Reading Summary 6

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Online and abuse is a topic we tend to discuss a lot this time in life, as social media and most topics and subject matters are now held online. In the article “Better Online Living Through Content Moderation,” Melissa King explains the abuse and harm that online media can cause others without content control features. Explaining that some users possibly suffer from PTSD or can develop PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) because of the online bullying and topics that could trigger anxiety, King believes content filters are valuable and should be used for mostly every website. King then spoke out upon the criticism individual’s face when expressing their opposition to the subject matter and how it becomes the victim’s issue once attacked through the internet. King stated “This advice is generalized to the point of uselessness, because not every “disagreement” is a simple difference of opinion: there are online aggressors that genuinely invoke anxiety attacks, or subject people to threats of violence. Content control is helpful in limiting the worst of these attacks, which themselves can cause PTSD if severe or long-term enough” on the belief that victims should ‘just deal with it.’ Although she believes content control isn’t guaranteed to stop abuse, she believes it will limit the amount of abuse and shouldn’t be discouraged.

King later touched on the topic of exposure therapy and how those who face PTSD are not just sensitive individuals, as it is possible to limit their trauma from PTSD. King explained exposure therapy as “a type of therapy designed to combat severe anxiety through gradual and controlled exposure to its source, to inure an individual to these triggers and lesson the disruptions they can cause. The misapplication of this concept to content control discussions represents a misunderstanding of human psychology: Exposure Therapy is not about having random internet strangers hurl insults and threats at someone with the hope they somehow come out more mentally durable.” She agreed that it may not be completely curable but it is better to attempt to limit the amount of exposure those individuals face with content filters. King also began to speak out on those individuals who opposed the content filters (the ones who believe that some individuals just are too soft and they are just mean words so they should get over themselves) by noting a credible psychologist whose primary field of study is anxiety, Caleb Lack. King wants others to realize the severity of this harassment and that long-term exposure is a cause to PTSD.

To conclude the article King finalized the discussion with the depth of blocking lists and how even those can be easily gotten around. In the article King explained women are primary targets for online abuse but any individual can be subject to online abuse. King believes “people should be allowed to set their own personal boundaries, and disregarding those personal boundaries should be seen as disrespectful at best.” King hopes that through this article people will begin to see the harm online abuse can cause and that people should be allowed to mitigate from situations they can’t handle.

Reading Summary 5


Color Walking by Phia Bennin and Brendan McMullan is an intriguing article that explains the experiment and adventure the two individuals took that allowed them to view the world and its natural beauty. This walk was a way for Bennin and McMullan to explore the little things that usually goes ignored and let the things that catch their eyes lead them into an adventure of a lifetime. William Burroughs used color walks as a way to bring back memories and reminisce on memories that wouldn’t be brought up on a daily basis. Burroughs stated “Notice how the colors begin to stand out more sharply of their own accord. I was walking on yellow when I saw a yellow amphibious jeep near the corner of 94th Street and Central Park West. It was called the Thing. This reminded me of the Thing I knew in Mexico” explaining the exercise and how it is effective on not only the awareness of colors but also the effects of taking the time to focus on the little things that usually go unnoticed. Bennin and McMullan deciding to give it a try, started their own color walk in experimentation of Burroughs research. The two said “At the end of the afternoon, the colors hung in our brains and eyes. We walked away seeing a world brimming over with colors…” on their experience of the color walk. The article then goes on to discuss how to properly prepare yourself for your own color walk with steps and hints to reach the full experience of a color walk. To receive the full experience, one should dedicate uninterrupted time (away from cell phones, social media, and other things we tend to get so easily distracted by) to just open their minds and focus primarily on eye-popping objects. In Bennin and McMullan’s color walk, they started with blues and followed a blue scarf until they came across another eye-popping bleu object, chipping nails. Nearly getting on a train following the blue nails, they were luckily distracted by basketball courts and watched the sport until a purple shirt continued their journey. From the purple shirt, a pair of purple leopard pants gained the attention of the experimentalists thus leading them to a pink and purple shirt. The recent changing of color to color made the experience an adventure of a lifetime and made better acquaintances of those random strangers. The color walk brought more awareness and attention to the author’s surroundings and left them with a world full of color. After the color walk, the authors also began to see more noticeable colors stand out, whether it be a shirt, nails, or a roof on a brick building. From the article, an audience could tell Brennin and McMullan had immediately became more aware of the world around them and was more appreciative of the littler things in this busy world. From the author’s experiences, they definitely recommend taking a color walk and following these steps: Give yourself an hour of uninterrupted time, no commutes, no errands, just eye time; Pick a color, or let a color pick you–follow the one that makes your heart go thump-thump; and If you get lost, pick another color. If you get really lost, you’re on the right track.

His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society

Gender Roles and Fashion

In this article author Suzanne Tick goes in depth on how gender roles in America are changing and how fashion plays a huge role in this change. Tick starts the article discussing the concerning issue of equality among genders regardless of sex and choice of sex. She mentions how society is predominately a male run society until recent times of common feminism on the up rise. Starting with the viral speech by Emma Watson on the ‘He for She’ movement. Among the topic of feminism, Tick also mentions same sex marriage and how that is a positive movement as well. Tick stated “In the workplace, the barriers and hierarchies have started to come down as women have become more prominent. With Mother Nature becoming more important, sustainability started coming into play, and an emphasis on windows, daylight, and views has accompanied that” on the topic of the new wave and movement of America and countries around the world.


Identities and Change

Fashion is a big part of our everyday lives and keeps the world moving with new innovative and trendy designs. Recently, according to the article by Suzanne Tick, Alexander Wang came up with a new design that is not only appealing to women, but to men also. Tick identifies this as a feministic movement as gender roles are changing a lot these days, and it becomes harder to identify distinction between the two. Among this new women’s jacket also comes a line of a new make-up collection for men. This is very intriguing to the author, as usually only woman wear make-up until recently. The biggest issue of this recent gender swap, bathrooms. Tick stated her opinion of this situation in her article as: “Of course, bathrooms are only part of the puzzle in addressing gender inclusivity in the office, but they are spaces that are sensitive to such personal issues. In a recent case, an employee underwent gender-reassignment surgery during the summer break. On the employee’s return, both male and female coworkers went to human resources and said, “We don’t want this person in our bathroom. How can designers help address a situation like that—especially in a work culture where everyone is expected to collaborate closely?” Tick’s biggest concern with this issue is how we are going to solve it with a “gender-neutral design.” Her other concern is accommodating everyone and every gender to respectfully reach and tend to each of their needs.



Tick made valid arguments and provided greater evidence to support her beliefs and questions that arouse the new America. With constant change in sex roles, belief on gay marriage, and an uprising feminist movement Tick as well as millions of other Americans have the right to question how we are going to accommodate all the individuals of this subject matter. Tick described this as a “human phenomenon, and we need to design for the accumulation of different human beings who are out there by being respectful to individual needs, and creating environments in which people can have their own individualitymale-and-female-relationship-sign

“Making Bathrooms More Accommodating”



In this article, author Emily Balezon discusses the topic of transgenders and public bathrooms and then proceeds to explain how bathrooms are almost safe havens for some individuals. She starts the article by explaining the common differences in public bathrooms such as, the obvious male and female bathroom signs, then proceeds to explain how certain discomfort comes if the wrong gender were to walk through the opposites door. Balezon also began to address the problems with women’s restrooms and how inconvenient it is not having accommodating features like the males (urinals or something in like comparison).


Civil Issues Arouse

Balezon identified a student from Illinois, who is a transgender, was denied to change in the female’s locker room due to ‘privacy concerns’. As she got into depth upon the topic of the civil issue, due to the fact the student legally changed her sex to female, many others had comments on the situation and why she was denied the rights to change in the female locker room. Balezon proceeded to explain and argue how bathrooms were meant to ‘accommodate’ its users but isn’t with sexual tension regarding transgenders.



The first thing author Emily Balezon did was define accommodation, for its definition can often be misconstrued. Emily stated ‘‘Accommodate’’ comes from the Latin for ‘‘to make fitting.’’ It means to adapt, to bring into agreement or harmony, to furnish with something desired or needed, to favor or oblige. It can be a word of welcome and hospitality coming from a concierge or maître d’. But it can also have a compulsory aspect — it’s a word that involves moving over to make room for other people, whether you want to or not.” She began to explain in depth how this has been an issue for over a decade and provided history to prove sex orientated bathrooms have been dated all the way back to the Victorian Age.


A Woman’s Safe Haven and the View on Transgenders in the Bathrooms

The last thing the author mentioned in the article was women’s views on bathroom stalls and the time it takes for women to use the bathroom. The biggest complaint of author Emily Balezon was the waiting time for the bathroom at public places by women. Emily as well as many other women are “disturbed by what they see as an incursion by male anatomy.” “That’s their explanation for the ‘‘No Men in Women’s Bathrooms’’ T-shirts in Houston, and the resistance to letting transgender students into the locker room. It’s poignant: Transgender women say they are women, but some other women can only see them as men, and so they don’t want to make room.” The author wants a change on views of transgenders, but can’t help change the views of others. This article she wrote helps raise awareness to the gender bias of people and especially transgenders. Balezon just wants equality for everyone and for those transgenders, who already feel out of place, to fit in with their peers to make life a more enjoyable experience.male-and-female-relationship-sign

Tapestry Of Space: Domestic Architecture and Underground Communities in Margaret Morton’s Photography of a Forgotten New York

Tapestry Of Space: Domestic Architecture and Underground Communities in Margaret Morton’s Photography of a Forgotten New York

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In this article discussed by Irina Nersessova, homelessness and natural architectural structures are intertwined to become a safe haven for the homeless or less fortunate. Homelessness is a major problem in cities amongst the world, and without certain developments some people wouldn’t even have a place to call home. The major description of a homeless person’s home is the underground tunnel in New York City as the topic is discussed through older photographs. Many tourists of the city would assume the area an inconvenient area of wasted space but for those who live there, have more of a physiological connection than those who don’t. The areas of darkness seem terrifying and treacherous to the common eye of those whom aren’t homeless, but for the residents in the darkness, it is considered to be safe. Nersessova, upon recently interviewing a resident, quoted “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.” The human mind tends to let fear overcome the curiosity of the brain and tends to render us from achieving our true potential. In this case, the darkness is a major fear we have that prevents us from entering a tunnel or dim lit area because of the fear of the unknown, and creates a safe haven for those who reside there.


The Fear of the Unknown

The biggest obstacle a human will ever face is his/her mind. The mind is a powerful thing and often we let our mind control our emotions instead of controlling our mind to become irrevocably unstoppable. This tunnel in New York could be fearful to those who do not understand or know what is in there and what could happen upon being in there, so for those who do it creates an area of shelter and safeness. One resident described living in the area as, “I feel safe in the tunnel because I don’t care how big you are—even if you have a gun or a weapon—if you don’t know where you’re going or if you never been in there—it has no light, no types of light” (Manny). By removing themselves from society aboveground, the residents of the tunnel are able to create a safe haven underground. As previously mentioned by Manny, the tunnel provides a sense of safety that revokes any fear of the darkness that lies ahead. Therefore, the residents of the tunnel would rather live in an area of seclusion that is feared by others than be exposed to the daily reality of society that lives above them.


According to the tunnel residents, life is less stressful underground because they’re able to create a place that doesn’t include life’s daily struggles such as traffic, confrontation, danger and much more. Also, they’re able to avoid the society that once failed them and utilize their time and energy more productively. For example, the residents express their sense of peace through artistic expression inside the tunnel by creating murals and graffiti. As mentioned by the author, Irina Nersessova, the presence of this artwork symbolizes humanity and the presence of a complete society.

Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment

Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment

MARTA train in Atlanta

Discrimination & Segregation

In this article, the author, Sarah Schindler addresses the issue of discrimination and segregation displayed through architectural design. She expresses the concern of how certain modes of transportation do not allow numerous individuals, mainly the poor, to leave less fortunate areas. Schindler then gave a list of examples upon how these individuals are kept in the areas, such as MARTA, bridges and roads preventing exit by larger automobiles (primarily buses). Based on her findings and my own observation, I would say that it is true the majority of individuals who ride MARTA are those of color, but it is highly unintelligent to blame architectural design to keep individuals out of a certain area.

Discrimination amongst colored individuals in America will always be discussed and brought about regardless the situation. When one discusses issues regarding those of “color”, it is clear they are primarily referring to African-Americans. However, by definition, a colored individual is one whom is not white thus meaning Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Latinos, Hispanics, and so forth.

As noted by Schindler, “wealthy, mostly white residents of the northern Atlanta suburbs have vocally opposed efforts to expand MARTA into their neighborhoods for the reason that doing so would give people of color easy access to suburban communities.” Unfortunately, to say whites denied MARTA access into “wealthy” areas to prevent a specific race from having access is incorrect. Also, Schindler explains that she believes the “wealthy, white residents” are to blame for excluding these same individuals of color access to jobs in these areas. However, America is known for possibility, the idea of dreams coming true and is one of the most diverse countries in the world. Therefore, one can only imply that Schindler believes that by disclosing access to these areas to said people, the “wealthy, white residents” are practicing discrimination and segregation; which in turn is causing the poor to stay poor.

Civil Acts Right of 1866

The Civil Acts Right of 1866 gave citizenship and rights to all male individuals in the United States regardless of race and color. Schindler mentioned this law in her article discussing discrimination and segregation of colored people through architectural structures and public transportation, so it should be elaborated on. This article was written in April of 2015, while the Civil Rights Act was clearly written in 1866. That is almost 150 years later and yet we’re still having some of the same conversations being published.


This was a good article and presented well stated arguments about public transportation and architecture and how wealthier individuals prevent those of a lower class to enter. Discrimination and segregation was demolished (legally) when the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1866. However, as pointed out by Schindler, due to architectural structures and certain limitations we still have segregation issues today.