• Street Observations

    Community, Environmental Design

    Video Overview: The first part of the video shows people waiting to cross the street. As people start crossing and emptying the curb appears an old woman in a wheelchair accompanied by someone who appeared to be her caretaker. The second part shows two men from the Parsons construction site leaning against the building, chatting. The third section shows a guy alone leaning against a building smoking a cigarette.

    The interesting part of the first section is that the woman in the wheelchair is brought into the sunlight and then completely stopped. She does not move at all as all the other people are in their daily rush, crossing the streets, talking to each other. It is a very interesting spot to sunbathe. The second part shows the two guys out of their workspace, taking a break and interacting. They are talking and sharing their break. The guy in the next section interacts with only his cigarette. He is not just there but he is actually doing something. A cigarette makes what someone is busy with obvious, especially if he's in front of a door.

    In all three circumstances the people are not really questioning what the subjects are doing. The reason for the old lady is basically that she is old and she doesn't really need to be doing much. It is a life style that young people are not aware of and they wouldn't be sure of what's going on or care too much.

    One thing that is common in all three sections is that these people are using the street as a place to relax and recharge. All of the subjects are on the North side of the street. If they were on the South side, they would perhaps use the window frames of Parsons to sit or perch on. It has similarities with the concept of a building as a cherry tree, proposed in Cradle to Cradle. The Parsons building provides people with area to relax on, like the branches of a cherry tree used by the birds. The old lady would not be able to sit there but the caretaker would be and she would possibly save some energy. This is how design can address issues of daily life with simple solutions.

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