular that he built was a bridge that leads to Jones Beach, which was purposely built low so that public transportation, such as buses, could not pass. The fact that buses could not pass through meant that people who relied on them, specifically poor people and people of color, could not go to Jones Beach.

Another example used in the article was the use of highways. In Palo Alto, a highway was built that separated the upper-class West Palo Alto from the low-income East Palo Alto. This highway made it difficult for pedestrians to travel from one side to the other and made it difficult for cars to turn left. This highway had a high rate of car and pedestrian accidents and because of the lack of safety, it made it more difficult for people to access the area.

Schindler pointed out many of the physical aspects of architectural exclusion but she also pointed out the aspects of legal exclusion. She goes on the talk about how forms of architectural exclusion are overlooked by law makers. She points out how racial zoning, racially restrictive covenants, and exclusionary zoning were laws that were used manipulatively to gain the desired outcome of keeping out undesirable people out of certain locations. Social norms were also used to further the exclusion. In legal exclusion, legal tools are used to exclude people and in architectural exclusion physical aspects of the built environment are used.

In Schindler’s opinion, there are two reasons why it is hard to find architectural exclusion illegal. “The first is the failure of courts, legislatures, and citizens to recognize that architecture regulates…The second is that, even if challengers and decision makers come around to understanding the idea of architecture as regulation, our existing jurisprudence is insufficient to invalidate288 this form of exclusion.289” (Schindler, 1991) She goes on to further explain and give examples of architectural exclusion that are overlooked.

In the ending of the article, the problems and solution are discussed. Even though some problems of the built environment are considered “legacy problems”, there is not much that can be done about some of the architectural exclusion. Some laws were repealed when it comes to exclusion by law, but it had not effect on the architect built while those laws were still in place. Not much can be changed about the past but Schindler feels that if awareness can be brought to the general public, a change can be made for the future and eventually architectural exclusion can come to an end.