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Comments on Weeks 5&6 Readings-2015

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SUBALTERN AND AD HOC AGENTS OF CHANGE IN THE POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY

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  1. I found The Craft of Research to be very useful to me for the research portion of the site project. I also found this article useful because I have never done any research in Art History or Architecture before. This article educated me about the proper way to complete research in this field. I like how this manual explain the process to me step by step on how to properly conduct research. I like how easy it was for someone who is not an art history or architecture major or minor to follow. This manual will now significantly help the research process for the site project.

    • Jason: What’s interesting about this text is that the author is also addressing those in fields other than history and art history, etc. The point is that as an artist and a practitioner you may also do research and your research results are equally important. The way you do research may be slightly different, however. For example, you collect images and maps, while a historian may focus on the written data, etc.

  2. The Craft of Research is a useful collection of information about choosing and subsequently researching a project. The authors regularly mention how daunting research can seem, both in choosing a topic and in the actual process of research. The article recommends choosing a topic that you find personally interesting but also one that is limited enough to allow for detailed research. That is why I think it is important to study the individual lives of those who lived on this street during the period of abolition. I have always found individual stories interesting as they allow you to view a microcosom of life from the period. This article is also useful for its breakdown of the research process. The authors are correct in stating that research is daunting, especially when you have no prior knowledge of the subject. By breaking down the process, the authors make it less imposing and assure the reader that research is not impossible. Finally, the authors remind the reader of the significance of research by asking “So what?” throughout research. A detailed history of life from the period is not signifcant on its own. What is significant is that people are educated on the history of abolition and learn how rich New Bedford’s history is.

    • Hannah: I am glad you are highlighting the significance of things that matter on a personal level. I agree, one should, indeed, focus on things that are of more significance to one (both in terms of personal interests and disciplinary background).

  3. Doing quality research can be incredibly hard however it its important to learn how to make a solid argument that way it is also easier to spot false claims. When approaching a source its important to be unbiased and critical so that you can draw your own conclusions from data. This way, people will come away with a unique view and be able to share it to draw more conclusions if in a group. The craft of research readings for me are very useful because with all the information I’m exposed to on the web whether it be facebook articles or tv ads I forget at times that not everything is what it seams or entirely truthful.

  4. I found that reading through “The Craft of Research” was very helpful. The chapter on “planning your project” was useful, giving steps to effectively follow through with a project. The author made a good point in advising to ask a lot of questions. In terms of our project I believe that asking a lot of questions, especially about the area of New Bedford, is crucial in our class’ success. The “making claims and supporting claims” was also useful. Supporting claims will be very important in our presentation portion of this project.

  5. “The Craft of Research” is an awesome set of articles that can help every group out if they choose to do so. My favorite section was revising and organizing because I recognize this as a weakness of mine. I tend to not revise to well, or maybe never really learned how to properly, but with these steps I can take my time to make sure everything is calculated properly. Especially the check information to be reliable and connected to the claim that way everything we have has a meaning. I will be checking back with these articles throughout the semester, for our project and other projects in different classes.

  6. There were several points made in the article that broadened my thinking about the research process. Throughout my entire academic career I have not once thought of formally disagreeing with my source in my essay. I have always just disregarded a source if it was trying to justify a point I was opposing. This article also made good points on how to conduct your research and how to to even develop a topic if you are completely underwater and do not know what direction to go.

  7. As an artist, The Craft of Research is pertinent to my needs, in a scope beyond this project or similar projects. In terms of art research, I have some skills (ex using databases rather than Google) but I still tend to only perform a surface level of research before digging in. Sometimes when I’m given an assignment, I’m so overwhelmed by my lack of knowledge on the subject that I simply focus in on one aspect I already know something about – and while that somewhat correlates to the advice here, what they’re describing is a better, more strategic form of specification of research.

  8. The Craft of Research talks about how the act of researching can be different for each individual. It helps those who do not do much investigating by providing the step by step breakdown of the research process. One major point the article taught me is that it is important when researching to keep an open mind and ask a lot of questions. This article was good to read since we are researching about New Bedford for our vacant lot project.

  9. From Chapter Eight of Booth’s book I learned a lot about the core of research. Though it makes sense to me now after reading it, I had never previously considered the notion of making a claim to a tentative answer before actually discovering the real answer. It makes sense to do this because from the start it filters all the data you have to sift through into a much narrower spectrum. I have always thought this to be the most difficult part of any research oriented project; sifting through data and resources can take an enormous amount of time if you don’t have even some idea of what you might be looking for. Narrowing your focus can eliminate a lot of the excess junk that is useless to your research and make the answer seem more apparent even if it doesn’t entirely agree with your initial claim. Though it is not quite the same, in advanced engineering math, this is often the case where you have to “guess” a solution to the problem before you can even begin solving it. Sometimes it will turn out that your initial guess is wrong entirely and you may have to start over under a different claim, but often, if your claim is well educated, after several iterations you will converge on the true answer. I know this is not quite the same but it seems to be a fairly analogous idea.

  10. I chose to focus on one specific chapter of The Craft of Research. More specifically the chapter that talks about revising and organization. The main reason I chose to focus only on this chapter is because I’m a decent writer, I’ve been taught extensive writing skills in high school that have helped throughout college however I sometimes have a slightly more difficult time organizing my paragraphs and making sure whomever is reading the paper understands it the way I want them to, and not just how I perceive it. The chapter was extremely helpful in both of these problems, especially the section about evaluating the quality of the argument. Sometimes the argument or example you try to use isn’t the best or doesn’t fit well enough to express to a clueless reader what you’re trying to convey, the way it does to you. Hopefully, if our group writes a paper about our lot, this will come in handy.

  11. The Craft of Research was a very good article that can really provide lots of good information for the research and planning aspect of our projects. I found the planning section to be especially helpful because I usually do not map out what I am going to do first. The author also made it a point to ask a lot of questions which I think could be helpful for our group. With lots of questions being asked everyone is able to contribute and open peoples eyes to another aspect that they may have not seen before.

  12. (James Sevasin)
    I read “Postindustrialization and the City of Consumption: Attempted Revitalization in Asbury Park, New Jersey,” I found this city for be very interesting case for studying postindustrial cities. This place was one a premier tourist destination for middle and working class families but lost revenues in this area in the 1970’s and 1980’s. People began to choose other places to tour instead. They tried revitalizing the tourism industry in the 1980’s and 1990’s but projects would not be finished and corruption with the cities leaders and the companies that had rights to some of the buildings was rampant.
    After realizing that tourism was not going to boom its economy. The city started buying properties at a really cheap rate and flipping them to sell them for more money. The city did a good job at promoting these properties and promoting Asbury Park as a great place for people in the LGBT community to live in. This place provided them with a culture of acceptance and sense of welcoming for these people. As a result of all this Asbury Park became a profitable city again. This city is also a success story for postindustrial cities.

  13. The craft of research is a very good resource providing a lot of information to help us with our projects. I found the chapter on making good arguments helpful because they break down the five questions to ask yourself on the reader’s behalf. This includes your claim, reasons that support your claim, evidence, acknowledge and response, and principle. I also think the chapter on revising was very helpful because I usually struggle with revisions and thinking about the reader’s point of view. Overall, I think this article provided really good information that I will be able to use while working on my project.

  14. “Postindustrialization and the City of Consumption: Attempted Revitalization in Asbury Park, New Jersey” was a very interesting article for many reasons. The first of these is that the article introduces the idea of a post-industrial consumer city. Typically, post-industrial cities are characterized by smokestacks and abandoned factories, hallmarks of American production. A post-industrial consumer city, on the other hand, is full of empty entertainment spaces and hotels. In reworking this space, however, one must work very similarly to the way one would revitalize an industrial city. The area is now primarily for residents and has to work to their needs. The first developer, an outside company, attempted to build structures that would ruin the aesthetics of the seaside, ignore community needs, and ruin a historic area. This completley disregards all the aspects that must be considered and instead focuses on a profit, the exact consumerism that brought Asbury Park to ruin in the first place. The second group that tried to interfere with the city were Springsteen fans. Although their plans eventually grew to include a museum, their idea of a successful change in the city began and ended with rescuing a piece of musical memorabilia. They ignored the history of the city and instead focused on one idealized example of the past. The clown represented entertainment, the consumer culture of tourism that once characterized the city. To focus on saving it and not helping the city is to again try to preserve consumerism in place of the city torn apart by it. Finally, the most effective form of intervention was the gentrification due to the LGBTQ+ community. They were successful because they did not focus on making money off the city or preserving an imagined past but instead working towards a future that they would share. As they actually live in the neighborhood, they can recognize what needs to be done and legitimately care about a future. However, the article really neglected to comment on the negative aspects of gentrification. The revival of the African American community was mentioned as an afterthought and the Latinx community mentioned in the idea of “Esperanza” from earlier in the article was completely neglected. Gentrification can seem like it betters a community by making them safer, cleaner, and healthier. However, this definition of better ignores the people that were displaced by the gentrification. The decline of the city was characterized by white flight in the beginning of the article and the improvement was framed in terms of their return. This prioritization of white ideals is a dangerous measure for a good city.

  15. Without a doubt, the most important section of “The Craft of Research” was ‘Making Good Arguments’. I would personally claim that argument, whether constructive or destructive, is the base for why there is development in the world. So long as two people disagree, there will always be change. However, that means argument can be used to our advantage so long as we can predict the questions that will be asked of us and thoroughly be able to explain and answer.
    When designing the lot, it will be important to keep in mind that a great idea is only great if you can explain the reason behind it. Why would flower beds be important to the community? Why do we need six benches instead of three? Why did you design it like this, when this way seems for functional? This way of thinking will need to be implemented into the design process.
    The chapter, Making Good Arguments, goes forth and states that “you must offer a general principle that shows why you believe you particular reason is relevant to your particular claim”. I see this statement as the most important statement in this chapter; first off, because you can argue that flower beds are proven to be pretty and enjoyable, but your -claim- (in this case) is that flower beds will establish the history of the Underground Railroad and New Bedford. “Flowers are pretty” does not support the claim. It supports -a- claim, but not ours.
    To finish, I think the first step every group should make is design their claims for their overall design, and do the research so they are prepared to back it up with logical reason.

  16. The article “Postindustrialization and the City of Consumption: Attempted Revitalization in Asbury Park, New Jersey” covers the extensive history of hopeful successes that ultimately crumble into failures. One sentence describes this article: “redevelopment is expensive and complicated and can put much of the power in private, outside hands”. That sentence does not necessarily just describe the failed constructions by large corporations, but from the “flips” done by the gay and lesbian communities. Redevelopment is expensive, and sometimes letting outside power attempt to resolve the situation only makes it worse, but other times, contracting small projects can work in favor; both parts have a theme, and that theme is taking in the advice of outside influences. For example, the “Save Tillie” project involved promotion from people who did not grow up in Asbury Park but enjoyed Bruce Springsteen, and that project was successful.
    I think it is important to take away from this article that outside influences need to be significant as much as preserving the inside “historic” aspect is. Growth does not occur backwards, and restoring the past may not necessarily be the most beneficial to the area. Taking this idea and designing the lot for Abolitionist Park, it may be important to consider what is happening now in the community as well as what was historically significant.

    • Good point Rebbecca, as I mentioned above (in regards to Hanna’s response), I think the most important argument in this paper is that revitalization requires more than just built projects. It
      necessitates changes in the social and cultural makeup of the city.

  17. In “Postindustrialization and the City of Consumption: Attempted Revitalization in Asbury Park, New Jersey”, Francesca Ammon’s describes the history and current state of Ashbury Park, a working-class resort city. During the early 1900s, the park was filled with up to seventy-five thousand residents in the summer. The city’s socio-economic state declined as years went on due to physical decay and urban sprawl, and there have been many different ideas about how to revitalize the city.

    In Ammon’s article, she explains that the solution to the problem is not “silver bullet” answers, but “Multiple minor investors engaged in slow growth” (Ammon). While I agree that the C-8 housing development was a major misstep, I do not believe “silver bullet” solutions are to blame for this waste. I believe the biggest problem the developers had with their “silver bullet” ideas was not consulting members of the community. The idea would have most likely never gained any traction if people who were going to be living in the space had consulted. If the silver bullet solution would have been a more location-based project (enhancing the lakes, ocean, and beaches rather than just sticking a huge housing development), it would be less expensive and the community would have been more attracted to the idea.

  18. Ammon’s article (Postindustrialization […] New Jersey) brought up the importance of risk diversification as opposed to “silver bullet” solutions from single outside investors. Basing the revitalization of an entire city on one all-or-nothing investment project not necessarily bound for disaster, but simply too high-risk – rarely are large-scale absentee investors truly interested in the communities which they base their financial gain upon; more often than not, they will gracelessly place a generic, safe project no matter the site. Hopefully, large-scale investors of this generation learn a lesson from failed revitalization projects like these, and form more sustainable, community-sensitive decisions.

    • I appreciate your highlighting of “silver bullet” solutions from single outside investors. Indeed, this is one of the reasons why our research about the lot on the 7th st must be a multifaceted one. We cannot just focus on one or two factors.

  19. “Postindustrialization and the City of Consumption: Attempted Revitalization in Asbury Park, New Jersey” by Francesca Ammon I found very interesting especially the fact of how recent it was published in 2015. I chose this one to take a look at another location falling victim to vacancy. Reading this I could picture it being similar to Coney Island now gone where many families have gone for vacations and created memories. This also reminds me of New Bedford since it is a waterfront location that has abandoned attractions, although theirs may be casinos and amusement parks. It’s funny that although we keep reading about other cities and abandonment we always are able to relate it to New Bedford, just showing that we may make a difference on one street here. Leaving endless possibilities of an impact one can make somewhere else in almost any state in the US, which have cities that have gone down hill.

    • Thank you Matt and I like the comparison with the waterfront projects in New Bedford. In the media section of this site there are a couple of articles about that. Please feel free to take a look.

  20. The paper by Ammon was a very interesting read. I liked how it focused on the gay-community and how they tried to revitalize Ashbury Park. I thought it was great that the community and people who were already living there were open with their sexuality and very welcoming to other gays. I also thought maybe it was a little bit “exclusive” in that being so outwardly gay-friendly, they might end up pushing other people away from buying any real estate in Ashbury Park. I find a recurring theme throughout the “revitalizing cities” and that is the idea that it begins and ends with the community. The community has to be involved in order for the city to flourish.

    • This is an important point Tricia and I hope to discuss this further in class. In fact this story resonates with another one from the postindustrial city of Dayton, Ohio. Known as an “immigrant friendly” city, with programs to draw newcomers, Dayton—which was until recently, according to a New York Times report, “a post-apocalyptic landscape of vacant, gutted houses”—has welcomed immigrant families and refugees who have renovated the decaying homes they have occupied.

  21. Akhtar: What I found interesting in the article is that Detroit on its immigration population. They were determined to see what the caused was about living in Detroit. It explains issues on how racial marginalization, extreme profiling of corporate, and suburb economic segregation. Throughout the twentieth century Detroit was trying to accumotize by creating English schools. I found on Detroit and the immigration population very fascinating because over the years they were willing to make a change in their community and the environment. Even amongst the immigrant population they found ways on how to work around the problem to create projects and materials and industrialize.

    • Indeed…. the point about English classes and the “Americanization” of the workers is very important. I will show a small clip in class in which you see how these workers were encouraged (and sometimes even forced…) to forget about their own cultures and traditions in favor of a more homogenized society.

  22. Akhtar’s article was interesting to read. Many of us don’t recognize who lived in Detroit who weren’t the typical white American. To see that there was an immigrant population that played a role in Detroit and it’s factories was great and at the same time surprising since even after the years have passed, may of us had no idea. It was nice to see how Detroit tried to make a change by building English schools for those who didn’t speak it, and changed the environment the immigrants lived in, as well as the community itself.

  23. When I read the article Akhtar it did not come to my surprise that there is actually a large population of immigrants since I already heard this from a first person source. Naturally immigrants would also contribute a lot to the evolution of a growing area, along the way these immigrants would face discrimination as they live in and make up the a large part of the population for the growing area. At least they are trying to make the best of their situation, by providing education, and support as they built up their communities.

  24. In the article ” Immigrant Island Cities in Industrial Detroit,” the author talks about be able to integrate the immigrant population in with the nationalized citizens to create less of a divide and give Detroit the power that it once had. The local government plans to do this by providing incentives for immigrants who either invest $1 million in American business’s or start their own business that employs 10 or more Americans. The integration of immigrants is a vital aspect for Detroit to gain the economical advantage that it once held. By seamlessly incorporating all people into one system it will provide a friendly environment, that more people will want to reside in. This will then, in turn, increase the rapidly decreasing population of Detroit and with its increase in populations should be a boost in economical standing. Overall, this project would be very beneficial to the city and all of its surrounding areas.

  25. In Francesca Russello Ammon’s article “Postindustrialization and the City of Consumption: Attempted Revitalization in Asbury Park, New Jersey” I found a lot of parallels to the discussion we had during Week 3 of class with the CEDC. Specifically, the argument I am trying to make here is that in order for a postindustrial city to come back to life, the movement has to come from within. The CEDC spoke to us about how they were working on projects that would hopefully convince the people of the city to reinvest in the city. Equally, Ammon pointed out that it was the work of a several minor investors from within the city that yielded the most promising results, whereas the single major investor with a major idea for change “came to naught.” It was the effort of a community-minded group of people – in this case, the gay and lesbian community – willing to make a long-term investment that showed the most improvement. This seems to be the key, if there is any at all, to revitalizing a postindustrial city; the community. The city needs to invest in ways to keep its community involved and take pride in where they live. If that happens, the community will in turn invest back in the city.

  26. I thought Ammon’s article was very interesting. He discussed Ashbury Park and how it once flourished and eventually declined. Although there were many attempts at saving Ashbury Park, they didn’t last because the community was never involved. It wasn’t until inventors who were also part of the community revitalized it. In other words, by making the sites of their investments also their homes, they made longer-term commitments. The success doesn’t just depend on the investors but also how the community is engaged as well. I think what made Ashbury Park so successful for the gay and lesbian community was that it provided a place for them to be openly gay in a judge free zone. They built gay nightclubs, bars, restaurants, and shops. Instead of focusing on the built environment, they also integrated themselves into the community life.

  27. Assimilation is a central theme in Akhtar’s article. During this economic downfall in Detroit, political leaders used strategic planning in efforts to “Americanize” immigrant groups in the area. Their underlying motive was to create American citizens who would contribute to the industries that were at the time in turmoil. Some of their tactics were weakening these groups’ loyalties to their homelands, forcing the English language on them, and even trying to change their ideals and cultural values. The author mentions that this was sometimes called the “Detroit Experiment”, as efforts like this spread to a national level. The reading also mentioned the struggles of the Arab-Indian immigrants to retain their culture. Political and community leaders had full control over the commerce in Hamtramck and Highland Park, where most of these Arab-Indian immigrants lived. With this they used their knowledge of the immigrant’s cultural values of religion to coerce them into the work force. What is even worse is that this was a pre-9/11 time in history, and ethnic tension would only worsen as time went on. The silver lining of this reading was that even though the immigrants were struggling, they found a way to be self-sufficient and keep their cultural identity alive through religious buildings and community centers.

  28. I read “Immigrant Island Cities in Industrial Detroit” by Saima Akhtar which I found to be quite interesting because I did not realize the large number of immigrants and diversity that could be found in Detroit’s suburbs. Before reading this I would have never guessed that Detroit has the largest number of Arab immigrants outside of the Middle East. Along the the large population of Arab immigrants there are several other large populations of other immigrants as well. One thing I did find very interesting about this article was that they had built English schools for the people who did not speak English. I find this to be extremely important to the assimilation process because if you can not speak English your opportunities in this country quickly diminish.

  29. After reading Ammon’s article about Asbury Park, New Jersey, I saw many similarities to New Bedford. Specifically how it was built in a grid-like form, next to the ocean, and how it was a flourishing city when it was needed but morphed from middle-class seaside refuge, to working-class resort, and finally into a postindustrial ruin. For Asbury Park, it was during World War II when the military took over several facilities for housing and training. Population grew to meet these demands; the African American population, in particular, expanded by 25 percent. Most of these migrant families chose to stay after the war’s end, settling in the congested and substandard summer cottages of the West Side. This was their flourishing period, and for New Bedford, this time was when they were the main port for the whaling industry and housed many rich merchants and fishermen. But due to the affects of post- World War II on Asbury Park, better options were available due to advances in technology. Post–World War II technology led to an increase in highways and suburbs drawing white residents out of the city and automobiles and commercial aviation offered alternative leisure options. I saw a similarity to New Bedford in this way because when technology advanced, whale blubber and oil wasn’t needed anymore for oil lamps because more and more people were able to afford artificial lighting.
    I find it very interesting that two very different cities had very similar timelines in their economic rise and falls. Asbury Park and New Bedford are both currently being worked on to revive them and get them back to their previous prosperous self.

  30. I skimmed through 4 of the readings but have decided to read in-depth two particular sections. This decision came from being overwhelmed with how much I learned from the first two sections (moreso the second one), than from not wanting to read more in depth. I have decided that during the rest of our time working on this project, I will be reading the corresponding sections in Craft of Research.

    The first section is the Prologue (“Planning Your Project”). I picked this originally because that is the stage we must really get started at, with the planning of our vacant lot right now. I am glad that I read it, because it actually gave me a lot of insight into how I research. As a biology major, we do a lot of research in many interlocking subfields of biology. It is very difficult (but not impossible) to talk about evolution without talking about genetics and/or ecology. Moreover, it is hard to talk about genetics without mentioning molecular biochemistry. So when we do research for a paper, it is hard to relate material to one topic without tying in many others…however, I have learned that it is important to focus on one topic at a time so a reader will not become distracted or confused. When I began reading this, I thought I knew how to research but from the first words of the prologue, this book explained many new ways to think about research. Without realizing it, I was exhibiting many of the struggles outlined in the beginning of this book. First of all, I did not realize that I have been feeling overwhelmed by the vast realm of information we now have read and heard and seen and that I did not know how to begin organizing all of it into a more solidified form. This book has already helped me mentally reconstruct my plan for this project, in a more organized and orderly way. It gives advice such as reading material that may be possibly relevant to the project, and with the goal of critical reading and asking questions about the topic. The text states that it is possible to discover your “practical problem” that needs to be solved by taking some of the steps mentioned there. I decided to follow the advice of the text, and do this with our vacant lot. In honesty, one thing I learned from this Prologue included a realization of why the biweekly assignments and posts online are so much more useful that I previously thought. Before, I understood the usefulness of posting as it related to the increased comprehension experienced by readers who are expected to post or comment or otherwise demonstrate they had read. Also I understood that our brains make new connections when we formulate those responses and when we physically write or type out the words of response. What I had not realized was that all of these writings will help us to not only understand the material better, but will help us to plan better. I now know that it will be much more useful to the project if I read the assigned articles and post responses that have our vacant lot project in mind throughout. Before this I was enjoying reading the articles and learning about the area and the history of post-industrial cities, but now is when I can use these readings to form a plan with my group and I am excited to do so! Plus, these Craft of Research readings have helped me plan the next few steps in the work that must be done this semester.

    The chapter that I read closely was Chapter Four: “From Questions to Problems”. This chapter was so helpful in helping me understand the steps of research, and that it starts with a practical problem. This prompted me to ask, “With our project, what is the ‘practical problem?’” and my answer to that originally was somewhere along the lines of “we need to find a use for the space”. However, but reading on about how the ideal research will set out to show and explain something to others, I realized we have a bigger opportunity for the space than just “finding a use”. We are able to turn this into a space with history that will engage the community, which will in turn help us design a space that is functional for the people who will actually be using the space (as the CEDC pointed out was necessary). That may boost morale and get people excited to live in New Bedford. In following the order laid out roughly by the text, I next thought of what my research question would logically be. I think what I would like to ask as a “research questions” would be “What is the history of the neighborhood” How can we artistically and sustainably infuse history into the future use of the space?” I had not laid out a concrete research question before, so this is incredibly helpful. I know have a direction to be focusing my researching attention and can move toward defining the Research Problem. The problems to solve then seem to be: How can we learn the history of the neighborhood? Who lived there? Do any of the current residents have lineage going back to anyone involved? Can we give them a chance to get involved? Lastly, how do we do this sustainably and tastefully? These questions are ones that I look forward to answering. I will start with the sites of WHALE, CEDC (which I have already looked at, but will review with this new plan), and the Historical Society. I also plan to look at the sites provided by Professor Karimi, which allow you to possibly understand the current residents of the area better. This chapter also taught me a few things about how to plan and frame your research with the end goal of convincing readers that you have solved a problem that is important to them. Since we know that we are, in fact, presenting solutions to a problem important to the Historical Society, this part of the chapter resonated with me.

  31. For today’s reading I focused on Saima Akhtar’s “Immigrant Island Cities in Industrial Detroit”. I like that she opened by setting the environment, explaining the tensions between races and the reasons behind it. As a bright note, she also mentioned that there is now a campaign called “global Detroit”…I really like that such a campaign exists, and in the midst of research on racial tensions it is nice to include such a positive part. When she mentioned that a central business district was absent from Detroit, it reminded me of what we learned on the trip through New Bedford about how they are trying to highlight and support the art community that is such a strong contributing presence in New Bedford.When Akhtar says that she aims to “bridge a gap” between the planning of urban areas and functionality for the people who live there, it shows how we should think about approaching our designing process. In other words, we also must consider the historically immigrant communities that are prevalent in New Bedford. Also it means that we should too focus on the history in order to figure out which issues that have existed in New Bedford must be addressed at last. In Aktar’s case, there is a lot of racial tension to be ameliorated. In our case, we are looking at land that is in the middle of areas rich in history and it is going unused, like many places in the city are. Her article has made me think that some research will be needed on which cultures have the highest presence in New Bedford and that we should try to incorporate allusions to their cultures as they are significant contributors to the life of the city as it is today.Lastly, I liked this article because although Arab and Asian communities are not a central focus of our designing process, it helps us to understand the dispersal of cultures as places of worship, cultural restaurants, and retail stores are opened that help to further establish cultures in a city. Using this example, we can look at predominant cultures represented in the businesses of New Bedford and find a starting point to learning all about the history of the people themselves.

  32. (James Sevasin)
    I read New Bedford Resurgent: A New England Town-Gown Story by Anna Dempsey. I found the concept of “creative economies” to be a crucial part of today’s economy in New Bedford. I did not know the history of the CVPA started as the Swain school. I was really impressed by the Swain School for their willingness to have evening and weekend classes, their willingness to invest into the New Bedford community by having no or small fees for their students. I also loved that this school did a great job of getting past the stereotypes and assumptions of art schools and galleries of being associated that only those who were great at art, with money and the snob appeal could participate. They got past these stereotypes by accepting local students regardless of income to the Swain School and students and faculty were highly encouraged to live in the local neighborhood despite how tough of a neighborhood it was at certain. I love how this school encouraged the students and faculty to interact with people who are different then they were in some way. I like how Umass Dartmouth has continued this legacy by having the CVPA and the Star Store in downtown New Bedford. This school in my opinion has played a major role in fixing up the downtown area of New Bedford in the post industrial period.

  33. “officials must implement policies that encourage diversity, tolerance, and openness to new ideas, ideas that build on the city’s distinct cultural identity or heritage”- Richard Florida from New Bedford Resurgent: A New England Town-Gown Story. In around 1787 more than half of the U.S. fleet of ships used this port. As I am not a CVPA student I am not familiar with the star store or other downtown art locations that are mentioned. The article states there has been an investment by Umass Dartmouth to the cultural health of the community and with our project we are all gaining a chance to help our school and our community continue to grow.

  34. Anna Dempsey’s article, “New Bedford Resurgent: A New England Town-Gown Story” makes a convincing argument about the way that an urban-based design school can strengthen the community. However, at the end of the article, she states that other cities could use New Bedford as an inspiration. I think that New Bedford could become even stronger by taking their own advice. Having a design school in the city encouraged artists to dialogue with the community and become committed to the city. This was made possible because they all lived directly in the city. I think New Bedford could be strengthened if the CVPA had a stronger presence in the city. I have only been there a few times and never for very long. AHA Night makes the city more accessible, but still students are returning to their homes in Dartmouth. Dempsey mentioned that the city was renovating mills and these sites would be the perfect location for student studios and apartments. If more students lived in New Bedford, the community would grow even stronger as the students would want to fight for it and the economy would grow. The Swain School of Design was a beautiful moment in history, it would be magnificent if we could bring it back.
    This article was very effective. I had never heard of the Swain School of Design before and now I see it as an inspiration for students and cities everywhere. Bringing artists to cities does not have to be an expensive purchasing of a hip veneer as some critics worried, it could instead be a mutually beneficial relationship between young artists and the community. Dempsey quoted Karen Till in her article and said, “I am interested in the stories people tell about the places they make… without those stories, the places are empty.” The spaces of New Bedford seem much richer to me with the knowledge of this history and I hope we can make it a reality once again.

  35. The article I chose for tomorrow’s reading was Kathleen Reinhardt’s “Theaster Gates’s Dorchester Projects in Chicago”. I like that Gates included social commentary and that he used the rebuilding and re-appropriation of space in Chicago. Additionally, I like the description of “artist-activated ecology” and the fact that he incorporates an architectural token of what once was into what can be so much more. That is a very sustainable choice in materials. Similarly, I very much enjoy the idea of investing “in the care of things.” I decided to look up Theaster Gates’ work to see what it looked like. I found many pictures, including before and after pictures showing the extent of work done. It is many different colors because the boards are recycled from other things, and it actually looks pretty amazing for being sustainable, decent to look at, low-cost, engaging to the community…Gates says that he, as the planner, was “not here to redeem anything, but to make things present again”, and I think that is such an optimistic and perfectly simple statement. At one point the author practically outlines our very research problem at hand: “Everything looked a bit duller because of more empty lots in between the houses”. This leads into the importance of this article. We must try to find and use as many functionally sustainable, recycled and/or recyclable materials as possible. The author praises wood as a sustainable material, saying it can be shaped easily and used for many things. This article introduced me to the idea of “urban acupuncture”, which involves small disruptions in the urban landscape that “revive the organism of a city”. I plan to follow up with reading the cited article on urban acupuncture. That is similar to what we are doing with our vacant lot by taking an empty and unused lot and putting something that produces positive feelings for/within the surrounding community, based on the needs that the space will fulfill for them. As Gates’ goal was to get the community involved and engaged while preserving history, our project for the Historical Society is very relevant to this reading. Lastly, the photo included of Gates and volunteers was nice to see and it gave a sense of the teamwork and cooperation and communication that must have come together to rebuild and repurpose the house.

  36. Anna Dempsey’s “New Bedford: A New England Town-Gown Story” brings up some very solid points for a successful method to revitalize a post-industrial historic area – to introduce an art scene to the area by building an art school in the city. I feel that this is a good way to go about it because by building a school there, you will have a steady flow of people through the area. This in turn will not only bring in a steady revenue for the city, it will also expose more people to the surrounding area. Artists in turn will then bring in more people from surrounding cities when they exhibit their works. I also feel that art does a great job at bringing communities together because their job is to tell an interesting story through their work which will in turn attract more and more people to the places they showcase.

  37. Anna Dempsey’s “New Bedford: A New England Town-Gown Story” emphasized the importance of the Swain School of Design (Now, technically, the CVPA) in the development of New Bedford, and how we can learn from this experience to encourage the progression of the city even further. However, the “artistic” aspect was not the first consideration into the inclusion of the city’s population; it was the price of education. Swain School was constructed to be ‘free’ to public, mainly women, who could not afford to attend expensive universities. Although that seems like an unrealistic expectation today, I think the “idea” of a free school in order to educate everyone is an important thought that needs to be physically manifested in the city of New Bedford in order to unifying the population.
    Clearly, as it mentions in the article, underemployment is a huge factor in the floundering of the city which may be directly linked to a lack of an extensive education. That lack of education, more than likely stems from lack of funding, which brings the chain of events back to a full loop.
    In order to improve this continuous loop, the chain needs to be broken. One of the best ways to break this chain is to make education more readily available to people who do not have the money to extend their studies into universities and colleges.

  38. “New Bedford Resurgent: A New England Town–Gown Story by Anna M. Dempsey”

    This article by Anna M. Dempsey portrays a positive way in which a community can use art to connect people and stimulate economic and cultural growth. After reading this I realize even more how our project as a class can truly help the city of New Bedford. As a political science major and someone interested in public policy I found the history of policy making to encourage openness to new ideas, tolerance, and diversity very interesting. Reading about some of the political tension in the early years of the post-industrial era was fascinating. I thought it was really great how the people who had money and power back then decided to use their advantages to help the city of New Bedford in various ways, especially cultural means of strengthening the community.

  39. Dempsey’s article provides a successful example of a single-investment reinvigoration of a post-industrial city. By building an educational center open to the public, the Star Store, they arguably kickstarted the art scene now near-ubiquitous to downtown New Bedford. If the investment comes from within and grows organically outward from something smaller, a large-scale high-risk investment can reshape a community.

  40. Dempsey’s article, “New Bedford Resurgent: A New England Town-Gown story” tells her strong opinion about art in urban areas and its education about it. She believes that through urban art and design it is possible to revitalize gateway and cities that were once efficient during the industrial age like New Bedford. She believes the people can also immediately benefit as well. The creation and usage of more art along with education about art and architecture can inspire artists from around these areas to try and revitalize these areas with their art. While this may make the revenue of these places steady out, I think that it would take more policies and reforms to help out the people.

  41. I read “New Bedford Resurgent: A New England Town-Gown Story” and there was one quote that really stood out in my mind. ” Burning money trying to become “cooler” ends up looking something like the
    metropolitan equivalent to a midlife crisis”. What they are saying is that turning our older down town areas into galleries and artsy lofts really is not the solution to areas of poverty. That turning areas such as this into shopping centers really is not going to solve the real problem at hand. I feel as though they have a really good point because this seems almost as if instead of solving the problem they are driving out the less fortunate.

  42. I admire Gates from the readings of Theaster Gates’s Dorchester Projects in Chicago because even his work ethic is sustainable. He aims for the long term restoration of buildings by working hard to sell his own art to reinvest into the city by buying out old buildings. Gates also tackles race and political issues at his dinners and makes people realize how wrong it is that buildings in great cities and towns are so disenfranchised from the rest of the country. When communities are brought together through music, and activities there can be peace.

  43. Anna Dempsey, “New Bedford Resurgent: A New England Town-Gown Story,” This article showed that by building a art school near by they can help bring art to an area. This related to my group’s vacant lot project because we were thinking about drawing in an art crowd to our vacant lot. We were planning on having local artists display/ sell their art in booths around the lot. Just like with this article, with the crowd from the star store and school, we should have great exposure which leads to constant revenue.

  44. After reading through Anna Dempsey’s article, I was far more drawn to the photos of the old houses and the news article. Looking at the history of these buildings and how they’ve lasted so long is amazing. It actually reminds me of a recent elementary school in Fall River that burned down about a month ago. The school had been there for at least four generations of my own family, and was burned down by two adults. Many people were upset by this, including my own mother and grandmother. The legacy of this school (The Coughlin School) is as the same as the Swain School in New Bedford.

  45. In the Journal of Urban History # 41, Anna Dempsey describes the beginnings and outcome of New Bedford’s Swain School of Design. This article reinforces my belief that UMass Dartmouth would have better suited the community if it were located in Downtown New Bedford. While being located in Dartmouth is appropriate because it is halfway between Fall River and New Bedford, I think the planners should have placed it in either one of the cities. If UMass Dartmouth was located at the top of Union Street, New Bedford would undoubtedly more prosperous. Instead of building Targets and shopping malls up in North Dartmouth to support the massive amount of college students, Downtown New Bedford could be built up with different ethnic marketplaces. The community that was already in place in downtown New Bedford could have grown through UMass Dartmouth.

    Considering the dedication of the instructors to keeping New Bedford’s historic architecture alive, I would like to think that the UMass Dartmouth community would work to preserve our own unique campus. Dempsey states, “Students, faculty, administrators, trustees, and alumni worked hard to preserve New Bedford’s architectural history” (Dempsey 218). As a current student at UMass Dartmouth, I do not believe we as a student body have a strong enough connection to the physical location. This is disappointing, considering the unique impact Rudolph’s ideology had on late modernism. I believe our campus should advertise Rudolph’s vision for a single vision campus, and how our campus demonstrates the peak of his experimentation with urbanism and monumental structure. Rudolph had so many ideas to highlight the depth, expansiveness, and opportunities for creativity in our campus, and I believe the University would benefit from drawing attention to Rudolph’s ideas.

  46. Gabrielle Monteiro:“Americanizing a City” in “Immigrant Island Cities in Industrial Detroit” by Saima Akhtar was intriguing but something that every American should be relatively familiar with. From the creation of the nation, we have colonized. The original colonies did the same thing to Native Americans as we have (and to this day) still do to immigrants. Immigrants are forced to grow dependent on their newly adopted system (the American system) To successfully integrate themselves into this system, they must conform or they in effect will be left out of the system and all the benefits associated with it.

    Immigrant workers were americanized for the sole purpose that variations cause less effective workers. During the dawn of the industrial age when companies began to embrace the supply chain industry, any variation could interrupt this flow of production- culture included. I feel that although I don’t agree with this americanization, it was more of an operational managment technique than something malicious. Cultural barriers means the production line would have to take extra time/energy/resources to address that.

    Whereas this is a form of blatant discrimination, the culture of companies at this time was to produce the fastest and most effectively. I feel little of this discrimination was due to specific races as much as was the fact that these immigrants were obviously different from the ones running the company. The only way that this issue could be truly resolved would be to have a diverse group parliament of company holders/owners – unlikely. However, Global Detroit project composed of a diverse team, they are taking steps now on a political level in the right direction.

  47. Before reading the Craft of Research, I feel that I wasn’t writing papers up to my fullest potential. I think this is because I was never taught how to write college level research papers. What I was taught in high school were just the basics, mostly just hot to correctly cite sources, never was there a time that each individual aspect of a paper was broken down and explained thoroughly with examples like this article did. I feel like now after reading through all of the sections that the next research paper I have to write I will be more confident in my abilities therefore writing a better quality paper.

  48. After reading Reinhardt’s article about Gates and his projects in trying to revive rundown communities in Chicago, I really feel that, so far, this is the article that for me, relates the most to the project we are doing in class with New Bedford. As I was reading and Reinhardt describes how the goals of these projects by Gates are to revive the community through public engagement and events that interact with the community. I also found it similar that Gates reinvests all of the profits of sold pieces into the reconstruction of the buildings and acquisition of other ones and that his active place making includes the investment into the materiality and poetics of space, communal dinners, performances, film screenings and an artist residency program with a focus on sustainable site-specific projects. Reinhardt quotes Gates when he says that he is, “not here to redeem anything, but here to make things present again.” I really love this quote because a lot people don’t think this way anymore. When dealing with economically declining communities that many of the residents don’t want their homes to be turned into these huge, blown out of proportion objects in an effort to try to rejuvenate the community, they just want it to go back to the way it was before the decline and I think that’s what Gates was trying to explain in that quote.

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