Design Team Reflection


Throughout the past few weeks, working as a design team member was a positive experience for me. Initially, I was hesitant to join the team because I did not know any of the other people and group work tends to end tragically. The most challenging aspect of the project, like any group project, was collaborating with everyone. At times, it was difficult to maintain communication because we were predominantly using a google doc, which I am less familiar with, and email messaging, which none of us check as regularly as we probably should. After meeting up a few times and exchanging cell phone numbers, the communication became more fluid and was easier to maintain. I have to give props to Emir for his leadership and devotion to making the project work and run smoothly. I honestly do not believe that without him on the team that it would have come out the way it did. Mrs. A was always extremely helpful in guiding us when we were not necessarily sure what to do or how to express our thoughts and ideas. 


The most rewarding aspect of the project was the freedom that we had. We were able to work on our own schedules, let our creative juices flow, and really make the website our own. Without that sort of freedom, I do not feel as though we would have been as successful. I know that with my busy schedule, classes and two jobs, I would not been able to commit to this project without that freedom. However, the freedom was a little bit bitter sweet. I still have not spoken to or met half of the team members. The freedom to choose when to meet made getting everyone in one place at one time difficult to accomplish. In the future, I would make a few mandatory all-team meetings. If everyone were in the same place and able to bounce ideas off of one another, we could have done more and gotten to know our fellow design team members better. 


Overall, I enjoyed the project and appreciated the opportunity to be a member of the design team. I learned quite a bit about myself. I learned to communicate with others and take responsibility for doing my part. Another major thing that I learned is that each one of us are different and have our own ideas and our own sense of creativity so I have to be able to accept the ideas of others as theirs and learn to sit back a little bit and not micromanage how others decide to do their part. No one idea is better than another. I also learned that I am spread much too thin and that in order to have time for the projects, classes, internships, and work that I enjoy, I need to cut back on the things that I do not enjoy as much. I liked this and almost didn’t do it because of all of the things going on in my life; I am glad I did, though. With more time, I would definitely do another project like this. I would also encourage other students to participate in this project because it allows you to meet some of your classmates, work as a team, and express your creativity. In college, there are few chances to do projects that incorporate all of those things; people should take advantage of the opportunity. 

Digital Space Description- Woodruff Arts Center

For my digital space built environment, I chose was The website is for the Woodruff Arts Center. The opening webpage, which is presented below, is aesthetically appealing and has six sections that viewers can search to explore the site. Using those sections, you can discover the art, plan a visit to the center, plan an event at the center, explore the Woodruff, support the center with various forms of donations, and see the different programs and initiatives that the Woodruff Arts Center has to offer. Due to the abundant amount of information presented on the site, I focused predominantly on the four sections that were the most captivating to me.


woodruff art opening page


When you scroll down on the opening page of the Woodruff Arts Center site, a page of tabs appears. Each of the tabs allows you to explore the site and find information on an array of things. The viewer has the option to check out ticket prices, donate time and money to the center, plan an event at the center, use the center as a form of education, and parking at the center. Each section for the information is presented with colorful, people friendly images, while still being useful and guiding people to what they were searching for.


woodruff tab options


Located under the ‘Explore the Woodruff’ tab is the Woodruff Arts Center Overview page. The purpose of this section no the website is to provide people with a little bit of background information on the center itself and its reputability. It establishes a sense of credibility by mentioning its great accomplishments, such as being “one of the largest arts centers in the world, home to the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre, the Grammy Award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the High Museum of Art, the leading art museum in the Southeast.” That level of prestige makes people feel like it is worth their time and money. However, even with that notoriety, it is still a place where family can go with their children, students can go with their friends, and adults can go for a evening out.


woodruff overview


Under the ‘Visit’ and ‘Parking and Directions’ tab on the website is a map that provides people with a map of the area surrounding the Center and the address. This is intended to help people located the Arts Center and get a general understanding of its location. It also  provides people with the specific directions based on their location to the Woodruff Arts Center in they choose to do it that way. This is an important section to note because it can be difficult not only to find things downtown, but also to find parking at the places. By providing people with easy directions, it encourages them to come out.


woodruff address


The final section of the Woodruff Art Center website that I found particularly useful was the ‘Panthers at Woodruff Arts Center 2015/2016 Season Pass’. As a Georgia State student, writing on a blog for other Georgia State students, it is beneficial not only to me, but for my peers as well. Before exploring the site, I did not know that Center has a program with our school. This section it is located under the ‘Programs and Initiatives’ tab, which is where the website shows its relationship with local Universities, programs, and whatnot. Based on the information that I gained from this section of the website, I actually bought a pass for myself and my boyfriend and followed the direction on the page for how to redeem the passes. We are going after final are over to view the exhibit on Jean-Michel Basquiat. With the guidance of their user friendly website, it was all so easy!


GSU at woodruff arts center

Woodruff Art Center Tabs

woodruff tab options

When you scroll down on the opening page of the Woodruff Arts Center site, this page of tabs appears. Each of the tabs allows you to explore the site and find information on a variety of things. The viewer has the option to check out ticket prices, donate time and money to the center, plan an event at the center, use the center as a form of education, and parking at the center.

Woodruff Arts Center Cover

woodruff art opening page

This is the webpage opening page for my digital space, the Woodruff Arts Center website. It is the first page that you see when visiting the site and allows you to scroll over each the words to access other tabs. They large picture and subtle, yet bright colors in the picture in the background make the site aesthetically appealing to someone looking to learn about what the Center has to offer.

Annotated Bibliographies 1-10

Salley, Kim. “Preventing Shelternization: Alleviating The Struggles Of Homeless Individuals And Families In New York City.” Fordham Urban Law Journal 42.4 (2015): 1019-1062. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 Feb. 2016.

In the article, “Preventing Shelternization: Alleviating The Struggles Of Homeless Individuals And Families In New York City”, author, Kim Salley, discusses the problems that the homeless man and women of New York City face. While the article has several points and is broken up into four sections that also contain sub-sections, I am primarily focusing on the second section titled: “Sate of the Homeless: Factors Contributing to Homelessness and Failed Legislative Policies. Upon acknowledging the growing homeless population and a lack of preventative measures, Salley sought to provide New York with potential solutions to the problem, such as implementing more preventative programs, closing the gap between the minimum wage and the housing wage and establishing a better public assistance to help them get health care and food. Although the article discusses the struggles facing homeless individuals in New York City and my research topic is Downtown, Atlanta, it is still a reputable source because it was acquired through Georgia State University’s library database. Additionally, both places are popular urban cities and it is possible that some of those problems may also be applicable to the homeless population in Atlanta.

Sparks, Sarah D. “Homeless Student Population Still Rising.” Education Week 33.11 (2013): 1-15. MasterFILE Elite. Web. 3 Feb. 2016.

In the article, “Homeless Student Population Still Rising”, author, Sarah Sparks, discusses how the 2008 recession in the United States has impacted the homeless student population. Sparks considers the factors that contribute to the problem, such as the recession itself, a lack of shelter, children being displaced and family need being unmet. In the shelter section, Sparks talks about how these students often have nowhere to go for shelter because the families that would have taken them in were struggling themselves and could not afford to take in anyone else. The section titled “Reasons for Leaving” points out the circumstances encouraging the students to leave such as domestic violence, problems in at home. Another section about family needs labeled transportation as a huge problem for the homeless students. Without transportation, they are unable to get to and from work, which makes it difficult for them to meet their needs. They could not make enough money to pay for transportation, food, shelter, and their education. Due to the fact that Sparks discusses the United States as a whole instead of just one location, the article is applicable to my research topic of Downtown, Atlanta. Given that I got the article through Georgia State University’s library database and Sparks uses statistics to back up her claim that the homeless student population is still rising, I consider it to be reputable source.

“It’s drugs that make people live on streets.” Daily Mail 18 Dec. 2014: 39. Regional Business News. Web. 3 Feb. 2016.

In this news article from Daily Mail titled “It’s drugs that make people live on streets” by Regional Business News, the author claims that the homeless population faces homelessness due to drug addiction. The author acknowledges that there is a need for more affordable housing; however, he believes that no matter how many houses are built, the homeless population will still exist due to the number of homeless men and women who are addicts. He, the author, also points out the problem as predominantly one of the urban areas. The author concludes by stating, “as long as we fail to acknowledge that heroin is still eating away at the very heart of our society, not only will homelessness continue to grow, but it will be the least of our problems” (Daily Mail). This article came from the Georgia State University library database, which provides it with a little bit of credibility, but not entirely. The article fails to recognize the numerous factors other than drugs and affordable housing that also contribute to homelessness. It also labels many of the people on the streets as drug addicts, which discredit those who are on the streets and not on drugs. This article acts as an example for how people often look down on the homeless population, which makes it harder for them to progress.

Childress, Sarah, et al. “Mental Illness And Substance Use Problems In Relation To Homelessness Onset.” American Journal Of Health Behavior 39.4 (2015): 549-555 7p. CINAHL Plus with Full Text. Web. 23 Feb. 2016.

In the article, “Mental Illness and Substance Use Problems In Relations To Homelessness Onset”, author, Sarah Childress discusses the association between mental illness, substance use, and homelessness. Childress Childress’ article studied 394 homeless adults and gathered a plethora of statistical evidence to establish a relationship. The study took place in Dallas, Texas and was comprised of random homeless men and women who saw the flyers and wanted to participate. However, the criteria they were required to meet were that they must be at least 18 years old, English-speaking, and have a 7th grade literacy level. Of the participants that Childress studied, 124 of them reported you-onset homelessness. The homeless youth reported “using substances to attenuate the negative psychological effects of living on the streets, to reduce depressive symptoms, and to stay awake when they experience difficulty finding a safe place to sleep” (Childress, 550). A problem that Childress remarked was how the youth tend to be less likely to seek help, thus face the same or worsened drug and psychological problems into adulthood. Based on the mental illness related statistics that Childress obtained, “64.7% of the sample reported a major depression diagnosis, 41.1% a bipolar disorder diagnosis, and 25.4% schizophrenia or a schizoaffective disorder diagnosis at some point over the lifetime” (Childress, 551). Similarly, the statistics for self-reported problematic substance use were also high. The purpose of Childress’ article was to see if there was in fact a relationship between mental illness, substance use, and homelessness. While I feel as though the article provided substantial statistical evidence to support the relationship, it failed to compare mental illness and drug use to people who are not homeless; thus their homelessness may be unrelated.

Bruce, Douglas, et al. “Modeling Minority Stress Effects On Homelessness And Health Disparities Among Young Men Who Have Sex With Men.” Journal Of Urban Health 91.3 (2014): 568-580 13p. CINAHL Plus with Full Text. Web. 23 Feb. 2016.

Throughout the article, “Modeling Minority Stress Effects On Homelessness And Health Disparities Among Young Men Who Have Sex With Men”, author Douglas Bruce explores the relationship between sexuality and homelessness amongst adolescents. Based on extensive research, Bruce claims that homosexual youth are more likely to experience homelessness than heterosexual youth. The minority stress theory is also discussed in the article and believes that the “transitional period between adolescence and adulthood may be reshaped by experiencing homelessness or being kicked out of one’s parental home”(Bruce, 568). As a result, the physical and mental health of the adolescents is impaired, which may make it more difficult for them to escape homelessness, as they grow older. Bruce studied 200 young men who have sex with men in an effort to identify the association between sexuality, drug use, and homelessness. He found that the young men who are homosexual and got kicked out of the house had a higher rate of homelessness and daily marijuana use. The article proved the correlation between sexuality and homelessness.

CBS 46. “Police Warn Homeless Campers of Eviction from Woodruff Park – CBS46 News.” April 10, 2012. Accessed February 5, 2016.

In the news article, “Police Warn Homeless Campers of Eviction from Woodruff Park”, y CBS 46, the dozens of homeless men and women camping in the park are being told that they could not stay there. The article is accompanied by an image of the homeless campers and their tents lining the sidewalk and a couple a police officers standing in front of them. The tents were left in the park after “hundreds of demonstrators camped out for weeks inside the park to protest corporate greed, foreclosures, and wars in the Middle East” CBS 46). However, when they left, the homeless began occupying the tents and living out of them. In response to being asked if alternative shelter was offered to the homeless, Atlanta Police Department Deputy Chief, Renee Propes, said “Absolutely. The United Way was out here. They have transitional housing they can connect these folks too” (CBS 46). Conversely, some of the homeless people, such as Irvin Perrisseaud, feel as though the shelters are dangerous. Without warning or a specific timeframe, they were told to pack up their “homes” and told that they had to leave due to the new ordinance outlawing having tents on the sidewalks and living out of them. Given that man of the homeless men and women are mentally ill or haw drug and alcohol problems, they should probably be helped rather than evicted and told to move. This article provides an example of homelessness in downtown Atlanta, as well as how they are often displaced.

Sanburn, Josh. “The Radically Simple Solution To Homelessness.” Time 187.9 (2016): 19-20. Academic Search Complete. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

In the New York Times’ article titled “The Radically Simple Solution to Homelessness, the author Josh Sanburn proposed that the problem of homelessness is not as difficult to solve as many people make it out to be. Sanburn acknowledged psychologist Sam Tsemberis’ plan to reverse they way the issue of homelessness way approached. Initially, the U.S. tackled homelessness by first addressing the mental illnesses and substance abuse conflict that was hindering the homeless population from acquiring and maintaining shelter rather than providing them with places to live first. Tsemberis believed that “once people had housing, more often than not, they kept it” (Sanburn, 19). After years of testing Tsemberis’ plan, the “housing first” approach proved itself to be a success. However, Sanburn went on to recognize how much more difficult it is to find permanent housing for increasingly high numbers of homeless people in populous urban areas, such as New York City. In order to get and maintain housing in those areas the issues of safety, health, and budget must be addressed first. In response to the budget problem in Los Angeles, “the council on Feb. 9 approved a $1.85 billion plan that embraces a housing-first approach” (Sanburn, 20). Regardless of the problems that the housing first plan has encountered, Sanburn believes that is shows tremendous promise. This article was publish barely a week ago and addresses the issue of homelessness not only in New York, but also in other highly populated cities, such as Chicago and Los Angeles. With the proper funding, leadership and safety measures, a similar approach could be taken to decrease the homeless population in Atlanta, as well.

Reed, Mayor Kasim. “Atlanta Reduces Homeless Population (and Saves Money in the Process).” CNNMoney, December 11, 2014.

In the CNN article “Atlanta Reduces Homeless Populations (and Saves Money in the Process), Mayor Kasim Reed discusses the innovative ways in which the city of Atlanta partnered with City Hall, local communities, and the private sector to address the one of Atlanta’s major problems, homelessness. Atlanta’s innovation team sought to reduce the number of people who were homeless or in emergency shelters. In 2011, Reed reported that there were ”approximately 4,400 people” of that status (Reed). The team researched the reasons behind the homelessness and with that information, they launched the campaign Unsheltered No More. Unsheltered No More teamed up with over 51 partners with the goal “to house 800 homeless by December 2013” (Reed). By that time, the team exceeded its goal and housed over 1,000 persons. Reed believes that with the help of partnerships and adequate funding, the city can be transformed and the homeless population can be helped. Reed quoted one of his favorite African proverbs to describe the situation- “if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go with others”.

Flanagan, Mark W., and Harold E. Briggs. “Substance Abuse Recovery Among Homeless Adults In Atlanta, Georgia, And A Multilevel Drug Abuse Resiliency Tool.” Best Practice In Mental Health12.1 (2016): 89-109. Academic Search Complete. Web. 25 Mar. 2016.

In the article “Substance Abuse Recovery among Homeless Adults in Atlanta, Georgia, and a Multilevel Drug Abuse Resiliency Tool” by Flanagan and Briggs, the authors describe homeless with addictions and try to give insight into the strain put on them when trying to escape their poverty. The writing first gives background into the nature of homelessness involving drug use and the stigma that is perpetuated by this. It is often looked down upon as a criminal act instead of a mental and clinical illness. By treating these individuals as criminals, they are forced into staying homeless. They have no opportunity to turn their life around, because they don’t have the resources to do so. In Atlanta, these conditions are consistently encountered. Atlanta has the seventh largest homeless population in the country, and it is fifth on the list when it comes to the chronically homeless. With this level of drug use and homelessness combined, there is an intense structural violence and sociological weight on the individuals. The authors describe this as “large-scale forces—ranging from gender inequality and racism to poverty”(Flanagan and Briggs). They also state the fact that to really help these people, each cause of their conditions has to be addressed individually. “Drug abuse is both a symptom and cause of homelessness that generally hinders homeless persons from making positive changes in their lives” (Flanagan and Briggs).

Marcil, Tiffany, et al. “Homeless Inmates Statistics For Orange County Corrections In Florida.” Corrections Today 78.1 (2016): 16-19. MasterFILE Elite. Web. 25 Mar. 2016.

In the article, “Homeless Inmates Statistics for Orange County Corrections in Florida”, the authors first describe the statistics behind homeless inmates in the Orange County system. They discovered that around ten percent of the inmates per a day were homeless. Of all the homeless in the county, around 24 percent were in the jails. There are almost no resources for these individuals once released so most are repeat offenders. In fact, “Close to 70 percent of youths in the juvenile justice system have a diagnosed mental health disorder, and approximately 30 percent suffer from a mental illness so severe it impairs their ability to function as a responsible adult” (Marcil, 24). The authors then describe The Value of Alternative Therapies In Mental Health Treatment for Incarcerated Youths. The importance being that this can prevent these kids from being in and out of homes or jails. Instead they have a chance to actually turn their lives in a different direction. It also saves the state a tremendous amount of money both short term and in the long run. Starting young can make a huge impact.

Reading Summary 6

The article “Color Walk” describes a tool that is made to change the average perspective on everyday beauty in nature and our surroundings. Bennin and McMullan, the authors of this writing, first mention William Burroughs. He was a novelist, teacher, artist, and dabbled in spoken word. He created an activity that wouldn’t take too long, and would hopefully change the outlooks of his students.he called it color walks. The goal was to go for a stroll around your area, and look for a specific color in your surroundings. By doing so, the participant would start to focus in on the red of a bike, or the different hues of blue around them.
The authors of this article took this a step forward by changing the rules. They allowed you to focus on a color that grabbed your attention, then move to a different color if it also did. These colors would transition from one object to the next, pulling the attention until something even more vibrant came along. This is much easier to say than do. While writing this I tried to focus on the task, but kept getting distracted by my own thoughts. Eventually, I started to try less and succeed more.That’s when I noticed that once you started getting into the groove of looking at a color, and focusing on its contrast to the objects around it, it become very easy, and almost meditative. It reminded me of the new trend of adult coloring books. It was relaxing and changed the way I viewed our world.
Even after the activity is over, the authors noticed that the colors still hung in their brains and their minds. They felt different, maybe more perceptive. Even more, their view of Macroscopic view changed to focus on the little things. Maybe they had been missing it all along.

Topgolf, Midtown

For my internal built environment, I chose Topgolf, Midtown. Although it was not on the list for internal built environments, I was encouraged to choose it because of the fun that I have with my friends there and the fact that I work there. In my option, it is a much cooler place to observe than a coffee shop, museum, and market. Over the course of the past few weeks, I have spent a hours exploring and observing Topgolf from the perspective of a guest rather than an employee.

With an area as large, diverse, and captivating as Topgolf, one image could not fully show its greatness. Thus, I collected various digital records to show its best attributes. The records represent the attraction well because they show almost all that Topgolf has to offer. Topgolf is located at 1600 Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard, which less than a ten minute drive from my apartment and the Georgia State campus. When I first moved downtown, over the summer, Topgolf was not yet opened and still in the process of hiring people. At the time, I was unaware of what exactly Topgolf was and had no interest in working there. My roommate, however, did and got the job and kept insisting that I come golf with him. After one time I was hooked, which is why I felt that I should observe it as my internal built environment.

My digital records included a picture of the outside of the building, my bay reservation, the full bar, the lounge area, the target goals, and a video of my friend Alyssa demonstrating how the golfing works. The outside of the building is illuminated with bright blue lights that can be seen from down the street, which draw people in. In order to get a bay, which is where people golf, I had to make a reservation. I wound up on the second floor at bay 25; it was labeled “225”. While people are waiting on their bays or just hanging out, they can go to the bar or the first floor lounge. The bar is also illuminated with bright blue lights and is fully stocked. The lounge has pool tables and video games that people of all ages enjoy.

In my time observing Topgolf, I spent most of the evening at a bay with my friend Alyssa. I taught her how to swing the golf club and the goal of the game that wanted to play. We played a game called “Top Score”. To get a ball, she just had to wave her foot or the club over a sensor and a ball would be dispensed. With her blue women’s clubs, she hit the ball off of the platform and into a target in the outfield. For the game “Top Score”, we received points based on how many yards the ball went. The computer at our bay knew who got what points because of a computer chip in the ball and in the goals that matches our bay. The technology is so cool.

Topgolf was so much fun to observe. Alyssa and I ordered dinner and dessert from our bay, toured the building (even though I’d seen if before as an employee), and watched the different groups of people enjoy their time there too. The various groups of people ranges from families, to dates, and even to a Delta group that rented out an area. Some people are genuine golfers, while others are amateurs (such as myself), but regardless of the person, age or gender, everyone can come and enjoy themselves. Although I typically spend roughly 30 hours a week at Topgolf, it was amazing getting to see the place from a new perspective. It was so lively and entertaining.