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  • Observations

    Environment

    Observation_432_

    The Physical Space It was a beautiful and breezy day around 1pm. There is very limited seating space on the north side of W 13th Street. As a result, the bench right outside of a small deli was fully occupied, and a couple of chairs were brought outside to accommodate the workers who were taking a lunch break. On the south side, there is plenty of seating space all along the wide window. However, there were only a couple of students perching there, smoking. This is probably because classes were in session during this time.

    Social Space/Interactions The sidewalks were overwhelmed with people – pedestrians, worker and students on breaks, homeless people, etc. The stairs outside of the Parsons’ main entrance, right in front of the deli, and northwest corner of W 13th Street and 5th Ave seemed to be the three focal points of social interaction. Students were having short conversations at the entrance of Parsons. The workers who were on a break were having lunch together. Most of them were not talking at all. They seemed to be enjoying their quite lunches in the presence of one another. Due to the lack of seating space, many have innovatively used the tiny ledges that protrude from columns to rest their tired feet. While many are spending time outside, in the warm sunlight, perfectly balanced with the breezy air, a couple of students were sitting on the round couches on the other side of the pane of glass. They turned that space into private studies, eating area, and even temporary bedrooms. I saw a student taking a little power nap, and thought that I would seize the chance to observe him. I soon realized that I was stepping over the thin line between public and private space.

    Physical/Social Space Due to the number of people who were enjoying their leisure time out on the sidewalk, there were some occasional sidewalk traffic jams. Students who were studying and resting inside the building seemed to be distracted.

    How can design address those issues? Since it is unlikely to drive away people who choose to rest on the sidewalk, a planned area should be implemented. This will provide a better traffic flow on the sidewalks. In terms of having a private space in a public setting, I think our lobby was specifically designed not to cater these needs.

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