January 2016 archive

Reading Summary: Architectural Exclusion

Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment by Sarah Schindler opens up discussing how some of the man-made features such as bridges created difficulty for certain individuals, typically the poor and the people of color, buses could not pass through these low built bridges which were designed to keep those individuals from accessing the beach. The separation from the wealthy and the poor were created through highways that help prevent integration, walls and fences.

In the opening we discuss Atlanta’s MARTA train and the opposing views on expanding into the suburban areas which would restrict people of color from accessing jobs in those areas. This article discusses the many subtle but clear ways that the environment has constructed the division between the wealthy and poor population through physical design. This contributes to separation of economic status, inequality and exclusion of and for the poor people.

In part one we discuss architectural exclusion and how we never tend to give a second thought at why buildings or park seats are created the way that they are. We think of them as social norms but in actuality there were masterminds at work giving meaning to every detail that we bypass without a blink, constraining our behavior through design. We discuss how architecture is never really thought of as regulation. We go deep into detail about the powerful and meaning role that architectural design plays in our society and creating barriers for access and integration. We also discuss the importance of not understating the significance behind space, place and mobility and how easy it is to get away lawfully with these architectural designs because of the less visibility to lawmakers and courts. Because lawmakers sometimes turn their cheeks to this form of regulation, architectural design can be very powerful with nothing or no one to oppose it.

We also discuss how physical barriers were created to exclude the population from access of certain areas. Of course we cannot create a law that states were poor or colored people can and cannot go but with architectural designs we can make it physically difficult without anyone questioning the architect’s intentions. We also discuss the genius idea of sidewalk design, which I always imagined was strictly for the safety of the pedestrians, but as I find out today sidewalks or the lack of sidewalks in some neighborhoods was not a mistake or some sort of unfinished design but actually an intentional and premeditated attempt to prevent people from crossing streets or walking through the neighborhoods.

Local governments also create exclusionary designs through the community. Some of these barriers are intended to create privacy and protection as well. We talked about the traffic diverter in Ohio which was named the “Berlin Wall for black people” by people in Cleveland.

We discussed the placement of transit stops, highway routes, bridge exits, roads infrastructure as well as dead ends, confusing signage and residential parking permits. In closing we discuss how difficult and unsafe some of the architectural designs make it for those less fortunate to be able to enjoy the community life that they are purposely barred and excluded from.

Reading Summary #2: Tapestry of Space

In the article Tapestry of Space: Domestic Architecture and Underground Communities in Margaret Morton ’ s Photography of a Forgotten New York, Morton opens up describing underground and above ground homes that the homeless build from fragments, scraps and all sorts of materials. She discusses how essential shelter is and how ones identity is derived from it. She also states how no home is permanent leaving people with a fragile sense of identity. She breaks it down to discuss what it really means to be homeless and how many of us are homeless in different aspects we would have never considered. She discusses how stability isn’t guaranteed for the homeless or the housed due to closed off tunnels and home demolition.  This goes to show that being homeless and being housed is not a binary. It seems as if it is no longer about the foundation of where you lay your head but more so about the stability behind that foundation, because clearly we can all be homeless within a blink of an eye; one wrong decision, missed payment or even a natural disaster.

It truly makes me think about the true meaning of homeless, we all have a depiction of what it means and looks like to be homeless, but reading this article lets me know that there is so much more to it than just being without a home. Because those without an actual mortgaged or rented home still find ways and means to have shelter for themselves and their families, by building a home of their own under bridges, tunnels and alley ways, building places of peace through artistic expression.

. Morton also talks about how her interviewees use space as a creative guide, building on space and not treating the environment as a commodity.. They build on space using found materials and personal items in ways that do not treat the environment as a commodity. tunnel life was described as being a functional way of living, more so described as living in a art museum, full of expression and not just a place for primal survival. Morton discusses the role of the urban photographer, as well as material production, New York photography, Situationist International’s and the goal to rid the division between art and life and to examine everyday life completely. The article also talks about tunnel life and those who society has frowned upon.Morton also discusses public space,city attractions, and domestic architecture

Hello world!

Welcome to your brand new blog at sites@gsu.edu!

To get started, edit or delete this post and check out all the other options available to you.

For assistance, visit the comprehensive support site, check out the Edublogs User Guide guide or stop by The Edublogs Forums to chat with other edubloggers.

For personal support, you can attend Georgia State’s training on Edublogs or stop by The Exchange for one-on-one support.

You can also reference the free publication, The Edublogger, which is jammed with helpful tips, ideas and more.