Reading Summaries

Summary of “Better Online Living through Content Moderation” by Melissa King


This article discusses how the use of “content control features” such as “block and ignore functions, control/trigger warnings, block lists and privacy options” is viewed by people who do not use them.   Melissa King, the author of the article, states that some people who use the Internet may suffer from mental diseases such as PTSD and “need to avoid topics and people that rigger their anxiety”.   King discusses how people who use these control features often deal with criticism from other people. This criticism includes being deemed as “weak” and “too sensitive”, and this pressures these individuals to allow certain content to be present in their Internet experiences. There have been several debates on the topic of online harassment being simply “mean words said on the Internet, with no real threat to safety of someone or their family”.  King quotes Caleb Lack, a licensed clinical psychologist and psychology professor, who explained that “ you can ‘get’ PTSD from Twitter. One needs to be careful, though, to be specific about this: it’s the bullying and harassment that could lead to PTSD or PTSD symptoms, not anything inherent to Twitter itself.” Basically he is saying that long-term exposure to cyber bullying can in fact cause PTSD. The people who seem to be against block lists are often “people who do not harass or threaten other people” and they fail to realize how detrimental cyber bullying can truly be.

“Color Walking” reading summary



This article is documents Phia Bennin and Brendan McMullan’s coloring walking experience. They were inspired to do this color walk after coming across the experiment that William Burroughs had his students do in the past. Color walking consists of taking a walk outside, picking a color to focus on, and following that color as you view your surroundings during your walk. Bennin and McMullan decided to take their walk around lower Manhattan on a Sunday afternoon and they noticed how following one color led them to notice another color and so on. The authors realized that by the end of their walk, the colors they noticed were still lingering in their minds. At the end of the article, the authors provide instructions on how to conduct your very own color walk: “ 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. If you get lost, pick another color. If you get really lost, you’re on the right track.”

“Making Bathrooms More ‘Accommodating’” Summary


In this article, Emily Bazelon discusses how public restrooms should be a place where one feels comfortable because they are in vulnerable space. She states people don’t want to feel threatened or scared when they enter the bathroom. Society has dictated which restrooms people use by placing signs or pictures depicting a male or female figure on the doors.

Bazelon makes a call for action directed towards the designers of public places to make bathrooms more accommodating for everyone. She talks about how transgender students want to be able to change in their desired gender locker rooms at schools and how schools are handling this issue.

She compares the issue of transgender people not being able to use the bathroom to disabled individuals “who are shut out by doors they [can] not open and stairs they [can] not climb”. She states that if society can be accommodating for people with disabilities, then we should also be accommodating for transgender people who want to be able to “shower near [their] peers in [their] own stall”.

Schools have made an effort to make these individuals feel included by allowing them to participate in sports and using these students’ preferred pronouns. The author wants to bring attention to fact that transgender people are not treated equally.

Summary of “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society”



Suzanna Tick, the author of the article, “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society”, explains that “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”. She states that designers in landscape and architecture should be more considerate of the changes in gender dynamics in society.

She discusses how throughout time, the workplace has been male dominated. Tick uses Emma Watson’s speech on the He for She movement calling men to join the movement for gender equality. These dynamics have started to change with the increasing prominence of women in the workplace. With this advancement of women, the designs of workplaces include more “sustainability, emphasis on windows, daylight, softness in interiors, and emphasis on tactile and textural materials like carpeting and textiles”. She discuses how modern-day fashion has challenged gender roles in society.


woman in suitFor example, “Alexander Wang’s women’s coat from Fall 2015 has masculine tailoring with a military look, while Annemiek van der Beek’s Primal Skin makeup line has been designed to be appealing to the male buyer”.  Tick mentions that because we are living in a time where children as young as twelve years old are asking to have there sex changed, designers also have to take this shift into consideration. She also talks about companies re-designing their bathrooms so that everyone can feel comfortable in the workplace.

Reading Summary


Analyzing Margaret Morton’s Photography of a Forgotten New York

mortons photo

In Nersessova’s “Tapestry of Space”, she analyzes and provides support for the purpose behind the photography in Margaret Morton’s “The Tunnel: The Underground Homeless of New York City”. Nersessova discusses the misguided perceptions that many people have about homes/homelessness. She talks about how just because someone lives on the street it does not mean they are homeless; their home is simply wherever they chose be. She uses the Situationist International (SI) organization as support for the main ideas behind Morton’s photography. SI believes that we as a society are consumed by images of things we do not need. Situationist International believes that it is essential for us to understand the space we occupy as well as spaces around us. Nersessova makes the point that the working class struggles because the system is set up to work against them rather than for them. Morton’s photography captures the poverty stricken individuals of New York as apposed to the industrialization and market that everyone thinks of when New York comes to mind. Morton’s interviewees, Bernard and Bob, stated that living above ground distracts one from finding themselves, while living below ground allows one to “achieve the level of consciousness” that is necessary to be one with yourself. Nersessova explains that the authorities have the power to shape people’s experiences in the city because they instruct tourists where to go during their visit. For example, the authorities may only put certain destinations in a brochure and only want people to see the well-known restaurants and attractions as apposed to the small family owned restaurants in the area. As a result of this, people are not able to gain the full experience of being in that space. Nersessova also emphasizes that homeless people tend to have more of a relationship with the city then those who live in homes in the city and, essentially, every thing we do as humans is an interaction with the environment.

Reading Summary

Blind Architectural Discrimination

In Parts I and II of Sarah Schindler’s Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment, she discusses the impact that built environments have on our every day lives. Schindler defines “the built environment [as] man-made physical features that make it difficult for certain individuals—often poor people and people of color—to access certain places”. Various physical aspects of cities and suburban areas are designed in an effort to dictate the type of people who enter these spaces. An example that she uses is some bridges have been designed to be low enough as to prevent buses that provide pubic transportation from being able to drive underneath. Schindler brings awareness to the fact that wealthy, often white, communities vote against transit stops in their suburban neighborhoods because they do not want poor people or people of color in their neighborhoods. These wealthy individuals are directly contributing to the geographic divide between upper class and lower class Americans.  Other examples of “exclusionary urban design” include “street grid layouts, one-way streets, the absence of sidewalks and crosswalks”, all of which are unnoticeable to the average person but were established for a specific reason by the city. The authorities shape our experiences and interactions with the city in ways that we do not even realize, and Schindler aims to make her audience aware of this. Some recognition has been given to these exclusionary issues, however, many influential individuals who have the power to make a change still do not bring the amount of awareness that Schindler feels is necessary.park bench

Schindler, Sarah. “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment.” Yale Law Journal. Yale Law Journal, Apr. 2015. Web. 23 Jan. 2016. <>.

Reading Summary One

Great summary of the thing. Evidence, evidence.

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