Friday, January 4, 2008

Constructing Inequality:

In looking back on the outline I created for this article I'm reminded of the many examples of how history has brought us to this social state that we are in now. People, governments and many different administrations have made decisions and shaped this world into what it is now. I agree many of the decisions have been made out of fear and vain thinking, while disregarding the ethical responsibility people have when put in positions to make decisions for the larger whole. This reminds me of what Mr. Childress said in his introduction to the class, everyone has the opportunity to make this world better. Who is the judge of better and when will it be at its best. Or is there corruption within administration which has created this built environment?

In studying the constructs that people have decided to build, it is easy to judge motives but what are we looking at? A contractor wanting to make more money or are we looking at a government trying to encourage consumers to spend more money?

Her references to architecture and architectural elements were the most intriguing aspects of the article to me. The enjoyed the insight of the deliberate forced perspective from the Piaza Del Populo in Rome. Sennett's description was also meaningful; perspective creating movement in the city, giving an opportunity to create a new perspective with-in the forced perspective. I also loved the description of the gate in gated communities, it is so very powerful just a small gate across a road and it allows everyone passing through it a different perspective and feeling. Creating the segregation between these two sides might eventually create a people forgetting about the rest of the world. This is true, how out of context can we make ourselves? The dangerous thing is, the power rests within those gates and decisions made will come from this warped since of reality. Oversight of a public cannot be seen through a fence nor a gate.

The "outside" space seemed to have evolved and changed over time into a controlled larger version of a white mans interior space. Which brings me back to thinking of how these decisions were made and if they truly were forceful and deliberate. This article has many stimulating aspects to keep in mind for the future, how do we design cities to encourage a new perspective of the genuine public. What powerful elements in architecture might bring up these conversations between these strangers?


Herb Childress said...

Your comments about "gates" marks one of the most important ways that designers can influence our attitudes and behavior. A door can be open or closed; more importantly for our purposes, it can LOOK as though it is MEANT to be open or closed. Some doors are foreboding and ominous, and disinvite us; others are welcoming and generous, and ask us in. We have a fairly predictable vocabulary of material meanings -- and we can also study the vocabulary of those who aren't like us, and design in ways that are generous to them as well.

Eric Randall said...

Hey Chris,

I like your analysis as it really seemed to focus on the architectural aspect of her article, which I guess in the end is why we are all here.

I was curious, however, about one of your statements, and wonder if you could perhaps expand on it. You say "The "outside" space seemed to have evolved and changed over time into a controlled larger version of a white mans interior space. " I wonder how you perceive that evolution? That is, are you theorizing that the public space is now less accessible than in the past?

Chris Parker said...

The outside space I was mainly referring to was that of the CID's. It seems that these spaces have become more and more controlled and exclusive. They almost create brands of people like stores do.

JennyChang-historythoery08 said...


It is great how you have put this article in the perspective of an architect. You have mentioned that "history has brought us to this social state that we are in", which is true. As architects, we must think about the history and understand it to make a better future.