The Built Environment and Mental Health (Annotated Bibliography Twelve)

Evans, Gary. “The Built Environment and Mental Health.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. Cornell University, 2003. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.

In his article titled The Built Environment and Mental Health, Gary W. Evans discusses the impact the built environment has on mental health. Things like light, the length of corridors, noise, crowding, or even the position of chairs in a psychiatric facility can impact the psychology and behavior of people. Lack of sunlight can affect concentration and may lead to seasonal affective disorder (a type of depression). If the corridors in a building are too long, then they may invoke helplessness in those who have to constantly walk down them. The noise from a busy street near a home may negatively impact the psychology of the children who live there. A person’s psychological well-being can also be negatively impacted by how crowded an area is. Finally, when chairs are arranged so that they’re facing each other, this promotes social interaction, which is taken advantage of by psychiatric facilities where isolation is seen as harmful for patients.

Obesity, Poverty, and The Built Environment (Annotated Bibliography Eleven)

Perdue, Wendy Collins. “Obesity, Poverty, and The Built Environment.” University of Richmond. University of Richmond, 2008. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.

In this scholarly article titled Obesity, Poverty, and The Built Environment Wendy Collins Perdue interacts with the idea that the built environment contributes to obesity, especially those found in poorer neighborhoods. One example the article mentions is poorer neighborhoods tend to have a greater number of fast-food restaurants and convenience stores instead of super-markets that sell healthier and more varied food. A second example is people living in poorer neighbors may be discouraged from walking or visiting a park due to crime or degraded infrastructure (e.g. sidewalks). That’s assuming there are any parks or recreational areas. Typically, it’s less likely a poorer area would have a place where people can play sports, picnic, hike, bike, etc. According to the article, the solution is to educate ourselves and others about how the built environment can influence health while working with experts and designers to slowly change the built environment into a more health-friendly environment.

Bicycle Commuting and The Built Environment (Annotated Bibliography Nine)

“Exploring the Effects of the Built Environment on Bicycle Commuting.”Exploring the Effects of the Built Environment on Bicycle Commuting. University of Minnesota, Sept. 2013. Web. 01 Apr. 2016.

This article discusses a survey conducted by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the Department of Civil Engineering in which residents from three different areas in Minneapolis were asked if they bicycled and if so, then how frequently. The results of the survey found that 25 percent of the respondents commuted by bike and one-fifth of the bicyclers used their bikes to get to work four or five times a week. The survey also found that those who lived near bike lanes were more likely to use them; however, this did not necessarily mean these same people would use their bike to get to work. Instead, according to the survey, what influences whether or not one will commute to work with their bike is distance and parking. With respect to parking—if a person’s workplace has free nearby parking, then their chances of using a bike to commute to work goes down.

Living in a Digital Built Environment (Annotated Bibliography Number Eight)

“Living in a Digital Built Environment.” Digital_Built_Environment. ARUP, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2016.

This article published by the company ARUP gives a brief description of how technology is being used to shape the built environment to provide a more comfortable and healthy space. The author of the article describes sensors that can detect pollution or monitor temperature, among other variables, which would trigger other technology that would appropriately respond. For instance, the article describes rooms or entire buildings that would automatically react to the presence of people, adjusting light and temperature when necessary. The article also describes stadiums with moving seating and dynamic sound, automatically adjusting itself to provide the spectators with the optimal experience. The author also mentions sensors that can monitor traffic flow, disseminating the information to motorists so they can plan and act accordingly. Finally, the article discusses a technology that can represent 3D models of cities, recording and predicting the patterns of people and providing an analysis of how a particular built environment may affect them, in terms of travel and where they are spending their money.

The Built Environment and Its Relationship to the Public’s Health (Annotated Bibliography Number Seven)

Perdue, Wendy Collins, Lesley A. Stone, and Lawrence O. Gostin. “The Built Environment and Its Relationship to the Public’s Health: The Legal Framework.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. American Journal of Public Health, Sept. 2003. Web. 25 Mar. 2016.

In this article titled The Built Environment and Its Relationship to the Public’s Health: The Legal Framework, written by Wendy Collins Perdue, JD, Lesley A. Stone, JD, and Lawrence O. Gostin, JD, LLD, there’s a discussion and some recommendations made in regard to the built environment, how it can affect health, and what one can do to influence how the built environment is. The paper gives some ways one can do this. Essentially, if one wants to become an effective advocate for a healthy built environment, then they should acquire evidence, get involved as early as possible during the building process, and be defender for the health of children and the downtrodden. According to the article, the latter is especially important because the health of the poor are more likely to be effected by the bad decisions of policy makers and builders than the affluent.

Color Walking (Reading Summary Five)

In this short article titled Color Walking, the authors Phia Bennin and Brendan McMullan discuss an experiment created by William Burroughs in which he asked his students to select and focus on a color, and then to go outside for a walk. This resulted in a greater appreciation and noticeability for the selected color. McMullan and Bennin decide to conduct a similar experiment only this time they allow themselves the option of switching to different colors if they so wish. This second experiment resulted in the authors being lead down certain areas or to different colors, which in turn lead them somewhere else.  By the end of the day, all of the colors of the world became emphasized.

This is an interesting article. Personally, I don’t pay too much attention to color—or perhaps it’s more accurate for me to say that I do not normally make a habit of consciously paying attention to color. Unbeknownst to me, I may be subconsciously lead down certain roads or to certain areas in the same way Burroughs’ students, Bennin, and McMullan were lead to certain areas when they experimented on consciously focusing on color. The findings of these experiments make me wonder just how much influence color in the built environment has over where we travel. For instance, a person whose favorite color is blue may be more inclined to travel down roads or to destinations that have blue in them; and a person who hates the color red may be discouraged from traveling to areas where red is predominately featured. Another interesting thought is how this impacts the color-blind. A designer or team of designers may create a space with color in mind, purposely creating a welcoming (or unwelcoming) atmosphere; however, this may very well oppositely impact, or cause no impact, to a color-blind person since they perceive color differently.

Artifacts & Signage For King Plow Interior Site



A rusted (apparently) metal sculpture in front of what looks like a metal door, a cog, and pipe. Notice the industrial style this setup gives off.




This is a picture of the ceiling of the building, with all of its wooden beams and metal pipes. I think this looks really cool. It has an industrial and steampunk feel to it. A homage to what the building once was (a plow factory). The green light is a nice touch and serves to accentuate the style.




A narrow corridor filled with artifacts from what the building once represented. A brief passage through the past.




I took  this picture to show the basic setup of this space. When you first enter there’s this huge hallway that branches out (from the sides) into different rooms and studios. You can also see how shiny the floor is, which is something that stuck out to me when I first entered this space.




Here’s a giant mechanical machine that I’m assuming was something that was used in the plow manufacturing process. It looks like somebody painted it, marrying the past with the present and adding color to a device that would otherwise appear cold.




This is a picture of the King Plow sign behind some wooden beams, which can be found in the middle of the main hallway. I took the picture because I thought it looked cool. That rusted red color is all over the inside of this space in the form of bricks, metal, and signs, adding to the industrial style.




Here’s another scene that stood out to me as really adding to the industrial style of the space.



I feel like a broken record here but here is another scene displaying what the building once was, providing the observer with some history in the form of old photographs of the plow factory along with adding to the industrial feel of the space.

Tapestry of Space (Annotated Bibliography Number Three)

NERSESSOVA, IRINA. Tapestry of Space: Domestic Architecture and Underground Communities in Margaret Morton’s Photography of a Forgotten New York. disClosure, 10556133, 2014, Issue 23. Web.

In this paper Irina Nersessova reflects on the book “The Tunnel: The Underground Homeless of New York City” by Margaret Morton, which contained a collection of photos and stories about some of the homeless that were found in New York. Additionally, she discusses how part of our identity as human beings are tied to our homes and how the homeless in Morton’s book have become more intimately connected with their homes because they’ve literally built them through their own creative input using discarded materials. Furthermore, she argues that because the homeless are in a sense separated from normal society, they haven’t been influenced by consumerist media, leaving them the room needed to self-reflect and find themselves.

I believe this paper offers an interesting perspective on homelessness. Typically, the homeless are seen as “homeless” and disadvantaged. First, according to Nersessova, they’re not homeless; they just do not live in conventional homes. Second, they’re not wholly disadvantaged compared to normal society. What I mean by that is Nersessova opened my eyes up to the idea that the homeless are not influenced by the media in the same way normal society is. In normal society people are suffused with images, video, and audio of what should be bought, worn, or how one should think, stifling personal development and enlightenment. The homeless are not explicitly impacted by this media; however, they may be implicitly impacted by the actions of a society that is.

SCHINDLER, SARAH. Architectural Exclusion (Annotated Bibliography Number Two)

SCHINDLER, SARAH. Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment. Yale Law Journal. Apr2015, Vol. 124 Issue 6, p1934-2024. 91p. Web.

In this article Sarah Schindler examines how the built environment can intentionally and unintentionally, psychologically and physically effect people. Schindler gives an example of this in New York where a city planner named Robert Moses built low-hanging overpasses over roads leading to Jones beach. Because a normal bus cannot fit under these low-hanging overpasses, this effectively prevents those who rely on buses (mainly the poor and minorities) from traveling to the beach. Moreover, Schindler argues that many lawmakers and city planners do not take seriously the idea of the built environment being a form of regulation in the same way a law is; and the people who do recognize that the built environment can be a form of regulation are unable to act through the current jurisprudence.

I believe this is a very thorough paper that provides a solid introduction to the influence of built environments. It contains good examples and explanations of the nature of built environments and why many law makers are as indifferent as they’re powerless to change or prevent the regulation that they may cause.


Malaria: How Can Changing the Built Environment Reduce Cases? (Annotated Bibliography Number One)

“Malaria: How Can Changing the Built Environment Reduce Cases?” BBC News. BBC, 11 May 2015. Web.

This video discusses using the built environment to fight mosquitoes carrying diseases like malaria. According to the narrator, 90% of deaths caused by malaria are in Africa; and the narrator suggests that this can in part be combated by changing the built environment. For example, according to the narrator, it used to be the case that in northern Europe people would keep cows inside their homes during the winter, which would attract disease-carrying mosquitoes. However, once people started keeping cows in separate housing, the number of people being bit by mosquitoes was reduced.

This video has given me new insight into built environments. Not only do built environments influence humans, but they can also effect other organisms as well, which in turn can effect humans. I chose this source because it is in the form of a video and it offers an insight not offered by what I’ve read about built environments thus far. Unfortunately, one of the draw backs for this video is its lack of rigor.