In the essay “Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces, the authors Kathleen Scholl and Gowri Gulwadi argue that although the classroom setting is solely believed to shape student’s learning experiences, American college/university campuses require a holistic environment which includes open exterior space, attention to nature, and advanced interior classroom settings that will provide a holistic learning experience and enhance students’ learning abilities. The authors agrees that the indoor teaching area is vital to the process of learning; however, they insist that students need breaks from the high demand of cognitive skills, focus, and attention to detail that is associated with the classroom environment. Scholl and Gulwadi believe that the open space increases attention and alleviates stress, therefore provides that break students desire.


This scenic picture of Hawaii demonstrates the open, uninterrupted space

Scholl and Gulwadi use Francis L. Olmstead to emphasize that the physical landscape shapes behavior and offers an experiential learning opportunity. Olmstead says, “natural scenery employs the mind without fatigue and yet exercises it; tranquilizes it and yet enlivens it” (Gulwadi, Scholl). Olmstead, Scholl, and Gulwadi all believe that nature engages the mind, similar to the way that classwork does. However, rather than increasing stress as curricular activities tend to do, nature calms the brain and forces it to relax. The writers explore the different definitions of nature and conclude that nature pertains to an environment of physical features and living fauna; nature can also be a particular object itself such as a single butterfly, plant, or animal. Therefore, the natural environment consist of animals, plants, air, water, and landscapes (Gulwadi, Scholl). The authors’ theory of nature’s ability to tranquilize the brain is justified by the purpose of vacations. People often take vacations to places like the Jamaica or Hawaii with open outdoor sceneries in order to relax and alleviate themselves from the daily stresses of life. Going on a vacation is an example of what Scholl and Gulwadi would call an “intentional” nature interaction which is the act of purposely involving nature.


Example of indirect interaction: the view of nature from a desk inside of a typical dorm

Scholl and Gulwadi argue that along with intentional student- nature interactions, universities consist of indirect and incidental student- nature interactions which contribute to a holistic learning experience. Indirect interaction involves experiencing nature passively without actually being in it, and incidental interactions occur by chance in the midst of other activities (Gulwadi, Scholl). Indirect interactions allow the interior learning space to encompass aspects of nature. For example, a painting of flowers on a wall is indirect because it is not a physical feature of nature. However, similar to a real flower,  it has the same behavioral effects on a student because it mimics the physical object. An example of incidental interaction could be seeing an indoor plant while walking to class (Gulwadi, Scholl). Intentional interaction is most important to Scholl and Gulwadi’s argument because this type of interaction is fulfilled by having the large open exterior landscapes which enhance student’s abilities.




The quad of American University where students perform recreational activities, complete homework, and relax with their friends

Scholl and Gulwadi assert that the open exterior environment has multiple uses. It is not just where students rejuvenate themselves, but where they also expand their learning. The exterior environment can act as a classroom where professors teach their lectures outside. However, the landscape can also be an object that students study, such as going out to environments to make conclusions about material learned in the classroom. Besides from scholarly learning, recreational technique is fostered in the open landscape (Gulwadi, Scholl). Therefore, the exterior environment creates a holistic experience because it is a place where students can learn about an array of topics and reboot their minds.

Scholl and Gulwadi’s argument is relevant because it is different from the typical belief that the classroom experience is most important in fostering learning outcomes. The authors declare that the exterior environment is just as important as the interior environment. The essay factually explains why many universities have tons of open space, but also encourages universities to restructure campus and add more greenery. Scholl and Gulwadi’s conclusion indirectly encourages students to spend more time by explaining the behavioral impact of nature. Thus, their argument is relevant because it inspires change among institutions and students.

Works Cited

Scholl, Kathleen; Gulwadi, Gowri. “Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces.” Journal of Learning Spaces, vol. 4, no. 1, July 2015.


Ndang, Shiri, “Explore University Eagle, American University, and more!” Pinterest, 2016,

“Hawaii Vacation Packages.” Expedia, 2016,


A picture which communicates love, diversity and inclusion

In Suzanne Tick’s “His and Hers: Designing for a Post Gender Society, Tick targets her essay towards designers and asserts that the gender evolving world needs to be accommodated by a gender neutral design landscape which involves gender neutral bathrooms, technological spaces, and, business environments that welcome various types of people. Tick observes the way in which gender norms are rapidly changing, hence encourages the interior design sector to adapt their designs. In this current “post gender society,” people are no longer constrained to the tiny boxes of female, male, or other; individuals can now identify as whatever they desire or chose not to identify at all (Tick). For example, Tick says that college students and middle schoolers are choosing to refrain from disclosing their gender on applications to their institutions. Today, society has broadened the gender spectrum to include everyone, and gender associations are now abbreviated by the letters LGBTQIA which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual (Tahoe Safe Alliance). Tick’s argues that since society is adapting to new gender norms by being more accepting of people who identify outside of male and female, the design sector needs to catch up with the evolving world and change the landscape design.


An example of a modern and opened office from the movie “The Intern” which demonstrates the way in which interior design is starting to evolve.

Tick proclaims that both the interior design of the business environment and the technological design such as webpages continue to be dominated by men; thus, these virtual and spatial environments display characteristics of the male desire in design. She avows that office spaces were designed by men because men traditionally possessed the top careers in which they held the power to design the office, while women, who usually played the role of secretary outside of the main business area, were designated with very little design opportunity (Tick). However, Tick believes that office spaces will start to transcend because more women are coming into higher positions. That assertion was used as a topic sentence and is followed by a supporting sentence that reads, “People are also craving more softness in interiors, with the open plan, the influence of hospitality, and an emphasis on tactile and textural materials like carpeting and textiles” (Tick). Because these two sentences are in the same paragraph, Tick implies that the female gender is associated with an interior design landscape which encourages softness and hospitality. Their open plan is likely to create a more welcoming environment which differs from  the typical cubicles that cause people to feel very segregated. Consequently, society is craving environments that incorporate all people, so Tick urges designers to fulfill society’s needs.



On the left is the picture of Alexander Wang’s woman’s coat, and on the right is Annemiek van der Beek’s Primal Skin makeup collection for men.

Tick believes that the fashion design industry is taking great strides to adapt to the post gender society; therefore, the industry sets an example for designers to follow in their process of creating gender diverse interiors that are of such high demand. She applauses Alexander Wang’s women’s coat which incorporates designs of a male military coat, and includes a picture that shows “Annemiek van der Beek’s Primal Skin makeup collection for men” (Tick). Makeup for men is a big step in society and it demonstrates the type of actions interior planners need to take. Public places need gender neutral bathrooms and perhaps gender neutrals changing rooms in department stores that do not force people to pick the option that will make others feel most comfortable.

Tick’s argument is very important because it connects to the issue of diversity and inclusion which is a big problem in the United States. Although Tick specifically discusses how interior layout excludes people who are not considered normal, her argument about including all people relates to the problem of racial and religious exclusion. Her essay adds to a bigger picture and can be used to support other claims on inclusion and diversity. Also, her ideas  on accommodation act as a method to alleviate these social issues. There are plenty of reasons why her argument is so relevant. For example, Hillary Clinton is the first female nominee to be considered for president after 57 elections where females were overlooked due to their gender. America continues to feel the heat around racial issues because many people continue to refuse to accept all races. Suzanne Tick’s argument demonstrates the type of morals the world should have when dealing with “different” types of people. Therefore her argument leads to a bigger platform on the problem of equality.




Works Cited

Tick, Suzanne. “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society.” Metropolis Magazine, March 2015

“What Does LGBTQIA Mean?” Tahoe Safe Alliance, 2016, Accessed 25 October 2016.


“About Us.” LGBTQ Affirmative Therapists Guild of Utah, 2016

Tick, Suzanne. “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society.” Metropolis Magazine, March 2015

Walsh, Julia. “Take a Tour of the Gorgeous Set of The Intern.” My Domain, 25 Sept. 2015,

While legislators, lawmakers and judges “fail to find fault with physical acts of exclusion,” Sarah Schindler argues that “the built environment has been used to keep certain segments of population—typically poor people and people of color—separate from others” (1939). In Schindler’s article, “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment,” the author acknowledges that she and the government agree that architecture segregates, however, the law claims the exclusionary effects are “innocuous” (1939). Schindler disagrees and asserts that suburbs and cities were intentionally constructed to discriminate against lower class citizens. In this context, the word architecture includes, “civil engineering, city planning, urban design, and transit routing and infrastructure” (Schindler 1940). Schindler writes this persuasive article in order to grab the attention of the they sayers and “offer examples of architectural exclusion with the hope that citizens, legislators, administrators and legal scholars will look for ways to accommodate more effectively the exclusionary effects of design decisions” (1941).



Image of a truck getting stuck under one of Moses’ short overpasses

Although Schindler proclaims that the government fails to acknowledge the problem of exclusion in built environments because “it is difficult to show the necessary intent to discriminate” (1939), she provides examples that help make it clear that these acts of discrimination were purposely implanted to regulate relationships and society. She believes, “architectural regulation is powerful in part because it is unseen; it allows government to shape our actions without perceiving that our experience has been deliberately shaped” (Schindler 1940). The urban planner, Robert Moses, passively regulates as he builds the numerous overpasses in Long Island. He “directed that these overpasses be built intentionally low so that buses could not pass under them” (Schindler 1937), which meant that people of color and of lower class who relied on public transportation, could not enter the suburban area. Robert Moses used the bridge to regulate who could and could not come in. The people who lived in Long Island were of upper class, therefore they owned cars and could easily fit under the structure to enter their controlled public areas. The overpass acts as a gate that only allows eligible people through. Schindler proclaims that the same type of discrimination is persistent through “street grid design, one-way streets, the absence of sidewalks and crosswalks, the  location of  highways and transit stops, and even residential parking permit requirements” (1939). The lack of sidewalks in most suburbs encourages people who do not have cars to stay away from the suburbs due to the dangers of traveling by foot on the sides of streets, while the residential parking permits interdict outsiders from parking in certain areas. These examples show how the government regulates relationships so that outsiders of lower class do not socialize with people of upper class.



a park bench with armrest

Schindler also suggests that the built environment regulates behavior by prohibiting citizens from doing things that the government does not agree with. Schindler gives the example of a park bench which is divided into three seats. She says, “one might think it a simple aesthetic design decision to create a park bench that is divided into three individual seats with armrests  separating those seats. Yet the bench may have been created this way to prevent often homeless people from lying  down  and  taking  naps” (Shindler 1942). Schindler uses this example to point out that the regulations are subtle and easy to overlook, but they still have an affect on the people. Because this park bench forbids homeless people from sleeping on it, it controls the behavior of the and atmosphere of the public area by keeping it from becoming a place where groups may feel uncomfortable around homeless people.


Sara Schindler finds her argument relevant because the effects of the built environment continue to influence and discriminate against people today, hence the reason she hopes the government “will look for ways to accommodate more effectively the exclusionary effects” (1941). She wants the government to create a plan of action in order to terminate architectural discrimination which may be the same today, as it was when the environment was first built. Many suburbs are still predominantly inhabited by Caucasian Americans, while many cities and areas of less money are still primarily populated by African Americans. If the government recognizes the problem, there can be more integration and less discrimination due to architecture.



Work Cited

Schindler, Sarah. “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical                                                                                                                                                                                      Design of the Built Environment” 124 Yale Law Journal 1934 (2015)


Schlitt, Carol. “Why the Low Bridges on Long Island Parkways?” The Schlitt Law Firm,2010-2015,

“Exclusion by Design” If the River Swells, 6 Apr. 2015,


While republicans enforce extreme political involvement in a specific place, and liberals foster society and placelessness without strict regulations, David Fleming suggests in chapter two of City of Rhetoric, that the world needs “commonplaces, that can link us to one another and the earth but where we remain free and unique” (34). Commonplaces combine the positives of both liberalism and republicanism while eliminating their negative extremes. Fleming argues that we need “social spaces…that are open to hybridity, pluralism, and mobility but still allow us to make a livable world for ourselves, where we can disclose our differences to one another but also solve our shared problems” (34). In order to come to his conclusion, Fleming explains the problems with republicanism and liberalism in relationship to place, society, and individuality.

Fleming asserts that republicanism is problematic because it is “too demanding, too consuming, with insufficient protection” (25); republicans believe that politics are perhaps the most important part of everyday life. Republicanism requires face-to face interaction; Fleming observes that “development of the individual towards self fulfilment is possible only when the individual acts as a citizen , that is as a conscious and autonomous participant in an autonomous decision-taking political community, the polis or republic” (25). This means that republicans can only personally improve if they contribute to the republic and grow as a community by way of face to face interaction with other republicans. Fleming correlates this dependence on communication to the great involvement of place. He insists that he cannot imagine republicans without place, claiming that the party even depends on streets for their interactions (Fleming 27). Flemming encourages place, but he does not agree with the excessive dependence on geography as republicans do.

Concurrently, Fleming proclaims that the liberalism spread itself “too thin” (27) without any type of place or set of rules. This party is built upon involvement in society, family, church and other nonpolitical spheres. Fleming’s proposal to create common spaces, includes both liberalism and republicanism because the spaces provide a place where unique individuals can come together to discuss and solve their differences face to face. By creating a commonplace, citizens go to a specific area where they can snap in and out of their political thinking, different than the republican practice of politics all the time and the liberal practice of hardly ever discussing of politics.


Book which Fleming refers to: National Standards for Civic and Government

In Fleming’s definition of commonplaces, he demands a place where “we remain free and unique as individuals” (34). The aspect of being unique includes Fleming’s earlier argument against the National Standards for Civics and Government which proclaims that “the identity of an American citizen is defined by shared political values and principles rather than by ethnicity, race, religion, class, language, gender and national order” (20). He suggests that these standards take away the history, and “hide the struggle” (Fleming 20) that African Americans, women, and other suppressed groups faced to be able to politically participate. By adhering to the standards, one is drained of its people’s history and beliefs, while being forced to abide to the practices of their political party. This draining is especially apparent in republicanism where the regulations make for little room to be different or independent. Fleming argues, “to pretend that race, class and gender are irrelevant, or that one is “blind” to them is often just a way to favor those who allegedly have no race, class, age, sexual orientation, or gender–that is white, middle-aged, heterosexual men” (21). However, his proposition for commonplaces allows people to carry their cultural backgrounds and use them when discussing differences.

Fleming finds his argument relevant because today’s postmodern public which is founded on globalization, diaspora, and multipotentiality, does not satisfy the people because it lacks a “reliable ground on which to build ordinary political life” (31). Therefore, America needs a new form of politics which can be achieved through these social spaces where globalization can occur on a “reliable ground” along with aspects from other political parties. Overall, Fleming believes that the world needs a political party that celebrates individuality and interconnections in a specific place where comfortable face to face conversations can occur.

Work Cited

Fleming, David. “The Placeness of Political Theory.” City of Rhetoric. State University of New York Public Press, 2009, pp.19-35


“Center for Civic Education” Textbook and Beyond, 2016