Reading Summary #4: Kathleen G. Scholl and Gowri Betrabet Gulwad – “Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces”

Reading Summary #4: Kathleen G. Scholl and Gowri Betrabet Gulwad “Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces”


In today’s day and age, the human being is exposed to a high traffic volume of people, places and things. It has increasingly diminished our capacity to remained focus in the institution level on tasks at hand and has forced us, as students, to find ways to retain focus and trick our mind from mental fatigue. This article, by Kathleen School and Gowri Gulwad relates early campus landscape to current campus landscapes and how “attention fatigue” is rising. They also give us evidence in how a holistic approach to campus landscape will allow a more direct or indirect exposure to “nature” and inhibit our ability to remain focused for a longer period of time.


Kathleen and Gowri first start their claim by explaining to us how historically campuses were designed to be almost a community within a community. They explain how in the early years of universities, campus’ were a place where kids would have “safe havens” and direct exposure to nature. It was a place where they could continuously learn and maintain the proper mental energy to keep focus. This is a time where only the wealthy were predominantly found on college campuses. It worked for them, but now since the demographic has changed new ways of holistic thinking is necessary for adoption to adapt to the ways the current college student requires. Now, more than ever students are on all sides of the spectrum from first generation college goers, to even single parents battling multiple jobs and still finding time to commute from the suburbs for a mid-day class.

Fight Traffic to Make it to Class on Time

Fight Traffic and Busy Streets to Make it to Class on Time

This is why attention-fatigue is rising. Students, nowadays, do not have the same everyday “problems” that were once seen when institutions were first established. School and Gulwad explain how we need to loosely define “nature” to its respective audience to allow us to determine what direct or indirect type of attention can help explain the fatigue. Parents and kids are battling jobs and traffic in a bustle to reach some urban campus’ and then are expected to turn their brain off from a high rate of motion and quick thinking to sit in a chair for an hour and listen to a PowerPoint in a dark room where the outside isn’t visible; knowing in the back of their mind that they are going to have to battle these same hurdles once leaving class. This is the exact reason why safe-havens or holistic campus’ are crucial for the current student. They need an area of “freedom” that can help them see the beauty of the world and trick their mind into natural energy and help remain focused on the task at hand.


In conclusion, School and Gulwad, are completely right in that we need to re-evaluate campus landscapes to a holistic approach to welcome sustainability to the new day of college students. The current student, who is battling daily, the high-impact stresses of overpopulation, technology, work and traffic. College students need and require an area of mental freedom to de-stress and forget about the daily obstacles and allow the mind to breathe and let information flow smoothly. If we don’t start thinking about these types of architectural exclusion then it will make for a very difficult place to learn the lessons required to exceed in life.

Reading Summary #3: Suzanne Tick – “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society”

Reading Summary #3: Suzanne Tick – “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society”


This article is a synopsis of the Gender Revolution and the spectrum that we have traveled with accepting gender equality in society. Suzanne Tick explains how within the past few years the world has started to open up to the idea of Gender equality and now people/organizations are designing things in the built environment certain ways to help co-exist people that do not confirm to their birth gender and instead take it upon themselves to decide which way to identify. In this article, Suzanne Tick, shows how the environment, specifically corporate and institutionally, was predominantly designed in the past and where she feels it is moving towards in the very near future. This is portrayed in ways of how the office can be set-up, questions on applications for colleges, fashion/beauty scene and even gender specific bathroom signage.


This approach is a very forward thinking concept that I believe is going to play an influential role in the thinking of corporate decision making in the near future. Suzanne mentions within the idea of making people feel accommodated. Now, more than ever, this is such an important facet of the way companies operate on a daily basis. Even to the institutional level, per Suzanne Tick, there are even colleges that do not require you to specify your gender on the application. It is astonishing that something that was so black and white back in the day is now taken into question as soon as it is brought up.

In comparison, the confusion that many in America experience within themselves when it comes to accepting this new wave of thinking/doing is in the beauty and fashion scene. Suzanne explains how the idea of male looking male and female looking female is obsolete. It is such a mixture of the two that it is somewhat impossible to know the gender of the model. Somewhat an exact measurement of what Gender Equality is. To me this is the ability to accept someone for who they and where they want to be in life and not strictly on the way that they were born and why they shouldn’t stray from the fact that they are male or female.

In comparison, this article really hit home. In my career, as an Account Executive for a commercial furniture dealership, I am experiencing these exact hurdles in our recent projects. Design firms are now building the built environment to honor an open plan system that allows for collaboration from all different departments within one large area. This is atypical to the past isolated cubicle format that every corporate office has predominantly approached. The most decisive point of this new birth of gender equality is that she comes from Teknion. Being from the commercial dealer industry, I know that Teknion is a new eastern type model of office landscape and their product/ideology promote exactly what Suzanne is portraying in this article. They have gained major traction in the US Market and just like Teknion is started to emerge and become a force in the market, so is Gender equality.

ENGL1102: Derick Heitkamp Mid-term Reflection

Typically, in the past, writing was more of a black and white area for me. I read a text and responded directly to a question given to me from my instructor, turned in my paper and hopefully received an A. This class has changed my view on academic writing tremendously. From day one, Dr. Wharton, has attempted to show us the ability to read a text and make an understanding based on rhetoric and what the author was trying to convey.

Her methods have quickly adapted my ability to understand the texts versus just reading texts. Which in turn, has quickly evolved my ability to compose better responses. For example, I am now able to pinpoint certain modes within texts; linguistic, visual, aural or etc. I feel that I have noticed these in the past but I never had someone show me how to find them and relate them to built environment and how the author is trying to portray a setting. I think this is a main reason for my evolution of composition. In contrast, I still have some weakness’ that need to be addressed. Which, in my eyes, are completely understandable since we have only been in class for six weeks. This is my ability to stay focused on summarizing texts based on what the author is trying to convey and not my feeling on this. I think this is mainly due to the way I was trained in the past on reading texts and writing an essay based on my thoughts. This route follows the Golden Rule on given the author the proper respect to write a composed responded on rhetoric based on what they wanted the reader to focus on and not what they wanted the reader to make as a judgement.

All in all, this has been an exciting course thus far and has really opened my eyes on the ability to pull certain triggers from texts to better understand the author and people/objects they are addressing in their articles. I believe studying the built environment is something that can be translated into nearly any almost facet of life. It provides you the ability to see past the stigma’s that presented on a daily basis and to dig deeper into understanding, why? I hope to further expand my ability in write reflectively in this course and see the world in a different way than I have in the past.



Digital Records #4 and #5

Digital Record #4

MARTA nearby business for commuters

Above pictures shows a nearby Skyline near Dunwoody Marta that many commuters walk to from arriving on Marta. In my initial count, there are roughly 20 buildings nearby than range from 10-25 stories high. The proximity of the buildings show Dunwoody MARTA’s necessity of alternative transportation after MARTA. Some of these buildings are nearly a 20 minute walk after getting off the train.

Digital Record #5

MARTA Busy Parking Lot

Above picture is from the parking deck inside of MARTA. This shows the crowded parking lot at a “primetime” hour of the day. Many commuters park here and then ride MARTA into the city to their respective job. These people receive the perk of free parking throughout the day as long as they exit with a valid receipt from MARTA. I asked one commuter how much time he saved per day and he estimated anywhere from 45 minutes to 1.25 hours each day!!! That is almost 200 hours a year he saves from being behind the wheel or wasting gas in traffic. SMART MOVE, sir!

Digital Record #1, #2 and #3

Digital Record #1

Marta Gates 

Above is a picture showing the entrance gates to the Marta station. It involves you grabbing a ticket that stamps your entry into the facility. Dependent on your length of time, this will accrue charges for parking within MARTA. Typically $5-$8 per visit. Overnight parking is available.

Digital Record #2



Above picture is a view from the street turning into Marta. This gives you a good view of the extreme size of this structure. It is opened to the outside conditions and is relatively close for walking. Although some alternate transit still make occur dependent on your works proximity to this facility.

Digital Record #3

MARTA Breeze Card

Above picture is a a MARTA Breeze Card. This card allows you entrance through various security structures within MARTA. There are kiosk at the facility in which you register your card and load money onto; each card cost $2 and you must have this in order to ride. Each trip costs money and allows entrance and exit. You can buy in increments of 1 trip at a time or you can by in bulk featuring various amounts of use.

Built Environment Analysis – Exterior: Dunwoody M.A.R.T.A. Station

Built Environment Analysis – Exterior: Dunwoody Marta Stations


In the city of Atlanta known for diversity, there is one common word that everyone seems to understand and that is, “traffic”. If you are like-minded to the vast majority of the population then you strongly dislike the notion of sitting bumper to bumper to a complete strangers for 2 hours a day on your way home from an 8 hour work day. Well, I was on the verge of experiencing that exact predicament. Luckily, my route brought me South down Hammond Drive and to my left was a monstrous structure that look as if six football fields were stacked on top of one another to form a parking deck. This was the Dunwoody Marta Station and public transit would soon save my day. I sat patiently at the red light, waiting for the countless pedestrians to cross the street and soon was granted ability to turn left and slowly approach the entrance gates.

Marta Gates

As I approached the gates of freedom, I pushed the button for a ticket and entered. Funny how, as a commuter it costs money to partake in these amenities but exterior factors such as the sunlight and cool-face numbing winds were able to enjoy the “interiors” free of charge and welcome their charm, or lack of, to anyone in proximity. The arms raised and I soon instinctively started to follow the white painted arrows around and around until open spots trickled into vision.

I exited my vehicle and I quickly heard the ear piercing screech of metal grinding to a halt. It was the MARTA train and my enemies of red lights, pedestrians and security gates lengthened my trip just enough to miss the train. I knew that I now could walk calmly towards the railways since I had time before the traffic skipping bus screeched yet again into the waiting area below. I barely squeezed into the next available elevator and the doors shut. Holding my breath and unable to reach into my pocket due to the capacity of users, I desperately tried to not think about how we were more than likely reaching the weight limit, if not, well over. Luckily, a few moments later, the doors opened. I exited first and with a laugh, I thought to myself how there might be one thing worst that being stuck in rush hour traffic and that is, being stuck in an elevator with complete strangers.

I was finally on the last leg of my journey to the train as I heading towards the waiting area. It seemed as if everyone was still in the working mindset. There were benches to be sat on, but everyone still insisted on waiting while standing. I guess subconsciously they believed it would help lessen the wait time if they were up and ready as the train approached. Once again, I shrieked as the “nails on a chalkboard” approached from the distance and just like that a somewhat empty train was stormed by commuters and soon escaped into the distance. Instantaneously, countless public transit users escaped the dreaded afternoon horror of rush hour, while the rest of the inhabitants of the city sat in traffic.

A MARTA train makes its way north past Ga. 400 traffic near Sandy Springs on a typical afternoon rush hour. BEN GRAY / BGRAY@AJC.COM

Annotative Bibliography – 1 thru 3



GIVENS, DARIN. “MARTA CEO KEITH PARKER.” Atlanta 55.5 (2015): 121–121. Print.

This article gives a brief introduction into the task at hand that Keith Parker, Marta’s CEO, had when he took this role in 2012. The company was in shambles, to say the least, and he was tasked with altering the public’s perception and to put MARTA “back on the map” for the city of Atlanta residents and tourists. This source seemed valid to our topic of the built environment because it presented MARTA as a “lost cause” and then brings to light Keith Parker’s determination to change it around from its exterior looks to its ability to create jobs with major companies looking to move headquarters closer to its location. Small changes he added were urine detectors in elevators to help the sanitation and overall look/smell of the atmosphere within MARTA’s properties. In reviewing this source, I cannot find any flaws/weaknesses from this article. It is a newly published, October 2015 article, and a short and concise article that laid out his problems when taking the job, how he has changed the “culture” and lastly the business communities view point on MARTA.

Annotation #2: Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA)

Toon, John D. “Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA).” New Georgia Encyclopedia. 19 August 2013. Web. 03 February 2016.

The article by John Toon perfectly shapes the transformation that MARTA has gone through since its establishment in 1971 to its success in its expansion of its environment and providing transportation route throughout the majority of the inside perimeter of Atlanta. This source is clearly only intended for educational purposes to showcase the history of Marta the path it has been though to become what it is today. It has broaden my knowledge of the built environment by conveying the reasoning on why it seeked expansion into certain areas of Georgia. It was too include lesser-income households and provide them with the ability to commute for work without an automobile; especially the African-American population. I chose this source because it provided a clear history of MARTA but it did have a few weaknesses. It only mentioned one negative in the article and that was MARTA’s loss at obtaining a bigger influence in the suburban areas of Georgia. This source is not relatable to my first annotation because it doesn’t present modern-day issues with MARTA’s ability to shape the public’s opinion or its inability to connect a vast majority of the public to the only mode of public transit Atlanta has to offer.

Annotation #3: What MARTA’s $8 Billion Proposal Could Mean for Public Transit in Atlanta

Xu, Edmund. “What MARTA’s $8 Billion Proposal Could Mean for Public Transit in Atlanta.” Dailykos. 21 July 2015. Web. 3 February 2016.

This article by Edmund Xu explains the value of MARTA and what it really means to us in Atlanta. Atlanta is recognized, per Smart Growth America, as the largest sprawled out city in America. This research also proves that some residents travel the distance of the state of Vermont just to commute to work. This article sheds light on the horrible pollution and congestion that these factors are causing in the city of Atlanta. I believe this web article was written as a warning to Atlanta resident’s to come together and support the development of a much more functional transit system before it’s too late; even if it means a higher tax rate. This helped me understand the exterior portion of the built environment because it showcases Marta’s forward thinking of upgrading the appearance and facilities of MARTA in the last year. Such things as physical appearance and cleanliness are crucial if you are looking to gain support from taxpayers. I chose this source because it gives a good exterior view of what MARTA is changing with its visual appearance to entice users/investors in their 8 billion dollar expansion plan. This article is closely related to my second annotation because it further expands from where MARTA is at present time and where MARTA is looking to be in the future.