• observations documentation : how people are affected by a specific condition

    Communication, Environmental Design

    In my observations at the entrance of the 66th and 5th building of Parsons, i have realized that people are affected first by the structure, the design, of the space (open\close) they are in. Second, people are affected, as a chain reaction, by the people that are already using, and have adapted themselves to the given space. how the "old people" accept, look, observe and treat the "new people" and how the "new people" to the space situate themselves in it. These two criterion are what affected the behavior\change in behavior of the people in the determined space i observed.

    Movie 1: (link to youtube)-[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PT4ITD8HEUs[ People who were already using the entrance's steps to sit on prevent almost 50% of the entrance pathway. people who come in order to enter the school have to go around the group of people sitting, make a detour, in order to use the new entrance. the group sitting on the step don't seem to care, notice or being disturbed by the people trying to enter the school nor by me filming them. We can also see a use of public space in a way the designer didn't mean it to be used that way. An adaptation of people to the space due to their needs, more than to the functionality of the space.

    Movie 2: (link to youtube) - [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chd5bdFivWA] The handicap entrance to the school. The banister that runs along the right and left side, to help people in wheelchairs climb the slope, stops on the left side as the road makes a 90 degrees turn to the left (still with an upwards gradient). At this point the handicap person gets to the entrance door, which he\she has to open by pulling it, and not pushing, an action that would have been a lot easier for someone in a wheelchair (especially when behind them at that point there is a negative slops and steps). It is an example for a problem oriented design that, as i see it, was designed intending to help someone without investigating enough or consulting with that someone what are his\hers capabilities and preferences.

    Movie 3: (link to youtube) - [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsWS--_v1lg] People in static state , observing other people in motion who are passing in front of them, or watching them as well (me, taking pictures of them, arousing their suspicion and curiosity. the "static people" use the school's outer window frames as benches, blocking what was suppose to be the connection between the street and the design school. Once again it is an example for people adaptation to a space in a way that wasn't the original purpose for its use, but the users basic needs change intentions into another reality. Every time someone came from the corner to turn right (to fifth ave.) they almost bumped into the group sitting\standing and chatting right on the corner. The guy on the left, walked away 3 seconds after this movie ended, apparently feeling awkward and uncomfortable with me filming him directly.

    Movie 4: (link to youtube) - [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWegVsSaKSs] Bad infrastructure in the given space. The path for wheelchair and people with stroller from the sidewalk to the road (lower curb) is all blocked by the street light pole, the garbage bin and the. People have to maneuver between the "obstacles" and when it comes to strollers and wheelchairs, sometimes they prefer to go around, by crossing the other zebra crossings (3 zebra crossings to get to the same point they wanted originally) or they obliged to lower the stroller away from the zebra crossing where the curb is higher and more risky. Another fact in this bad infrastructure example, is that the road itself was lowered, a fact that make all the rain water to gather exactly where the strollers\wheelchair have to cross. This is an example of how space itself makes people detour, change original intentions and adjust to the space. Each person's reaction and adjustment affect the next one's actions.

    Movie 5: (link to youtube) - [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWHBsSmlHEQ] The entrance and hallway of the school. when no one is around you and everything surrounding you is lacking any informative signs or instructions, it is like wondering in space..."who am i, can anyone see me, where am i ? where am i going? " it is a pace designed for people who know where they are heading...if you don't that space makes you go slowly and carefully into the "unknown". without anyone looking at you, you looking at someone else, without you being noticed, you feel as if you weren't exist...the camera is the only proof to you existence. that's how important other people are - they are the proof that everything else is real...

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