What did you observe in the physical space? My observation area was between 13th Street and the corner of 5th Ave. On the north side of the street, there is 72 Fifth Ave Building where a renovation construction is currently taking place. At the ground floor is a small coffee shop. On the south side of the street, there is 66 Fifth Ave Building (Parsons building). It has the entrance and a series of large glass windows facing 13th Street. Between both buildings are sideways and the roadway.
What did you observe in the social space/interactions? The first thing that I noticed was the fact that Parsons students tend to crowd in front of the entrance. The cause of the crowd is because there is no other outside place where they can enjoy fresh air (or smoking) on their break time. I saw many people hanging out and smoking leaning against the wall of the building. The other cause is that the entrance is where there is most traffic in the building. Students have more chances to run into friends and start a casual conversation standing on the street. Since we conducted this observation around lunchtime, there are a lot of people who were going to get their lunch or were eating lunch on the street. At the coffee shop cross the school entrance, a couple of people were waiting on line on the street. Some people remained in front of the shop after buying their lunch and were eating a quick lunch. Next to the coffee shop, there are a couple of construction workers on the lunch break. They were eating a quick lunch on the street too. Some of them are just chatting over coffee and cigarettes. They must have finished their lunch and taken an advantage of beautiful weather to relax outside.
Did you observe any issues/problems in physical and social space? There are a couple of spots where people tend to crowd and block the flow of a traffic.
In front of the entrance of 66 Fifth Ave Building. 2. In front of the coffee shop. 3. In front of the construction of 66 Fifth Ave Building. Because of these crowds passers sometimes have to dodge thorough them to go where they are heading for. Also, after student get back to a class or leave from the entrance, there are always a lot of cigarette butts on the street. The other issue I noticed is there are many parked cars and trucks on the street. They can be problematic, because they block passers’ eyes while they are crossing the street. Especially when a large truck parks it is very hard to see across the street.
How can design address those issues/problems? For the crowd problem on the street, by designing more social places inside of the school building to accommodate more students, they can stop students from going outside on break time. One of the biggest reason why they want to be outside should be because they want fresh air or smoking, so those social places should have an access to outside area somehow although they are placed inside. Open terrace would be one of the possible solutions. As to the parking problem, if it is possible to post traffic signs to prevent longtime parking, it would reduce problematic parking on the street.
Well-being, Industrial Design
Posted October 06, 2008
By Shintaro Monden
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