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Comments on Weeks 3&4 Readings-2017


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  1. Nadia Anderson, “Public Interest Design as Praxis” in The Journal of Architectural Education.

    I found the article different. Having an inclusive communal architecture design seems so foreign and smart. Like the article says, instead of building for a company and designing for specific needs, instead you build for the community and make designs that are friendly to what the community wants and is useful for all. This also helps capture the values of the community into the build. Such as if the community wants to be green, you can incorporate the design. Also having cooperation with non-architects and hearing outside ideas can really help in thinking for future projects.

    Susannah Hagan, “Five Reasons to Adopt Environmental Design” in Nature, Landscape and Building for Sustainability. 

    The intellectual reason, the practical reason, the technical reason, the economic reason, the pedagogical reason. These are the five reasons argued to adopt environmental design. Each reason is supported with reason. However, there is one big reason to adopt environmental design. This reason is mentioned, and the reason is demand. A business is about making money, and if people want to buy and be sustainable, then a market opens up for it. Same as an architect, even if you do not believe in being green is necessary, it does not matter. You will design environmental designs if that’s what is in demand. That is the only reason to get people to be green, because it is profitable.

    • Good observations on Anderson’s article. It is also important to highlight some of the theories that are discussed in the article:
      Public interest design praxis theories:
      The Social Production of Space
      The Everyday
      The Relational
      Public interest design praxis practices:
      Activism (Change)
      Participation (Decision Making)
      Material Agency (Appropriation)

    • Materiality in the Ruins: Waste, Excess and Sensuality

      When Edensor talks about wasted space he explains it clearly, “ In ruin all things are equal… because they are all trash. They are useless and worn out, and therefore possess no value and can be, indeed ought to be, discarded.” This is a straightforward approach and does not take into account other factors like our want to relate to people and things. I think this is what Edensor wanted to address though, that we’ve been hesitant and confused over what to do with decrepit structures for fear that if something is replaced the heritage that once was there will be gone forever.

      Thomas Stubblefield, “The City from Afar: Urbanization and the Aerial View in Alvin Coburn’s The Octopus”

      Stubblefield focused on the colossal impact that skyscrapers have on the environment and its people. People were worried that mass urbanization could threaten your health mentally and physically. Throughout history the buildings that always had the most symbolism was towers, and people had a sense of pride with the towers: the Great Pyramids, the Taj Mahal, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Colossus of Rhodes, and the Parthenon. What skyscrapers represent is more like the tower and the story of Babel, accept that everyone wants to be the one on top because it does feel great to be on an imaginary hierarchal plane. However, “towers” nowadays give off a claustrophobic feeling.

  2. Five Reasons to Adopt Environmental Design

    I found the mentality of architects to be very interesting. Building something in the environment leads me to think that architects had to like or embrace the environments around the project – but there was once a time they didn’t. The article itself says , “For them, environmentalism is embarrassing. It has no edge, no buzz, no style.” That today is such a foreign concept. Its hard to realize that there once was a time that caring about the environment was only for hippies and geeks. The article goes on breaking down why architects need to embrace sustainability. There are intellectual reasons, practical reasons, technical reasons, economic reasons, and pedagogical reasons. Between all the reasons, while they are all valid, I think the technical reasons are the most important. Things such as building structures that can survive both summertime and wintertime conditions and other weather situations is paramount. Some real life examples I know of are a guy from the south is building a cottage at Moosehead Lake, Maine, and is building it with a flat roof! Flat roofs won’t work very well in the winter and I assume it will collapse. Another example is a building in Rockport where my uncles father told somebody building a house that there was an underground waterway that leads to the property and if you put a basement it will flood. He didn’t listen and to this day that house has flooding issues during heavy rainstorms.

    The Meanings of Deindustrialization

    This article tells the destructive path of companies moving offshore to cheaper areas of business. Many mines, factories, and mills are padlocked and abandoned leaving the towns around them with the same impact as a war-zone. While some of the buildings are re-purposed, others are just sitting there. Most of the re-purposed to maintain a manufacturing income for the communities around them. While this is a great thing to have, the incomes lack that of the industries that once were. The overall message of the article though aims at shaping a “new American workplace” that will help make a more humane and responsible place.

    • Good response to Hagan’s article. In other words, she is saying there are these five reasons and we will discuss them in class:
      The intellectual reason
      The practical reason
      The technical reason
      The economic reason
      The pedagogical reason

  3. In Hart’s “Worker Memory and Narrative,” I found it quite surprising most interviewees felt minimal negative impact of plants closing. Many workers had the foresight to save money (because some had been laid off in the past) and readjust their spending to live within their means after their plant closed. To some, the plant closing presented the opportunity to take early retirement. Obviously, many workers were affected negatively, but Hart highlighted the workers who saw a silver-lining in getting laid off to demonstrate how “unique personal circumstances shape individual reactions.”

    I agree with Hagan’s assessment of the “Economic Reason” to embrace environmental design. We should begin emulating nature when it comes to manufacturing processes. In nature, the waste of one process becomes the fuel of another. If we were to adopt this mentality in the United States, we could streamline manufacturing, reduce costs, and become more environmentally friendly. Turning waste streams into sellable commodities and resources is inherently efficient and waste-reducing.

  4. Susannah Hagan, “Five Reasons to Adopt Environmental Design” in Nature, Landscape, and Building for Sustainability

    Hagan talks about how all people are equally required to protect what sustains us (101). I believe this to be true and I also think that people from all fields of study can play a positive role in sustainability issues. Of course, some fields may have a more obvious connection to sustainability and environmentalism than others, but there are ways for most fields to get involved. Sometimes that will require individuals to create their own path. Environmental awareness, and design, is an opportunity for change and new ideas that can become the norm and what is familiar. So, I do find the idea that there are those who think that environmental design is a threat to their creativity a little silly (Hagan 112). I think this thought process could be due to the fact that people don’t often like change and, in my personal experience, people will say they don’t like rules, but their behavior says they do. Perhaps some in the architecture field have grown used to the way things are and have been. They have learned to create within a defined set of rules and environmental design is revealing new opportunities, so it may be too much for some to deal with.

    Nadia Anderson, “Public Interest Design as Praxis” in The Journal of Architectural Education.

    This article states the foundation of public interest design praxis is the partnership between architecture and the public (Anderson 16). This idea of a partnership with the public goes beyond architecture. It can be applied to many different occupations and it should be applied to other occupations. I feel like the public is often left out of decisions that concern their well-being. Those from all fields need to learn how to communicate effectively with the public. There needs to be a bridge between those who are initiating change and those who the change is for. Partnerships between architects and the public may be especially important for places like Gateway Cities. These partnerships could help people in those communities feel more connected to the space they inhabit and to each other. This in turn will help the cities progress.

  5. J. Soricelli:
    Cowie and Jeathcott’s article discusses the switch of investment from an industrial to post-industrial. Along with how society reacts to the situation. If you plant closes it means that you are out of a job however people should also think of it as someone else gets to keep their position and continue to work. The meaning of deindustrialization has a different meaning to different groups of people. Which is why it is suggested that deindustrialization be thought more as industrial restructuring. Looking at it in a broader sense would the de-linking of inventing and place and a broken connection between identity and work. I found Hagans chapter very interesting. Thinking environmentally you have to think about more than just the materials you are using to have to think about pollution from transporting materials, by products of cutting that material, and how that material will retain heat or cold. We also are using more efficient designs in roof ventilation from Kanak hut designs. While these seem to focus simply on environmental emissions making these choices help companies save money so it also has an economic standing.

  6. I think it’s interesting that Hagan lists the “pedagogical reason” for environmental design. She makes a strong case for the fact that in schools, students are in theory taught how to navigate the problems of their field and the world around them. What is happening to the environment is certainly a large problem of the modern world that everyone will encounter, and one we must adjust for.

    I think Anderson’s plea for architects to design with the community in mind is also interesting. I can’t say I know much about architecture or the process of being an architect, but I do know that there have been countless communities who are incredibly upset with a design or a building. I also know that there are many buildings that are made with the community in mind, meant to fit with the history and surroundings. However, I’m not sure that architects need to do this when they build. I think it’s incredibly important to know context in art in general, and definitely in something as imposing as a building can be. But I also don’t believe that an architect has to follow that mold or necessarily listen to the community, however nice it may be to do so. I think architect’s creativity is already a little more limited than other mediums (just by nature of building codes, physics, material cost, etc.) and it seems unfair to require them to limit creativity further. I know Hagan mentions that make design sustainable is not a limitation on creativity, but this appears to go beyond just adopting environmentally friendly design.

  7. In Susannah Hagans “Five Reasons to Adopt Environmental Design” I love how she writes about “big business” being the main reason for how resistant our current administation is to environmental change. The incorporation of environmental design has proven that in the long run it is more cost effective. Reducing water and energy use, along with effective waste disposal can actually increase the income of big business yet these companies refuse to change to environmentaly based designs. The environmental crisis has been growing at an alarming rate, and incorporating environmental design in architecture would help to reduce the damage that is being caused.

    Public Interest Design as Praxis not only speaks of environmental concerns, but of social concerns as well. Engaging in current issues such as the homeless, poverty, and climate change. I think being aware of the issues in the area that surround a potential architechtural site are important. These issues should be put into consideration along with a plan to help improve these situations. The idea that activism is a major part behind public intrest design as praxis is great. It brings to light social issues that otherwise could be overlooked. This design focus’ on creating a relationship between people that value all parties involved who share the knowledge, which in turn creates new knowledge and ideas that can change more than one environment alone. These practices are being constructed by theoretical ideas and values of human decency and empowerment that is enableing the action that is the praxis of public interest design. Placing humanity and the environment above capitalist gain is something that has taken a back seat more often than not as time has gone by. This has led to many of the issues we deal with today that are in need of a resolution.

  8. Meaning of Deindustrialization

    This article kind of reminds me about the Abolition Row Park in New Bedford, a restoration project which will change people’s lives around the neighborhood. In comparison with the article, the author mostly tells us about how destructive path changed people’s lives. It all started when workers who works in mines, factories and mills lost their jobs during the World War II. Without jobs, they lose their homes while jobs were left abandoned. Which is later, turned into artsy shopping spaces or dynamited. Overtime, some of the buildings and the lands are restored but it was not what was once called home. As for the workers they move to places with opportunity, such as areas with small companies.

    Five Reasons to Adopt Environmental Design

    This is an interesting article in my opinion. The author, Hagan, tells her viewers that the health of the city can be measured among anythings. Some of them includes, by the condition and the use of public space. In my understanding, I believe she is suggesting that one’s action may affect another. All and all, it is interesting to understand her views of what she sees in the environments.

  9. The Meanings of Deindustrialization

    This article highlights the immediate impact deindustrialization has on the nation and as a result inflicts joblessness and poverty among workers, families and their communities. These workers faced despair and betrayal as their mines, factories and mills were shutdown and turned into shopping spaces, apartments or torn down to be entirely replaced. Cowie and Heathcott further discuss the industrial decline in terms of social, political and economic impact. They bring together several industrial cities declines to determine that deindustrialization is not a single place or period in history. Rather, it is a plethora of causes, timing and situations that cannot be defined or predicted. They suggest that deindustrialization ought to be thought of as a restructuring of the “new American workplace,” that has come from the industrial downfall. And that we should all strive to shape it into a more humane and responsible place.

    Public Interest Design as Praxis

    Public interest design not only produces spaces that are inclusive and place based but also creates a theoretical framework that incorporates values of equity, inclusivity and social justice through action or process. This encourages a change in relationship between architecture and the public from one of hierarchy to one of partnership. Public interest design praxis acknowledges its political role and connects it to activism. The concept moves design beyond rational problem solving to include the habits and practices of ordinary people as well as the systems that give their lives meaning and identity. It engages the everyday by working with the public to address needs such as affordable housing, disaster recovery, local food access, and employment opportunities. I think this should become a common approach to community projects because the community members provide knowledge about everyday needs and practices that are critical in helping design partners understand the places history and cultural patterns.

  10. “Five Reasons to Adopt Environmental Design” by Susannah Hagan 
    Susannah Hagan wrote about the reasons to adopt environmental design. All the reasons had good points in why we should adopt to environmental design. One of the reasons she mentioned was the practical reason. Wouldn’t people want to adopt environmental design in their buildings because the materials used to build these structures end up influencing our environment. The materials have an influence because it takes energy to produce and transport these materials. Susannah mentioned that wood was a good material environmentally not only because it resists conducting heat and cold, but also because it adds no carbon to the atmosphere, except when it is transported and cut. Architects should consider the materials that they want to use for their structures that they design because their choices influence the environment.

    “Public Interest Design as Praxis” by Nadia Anderson

    I found the article interesting in how they focused on the publics ideas of what should be done with the open spaces and areas. They had their focus on the people living in the neighborhood because they are the ones who will use the space the most. They wanted to know what was important to the people of the neighborhood and what they feel was most useful for their community. It’s important for the community to join as one and express their ideas to each other and come up with something that will be best for their well-being. Most of the time the community doesn’t have a word in what is decided and the public should be able to express their thoughts and ideas.

  11. Sustainable design across the globe from small to large projects have created interesting spacial and social awareness. With renewable, reusable, manipulation of materials, as described in Public Interest Design as Praxis, creates dynamic arrangement of space and the objects within the spaces, with the emphasis of creating an environment that can be manipulated to accommodate as time goes on. The article is interesting in its contextual evidence as to create furniture and objects and working together, as a society moving forward to innovate more ecofriendly alternatives and change how we see opportunities to construct our environment and public spaces. Environmental design as emphasized in Hagan’s article contributes to the discussion, using examples of designs throughout history, to emphasis the significant changes that environmental design contributes to different factors in our lives, whether it’s political, economical, or otherwise, the author creates the point of the innovations being a better alternative. On the contrary, it takes energy to create most sustainable innovations, especially large buildings, but creating sustainable designs still creates waste but in the long run less waste is emitted to effect the environment.

    Nadia M. Anderson (2014) Public Interest Design as Praxis, Journal of Architectural Education, 68:1, 16-27, DOI: 10.1080/10464883.2014.864896

    Susannah Hagan. “8 Five Reasons to Adopt Environmental Design.” Nature, Landscape, and Building for Sustainability: A Harvard Design Magazine Reader. By William S. Saunders and Thayer Jr Robert L. N.p.: U of Minnesota, 2008. 100-13. Print.

  12. Meaning of Deindustrialization; Worker Memory and Narrative “Beyond the Ruins”

    I found these article very interesting and I chose both of them because they come from the same book. It goes deeper than just an “historical deindustrialization”. Everyone you ask will give you their own personal definition of what denindustrialzation is and was. This author not only looks at it as a historical event but something that has carried over into today’s communities around the United States. Deindustrialization was more than just factories closing/moving overseas and cities being left with huge abandoned buildings. There were people and families that were effected tremendously. Closing of these major factories may have been beneficial for some (like the big guys of the corporations) but what about the employees that were suddenly left without employment and no warning? Deindustrialization was part of the white flight era and that in turn moved the wealthy and white out of the inner cities and into the suburbs. This left nothing the lower and middle working class to fend for themselves and those government officials that approved factory closures now were stuck with the problem of having to try and figure out what happens next with all these desolate buildings and vacant spaces? Some cities have been able to slowly recover, but there were others that are still completely poverty/war stricken and desolated with no means to end in sight. Some families are still struggling to just provide the basic needs of health and decent education in many of these places. Point being that although some see and saw deindustrialization as paving the way toward the future, they failed to remember the people and environment that were being left behind.

  13. I chose to read Jennifer Cowie and Joseph Heathcott, eds., “Introduction” in Beyond the Ruins: The Meanings of Deindustrialization. As well as, • Susannah Hagan, “Five Reasons to Adopt Environmental Design” in Nature, Landscape and Building for Sustainability.

    Both excerpts focused on a completely different topic, though they each can be related to sustainability within architecture. To start, “The Meaning of deindustrialization” Into was dragged out across nine pages, it touched upon how the people who lost the most, their job stability and the vision of their hometowns when industry began to fall. But turning to the present, the authors began to explain that now is the right time, the era where as a nation deindustrialization must not be related to defeat but represented as a transformation, historically, geographically and politically, “beyond the ruins”. It is explained that where a strip mall now stands, was once an active steel plant famous for the strike of 1919 against Andrew Carnegie. In this they show that times have changed, and unfortunately the historical past can be lost within this change. But that it is also possible to have improvement, movement into a new age while respecting our past through reuse, with description of the smoke stacks that line the new Main St. It was interesting to realize that deindustralization is not commonly used in politics, instead postindustrial age is the keyword. The author explains that using postindustrial creates a shadow over what is still current, it hides us from the economic and environmental fact that we have not surpassed nor rebuilt the area that experienced industrial turmoil.

    The Second excerpt I read was very interesting to me, it explained how adopting a biological outline to how one reinvents old architecture or build new areas is helpful in many ways. In order to build something that will stand the test of time one must think about the dynamics of nature in which it is present, take tips directly from nature such as being, “circular and energy efficient”. Keeping in mind that more complex areas need more complex interactions between the people, the environment and the form. The article promotes the efficiency big business will accomplish if it takes on this new, ever growing idea of coexisting industry with environment, “symbiotic relationship”. More so it touches upon how this new innovate way of thinking and creating allows for experimental and artistic freedom within new forms of building, while also giving a platform on which to first grow off of.

    • Great! Love how you emphasize this point: “…how this new innovate way of thinking and creating allows for experimental and artistic freedom within new forms of building, while also giving a platform on which to first grow off of.”

  14. Five Reasons to Adopt Environmental Design:

    In this chapter, Hagan starts off by describing the current state of environmental design, being increasingly accepted by various fields. Oddly enough, architects have proven to be less accepting of environmentalism as it’s “embarrassing” and “without style”. This was quite a surprise to me as I thought of architecture as an area that could most benefit from environmental design, in terms of innovation and sustainability. Hagan continues to explain how schools and practies could benefit from being involved in environmental design: The intellectual reason, the practical reason, the technical reason, the economic reason, and the pedagogical reason. Through all of these reasons, I tend to lean towards the technical reasoning as to how environmental design can have a positive impact on cities, or in a more general sense architecture. One of the big issues is that incorporating environmental design is that it can be very complex; it isn’t just figuring out what to build, it’s how to build it, what materials should be used, and developing software capable of testing these structures before they’re built.

    Public Interest Design as Praxis

    Anderson states “Public interest design is motivated to act in a way that frames architectural practice as a reciprocal activity done in partnership with communities”. Social and environmental issues need to be addressed, and this begins with inclusivity in terms of the public environment. I feel like this closely relates to Hagans “Five Reasons to Adopt Environmental Design”; Architects need to become more engaged with environmental design, but also with the public who inhabit the structures they build.

  15. Public Interest Design as Praxies.

    Architecture conjures the image of magnificent buildings that become a staple of the skyline of which they reside. However this article challenges that view. Architecture can be so much more, and I agree, it should be so much more. Architecture can be a means of bringing different elements of different disciplines together, such as activism and sustainability and community. I think as we look towards the future of our proposals we should heavily incorporate these ideas. The land should reflect the activist roots of the Abolitionist movement as well as provide something for the community that now resides around the forgotten lot.

    Worker Memory and Narrative

    I am very interested in learning more about labor movements and labor laws, I feel as though this article was a snippet of the history around these two subjects. It is interesting to hear that the workers interviewed picked an optimistic viewpoint to continue their lives instead of one of anger or depression. If we attempt to extrapolate those values to similar communities, especially presently, it seems as though they do not fit. One of the large reasons political scientists and commentators alike believe Trump was elected was because of “economic anxiety” or because of how jobs were seemingly evaporating. However this paints a picture of angry, frustrated, and upset workers, whereas this piece makes laid off workers seem more relaxed. I wonder what the disconnect is?

  16. Five reasons to adapt environmental design by Susannah Hagan

    Listing the 5 reasons to adopt environmental reform, as the intellectual, the practical, the technical, the economic, and the pedagogical, the author gives us many reasons to embrace environmental design.
    She also states that for architects, which professional field is a ” haven for the untalented, where ethics replace aesthetics and get away with it.”, and many view environmental design as “embarrasing”. It lacks the edge and style that some architects seek.
    I would argue that sustainable architecture is more appealing than traditional, in that it takes more commitment to create beautiful, usable space with environmentally sustainable materials than to design traditionally without any thought to the environment.
    I believe that designing eco-friendly and environmentally friendly buildings will be what weeds out the “untalented” in design and architecture. The consumer is demanding these traits in their homes, offices and other spaces more and more. Professional architects will be limited in their career and opportunities if they cannot keep up with the demands of society.

    In Worker Memory and Narrative, I found the common thread of disbelief, even though many said they saw some of the problems in advance. They felt lied to by company executives, felt that the executives merely were trying to weaken the strength of the unions and were trying to reap the benefits provided by NAFTA. What they didn’t feel though, was like “mere victims.” They were strong, skilled and hardworking, and these are traits any employer should want to have in an employee.

    This story makes me wonder more about Unions and the benefits of belonging to one. Are they a dated set of demands in today’s global economy? Can we afford to have unions? In some large companies the legacy costs that the unions create, make it a crippling weight for the companies to bear in times of slow economic growth. Yet, they provide so much support for the workers, how can the employees rights be protected without them?

  17. Rive reason to adopt environmental design is about the importance of architectural practices and architectural academics. The five reasoning are intellectual, practical, technical, pedagogical reasons that are understanding of architecture, environmental design. Since environmentalism is a modern and postmodern, it’s aims are universal in being responsive to, dependent upon, in individual conditions.

    The City from Afar: Urbanization and the Aerial View in Alvin Coburn’s The Octopus talks about the first abstracted view of the city from photography. The image shows a perspective of eradicates depth and establishes illegibility as its organizing principle. The was a landmark of New York’s Madison Square that transform into a abstract image of an Octopus. Alvin Coburn took that image on top of Metropolitan Life Tower, which was the tallest tower back then. The image showed the modern industrial buildings (skyscraper) and space.

  18. Five Reasons To adopt Environmental Design

    I like how hagen writes her article so that it can appeal to people of different backgrounds and jobs. In the intro she basically states that were all in this together no matter what or backgrounds or cultures are our condition on this planet is all the same. Its interesting how the article is setup to draw to your interests in the way that you reason with the world; furthermore, she lists multiple reasons and explains them so that people learn that architecture should be seen as a multiple-discipline not just something you simply sketch and build. Hagen quotes “ Matter is, in short active, dynamic and creative”. When I’ve always thought of environmental design or building things with purpose, I never imagined anything to be manufactured or homogenous because no two things in nature are alike, things grow and live somewhere for a purpose.

    The Meaning of Deindustrialization

    I agree with Cowie and Heathcott that we need to reweigh the chronology or rethink the way we address deindustrialization. We’ve been approaching this topic the same way for too long, and I don’t think it applies to only deindustrialization, but people in general just don’t like moving on and by nature we are creatures of habit. So I can feel people’s frustrations in seeing their industry die in their neighborhood, or a once prosperous factory turned into a strip mall. It would frustrate me too that people walking into those shop’s don’t know about the ground they are standing on, but they shouldn’t have to. The environment changes everyday and you can’t expect things to last forever, so another reason why we need to learn to build things more sustainable is so that things are more durable but also so that it has less impact when gone.

  19. Urban Decay Photography and Film: Fetishism and the Apocalyptic Imagination

    Arts and performers have used ruins of the industrial time to create a somewhat apocalyptic scene as a subject of their work. While this usage is appreciated and helps the artists currently, it doesn’t help the area or the sustainability of it. The most famous ruins are in Detroit. I learned that both the movie industry (Z Nation) and the music industry (Eminem to name one) have used these ruins to create media that people in general like to consume. As learned in the article, some even refer it to “ruin porn” photography. The reason why the term is focused on being derogatory is because when the artist/performer uses the imagery it disconnects the background meaning and the local meaning of the locations. Overall, it covers that a ruined urban city such as Detroit isn’t a dying, crumbling location but a blank canvas for new artists, architects, entrepreneurs, and businesspeople.

    The City from Afar: Urbanization and the Aerial View in Alvin Coburn’s The Octopus

    This article depicts a sky down image of New York’s Madison Square from the Met Life Tower in 1912. What it shows is an abstract image of an Octopus. The idea of viewing the walkways like this was perceived as “precociously Modern.” It leads to ideas of photographers for not just documenting what exists but being a medium to discover new designing, dwelling, and production space.The Octopus leads into a skyscraper debate about how the skyscraper can reduce light and prove threats to humans. They became associated with corporate greed and even resulted in the deaths of 146 people in a routine fire who couldn’t do anything else but jump to their deaths. It allows people to really stop and think about the actions and situations that they put themselves into.

    • This is a good response. Both articles are important in highlighting the importance of representation.
      In other words, they are saying: How might the inheritance of empty and unused buildings function as something more than monuments to prior prosperity? The danger is that, if the image of decay comes to take a firm root in the public imagination, then as Sontag suggests this is to be complicit in its misfortune: to desire acquiescence to the current state of things rather than change. Photography and film that perpetuate the images of the ruins and, indeed, capitalize on it do little to generate alternative ways of thinking about or acting toward urban regeneration.

  20. In Thomas Stubblefield’s article, it discussed how people did not what skyscrapers built. They thought that it would cause property values to drop while affecting the building around them. These building would get less natural light and air flow causing them to rely on artificial light sources and ventilation systems. This is a valid concern, with less natural light the building would be cooler meaning that it would have to use more heating in the colder months leading to higher costs. The same happen for electric costs as well. These issues were also thought of as a health and safety risk which I found interesting. Especially after triangle factory fire these issues were reinforced. Sarah Arnold’s article however talks about photograph of decaying building and Detroit is the main city she talks about. I found it interesting how the article discusses how photograph can risk dehumanize the social history that interacts with it. The photograph show the decay with rusty browns and grey colors emphasize the changes of the buildings themselves however they do not capture the stories connected to the building. The photograph can also leave a building fixed in a certain moment and they will be remembered as such.

  21. For today’s readings I chose The City from Afar Aerial view in Alvin Coburns The Octopus and the landscape and memory of deindustrialization.
    In 1912, standing atop what was at the time the tallest building in the world, Coburns image ignites debate over high-rises in general and is “a reminder that the power of a photograph is not simply to document but to envision new modes of designing, dwelling, and ,..”producing” space.” The arguments that there was a lack of fresh air and light as a result of skyscrapers was used for the “quality of life” arguments, and these were presented as life threatening conditions. The spread of disease was sited and then reinforced with a tragic fire. In an effort to appease the conflict, a movement started to create wider streets to help ease the claustrophobia caused by the high buildings, but this proved too expensive, so it never happened, and the building of skyscraper continued.
    Photography did play a role in policy reform, resulting in the first zoning laws of 1916- not limiting height but required setback to help keep natural light, and designate predetermined amount of space for plazas in front of the skyscraper.
    This image is talked about as “the first abstracted view of the city.” There is no horizon line to orient yourself to, and there is no true depth. It becomes a bit disorientating. Coburns took this image after a trip to the Grand Canyon. The experience of photographing “natural views from high altitude” is what brought him to New York, to be able to capture “equally fascinating…man-made views.”

    In the Landscape and Memory of Deindustrialization, the author looks at plant closings in Canada and sees a sharp contrast. There are not nearly as many closings, and they found only scattered abandoned industrial sites. Many have been demolished and replaced. One town has been able to keep its steel industry intact. But of the closures seen through Canada, one of the things that struck me was the fact that the Canadians put up much more resistance to the closings than their counterparts in the US did. They did however, show some animosity toward the foreign, primarily American, owners of such plants, with one worker saying” I honestly believe the people of Canada have been shafted. They’ve had the wool pulled over their eyes and these corporations laugh right in our faces.” Another states “ You can’t fight the Yankees. You know what they say: ”Them damn Yankees.”

  22. Urban Decay Photography and Film: Fetishism and the Apocalyptic Imagination by
    Sarah Arnold raises a strong point about the fasinization with urban decay and how it can at times misrepresent what is actually occuring in the community. The example that she uses with the photos of Cass Tech highschool is perfect in representing this. The photos give off an almost erie feel when looking through them, showing us what once was a thriving school left to ruins. It looks as though this school was abandoned many years ago and has been left to ruin when in reality the students in these pphotos are only in their early thirties. It gives us the notion that nothing has been done with the school when in actuality it has been torn down and a new, better school has been built right next door that is thriving in the community. Looking to the past is a good way to improve the future, but it can also misrepresent what is really going on in the present. It is important to highlight the positive along with the negative.

    The City from Afar: Urbanization and the Aerial View in Alvin Coburn’s The Octopus
    Thomas Stubblefield is based on the invasion of the skyscaper taking away open space. This is argument that is still relevent today. Although more conscious efforts are made in building in order to include environmenta factors, cost and efficiency are also main issues in the building process. It is necessary to reimagine space and utilize it in a manor that is both beneficial to its inhabitants and the environment.

  23. I found it interesting how Stubblefield connected his analysis of Coburn’s “The Octopus” to both social and economic issues of the time period. First, he expresses the public concern regarding the unsightly skyscrapers, compromises to general safety, exploitative commercialism. He trivializes these humanitarian concerns to showcase the economic effect of these skyscrapers. The unsightly factories hurt local businesses by their sheer size and appearance. Furthermore, the volume of leasable space skyrocketed, causing real estate prices to plummet; a simple supply-and-demand effect. Skyscrapers are often considered economic positives, as they offer offices for businesses and space for factories. It is very interesting to me how Stubblefield’s analysis included economic insight, in addition to sociopolitical factors.

    High and Lewis’ “Deindustrial Fragments” was interesting to me for a few reasons. Firstly, I enjoyed reading the piece because it is a collection of interviews, as opposed to an analysis with quotes peppered in; it is a nice change of pace from other pieces we read. Here, the bulk of the piece is reading individual accounts. Hearing from the workers of closed factories with different backgrounds allows the reader to draw their own conclusions and gain insight on the smaller picture: how the workers responded individually to closures. Usually, we hear factory closures put people out of work and they suffer, but we don’t really get to hear their voices.

  24. The City from Afar: Urbanization and the Aerial View in Alvin Coburn’s The Octopus

    This reading is about how Alvin want the view the modern industrial city of New York City by looking down from the Metropolitan Life Tower. He was working on interpretation of images as a study form. He tried to relate his work to public urbanization. When he stood on top of the Metropolitan Life Tower, he photographs the landscape below. The view liked an abstracted view of the city. The landmark of New York’s Madison Square was an abstraction form of an octopuses. Here’s a video of Dr. Percy North discusses Alvin Langdon Coburn’s photography

    Urban Decay Photography and Film: Fetishism and the Apocalyptic Imagination

    This reading the urban decay of Detroit. I found the reading and photography interesting. I like how Susan Sontag merged old photos of the Cass Tech High School with students in them and took photos of the decaying vacant school together. Susan brought the dead school to life when she merged them together and turning them into a series. Besides Susan there were other photographers like Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre tool a photo of the fisher bod 21 plant. They show the Ruins of Detroit on what used to be wealthy industrial sites that are abandoned. Showing photograph’s relationship to time, the past and present and death.

  25. Steven High and David Lewis. “Deindustrial Fragments” in Corporate Wasteland: The Landscape and Memory of Deindustrialization.  

    The closing of factories was much different in Canada than the united states. Of course any mass loss of jobs is unfortunate, but unlike the U.S, Canada recovered. The factories were taken down and the land was turned into shopping centers or other uses. The employees such as John Livingstone was compensated and given a nice severance package as well. The article starts off saying it is hard to fine factories that are abandoned and still standing. In the united states there was the rust belt, but it seems in Canada there was just dots of rust.

    Sarah Arnold, “Urban Decay Photography and Film: Fetishism and the Apocalyptic
    Imagination “in Journal of Urban History, Pamela Karimi (ed)

    My interpretation of this article, is that taking photos that reflect on the happy past and sad present locks that place in time and keeps it from having a happy future. I would have to disagree with that statement. Comparing the past to the present can be inspiring. Seeing how great it use to be can inspire and cause a movement to make the sad present a happy future. Photos speak a thousand words and an image can speak louder sometimes than any written review can.

  26. “Deindustrial Fragments” in Corporate Wasteland: The Landscape and Memory of Deindustrialization.

    This article discussed issues larger than factory closings and cities transforming, what was interesting to read was that when the workers of Hamilton, specifically the women workers, were not given the same opportunities as male workers when the mill closed in the 70’s. Since this article is focused on Canadian mill cities it was surprising to hear that the interviewers emphasized a greater resistance to plant closings compared to those in the United States. A really powerful line was in the interview with Ed Lawrenson where he said “We’d rather be out of work than have to live in fear of working from one week to the next…” and ends his interview by describing the factory workers losing their jobs in Canada as having “the wool pulled over their eyes and the corporations laugh right in our faces.” In the last interview it was nice see that the workers fought for what they deserved, despite feeling hopeless, and became recognized and supported by the community and the broader labour movement and by the end were given a settlement, something not many were granted during these hard times.

    “Urban Decay Photography and Film: Fetishism and the Apocalyptic Imagination”

    As a design student I found this article particularly interesting especially the correlation it makes between abandoned factories and the urban decay photo series like the abandoned Detroit high school. The parts of this city that used to represent progress are now pointing to decline. People seem to take an interest in abandoned buildings just as the article states, “Rather than visiting the city for the arts community opposite, they are more interested in visiting the decayed and disorderly sites of the city.” The Fisher Plant photograph, as well as others in the series, are “connected spatially and politically to Detroit’s [continuous] narratives of past, present, and future.” These photographs are referred to as the apocalyptic imagination, romanticizing the impression of it represents. Many artists are taking interest in this content and in turn end up driving potential and interest to the city for artists which leads to businesses and a revamping of the city.

  27. The chapter, “Deindustrial Fragments,” in Corporate Wastelands, contain memories of factories and buildings that were once clean and comfortable and clean areas of work, recollect their memories as they move through the buildings once again explaining once it was. Revisiting their memories, how factories closed without any say of the workers themselves. In the first paragraph, the authors wrote about different areas revitalizing. The images and representation and mentality of the people still seeing the area as a wasteland as the title suggests, reminds me of how third-world countries are portrayed in order to profit or gain recognition indirectly for capturing the poor where as here they capture homes and buildings crumbling from abandonment.
    The chapter, “Waste, Excess, and Sensuality,” in Industrial Ruins, Tim Edensor beautifully captures his intimate apocalypse-esque photos of showing how the wildlife have taken over and the remaining standing structures and piles of waste left behind and unmanaged. The emphasis the issues of how we use materials, the industrial societies, and how we treat the environment with the pace the structures are decaying and how that affects the environment.

  28. Stubblefield: “The City from Afar; Arnold; “Urban Decay”

    I chose both of these articles because well firstly, the titles caught my attention. Both articles are about photography and the representation pictures have on the community, members of said community as well as city government officials.
    In the article “City from Afar”, the author gives us aerial photos, along with the historical backgrounds of these neighborhoods and explains how the urbanization of New York is not only changing how the city looks from above but also how it effects those down below.He gives us 2 photos of “The Octopus” and “Trinity Church from Above”. In these photos he says that the octopus which was once a place for walkers, community members, or businessmen/women went to stroll, relax, enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. In the other photo he shows a historical church that looks like a speck from the sky. His argument is that the urbanization and building of skyscrapers is ruining the views of the city along with its historical content. He says this is happening because buildings are built in a vertical manner and enveloping everything around them. For instance in the Octopus the sun doesn’t shine as it used to because the tall buildings are blocking it from the Octopus and the breeze/fresh air isn’t as crisp as it was before. Leaving this open space that was once occupied by people all the time, lifeless besides for a few passersby from time to time.
    In the second article “Urban Decay” the author gives us photos of ruined schools and other buildings in the city of Detroit. The authors argument here is that photos of ruined buildings and defaced interiors remind of us of what once was. A school with children that learned, abandoned and defaced was left for years on the side of the new school with no use other than to capture it in photograph.
    These articles are an amazing photographed diary and information is plentiful but it is sad to such beauty turned into to such chaos. It is true when the say “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

  29. So i found the “Urban decay” article very intresting and i found that in new bedford they are trying to take these urban building and make them useful again just like the wamsutta mill the before to a after of a beautiful loft building

    The city from afar: i found that some of the points in the article i can see is true about how the blocking of the sunlight can be bad for humans and i do agree with the statement made by @acrocker about how they became the source of cooperate greed and lead to the death of 146 from a fire that they all jumped out of windows. make you think how some things are happing for certain reason in todays societies

  30. Thomas Stubblefield, “The City from Afar: Urbanization and the Aerial View in Alvin Coburn’s The Octopus” in Journal of Urban History, Pamela Karimi (ed)

    The Octopus is an example of how photography can showcase what is new, changing, and happening. Because of this photography can either be a good or bad thing depending on how it is used. Photography has the ability to highlight possibility instead of despair. However, I think it is important to be aware of the fact that people interpret art in different ways. Not only that, but people can misinterpret the intended message of a piece. Photography can influence people, but there are many factors that can change why and how people react in the ways they do. I do think that photography can play a positive role in how people view situations and it can help to create change. Yet, photographers are going to have to be aware of, and understanding of, the community they are potentially influencing. Not every community is going to react the same way to the same stimulus.

    Sarah Arnold, “Urban Decay Photography and Film: Fetishism and the Apocalyptic Imagination” in Journal of Urban History, Pamela Karimi (ed)

    Photography has contributed to the image of Detroit as being a place of ruin and has confined it to that definition. But, Detroit is actually rebuilding; it is not stuck in the past. It seems like people are trying to make an example out of Detroit, but in doing so they are the ones hindering its growth in the present. If photography focused on the possibility of what could come from destruction, a new beginning, then it would probably help Detroit. I found it interesting how Arnold pointed out how human history can be erased in a photography. It’s like humans are separated from their creations, which doesn’t help the fact that viewers don’t really see places in photographs as real places. If people do not see a place as being real, can they ever feel compassion for that space and the people who occupy it?

    Photography that focuses on ruins will not help with renewal or new ways of thinking. Instead of focusing on the ruins, there could be a focus on the opportunities and possibilities. Even though there is potential harm, photography also has the potential to generate innovation, growth, change, and revival. Photographers should be aware of the impact they have on the well-being of communities.

  31. I chose to read, Urban Decay Photography and Film: Fetishism and the Apocalyptic Imagination by Sarah Arnold. What sparked my interest was how photography could take part in awareness over the decaying city of Detroit. What the author is trying to convey the importance in the emotion of the photographer to the image and what the image represents to the object/area being photographed. For instance, not until reading this did I realize how true it is that photos capture the souls of people and the way in which one chooses to express that photo can alter the viewers perception. By making a claim, bringing recognition or beauty as well as redefining the space of which the photo was taken. All these purposes can be done in an influential and everlasting fashion however, the author explains that certain images though lasting, do not depict the city of Detroit in the most beneficial way. I feel an artist must remember that life still breathes in the city and for some it is home, the decay is not beauty nor is it part of the past. The city once held history, activity and is currently falling in economic ruins. In order to respectfully represent/honor the city and its people, one must take great care in how they chose to angle, alter and express their photos. This paper, I feel, relates well to the ideas expressed within, The City from Afar: Urbanization and the Aerial View in Alvin Coburn’s The Octopus by Thomas Stubblefield. Stubblefield explains the importance and prominent foreshadowing of photographs taken during the 20th century. In concern with city life during this time, the author explains how Alvin Coburn photo, The Octopus which captures Madison Square Garden in 1912 from a top a skyscraper. This photo expresses innovation of the times with the height, while the shadow in the photo also depicts the near future. The way in which the lighting and angle of this photo was produced allows it to be conceptualized differently. For instance one might take the looming, single skyscraper as a warning of capitalistic ways and a future of unknown societal dynamics. Personally I enjoy the act of photography and at other points I relate and enjoy the image in which I am capturing. The intent of the image maker is something powerful, it can create movements, allow something to be forgotten or cause questioning.

  32. Urbanization of the Aerial View

    What stood out to me most was the most drastic juxtaposition of this urbanization that is being explored. Comparing the Grand Canyon to the heights of the New York skyscrapers really establishes this idea well. In a way shots of both are similar: aerial shots and large heights compel the viewer to feel the larger than life scale, but their subjects are still so different, yet feel similar. One is a natural formation and one is a human creation, yet they evoke the same feelings: wonder, awe, possible fear (of heights).

    What also stood out to me was the last photo in the article. It looks like a fully functional building until closer inspection; the windows are boarded up and broken, yet the rest of the building looks in relatively good shape.

    Fetishism and the Apocalyptic Imagination

    The article brings up many good points. Using places like Detroit to romanticize poverty and urban decay is dangerous as it can have the consequence of creating a harmful narrative. Detroit IS poverty and urban decay, despite Detroit being so much more. I think the first two photos in this piece, overlaying old pictures of healthy buildings on to newer decayed buildings, is a great example of how this sort of photography can open up discussion on urban decay without harming these areas further. Those photographers explore the history of these places, and what they once were, while also making note of what they have become. It’s hopeful, yet saddening, and in a way inspiring, inspiring in the way that these areas can be brought back to their former glory in a new updated way.

    However, I wonder what the extent of their critique really is. Do people really start feeling as though their cities are not able to be helped because of photographs that document their decay, or is it the fact that their cities have been left this way for so long. Would photographs not inspire residents to improve their city? As to not make those photographs their legacy. I think art can exist outside of reality’s narratives.

  33. The City from Afar: Urbanization and the Aerial View in Alvin Coburn’s The Octopus

    During the time, Alvin Coburn, The Octopus (1912) was described, “precociously Modern” by the Met Museum. It was know to envision new modes of designing, dwelling, and, to use Henri Lefebvre’s vocabulary, “producing” space. In my opinion, I believe that is not all true, it is just a project in the wide location that is meant for recreational purpose. The only reason why that space was very important at the time being was the powerful photography that was taken at a certain time and angle which made it looks really unique, thus coming up with the idea of “space and its purpose”.

    Urban Decay Photography and Film: Fetishism and the Apocalyptic Imagination

    When I learn about history, it is common that most of them comes from text and ideas that were written by great writers and historians. But to actually experience the past, and see the visual aspect of a certain place that once was, is a great way of learning and understanding how it had changed overtime. Taking photos of Cass Tech high school and restore the visual sense of what it used to be was a great example and a reminder.

  34. •For this assignment, I read “Public Interest Design” and “Five Reasons to adapt Environmentalism.” From my perspective, both articles were really motivating and positive. Personally, I liked the “Public Interest Design” article more. My interest mainly comes from the beginning pages where the author talked about what the motivation and objective of a project should be when it comes to designing in an area. The author mentioned that a design should not be random or simply appealing but that it should also speak to the psychological and social needs of that area. I really enjoyed hearing her perspective! She urges individuals to understand the area first before making any final decisions concerning the respective project. I really enjoyed reading this because I believe that this mindset can positively affect cities that are in need of tourism and more social interactions. I believe that if more designers and engineers were to apply that method, cities would have a more positive impact on the lives of individuals. Additionally, I believe that the most impactful designs do not necessarily mean the most expensive.; it could sometimes be the least. I also liked “Five Reasons to adapt Environmentalism”. Its ideas reminded me of why it is important to put an emphasis on sustainability in the final project of the class. Both articles were amazing to read.

  35. •For this assignment, I read three articles: “ Deindustrial Fragments”, “Urban Decay Photography and Film”, and “The City from Afar.” Overall, I think I definitely learned a lot from reading these articles and enjoyed certain passages. I really enjoyed seeing the photographs of Sarah Arnold in “Urban Decay Photography”. I appreciate the fact that she combined past and present photographs together. Even though I did not live in those areas, I still felt the nostalgia and sadness that these pictures carried. I then wondered how different of an impact would these photos have had if the present pictures were mixed in with futuristic and “what ifs scenario-like” pictures. I feel that it would (possibly) motivate mayors and people of authorities to potentially invest in these buildings or area. Concerning “Deindustrial Fragments”, I thought that it was cool that the author decided to publish interviews with ex-factory workers who used to employed by mills that closed . I learned a lot from those interviews. I appreciate the fact that I got to see how these individuals felt about the closing of their jobs.

  36. Cynthia’s response:
    The death camps and prisoner-of-war prison camps of Germany, the naval ships drowned in Pearl Harbor, the horrific scenes of 911 ground zero, tourist visits to the ruins of Italy and Greece, tombs and pyramids, and more contemporary personal and industrial ruins; what is the attraction? As children in rural areas, we are attracted to abandoned homes. They are a catalyst for our imaginations. Houses become haunted and challenges to be entered, then used as a hang-out away from adults.
    In his piece, Edensor describes the process of decay when a building has been abandoned. His description a scientific timeline. Both he and Sarah Arnold ponder the question of attraction to these sites. I don’t believe that all the images, of abandoned factories, are freakaziod fetishes bent on fantasizing about an apocalyptic world. As I scan the images in our readings, the most difficult distraction to overcome are the photos and news footage of those same smoke stakes, but my memories recall them spewing chemicals in the air and the concern for the pollution in the north east as a result. Acid rain was the biggest concern at that time. Cars would have cancer spots in the paint brought on by the acid caught in the clouds, then dump as rain in our area. The history we discuss in our class overlaps with the history I have lived.
    I found the same distraction while walking the streets of New Bedford. I’ve seen the changes in the use of the factories transformed into public housing. A down town that has gone through multiple transformations. People I interacted with in the 70’s, long gone and replaced by others in the 80’s, through present time like a cinematic production.
    Sarah Arnold’s describes it on page 329: “The ruin represents the process of history, as Ben has suggested. It might crumble, it might collapse, It changes shape, and it is sometimes restored or repurposed. Both ruin and decay are active processes.” I’ve seen the process repeated throughout my life time.
    While reading a piece of work, we are taught to wonder who the audience for which it was written. Arnold does this in her piece. There are many reasons to stop time with a photograph. Some pictures are shot as a reminder of an experience, to share with others, turning them into more of a woodchip than sawdust. In her book, WOODCHIPS AND SAWDUST, WHIMSYS OF WESTPORT, Lois H. Simon describes memories in this way. I paraphrase: experiences shared with other are like wood chips, and alone they are like sawdust that are more easily blown away by the winds of time.
    We freeze time and through these images share with others. Is it an attempt to create a stronger memory? Are we making a social statement, to start a movement and social change? Or, is it just a beautiful image captured at an opportune time.
    The decay continues long after the pictures are taken. This does not mean that the object is frozen in time. Detroit will one day transform itself into something more beautiful and the smokeless smoke stacks will one day just disappear.

  37. By JRosa:

    The City from Afar: Urbanization and the Aerial View in Alvin Coburn’s The Octopus

    By: Thomas Stubblefield

    While reading this article I found it interesting how a simple photograph and spark so many conversations such as where the photograph was taken, how it was taken and even what the photograph is displaying. What once was an impossible task to take aerial shots of a given area is now so easy with the technology that we have today. Technology has come a long way. We all witnessed it when Joel Cordero the drone specialist showed us his DJI Inspire drone and showed us how easy it is to get an aerial photograph or even a video of an area.

    Urban Decay Photography and Film: Fetishism and the Apocalyptic Imagination

    By: Sarah Arnold

    I enjoyed reading and looking at all the photographs in this article. The photographs showed abounded places with photoshopped images of what once occurred in these areas. This made me think of the mills in Fall River that were abandoned for the longest time but was once full of workers. These mills for the longest time were left alone and were decaying. The mills that once were full of interaction and movement were left alone until now when they decided to transform these old abounded mills into apartments. They didn’t decide to leave these mills to decay or even demolish them but they decided to keep them and make a new purpose for them. They kept the mills because it is part of the city’s history.

  38. Week 4 post 1

    Behind the Mansions:
    The Political, Economic, and Social Life of a New Bedford Neighborhood
    The social Life of New Bedford due to it’s large Quaker population has always been one of friendliness and acceptance. It is interesting to hear the conclusion of this article. Basically stating that the community could be considered integrated and that blacks and whites alike probably worked together and were united.
    It was also interesting to hear about the statistics of African Americans living in the area. Such as what percentage of the community was from a slave state or northern state. And there were 5 Cape Verdeans that also lived in the neighborhood. Also how the percentage of people from slaves states was much higher in this area than other areas. As well as people that reported they were from one area were usually clustered together. Meaning when people escaped the south, they found refuge with people from the same cities they have escaped from.

    Excerpts from Judith Boss, Joseph Thomas. New Bedford, A pictorial History. CH 1,2,and 3

    New Bedford was a city of affluence and success. It was also a city of struggling fortune due to war and disaster. New Bedford with it’s large Quaker population was pacifist, as well as non-compliant. They dealt many issues with Plymouth county for refusing to pay taxes in support for a church and military. There reluctance to fight in any wars is incredible. With such a community, it is hard to picture disharmony, yet with the increase in obtaining wealth in this city, the low lifers came. It is incredible however that they became the number one port in the world, with war stopping all whaling and British regulars burning down there port. Every time they rebuilt though, slowly but surly the people of New Bedford rebuilt and succeeded again and again. Then petroleum is discovered and made usable and New Bedford as a whaling port is no longer needed, whaling ceases, and then New Bedford invests in textile. When their main existence as a city ceases, they reinvest and change with the times. This reading makes me see the people of New Bedford as strong people who stick to their believes and will not bend to others.

  39. Behind the mansions:

    New Bedford’s demographics were originated from a “push” and “pull” of white and African descent people into a unique and thriving neighborhood. A lot of the town contained Quakers and a minister even termed them “ignorant, erroneous and vicious” because of the lack of a successful Congregational church. The town grew rapidly as more and more friends and family of slaves found work and a living in New Bedford. Its important to note that not all whites were well-to-do. There were labors and small shop owners alongside the wealthy mansions. Lots of these mansions were made for between 20,000 and 78,000 dollars back in the 1800s. Today, one of them is worth well over 12 million.

    New Bedford, A pictorial History: Judith Boss, Joseph Thomas

    New Bedford was always a productive and profitable city. Through many different resources they found themselves always changing to the needs of the current day. What started off as a whaling port turned into an area that was saturated in textiles. The people had to keep changing as old income ways become obsolete.

  40. Behind the Mansions: The Political, Economic, and Social Life of a New Bedford Neighborhood

    In school, a lot of what we are taught about segregation among blacks and whites is negative. Most examples throughout history are highlighting the bad and fail to show the parts of history where whites were accepting of the freed African Americans and lived and worked alongside them. What brings me the most joy is the fact that this was happening right here in New Bedford, MA. The area suggested a strong “neighborhood” character in the antebellum decades. It is no surprise that there were more African Americans from slave states living in this area than anywhere else up north. The area is considered to be well integrated though not many censuses seemed to lack the correct figures. At times the identities of black people living and working in New Bedford were unknown but nonetheless it is heartwarming to know that whites and blacks worked side by side, knew each other well and were accepting of each other.

    New Bedford: A Postcard History (1898-1960) Chapters 3, 6, 15

    Growing up in the area, many of the landmarks featured in this book are sites I have seen in person. With most, I was unaware of their history and significance to the city. It’s exciting to live in an area rich with history and still thriving on it. I explored most of these chapters but found the chapters on Downtown, Schools, and Dartmouth-Westport to be the most interesting. Seeing the buildings adapt to the needs of its city it developed and expanded or endured crisis’ like building fires and hurricanes. These instances made the city and surrounding towns into what they are today.

  41. Behind the Mansions shows how important the Quakers were to the development of New Bedford even though they were not popular with other colonies such as Cape Cod and Plymouth. It also captures how higher-class individuals were neighbors to those of a lower class which is mostly uncommon today. There is a wide diversity here even back in the 1800’s that can be see in the different styles of architecture that can be seen there. You can see where a neighbor total income level begins to drop and you can see the disconnection between the two. Since there were still wealthy individuals in the neighborhood it made development easier and gave them the power to break social norms of the other colonies. This also led to development of New Bedford’s downtown that would help continue this trend. Which can also be capture from the Fredrick Douglas stating how he felt safe being around the Quakers. You can tell in the reading that people cared about helping one another which is lacking in today’s social environment. In my sustainability in action course we discussed how one of the main issues to why we can not solve problems is because of separation between classes and different groups of people. Looking at this article is a perfect example of how helping each other and having no separate can benefit everyone.

  42. On page 21 of “Behind the Mansions”, there is discussion about how people of the middle and elite classes were less likely to venture into certain areas because of inadequate law enforcement. This situation actually reminds me of Jane Jacobs’s idea that having “eyes” on the street protects the street. So, maybe it wasn’t just the lack of law enforcement, but also a lack of surveillance on the part of the locals or maybe there were no locals who could watch the streets. Perhaps there were not enough small businesses and activity from all types of people in the areas mentioned.

    In the conclusion section, it is mentioned that the waterfront was a mixed-use area. Jane Jacobs probably would have approved of a “mixed-use area” because she believed that places like sidewalks could provide opportunities for contact with many different types of people. She even thought that sidewalk public contact and sidewalk public safety could help with issues concerning segregation and racial discrimination.

    Reading “Behind the Mansions” made me want to learn more about the history of the city I am from. It is interesting to learn about how a city came to be and I know very little about my home.

  43. The readings this week all are fascinating. It is amazing how despite living in this area my entire life this history is lost on me. Never once have I heard about the the history of the Quakers in New Bedford, or even about Fredrick Douglass living there, before this class.

    It is sad to see that these rich and deep histories have been replaced with a sullen vision of the city as it stands – a shell of its former glory, to some at least. Cities like New Bedford and Fall River should embrace their history as a means to reach a better future.

    As a political science major, it is interesting to see a trend followed in politics be echoed in other disciplines. A focus is put on our national and federal politics, we often forget to care about local and state despite those being some of the most meaningful ways to make change. It seems to be the case for history as well. We learn so much about the larger picture we forget to focus on what made our local communities great.

  44. Behind the Mansions:

    It was intresting to read about these mansions especially being from they area it was cool to read about the history of them. Also was interesting how everyone in history buts down the black workers but like @kdarcy17 says above we where always taught the bad in school. but in mass blacks and whites worked side by side.

    New Bedford post card chapters 6, 10, 15:

    I loved looking theres this pictures i felt more connected to my home town, now know what some of these building where and used for. i have to say i was surprised with some of the uses for these building in the area and what they looked like before to now. some stayed the same others completely changed or is no longer around.

  45. Behind the Mansions
    It stuck out immediately to me, the distinction that the wealthy white merchants lived side by side with the workers and laborers, both of Caucasian and African descent. New Bedford was viewed as a cross section; with the environment, architecture and population. Both populations shared the push from oppression. The whites stemmed from religion while the blacks were fighting against slavery. The economics opportunities afforded to all helped to create a thriving economy for New Bedford.
    The Quakers were an instrumental part in creating a safe haven for former slaves. They felt safe amongst these “friends” and the community grew as friends and family of people already settled here sought refuge.
    What also stuck out in my mind were the family names mentioned in the piece. Many of these surnames are still prominent in the areas today.

    Books on the History of New Bedford
    The chapters I looked at came from different books, but I was equally amazed at what I never knew about New Bedford. I can actually say, I had never been to New Bedford until fairly recently. I grew up in Newport RI, and there was never the need or opportunity to travel to New Bedford. Throughout my childhood, New Bedford was spoken of in a derogatory way, so I was never interested in traveling there. I was equally unaware of its long, vibrant history. I particularly enjoyed all the photographs documenting what New Bedford once was. It was truly an eye-opener to me.

  46. In the reading “Behind the Mansions: The Political, Economic, and Social Life of a New Bedford Neighborhood” the author wrote about the history of the oldest parts of New Bedford. Several mentions of Frederick Douglas are made, including a mention of his residence at 21 7th St. and that he actually used sarcasm to speak out against slavery. I have a special place in my heart for sarcasm being used in such heavy circumstances, because it makes things easier to talk about. This article will certainly become a great resource for the final project.

    For the other reading I chose three chapters from three different time periods to read about, 1750-1815, 1900-1925, and 1955-1983, with the goal of reading about the rise, industrialization, and deindustrialization of the city through the articles. Between the early and middle articles I was astonished that the focus has completely changed from whaling to textiles, becoming a leading cotton processing hub. I was also surprised that commercial fishing also started in this time period, all this time I had thought it started earlier. New Bedford also neglected to modernize and maintain its textile mills much after the war, which ended up reducing their market share in the end. The 1955 article talks about the new highway being built (I assume 195) and how its construction meant knocking many historic buildings down in the process. With the hurricane barrier, New Bedford is now a top fishing port in the U.S., and a mention is even made about SMU, about bringing a new immigrant population, which is kind of cool because UMass Dartmouth is still doing that today.

  47. Behind the Mansion

    This article is about the three aspects of neighborhood life before the Civil War. In the involvement of whaling among local residents in New Bedford, White and black unite and worked together, and fugitives from Southern slavery. Since people of color wanted work opportunities and freedom in the North that the town of New Bedford grew and it had an increase of black community. There were 149 people of color living in neighborhood, 45.5 percent were of blacks that were from slave states, 32.9 percent were from the area.

    As a continue to read the article it kind of reminded me of immigrant and undocumented people. They leaving their country to seek a best life in the United States. Working, going to school and living a social life they didn’t have back at home. New Bedford isn’t the only place that welcome people of any race or color to seek opportunity. The United States a whole accepted everyone and it has help the United States with growth and economic.

    New Bedford: A Postcard History Chapter 3, 6, 15

    These chapters talk about the landmarks of the area of New Bedford and the surrounded cities. I am not from New Bedford; I am from a city that is outside of Boston. Before I attended to UMass Dartmouth. I didn’t know anything about Dartmouth, New Bedford, Fall River and etc. My first impression of New Bedford was a shock to me because I wasn’t used to that type of environment and it looked poor and old in my eyes. Taking classes and talking to people that are from the area, made me learn a lot about New Bedford and Fall River. My first impression about New Bedford changed because of the history New Bedford has. Everything stayed to made sense when I found out New Bedford was the Riches City in the country and you see that when you see that when you’re driving by old factories, Mills and mansions. Also leaning the underground railroads in this area.

  48. Behind the Mansions was an in-depth, historical read of the different influences that create the neighborhood prominent and significant historical sites in New Bedford. The rich history of the people who lives there and the artifacts they leave behind, the trust and kindness they had for others, former slaves who needed a place to stay, that echos through the ages remain a reminders of the people who lived there and of the neighborhood of New Bedford that once being an innovative and a sanctuary for many, through new laws and inventions.
    The chapters I looked through, the North End, South End, the West End, contained postcards of the towns, New Bedford and surrounding areas, from the years 1898 to 1960, the homes in the North End were more spread out and very lavish and were photographed in the 1900’s. The south end had amusement parks and beaches, homes and stores were built side by side, forts remain from the Civil War. The West End has parks, contains less postcards due to the lack of history in those areas and the division of races due to racism. The changes shown as the town changed over time, the introduction of cars, the dirt roads and sidewalks become necessary.

  49. Behind the Mansions: The Political, Economic, and Social Life of a New Bedford Neighborhood

    Its nice to know that there was a town early on in our history where white and black people could live alongside together before the civil war. Most of us growing up were only really taught about the history of segregation in the south and the negative impacts it had on everyone. Our teachers kind of failed to mention that there was also good people during this time besides Lincoln, and if people learned about everyday townspeople doing good things and not just the president, they would help inflict a positive change. Besides the point it’s nice to see an example of a town that early on instilled values of community and equality, and still to this day continue to fight for equal chances.

    Greetings From New Bedford
    Ch 1, ch 3, ch 4

    Looking at these postcards it’s exciting to see how bustling downtown New Bedford used to be. These pictures captivate that romanticized era with the men reading their newspapers, the kids playing the the streets, woman shopping in the stores, and cabbies buzzing by all gives off that feeling that “this is the place to be”. I love seeing the old advertisement and the signs above all the stores that radiate the individuality that building faces had back then before everything was meant to look smooth and simple. Its unfortunate that some of the buildings in the photos are no longer here but they stand as a good reminder that cities are always changing to fit the needs of the people, and without a little demolition New Bedford wouldn’t be where it stands today.

  50. Both readings; Behind the Mansions: The Political, Economic, and Social Life of a New Bedford Neighborhood and Chapters 10-12 from David Nelson. New Bedford: A Postcard History (1898-1960). Were informative and reflected different historical components about New Bedford. To begin, the chapters from Nelsons book were simple in context. They contained many photographs of historical building, homes and areas either once present or still standing. Under each photo Nelson describes the people or activities that took place in such sites during the late 1700s early 1800s. Specifically Nelson divided the North, South and West-end of New Bedford up in chapters 10-12, which were my focus. One can get a sense of how the area was physically separated by architecture, from the “melting-pot” of the North-end, active and prosperous to the commercial section of south-end, with many recreational areas and with the well-established and currently still very active West-end community.
    On the other hand, Behind the Mansions is much more descriptive, with no photos but instead containing long passages describing the political, economic and social barriers of New Bedford throughout the course of the 1500s to the late 1800s. In this writing the author is more concerned about people, such as the Quakers and African Americans as a whole. The way each community interacted, the areas they lived in and the jobs acquired by each. At certain points the writer focuses on important figures such as, the Russell and Thorton families. Both were prominent in the whaling industry making them important political figures as well. In all I found each reading to be informative, and it was interesting to see how an author can chose to write about the same historical area yet, the focal point can differ. One may use photos, history of the land or the history of the people with quotes of important figures.

  51. In reading “Behind the Mansions”, I learned more about the demographics and history of New Bedford. I think it is important to note the differences between the cities beginnings and where it stands today. For example, the author discusses the importance of the high percentage of people of color and former slaves in these neighborhoods. Once criticism I have of this article is the stress on family connections. I felt the amount of discussion on who married who and exactly what street they lived on for pages on end was a bit much and took away from learning anything about what these people actually did for New Bedford.
    I looked at the postcard histories of “Greetings from New Bedford”, “Downtown”, and “Waterfront Whaling”. Of these, I found “Downtown” to be the most interesting because of the postcard featuring the Star Store. As a CVPA student, more specifically in the artisanry department, I love seeing the shift in my studio building. The downtown area of union st and purchase st has been completely restored and rearranged since these photos were taken and the star store itself is different as well. I believe from past information that the star store was redone in the 1990’s, so seeing its original state is eye opening. It just goes to show how important change is and how positive progression can be for a city.

  52. Behind the Mansions is particularly interesting as it describes the history of New Bedford and its residents. For the time period, it’s unusual that those of African descent had the opportunity of living as they did in New Bedford, sharing common economic goals, as well as the push of oppression (though widely different) between both races. Over time, the black community grew significantly throughout New Bedford, and though not all Quakers / white residents of the area were abolitionists, African Americans such as Frederick Douglass and Robert Voorhis felt safe living among and relying on the Quakers in certain instances. I really enjoy reading stories such as these as it shows that even during times of great adversity, the community as a whole can come together to live in harmony (to some extent) with one another.

  53. The first thing that really stood out to me in Behind The Mansions was how community based the neighborhood was because people were so closely related to each other. it reminded me a lot of the neighborhood I grew up in where almost everyone was somehow related. i would love for this project to bring back that sense of community and have the lot function in a similar way to a living room- the place where everyone comes together to spend some time with each other.
    I was also surprised by how the author stated that New Bedford was one of the richest cities in the country, if not the world. It seems crazy to believe it was once (in regards to prestige and wealth) on par with cities like New York, and it makes it so much sadder to see a neighborhood that was once the wealthiest part of the wealthiest city in the world decay into having overgrown lots.

    The chapters I looked through really emphasized New Bedford’s maritime history, as it was the key factor in creating New Bedford’s wealth. I would like to somehow include that in the project, without beating a dead horse, as so much of New Bedford’s public areas focus on it’s maritime history. I think it would be nice to make small subtle references to it so that it is cohesive with the rest of the city and alludes to that part of history, but does not overshadow the history of that specific neighborhood, which I believe should shine through.

  54. For today’s assignment, I read passages from the “Behind the Mansions: The Political, Economic, and Social Life of a New Bedford Neighborhood” piece. Overall , I really enjoyed it because I got to learn so much about the history and evolution of New Bedford. It is a beautiful story. I wish that more people at UMass Dartmouth could learn this story so that they could embrace the area more. The quote that stuck out the most to me from the article was ” Despite the fact that a significant number of birthright Quakers became Unitarians, the cultural heritage of dissidence probably created a society that was relatively tolerant of difference.” To me, it made me realize why the the city is the way that it is and why the citizens that live there still carry a mentality of being different from the norm and of challenging societal views on certain ideas.

  55. Behind the Mansions

    Being born and raised in New Bedford I have always admired the mansions in the city. Going to NBPS I also learned alot about this city as whole. My family is one of the families as is described in the articles. My great grandparents owned a tenement home (which housed family members throughout the years) maybe 2 blocks southeast from the neighborhoods being described in this piece. I have seen that specific neighborhood undergo so many changes over the years some good some not so good, but nevertheless the context and history behind the mansions and neighborhood is something that shouldn’t be forgotten or taken advantage of. New Bedford holds alot of historical substance that is important to not only local history but American history. The pictures shown I have seen before. My great grandmother had some of those exact images in her home and she used to tell us stories of how the city was back in her day. Cobblestone streets, horse and buggys, social dynamic, family friendly and the neighborhood still holds some of the same families of newer generations.

  56. Behind the Mansions: The Political, Economic, and Social Life of a New Bedford Neighborhood

    It’s interesting to know that there are so much history behind New Bedford. From what I have read, many rich history has been passed down in New Bedford by great people during the late 1860s, such as Frederick Douglass and slavery speech, and James Arnold and his inventions. It is also great to know that the neighborhood tries to appreciate them. Nowadays, these histories are the reminders which teach us the acts of willingness, kindness and rationality.

    The chapters that I’ve read (Chapters 3,4,and 6) describes about how New Bedford was one of the greatness, if not, the most successful city in United States, because it was where the huge core of development takes place. My reading these chapters, it takes me back in time. I can imagine the city is filled with workers and merchants. I can see people, trying to make a living for their lives, and grabbing opportunities.

    During my first visit around the port of New Bedford, I took pictures of old architectures that were once used to be a large running factories and shipyards. As of now, some of building are either left in ruins or in progress of restoration. The great history plays a huge part in the heart of New Bedford and it is good to see how some of the old building are being reconstructed.

    I came across this study after our site visit at 7th street, before I found our schedule on the syllabus. I discovered it while researching Abolitionist Row Park. I thought it would be a tedious read, but knew it would be a source of some golden nuggets of information. Our copy does not show the author. It was researched and written by a member of the National Park Service.
    I recognized the intense research necessary to write such a piece. When I began reading, the beginning of Genesis popped into my mind. So-and-So begat So-and-So, who begat So-and-So, on and on. I attempted to read the whole piece. Yes, it is a tedious read.
    As I read the names, my thoughts wandered to the faces of Westporters who shared the same names and wondered who may be descendants Abolitionist Row. Then, to the names that matched streets all over the New Bedford, Dartmouth, and Westport area. I also, looked for the name of Paul Cuffee. He was mentioned a few times, because his great-nephew lived in this area during the time discussed in this article.
    I grew up learning about Paul Cuffee, and the Quakers, in the history of Westport. Cuffee was a self-educated ship owner and captain, born on Cuttyhunk to a freed slave and a Native American, a Quaker and dedicated Abolitionist. The first racially mixed school was built and opened by Paul Cuffee in the late 1700’s.
    I can’t help wondering how our society has evolved to what it is today, with New Bedford of the past, as a perfect example of how to live and help your fellow man. It is an example of how the system of “smaller is better” should really operate. The writer says it best on page 63:
    Abolitionism may be viewed as a liberal or reformist impulse that most antebellum Americans perceived to veer toward, if not to occupy firmly, the radical fringe of social thought and behavior. It was a movement within the larger antislavery movement, which itself lay within a broader sphere of benevolent action in which many residents of this neighborhood lived. Many people in the County-Sixth neighborhood, for example, were key in forming and keeping afloat the men’s and women’s branches of the New Bedford Benevolent Society, both formed in 1840. The women’s branch dedicated itself “to alleviate the evils of poverty, by administering in extreme cases to the physical necessities of the poor, by helping to employment those who cannot find it for themselves, and especially, by seeing that the children of the destitute, are brought within the reach of intellectual, moral, and religious instruction.”

    “Benevolent action” was practiced by all in a very humble way. It can be seen in the following quote from a letter on page 63:
    Mary Rotch’s consciousness of noblesse oblige led her to work with other New Bedford women to create the predecessor to New Bedford Benevolent Society, the town’s “fragment society,” in 1813. The women met once a week and sewed from 1:00 in the afternoon to 10:00 at night. “We have entered the abodes of the miserable whenever the weather would admit of it for the last week,” She wrote to Sarah Rodman that February, “ . . . and on contrasting my own situation with that of many whose necessities we are enquiring into . . . I am sometimes led to enquire, wherein have I meritted a better allotment? Why am I surrounded with every temporal blessing & these my fellow beings strangers to the common comforts of life? Perhaps they are now far more deserving than I am, & had they been placed in my situation would have a life of far greater usefulness & acceptance in the Divine Light.”88

    The number of hours of research necessary to write this piece must be appreciated by anyone interested in the documentation of the history of our world. It is unimaginable how many hours were spent scouring through pages at the Registry of Deeds, census reports, and copies of letters and journals, thankfully preserved by others.

  58. By Jaron Rosa:
    Behind the Mansions:

    The Political, Economic, and Social Life of a New Bedford Neighborhood

    After reading this article I learned a lot more about the history of New Bedford and its neighborhoods. I found it to be very interesting about learning the history about neighborhoods in New Bedford. I feel it’s important to preserve the historical aspects of import neighborhoods. We should never forget what happened in the pass and our ancestors’ history. Most people today probably drive by these historic buildings and have no idea what the history are behind them. People should know the history of their town or city.

    New Bedford post card chapters 9, 14, 15:

    I enjoyed looking at these pictures and learning about some of the buildings and places that I have seen or heard about. I enjoyed seeing how some houses and locations have been maintained through so many years, while others haven’t and the location has changed dramatically. For instance, Lincoln Park I remember family members telling me stories about it every time we drove by the location but today it no longer exists and you find homes on the location.

  59. Behind the Mansions: The Political, Economic, and Social Life of a New Bedford Neighborhood

    Despite being an extremely dry read, I found it refreshing to read about the neighborhood’s progressive nature in terms of integration. It would be difficult to find a modern city with the same style neighborhood, partly due to the architectural styles. I would have liked to read much more about the architecture of New Bedford areas. I can appreciate the features and details of the mansions and smaller homes in the area. It is nice to see photographs of the buildings in their former glory, but it is even better to see those that have been maintained.

    Anyway, there is such rich history in this area due to the diversity among its residents, not just in terms of race, but also in socioeconomic standing. The wealthy whaling merchants lived alongside laborers and service workers, black and white. Some of the residents were esteemed authors or fugitive slaves, or in the case of Frederick Douglass, both. There is no shortage of inspiration in reviving this neighborhood from the history of the area and its residents.

    New Bedford: A Postcard History (1898-1960) chapters 3, 4, 9

    I am a much more visual person than I am a reader, so it was nice to be able to be able to see what the New Bedford homes and downtown area looked like at its peak. Seeing streets filled with shops, pedestrians, and cars reminds me of other large, active cities at the time, like New York or Pennsylvania. Whaling was obviously a huge industry for many years, generating wealth and breathing life into the city. It was humbling being able to see such historic sites among the postcards. I also really enjoyed looking at all of the residences and reading about what has happened to them today.

  60. Andrew Herscher “Detroit Industrial Design Gallery”
    As I read this chapter I was thinking about the clip we had watched in class about Rosa Parks house being relocated to Berlin to avoid demolition. This house purchased on the Heidelberg Project property was repurposed as a work of art, much like the artist who bought Parks house thought her home was precious to the history of Detroit and worthy of much more than being tore down. Putting this house up for sale for an unreasonable about of money just to “stimulate the Detroit real estate market” was a power move to get people talking about it, in some ways this is what the other artist did as well but taking Parks home out of the country as if saying “if you can’t appreciate it while it’s here lets take it away and see how you feel about that.” I think if it was destroyed Americans wouldn’t have made much of a fuss but taking it out of the country started a dialog thus making it relevant again.

    Andrew Herscher “Alley Culture”
    This chapter describes these galleries appearing in under-used properties that were put together by politically progressive artists. This concept is similar to the idea of a pop-up location many people and businesses have been doing lately. I like that it is giving purpose to unused or uncared for places and giving them the attention and love they deserve. I think a pop up gallery is a clever idea and especially for a city such as Detroit, it could really make a difference in how people perceive the area.

    Andrew Herscher “African Bead Museum”
    I enjoyed the concept created by the artist as a way not only appropriate the unutilized properties but also bring forward the appreciation and respect for the African culture. It is a powerful message brought to the public in thoughtful way, one that is sustainable, respectful and beautiful. Bringing to light the issues from the past and having the courage to see past them and strongly represent their heritage is something that is hard for humans, Americans in particular, and to do it in a way that draws from and transforms various African traditions is beautiful.

  61. Detroit Geographical Expedition

    The Geographical Expedition set off to help understand and expose the spatial effects of racism, disinvestment, and impoverishment in Detroit. The project was carried out with students and was disbanded in 1970. A result of this was a reviving of this project and it resulted in a crack house being burnt down with mixed feelings over the results.

    African Bead Museum

    This was a traveling museum that displayed beads to help African Americans reconnect to the cultural history. It also was used as a place to help educate the new generations on how to make the crafts and continue the history today. The museum ended up in a place that used to be used to dump debris. The debris was used to create art installations and displays to further the museum.

    Heidelberg Project

    This was an art project that used disposed of appropriated items to make artistic displays. What was assumed to be just trash and decay could now be seen as art and attraction. The project did raise some complex questions that contradicted the whole meaning of doing the project. Those are who can speak on behalf of the community, who can listen to the community, and how art can help the community. The biggest overlying question though compared to those is “where is the community.”

  62. The Detroit Industrial Gallery
    This project was really fascinating to me because of the fact that it went up for sale for a billion dollars in person and 500,000 dollars on eBay. I think this is interesting because it was entirely composed of abandoned items and placing these items all together and then trying to sell it (in actuality or just as part of the art itself) raises really interesting questions. Found on the street, these objects are nuisances and when too many gather in one area, decrease property values, but put in an artistic/curated context, are they suddenly worth more? I think it does more than question just property values and real estate, but the art industry as well. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it also seems to have larger implications related to class.

    Alley Culture
    I absolutely love the Alley Culture section of this reading. Galleries like this, to me, encapsulate all the greatest parts of art with none of the pretension that sometimes comes with. This is accessible to everyone, a place where everyone can be comfortable, and has high community involvement between functioning also as a meeting place, allowing everyone to exhibit in community shows, and hosting events like seed exchanges. It is a stripped down gallery with enormous amounts of heart and the community driving its existence. “The art world is not be differentiated from the Hood.” I love that because it is so anti-classist, it acknowledges its surroundings for what they are without assuming that there is a lack of culture or practicing a small scale gentrification. This I imagine creates a much more comfortable environment for a lot of people who would feel intimidated or unwelcome in more traditional gallery environments. Art doesn’t care who you are or where you come from, it wants to make itself available to everyone and this project does that so beautifully.

    Catherine Ferguson Academy
    I really like the idea of an academy for mothers where they are allowed, and encouraged even, to be mothers. Although entirely different circumstances, my mother went to college when I was 3 until I was about 5 or 6 and often faced incredible obstacles in doing so. Not just in the fact that she was young, a single mother, and balancing two incredibly demanding majors, but in how her professors treated her. While now I see plenty of mothers on campus treated with respect, I think academies like this are great because they cater specifically to that student’s circumstances. On the other hand, I would hate for this to be the only option for young mothers across the board, because there are obvious issues with that, but for those who want this type of environment, I think its wonderful. I love that this project saw an issue and came up with a direct solution. I did a little light outside research but did not find much on its creation, but it feels very grass roots to me. Unfortunately the school closed in 2014, although another academy (Pathways Academy) focused on pregnant women and young mothers did arise in its absence.

  63. With a city like detroit, I think the “Alley Culture” project was very positive. It is a way to bring life into the city and talk about its problems, without glorifying it. In class last week we discussed how it can be detrimental to romanticize abandoned buildings or the decay of a city by simply photographing it “for its beauty”. The Alley Culture project allows the voice of the people it affects to be heard while also beautifying the space. For the same reason, I think the African Bead Museum is also a great use of space. It celebrated culture rather than covering it with something new and out of place for the city.
    While both of those projects were positive for the city, one that really isn’t is the Heidelberg Project. The artist didn’t really involve the community or try to improve the space; he just kind of piled the trash into a sculpture. This doesn’t really help improve the neighborhood, build community, or shred light on important issues. In a way it feels like he just wanted to point out how bad the neighborhood is which definitely wouldn’t make people want to get involved.

  64. In Herscher’s “Detroit Geographical Expedition”, the author writes about a 1968 drive to gather information that could serve as a resource for the city’s African-American population. The expedition was mysteriously disbanded and the reports were never published. More recently a group of students found these reports in the map archives at Michigan State, and attempted to restart the project. They were not welcomed by the community, with one fire possibly being related to the restarting of the project. It is sad to see that people want to see history covered up so desperately that they are willing to go to such extremes.

    The Catherine Ferguson Academy helps young mothers continue their education while caring for young children. The school actually has an urban farm on an old sports field that is used to build a sense of community as well as provide fresh food for the school. This is a great idea and I think it should be more widespread, especially in schools in tough neighborhoods because it is truly a great immersive learning experience. Unfortunately the school is slated to be closed and this amazing opportunity will fall to the wayside.

    The Alley Culture gallery displays artwork on unfinished wood walls in a converted garage, a fitting venue to show art in a different light. It shows that even in the darkest of places, joy can still be found. It is run by a group called “Collaborative Projects” which also organizes film showings, seed exchanges, and other neighborhood activities. They are setting a great example and it would be great to see more groups like this!

  65. Andrew Herscher’s “Detroit Geographical Expedition” in  The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit was founded bt William Bunge as a new resource of knowledge especially for the disenfranchiesed African American population. The project lasted two years before cominy to a halt, and was later picked up by a group of architecture students from Michigan. They wanted to produce “maps that could change the map of the world.” This study looked at what was going on in the community, which before it’s publishing resulted in a crack house burning which seemed to be a done by community members. This showed the communities stand on what was happening in their community and their tolerence level to such activities.

    Alley Culture is an interesting way to bring the community together. It showcases art in various forms, showing the residents that there can be beauty even in the ugliest of places. The residents come together to create a positive environment where they can participate in activities and events which seem to boost the morale in the community.

    Catherine Ferguson Academy in The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit was a hybrid school for young mothers to teach them parenting skills, while allowing them to continue with their education as well as teaching them sustainable farming skills. The school allowed these young women to continue their education while learning skills to survive inthe future. In 2011 the school was set to close along with other to allow for charter schools. These seem to be a new trend in the education system that have displaced funding from public schools. Schools like the Catherine Ferguson academy that are beneficial to these young woman are replaced with for-profit charter schools in order to fund the failing econimic state of Detroit.

  66. The different ways Andrew Herscher showcases the revival of Detroit, is in showing how just
    sustainable and inventive people are to contribute the community. Art is a large scene in Detroit, in unorthodox avenues to make difference spaces and question economic and political issues in the community. The Heidelberg Project emphasized how arbitrary costs of homes and objects are unparallel to the value of the houses and how much it should be worth or be used to revitalize the community instead of left their abandoned. The street of the Heidelberg Project is the Detroit Industrial Gallery, the use of things that are also abandoned and forgotten adds onto the lack of sustainable alternatives, the overcrowd of waste left and become disproportional to the amount of people in the city. The alley culture was about curating a community to use an exposed garage to become an art gallery and provide to trade seeds annually. The Catherine Ferguson school provided training for pregnant students, included a farming program which was interesting how the photos shows using urinals as pots for plants, which is interesting and innovative, but the school closed down, which leads to the question how other minority groups are getting educated if the schools are all becoming charter schools. The Detroit Geographical od Expedition mapped out areas of unsafe and safe, which related to racism in the city that may affect perception of different areas, and the African Bead Museum artist expressing cultural and political oppression of African-Americans, but also the fact that a building that was believed to be a “crack house” was burnt down after the studies is telling to the affect of how trying to revitalize an area may have negative effects on the community. The fact that the professor was fired or left his position after the events took place is very suspicious.
    Herscher, Andrew. Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit. U of Michigan, 2014. Print.

  67. Andrew Herscher “Catherine Ferguson Academy”

    We are living in a society where young teens are having babies at an early age. I’ve witness teen moms having to drop out of school to take care of their baby. Especially not having enough support and income to take care of a child. It is also expensive to put your child in a daycare so teens mom end up staying home to take care of their baby. I like the idea of the Catherine Ferguson Academy, helping teen mom go to school with their babies or child, college prep, and working in community farm. I was so festinated about the academy; I googled Catherine Ferguson Academy and unfortunately the academy close on June 30, 2014 and replaced Catherine Ferguson Academy into a charter school.

    Andrew Herscher “Heidelberg Projects”

    As I was reading the Heidelberg Projects I found it interesting how Tyree Guyton decorated abounded houses in Detroit with objects and polka dots. When I googled the house some of them I found them creepy, or a house that was over decorated with Christmas decorating and lights.

    Andrew Herscher “African Bead Museum”

    I found the African Bead museum interesting cause the museum presented African culture of social, cultural and political oppression. The museum collected African beads, sculpture, textiles, pottery, metalwork, other African culture materials. The value of African beads is that they use them for adornment, artwork, fashion, exchange for good and service. African beads have been around for 75,000 years plus.

  68. Richard Bender

    Unrealestate agency

    This article seems to be simply stating that a lot can be learned from a shrinking city. Specifically for city planners and architects. As space opens up as the population leaves, it allows space to develop and test new ideas and designs. It makes me think of how in an ecosystem, everything has it’s niche, but when a disaster happens, such as a mass extinction, a lot of the niches that were saturated are now empty. So what happens is the surviving species start to fill up those niches and it’s a time of evolution and new development. So to follow the species path of filling niches you can start to imagine that things like as a city empties, new ideas go to those cities, because there is a space and a need to refill the niches. Essientally when a space opens up, it may be empty for a bit, but eventually something will so up to fill that space, and in city planning, that something is probably something new and something better than before.

  69. “Detroit Geographical Expedition”
    “Heidelberg Projects”
    “Catherine Ferguson Academy”

    I was happy to see the Heidelberg reading bring up the topic of community. While I was reading about the Catherine Ferguson Academy and the Detroit Geographical Expedition I couldn’t help but wonder what the communities thought about the closing of the academy or how the community viewed Detroit Geographical Expedition and the situation with the house burning. Even though the Heidelberg reading brings up the community it does not answer a lot of questions about the community. I think it is important to know the feelings and thoughts of communities because it can provide greater insight into the issues and organizations discussed in the readings.

    Sometimes it feels like organizations, even well-meaning ones, will silence or “revitalize” anything that does not fit into what they think is best for people and the community. When in reality, communities often organize in a way that is best for them and what they need, like the Catherine Ferguson Academy. I think certain individuals and groups need to learn how to recognize when a community already has what is best for them and their situation. Instead of changing that, communities just need help and encouragement to continue growing. There needs to be better communication between those who cause change and the community those changes are for, which is similar to the discussion from the article, “Public Interest Design as Praxis”, by Nadia Anderson. Partnerships and communication are important to the health and well-being of communities.

  70. In reading clip-its from Andrew Herscher book, I was actually surprised about all the humanitarian relief projects that are currently active in the city of Detroit. Many communities whether located on the east or west side of Detroit have come together, some artists but many are everyday people who wanted to make a change. It was unreal to understand that many people in the city, due to lack of income and availability were/are unable to access fresh foods. I just ate a raw pepper and for me its hard to come to the realization that people in our own country, part of a once flourishing city, don’t have that same everyday luxuries I have. I also feel the book captures the spirit of the people currently in Detroit, from preserving the culture and history of the land, such as the baseball field where the Detroit Tigers stadium once stood to refacing habitable homes in order to uplift the image of the community. These groups are residents experiencing the same deprivation as others in their city yet, they did not let it destroy their morale. Instead they sought to make a change to better not just theirs lives but the communities life. Detroit and its struggles have gone widely unrecognized which is heartbreaking , I feel these acts of kindness and community projects should be praised and serve as inspiration.

  71. While the first pdf from The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit by Andrew Herscher was
    on unreal estate in Detroit and what it depicts or how others perceive it and what it seems. The book states “unreal estate” as: urban territory that has fallen out of the literal economy, the economy of the market, and thereby become available to different systems of value, whether cultural, social, political or otherwise (8). From the article I gathered that unreal estate is thought of as liabilities and that it hinders circulation though the market. But as I kept reading, many communities and neighborhoods have seemed to actually flourish because of the unreal estate when they actually put in the time to do something positive with it.

    The second pdf consists of short paragraphs followed by at least one photograph. They’re actually all small separate articles, one after another, all sharing an amazing story about their communities, including the fact that this was all due to the unreal estate that was around and in their community—that this has been the door that has led them to such circumstances that allowed for innovation and regrowth with the help of artists, musicians, activists and so on all locally from their community. I am fascinated by the communities that have been able to consider al aspects of the community such as the cultural, creative and aesthetic of those around them.

  72. Andrew Herscher “Detroit Geographical Expedition” in The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit

    The article basically tells us about the group of students trying to help Bunge’s effort on spreading the awareness of the early lives of African- American around Detroit, which includes racism, disinvestment, and impoverishment. Sadly, the project was discontinued and the group got disbanded. Later in 2009, re-founded by the group of Michigan architecture students and was continued.

    Andrew Herscher “Heidelberg Projects” in The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit.

    Shows an appropriation of both old and ruined objects, by recreating them into art. Cuyton’s expressed intention, “to improve lives and neighborhoods through art”. The point of these installation is to communicate with the community and how it benefits them.

    Andrew Herscher “African Bead Museum” in The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit.

    It is interesting to know that most of African art uses mixed media which creates a diverse appeal of the overall piece. The ideas may seem complex but the fluidity and the harmony of colors within the their artistic style is pleasantly consistent.

  73. By J Rosa:

    Andrew Herscher “African Bead Museum”

    I found the African Bead museum interesting because the museum collected and displays African beads, sculptures, textiles, pottery, metalwork, and other African culture materials. African beads were used for many reasons. They were used as a form of token money to exchange for goods and services. They are also used as a form of artwork, and fashion. I looked up the museum on google because I wanted to see it in color. The outside of the museum is full of color, shapes and different textures.

    Andrew Herscher “Heidelberg Projects”

    I found the Heidelberg Projects interesting because of how Tyree Guyton used salvaged items to decorate abounded houses and vacant lots. He was tired of seeing objects that were left behind from people. These objects were all over the streets of his neighborhood so he grabbed everything and anything he found. Some of his creations were somewhat disturbing.

    Andrew Herscher “Alley Culture”

    I found the Alley Culture interesting because it is a gallery in a converted garage. This gallery was used to display artwork from various artists as well as a community meeting place. It gave the opportunity for many artists to come together and display their artwork. It also brought the community together and gave beauty to the community.

  74. For this assignment I compared Herscher’s articles on the Alley Culture gallery, the Heidelberg Project and an interesting art project in that neighborhood, the Detroit Industrial Design Gallery.

    The Alley Culture gallery seems to be an established, well-respected, positive urban art outlet within the city of Detroit that blends aspects of milennial culture, the Arts and the inherent urban culture of Detroit in a positive, growth-promoting light. It acts as both a public exhbit and a community meeting place, and enforces the notion that the “Art World is not to be differentiated from the Hood”. It brings values and artistic systems that worked in Manhattan together with the values and artists that live in Detroit. The Heidelberg project is another interesting program, settled on a block within the Heidelberg neighborhood, where local artists (like Tyree Guyton) turn trash into treasure, per se and use oppositional aestheticization to show citizens of Detroit and neighborhood/community members “the beauty in the refuse”. Within that block on Heidelberg St is the Detroit Industrial Design Gallery, that was constructed by repurposing an existing house onn the property bought by Tim Burke. When he tried to sell it for $500k on eBay, he effectively proved the market in Detroit was “neither an object of denial nor an instrument of exploitation, but a site of play”.

    The readings gave me a cool idea of some of the underground urban art projects and designs coming up in Detroit. It sounds as though positive preservation of the history of urban strife is becoming more and more present, but the tone of some of Herscher’s texts struck some chords. When he wrote about Alley Culture, it seemed as though he were still romanticizing Detroit’s degeneration, as though it’s some sort of trapped but beautiful disaster instead of a flower or a tree growing out of the concrete. And as for the Detroit Industrial Design Gallery, I wasn’t sure if Burke’s initial intentions for trying to sell the gallery were clear enough. It would have been cool, had he actually sold it, if he had donated the profits to the Detroit Housing Authority or Public Works or Recreational programs, and effectively gave art and money back to the community. However, I understand the various artists’ points that they do not want to profit off of the art they provide for the community. Reading about cool projects like these give me inspiration as to in what direction a career in urban planning and design can go, and how to pay attention to the tone and needs of a community while giving it vibrance, life, a heart, without whitewashing or overly or negatively gentrifying a city.

  75. Unreal Estate Guide
    I read all six chapters for this assignment to narrow my write down to three. I found that the “Heidelberg Projects”, “African Bead Museum”, “Alley Culture” and, “Detroit Industrial Design Gallery” all had a similar theme. The coveting of other peoples’ cast offs with the intentions of making them useful again. As I read these articles, I was reminded of the Edensor piece. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. What one person sees as ugly, another see beauty or the possibilities of transformation. The scavengers are inventors and artists, who tend to see a world of potential
    The book learned politicians and city managers rely on the artists and creative minded people to make changes and beautify their worlds. Once this is done companies are willing to move back into an area, because it is beautified and has a work force waiting for employment. But, the first steps must come from the inhabitants of these neighborhoods. These articles show the influence neighborhood movements have toward change.

  76. I read, “Detroit Geographical Expedition,” “Heidelberg Projects,” and “Alley Culture.”

    The community aspects of these projects and pieces really tied together nicely.

    Detroit Geographical Expedition

    I feel as though this project was too complicated to fit into such a small space. The most interesting part was the new group’s divide over what an building being burnt down meant. I wish it was explained more as to what this project could be used for and if the new group (at least half of them) decided to test their research on the burnt down building.

    Heidelberg Projects

    The idea behind this project is interesting, but I think the execution is terrible. Perhaps that is the point. Maybe making the piece so ugly exemplifies the hideousness of poverty and urban decay.

    Alley Culture

    I thought this was a nice way to appropriate old structures to benefit the community in a beautiful way. In a way this is the opposite of the Heidelberg Project. Instead of exemplifying ugliness in poverty and decay, it takes that decay and creates something beautiful from it.

  77. Andrew Herscher “ alley Culture”

    I really liked the idea of building on something that already exist and turning it into a positive space to open your mind. This project especially captures the essence of what we need in spaces like the park in downtown New Bedford. These exhibition and communal gathering spaces is what we need for sustainable neighborhoods because it gives urbanized folk a chance to take a break from the homogenous “ conventional urban “development””. I read the article right below it titled “crafijam alley”, and it had a similar element to trying to turn grungy space into an expressive and creative space for the community. By giving people a safe public place to do graffiti which is usually expressed controversially, graffiti teaches kids how to respect their environment and how to appropriately express your art without intruding.

    Andrew Herscher “Heidelberg Projects” , “Detroit Industrial Design Gallery”

    I can’t help but not be critical towards both these projects because they both lack the effort and thought into making a space so big into a piece of art. I’ve seen to many people’s backyards that look practically the same as these projects to consider this art myself because I can’t differentiate it from the junk of generations past. I do appreciate the aesthetic of old signs, cars from the oldies, and shiny trinkets you randomly find. In Vermont families and communities used to dump their trash and old cars at the tops of old sheep fields and behind their houses, so sometimes walking along the woods you’ll trip on an old piece of metal or something and then, come across a cache of old goods from the past like old glass coke bottles, rusty spoons, and broken ceramic ects. However when you consolidate too much of this stuff together it becomes once again what it was 50 years ago, still junk. These projects had potential to do something good but if they were set up to help impact the community, they should have had a sustainable component to it like a slogan “cleaning up the junk in the streets”; and have a hazardous waste day to go along with the building of the project, so community members could get rid of all the junk they didn’t want ,so it wouldn’t end up on the street. Something as simple as that could’ve given these projects a bigger and more beneficial impact to the community.

  78. As I read today’s readings, I was reminded of a PBS show that I watched- I found this link to share. I found it fascinating and I am extremely inspired by it. I would love to be involved in something like this.

    I read Detroit Geographical Expedition, Alley Culture and Detroit Industrial Gallery, I also read Full Scale Design Lab- just because it sounded interesting.

    I was fascinated by all of these articles. I thought they all brought about such a unique way to put a focus on Detroit, and they were doing things to empower the city, trying in some small way to revitalize and shed light on what could be done there.This Gallery is set right in the neighborhood, so that art and community co-exist. The curators of Alley culture speak about being the voice of the people and that it’s OK to not be conventional in the way you develop urban areas. Thinking outside the box is a crucial skill in being able to revitalize an area such as Detroit.

    The Detroit Industrial Gallery again, I think shows a cleverness in bringing an awareness to an issue, while also thinking out of the box to help the community by doing something that looks towards awareness and revitalization. By putting a FOR SALE sign out front, with an outrageous price attached, it drew awareness about market values, and the questions of their validity.

    Detroit geographical Expedition, I though was sad. It could have had staggering effects fro Detroit had it been allowed to continue in the 1960’s. The resurrection of the project by a group of students also seemed like it was going to be revolutionary, but after the crack house fire in a documented neighborhood, the group changed the scope of the project, and at least is being used to look at urban advocacy

    You said 2 days ago
    Another link about the tiny house project in Detroit

  79. Herscher- Alley Culture

    I really appreciate the idea of converting a garage into a gallery. Reusing spaces breathes life back into abandoned buildings, while keeping costs low. Not only is Alley Culture a sustainable practice in terms of resources, but it also functions as a community space. The fact that the garage remained unfinished inside only adds to the uniqueness of the gallery and gives it a “raw” feel. Finding uses for for empty spaces is a great way to revitalize a neighborhood, especially when it’s purpose is to bring communities together.

    Heidelberg Project

    I like Guyton’s vision with the Heidelberg Project, as I think cities like Detroit especially need art, color, and creativity to start bringing them back to life. Also, repurposing materials to create something new is a great, sustainable idea. The problem with the Project is the components could get ruined by the weather. After a few rainstorms, those stuffed animals will probably be pretty ripe. The Heidelberg Project is certainly unique, but it could be also offputting to some people. The Polka dots are fun, but some of the houses are pretty ugly and aesthetically overwhelming. I like the Guyton’s marriage of mourning and celebration with his work, however.

    Detroit Industrial Gallery

    The Detroit Industrial Gallery is the offspring of Tim Burke, with inspiration from Guyton’s Heidelberg Project. I found it appropriate how Burke listed the Detroit Industrial Gallery on the market. His asking price on eBay and the “For Sale” sign is a commentary on the real estate market in Detroit.

  80. For this assignment, I read ” Detroit Geographical Expedition”, “African Bead Museum” and “Heidelberg Projects”

    Detroit Geographical Expedition

    This reading was about how a group of research students revived the idea to make spatial maps in the community of Detroit. It was interesting to read because it showed how an unfinished idea was able to bring fruits years later even though it was not executed when it was first brought up. This makes me think of the many ideas that I hear from individuals, especially students that sometimes might seem impossible to attain due to the lack of resources. This story is proof that although us, individuals might not have the resources available at a specific moment of time to execute an idea, it still is worth it to document that idea because someone in the future could still turn it into a reality. In the story, from my perspective, I find an encouraging lesson to never forget our dreams.

    African Bead Museum

    I really enjoyed reading ” African Bead Museum” because in my eyes, the story showed great progression. It was motivating to see how each time, the respective artist, Olayame Dabls kept receiving the opportunity to improve his ideas with a bigger space. For me, this shows that although an idea might seem as if it won’t ever catch people’s interests when it starts, we shouldn’t totally abandon that idea because certain unforeseen opportunities could turn those ideas “mainstream” .

    Heidelberg Projects

    It was very interesting to see how an artist was trying his best to revive communities that needed more social interactions. However, I wish that more sustainable objects were used in the design of these projects because using microwaves, toys and other objects won’t leave an environmental friendly impact on Earth.

  81. Heidelberg Project; Catherine Ferguson Academy; Alley Culture

    I actually skimmed through all of the articles and one thing that stood out throughout them all was the community effort to make use of what deindustrialization and suburban sprawl left behind. With or without the help of funding of guidance from city officials the members of the community took it upon themselves in most circumstances to utilize vacant lots and abandoned buildings for a community purpose; whatever those purposes may have been.
    In the Heidelberg Project a member of that community used leftover home goods and abandoned buildings/lots to create an eye attraction. Whether is was simple or over the top it was done. He even painted the streets and the trees. He did this I believe to bring awareness to how many buildings and lots and garbage is left behind
    The Catherine Ferguson Academy was I think as parent, one of my favorite pieces created by a freed slave. Her idea was to reuse an area of farmland on the west side of Detroit as a high school for young and expecting mothers. Not only did they receive an education, they were also taught how to farm and be self-sustainable in areas of agriculture, work force, college, as well as parenting at a young age. City government closed this school down and sold it to a for profit organization. Do the people trying to make a statement or the neighborhoods that are self sufficient benefit from any of this? I would assume not and that is sad. These communities have already been forgotten about why keep tearing them apart?

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