Digital Built Environment Description: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The site I am describing is the, the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is situated in Atlanta, Georgia. The CDC itself was created in 1946 and its original purpose was to continue the work started by the World War II Malaria Control in War Areas program; a program created to help fight Malaria here in the United States. However, since then the scope of the CDC has expanded to encompass all diseases (Parascandola).

The color scheme of the website is blue and white, which provides a calming and reassuring effect on me. The colors also invoke in me the idea of cleanliness. These are the same kind of colors one would expect to see in a hospital, and I believe they serve the website well as opposed to a color like green, which would dredge up ideas of disease and death. The latter would give me the impression that the CDC is doing such a bad job at containing disease that even their own website has been infected.

The site is divided up into the categories: Outbreaks, News, CDC in Action, and About CDC. There are drop-down menus for the following topics: Diseases & Conditions, Healthy Living, Traveler’s Health, Emergency Preparedness, and More CDC Topics. The website makes use of a giant banner at the top of the page that focuses on what I presume the CDC believes is currently paramount—which is presently the Zika virus. All these topics are apparent on the front page and they indicate why one might visit the

Here’s a one-minute clip showing the color and organization of the site.



Here’s a picture of the banner the website uses.

I also noticed that the designer of this website makes an attempt to demonstrate that this space is for all types of people and that the CDC is not discriminatory through their selection of pictures and options. For instance, the website uses pictures containing a diversity of people ranging from white, brown, black, adults, children, female, and male. These people are also shown engaging in a variety of activities. In one picture there’s the caption “Improving Workplace Safety and Health” with an attractive, skinny, and white woman wearing safety goggles, ear muffs, and an apron, with sparks flying up as she works on something that is just out of the picture. Then there’s a picture of a family of minorities in the outdoors with the caption, “Minority Health Month”. Lastly, in the upper-right corner of the website there is the option to change the language of the website to Spanish.


Here’s a picture representing some of the diversity found on the site.

The site is welcoming, assessable, diverse, and provides information for a wide range of topics dealing with diseases, health, and natural disasters.


Parascandola, John. “From MCWA to CDC–origins of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” Public Health Reports. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1996. Web. 01 Apr. 2016.

King Plow Arts Center (Interior Built Environment)



According to the website for King Plow Arts Center (KPAC), KPAC is an art exhibit and work studio that is housed in a building that interestingly enough used to be a plow factory. The building now serves as a place where artists can create and display their art. When I was inside the building it was very quiet and I noticed it smelled like a library; that is to say it had that musty book smell. Additionally, and this may seem funny, but the other thing that stuck out to me was how shiny the floors are. During my visit, I only saw less than a handful of people and a number of paintings, pictures, sculptures, and machines in each of the rooms and hallways.




When I first entered the building I found myself in a long hallway that branched off into these rooms and studios along the sides. The building made me feel safe and at peace. It had this laid back atmosphere while at the same having an air of formality like one would expect from a museum. I suppose the latter isn’t too surprising because in many ways this space does serve as a museum for what the building once was. The lighting of the building was surprisingly dim, complementing the dark colors of the space: green paint (and a few green lights), black paint, rusty reds in the form of bricks and signage, and brown wood; all of these things added to the relaxed atmosphere. The space had a distinct industrial style to it, with its exhibits of cogs, metal sculptures, mechanical machines, wooden work benches, and wooden beam ceilings. There are even black and white photos hanging on the walls of the building hearkening back to when it was still a plow factory. This building also home numerous paintings, beckoning and daring artists to create and display their own pieces.



Downtown Connector (Exterior Built Environment Description)

The Downtown Connector (75/85) is an interstate that stretches seven miles from Langford Parkway interchange to Brookwood Interchange; and it was built in the late 40s or early 50s, according to the few sources I could find. It looks like a typical highway, but there are a few interesting things that I noticed. I observed and recorded the presence of some homeless people sleeping and apparently living underneath an overpass; they were tucked away in the upper corners, sleeping under blankets on slabs of concrete. Apparently, they’ve grown accustomed to sleeping underneath overpasses, despite the roar of cars rolling overhead, and the smell of gasoline and burnt rubber. I also observed and recorded lots of trash and even glass on the sidewalk underneath this particular overpass. The monochromatic grey color scheme of the concrete and metal coupled with the sight of dirt, lack of light, trash, and homeless people made this site very gloomy, unwelcoming, and imposing.

Under The Overpass (AVI video)

To clarify, I don’t mean to say I don’t like homeless people. I just feel sorry for them–and I realize that rests on the faulty pretense that they’re not happy. Regardless, things looked a little better once I stood side-by-side with the interstate, but not by much. But before I go into that, let me just say that it was a little difficult for me to reach the side of the interstate because of fences that in some cases had barbed wire. Luckily for me, I found a damaged part of a fence that allowed me to cross. The extra light did improve the atmosphere of the place, but it was overwritten by the sight of a two-directional seven-mile long slab of metal and concrete with cars racing down it towards home or work, conjuring in me ideas of monotony, boredom, and impersonality. To me it just looks like an ugly giant machine.

Next to The Downtown Connector (AVI video)

The only thing human about this site are the homeless, the graffiti, and the foot prints in the sidewalk. I see these people and artifacts wrestling with this machine. Despite the lifeless highway, there are some people who live underneath it. And despite the artificiality and durability of concrete, there are some who spray paint over it with human expression—or walk in it before it settles. I guess I’m not much of a city guy.