In this “Tapestry of Space: Domestic Architecture and Underground Communities in Margaret Morton’s Photography of a Forgotten New York” discussed by Irina Nersessova, she discusses how the architectural structures and homelessness have become an intertwined haven for those who are classified as homeless or the less fortunate. In this article, it is evident that homelessness is a significant problem in cities around the world, but the one that Morton focuses on through photographs is New York City. Morton tries her best to capture pictures of what it looks and feels like to be homeless from a homeless person’s perspective. One great description of a place that a homeless calls a home throughout this article is the underground tunnel in New York City, which is discussed through older photographs. An excellent point that Morton makes about why the homeless choose to live in the tunnels is that the homeless dwell in underground tunnels in New York to escape the bombard of the media and their interpretations on their situations.
The misunderstanding of homelessness is stressed throughout this text. The areas of the city that tourists would consider remote areas of wasted space would never understand the physiological connection that those who live there have than those who don’t. The residents who live in the tunnel consider the darkness to be safe as quoted by one the residents who Nersessova interviewed, “The absolute darkness of the tunnel prevents danger from entering it, which explains how it is possible to have the highest feeling of safety in a place that is perceived as most dangerous.” Although the middle and upper class would never do so due to their fear of darkness or a dim lit area, which is why it creates a safe haven for those who live there.
The residents who have made the choice to live underground demonstrates that the social problems above ground have forced them into an alternate sphere according to Nersessova. The tunnel is seen as a place that accepts its residents as they are, despite the rejection and failure they have experienced from the society above. A majority of the homeless who dwell in the tunnel are some of the most hardworking individuals. Although the middle-upper class society devalues the homeless as people, who are lazy and always looking for handouts. Throughout the rest of this section, Nersessova goes on to discuss how the public space has intensified over the years due to New York trying to maintain its public attractions and how the meaning of domestic architecture is viewed differently by the homelessness. The goal has been to turn urban areas into money-making attractions, as stated by Nersessova the “goal has been to push the poor out of sight.”
In the last section of the article, Nersessova goes on to discuss how Morton retells the stories of the inhabitants of domestic architecture. A great example that helps understand where Morton was getting is her interview with Pepe, “the self-described watchman of the New York neighborhood of Bushville, who made his money in typesetting and in electronics.” The photographs showed the progression of his house as it became a more complicated piece of domestic architecture until it was demolished by the city. The discarded materials represented a sense of identity by they used these to created their homes and had something to call theirs, and this sense of identity is taken away when these homes are demolished or blocked off, and the only place you have to flee to is the underground tunnel where you feel safe and secure. In conclusion, Nersessova shows the connection between the minds of the citizens and architecture. This article shows that discrimination and segregation are still alive in this era, despite it being a blur in some people’s eyes.


In this article named Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination And Segregation Through Physical Design Of The Built Environment by Sarah Schindler she discusses how infrastructures such as public transit systems and highways are being used to keep certain segments of the population the – often the poor and the people of color – separate from the others, particularly the wealthy whites and suburban communities. This article stresses how the lawmakers, courts, judges, legislators, and elected officials treat the architectural exclusion. Throughout this article Schindler examines how the built environment controls and regulates our behavior and how architectural exclusion manipulates their residents, local elected officials, and police forces through their actions of creating and designing infrastructures and built environs to restrict passage through and access to certain areas of communities.

The first section of this article speaks briefly of how most citizens are blind to how architecture is coined as regulation through the systemic social inequality that is apart of these monumental structures of concrete and steel. A quotation that will help you understand and summarizes this first section well, is Nicholas Blomley’s term “traffic logic”: “the idea that planners and civil engineers prioritize the flow of pedestrians and traffic through a physical space, with a focus on civil engineering, rather than prioritizing equal access to a physical space for all, with a focus on civil rights” (Schindler, 1945). Blomley’s quotation summarizes how many cities facilitate planning decisions that include exclusions and how various legal scholars have confronted these concepts in context to class and race.

The second section discusses how various states and municipalities create and design different infrastructures to exclude localities from having access to physical barriers, such as buildings walls and barriers so the poor and African-Americans cannot have access to them. Some other things that revolve around architectural exclusions are transit systems that include these exclusionary transportation designs: placement of transit stops, highway routes, bridge exits, and road infrastructure, wayfinding: one-way streets, dead- end streets, and confusing signage, and residential parking permits. Throughout all of these sections, they explain how race has been a contributing factor for limiting the geography of transit to eliminate low-income and minority neighborhoods. A great example that describes this from the text would be the scenario about Cynthia Wiggins, “a seventeen-year-old woman who was hit and killed by a dump truck while she was attempting to cross a seven lane highway to get to the mall where she worked” (Schindler, 1964). Another example that shows that these white residents are still succeeding in keeping black residents out of their neighborhoods is the wealthy, mostly white residents of the northern Atlanta suburbs who have opposed efforts of MARTA expanding into their neighborhoods because they don’t want people of color to have way access to suburban communities. Also, the lack of public transit in these communities make it difficult for those who rely on transit to access job opportunities located in those suburbs

This article sums up the perfect example of architectural exclusion of malls, businesses, and residential areas using the highways, roads, and bridges as a way to exclude some city residents from those areas.

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