Architecture as Barrier

The Great Divide is a historical construction of both administrative practices and representational culture, making the division an especially deep canyon to cross. The division between principals and the rest of the school is so deeply woven in the working history and work culture of schools that only a tectonic shift in both culture and work practices can close the gap.                                    Kate Rousmaniere

The Great Divide


Chicago Site Research

For the trip to Chicago, I identified two different coworking spaces and a community center that would provide specific insights in to my project.  The SOS Community Center has already been posted, so its page can be found in the pdf attached.  Also in the pdf is another coworking site, Gensler’s Chicago office and the idea of Beta Space that Gensler is attempting to use to bring coworking to corporations.

Chicago Space Visits

Grind Diagrams

Grind is a relatively new coworking space in NYC.  It provides a space for freelance professionals, entrepreneurs and start ups to have a space to work and network.  Grind is one of many coworking spaces that are popping up all across the US.  Charlotte in fact has two coworking spaces that professionals can check out.

Each coworking space tends to focus on a specific group of professionals, whether it is creative fields or tech startups.  I am currently working on a matrix of various coworking spaces to begin defining the typology so that I can expand upon it, break it and even unite it with other ideas about learning and collaboration.  In addition to physical spaces, the idea of coworking has gone viral with online formats such as Loosecubes and Desktime connecting people with open spots in whatever city they are in.

These are some of the diagrams I created based on my research into Grind, the pdf lists all of them.  The link is attached to a website with an article written about Grind.


Group Diagram Exercise + Observation Assignment

The task of observing a space to learn about how it functions and what the various responses are alters one’s perception of space and increases our awareness of the environment.  For my task, I chose the light rail stop outside of the 7th street market.  I assumed that the market would be lively at lunch time on a weekday and therefore the interactions of people would provide interesting opportunities for observation and diagrams.

I also wanted to try an experiment with the rest of the class.  I decided to camp out in a single location, set a timer and take a picture of the same location at the buzzer.  With the periodic interference of the train dropping new people and taking others away, the potential for an interesting intersection of activities was possible.  I gave each member of the class a different image and asked them to diagram the various spaces while telling them about my experience.  After they were done, I revealed that they were serial images and we then placed them in order so see if any new conclusions could be determined.

Unfortunately, the outside tables at the market had been moved and the stop of the light rail was the final stop on the line so the number of people within the space was severely limited.  The result was only slight variations on a scene.  I decided to continue with the experiment anyway so see if something would arise in the diagrams of my classmates and teachers.

Through this exercise I learned the importance of choosing a location, the importance of directions when you are seeking a specific type of result, the value in looking at a similar image from a variety of positions, and the importance of temporality to the identity of a space.  Attached is the pdf of the image taken, followed by the diagram by a member of the class.