Tuesday, August 31, 2010
These three words are what come to mind when I think about Park(ing) day. The concept gives a us a setting where we can think about how we are currently using our land and how we may want to change these patterns in the the future for possible alternatives. It is one thing to read about a movement but to actually see it in action and live in it for a short while helps bring the point home.
These spaces can be used for living in a way that can bring people together instead of just being used to temporary storage for inanimate objects. Lastly, this movement is a way for people to reconnect a bit with nature. For many living in an urban area like San Francisco takes them out of a natural setting for extended periods of time due to a lack of parks close to their work or living situations. Although parking day can only bring people closer to nature for a few hours it can spark a renewed interest in the natural world.
|Advertisement that look like huge parking tickets would get peoples attention.|
|This is just a simple idea I had for shaded structure with trees growing out of it, its basically just a place to relax.|
Monday, August 30, 2010
Rethink / Reconsider
Both of these words have similar meanings. We need to reconsider our everyday lifestyle. We live in a fast-paced world where we need to keep up with our surroundings and community. If we rethink how we are affecting the world, we could come out with a different point of view. Maybe we could save time if we all use gasoline, but if we all used alternative transportation for 1 day, the outcome would help reduce pollution and may spark inspiration to our neighbors.
We should go back in time where there was no individual transportation when we all were self sufficient by walking or biking to our destination. Sometimes the future is not moving in a forward direction but the opposite. If we have a fresh start, we may be able to have a more acceptable ending.
P.Chee /Group TAPIA (P3)
Transit(ion): I picked this word because we are using this PARK(ing) Day activity to encourage use of alternative forms of transportation. In that sense, we are attempting to bring about a transition toward a greener campus. The word “transit” is also at its root, which reminds us of commuting and mirrors the type of word play in PARK(ing) Day.
|Things a park should have: Benches, Grills, and climbable trees.|
|A Google sketchup concept for the area near the Café Rosso. It has a ring toss game and checkers to facilitate interaction and help build a sense of community.|
When I think about PARK(ing) Day, the first thing catches my eyes is the capital letter PARK. Then that word rewinds in my head, and then green color pops up. I think the ING is isolated from the word parking is because we want people to maintain a healthy environment by not driving often, and by occupying one parking spot during the PARK(ing) can at least reduce some pollution to our environment, although it’s going to be a small amount. Therefore I chose the word (purify) to represent that. However in order to maintain a healthy environment, we need everyone to work together to make it happen, so I chose communal to represent the environment belongs to everyone, and unity represent that we need to work as one.
My group’s spot is at the parking lot, and the space doesn’t have to replace with trees, but can use for some activities such as chess and checker games.
The white vehicle is stationed at my team's designated parking spot.
An older gentleman relaxing and reading the news.
An empty spot nearby, for reference.
relax, life, breathe
Why I chose these words:
sanctuary - Evident in the second photo above is an older gentleman reading a newspaper in repose. When I took the photos around 1-2 PM on a Friday, the atmosphere around that particular parking space on Holloway was relaxed. There weren't too many students around, and there wasn't that much traffic. Combine these factors with nice weather, and I was able to leisurely compose and snap my photos with little interruption. Like the gentleman in the photo, after I took the photos I took a few moments to relax on that very same ledge he was sitting on.
life - The overhanging trees and vibrant purple flowers caught my attention. I find it beautiful when I can enjoy blooming plant life in the city, especially when the particular area is clean and taken care of. It's always nice to find green refuge in the city; it seems to always brighten not only my mood, but everyone else's as well.
breathe - The air felt clean and crisp at that spot--maybe because of the slightly cool weather. Compared to nearby 19th Ave, Holloway Ave seems relatively barren of cars, and I'm sure the lack of emissions was a reason I was able to appreciate the air quality.
Charge, improvise, skate,
The park was beckoning me to charge its gnarled interior with reckless abandon. Its surface wasn’t perfect, as oil marks and ragged asphalt blemished its craggily surface. The confines of the park, while limited, provide the dimension of a concrete curb buttressed up against the parking space providing endless possibilities of skateboard fun. “Clink” goes the quarter plunging down the gullet of the parking meter. The sound brings a smile to my face, bringing similar feelings to mind as I once had arriving at the neighborhood park as a kid, or later as a teenager arriving at a skateboard park. My time is paid for, letting loose the wheels in my head to spin up my first improvised skate trick in my own private skatepark as my quarters’ seconds spill away. Get another parking space, cars! This one’s mine to grind, slide, and spin over till the meter signals that the park is closed till further notice. It’s time to skate!
To redefine is to change a perception and set a new set of expectations. As park(ing) day seeks to question our use of urban space the point is to redefine what a parking spot is or could be. New Urbanism as a movement stresses among other things walkability, community, multi-use spaces, and greenery at the expense of the automobile. Redefinition could change the perception that parking areas are exclusively for cars.
A big part of the urban landscape involves communicating to its inhabitants through signage. It is an learned skill in urbanites to navigate through their city. In many of the previous projects I saw, the message seems a bit muddled. As someone in class said, “It looked just like they were selling trees there” - instead of a reclamation of urban space for greenery and recreation, it came off as sloppy commerce.
As tongue in cheek as it may be, this is a form of resistance. The automobile has won the war but pockets of resistance can spread and weaken the grip. Park(ing) Day is meant to spread the word and create more resistance and sympathizers.
I chose my words based on what parks mean to myself and to others. I always think of parks as a place to replenish/refuel yourself. This could be spiritual (aka emotional and mental), through relaxation, meditation, or reconnecting with nature, etc. It could also be health-related, as in refueling with something to eat, getting fresh air, or taking a nap. I think of parks as a place where people can step outside of the stress of daily life and replenish or refuel themselves in some way. Also, people use parks to connect with one another, through talking, playing, having a picnic, walking the dog, etc. By creating a space where people can enjoy an activity or relax for a length of time, parks enable people to connect with others rather than just rushing by on their way to a destination.
I also considered that my group’s space on Centennial Drive will be near the farmer’s market. This made me think of community gardening in parks/urban spaces, which allows people to connect with others and replenish themselves through working outdoors and consuming healthy organic food. As shipping food long distances creates a lot of emissions, growing or buying locally might also be a thought to consider for PARK(ing) Day.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
The words that come to my mind when I think about PARK(ing) Day are Recreate, Play, and Recess.
I like "recreate" because it is the root word of recreation, but taken in its root form it is easy to see the origin of “to re-create” as in to recreate ones psyche by taking a break from work or study to exercise or simply relax, or in our case to take a space normally used solely for the storage of personal vehicles and recreate a park where one can exercise or relax.
The word “play” fits into this analogy because that is what the act of relaxation through exercise was called when we were children and is, in my mind, the main reason for having parks and green spaces in urban areas.
"Recess" is of course the designated time for children to take a break from their studies and recreate through play, something I think could still be useful to students at the college level.
Both of the words I’ve picked are based on environment surrounding the garage. Verticality has to do with the fact that the top of the parking garage is high enough that it has a view and leaves you isolated from the surrounding buildings. The obvious nature occurrence of this sort of thing is on top of mountains, hills and plateaus. The parking garage itself is like a small man-made plateau.
I chose sci-fi because of the steam the steam that spews out one of the structures right next to the garage (and can be seen from the top of the garage). The steam, in addition to the railings all over the parking garage and the large pipes nearby, lead to an industrial look that reminds me much of a space ship from a science fiction series or movie. This made me think of the PARK(ing) space being much like the “designated grow some plants because we need oxygen” bio-dome areas that often crop up in sci-fi. Science fiction media envisions environments where there are no plants so they have to be specially grown for the purpose of retaining a semi-natural area.
My words may seem simple at first glance, however; I feel that park(ing) day is all about persuading and promoting to the public the importance of taking a quick minute out of your day to relax and view a piece of your everyday life in a different way. A parking space is a commodity that we see everyday all around us, and it is usually something we ignore. I think it is a brilliant concept to transform such a space and give it back to the community. I feel that whatever ideas we come up with, our main goal for park(ing) day is to create a fun and stress free environment for the busy students of our school. At the same time, we are making a statement by showing them how most of our cities are more devoted to parking spaces and storage versus how little space we have devoted to parks and recreational areas and it is important for our society to preserve them.
|Our spot on Holloway.|
|Looks very different when there are no people/cars around.|
|A play area for children at a local mall. I really liked the concept and layout.|
I chose these two words because not only will we, on PARK(ing) Day, create something that is unexpected, it will also appear to be very unusual to people on the outside. We might be faced with a lot of questions and comments about what we are doing. Some people might find it interesting while others, unable to find parking and in a rush to get to class, might think we're taking 4 valuable and hard to come by parking spaces at SFSU. In the rush to classes, I personally don’t take the time to sit in the grass, play a game or even relax, so in that sense PARK(ing) Day will be an unexpected and unusual experience for all who see it at SF State.
Interact, Connect, Nurture
These words come into my mind when I think of PARK(ing) Day. I think a main focus of the day is bringing the community together (connect). When cars take up all the room on our streets, there are not a lot of places for people to gather and come together. This reminded me of a book I recently read called Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne. In a city in Europe (I forget the name) they closed off one of the busiest streets where cars were usually parked. It soon became a huge gathering area for people to come, sit and relax with others. PARK(ing) day doesn’t just give space back to the community, but designs the space in a way to attract people. I think a great way to attract people is give people some kind of activity that’ll be fun (interact). Lastly, this event for me is about giving back to the community in which we live, and caring about the decisions we make (nurture).
I chose these images because I heard about this park that was right next to my house that I had never seen. I was able to find it but it was such an odd set up. The first picture is from the side walk entrance. The second is of this path that leads to nowhere, and the third is of this huge slide in the park. That can not be up to code in anyway. I loved it!
I chose the phrase the “Passage of time” because it symbolizes movement. Trying to understand the value of this project, I reflected on my time spent in parks. I also wondered about my future time spent in parks. I realized that the meaning of going to a park has changed for me; as a kid it was a place to play, as a teenager it was a place to escape my house and kick it with friends, as an adult it is a place to go to with a partner or significant other to feel more connected, and as a senior I suspect I will see parks as a social gathering place. All I know is I have spent so much time in and around parks that they have become a significant part of my memories. I hope that some how in this project we are able to emphasize the importance and the human need for green space.