His & Hers? Designing for a Post-Gender Society
In His & Hers? Designing for a Post-Gender Society, Susan Tick argues that due to the ever-changing view on the acceptance of gender rolls, designers should help promote this change in society by being more neutral in their designs. The first thing that comes to mind when reading this article is the reinforcement in the idea that everything has a rhetorical effect. In this specific article, I realized that even clothing is carrying a message. When I thought about this more, I realized that this was obvious, so obvious in fact that I took the rhetorical meaning that clothes carried for granted. Even something as simple as the mens or women’s section of a clothing store says something about how our society labels the aesthetics of the person rather then their true gender identity. Tick proceeded further in her essay to describe the current trend with clothing design today. With design being rooted in modernism which is heavily shaped by the male perspective, the result of our clothing and art has the same attitude. The solution prompted by Tick is to design clothing and spaces that have a more gender neutral tone to them, just like gender neutral bathrooms. She urges us, as a society, to lean in a more post modernism direction. In the art world, post modernism is described as an amalgamation of different narratives and cultures that don’t necessarily have a meaning, intend audience or message behind them. One of my favorite post modernist Artists is Rene Magrite. His paintings question the preexisting assumptions that society holds. Magrite questions phenomenon such as the meaning behind language, the power of assumptions and life as we know it. The common thread between Tick and Magrite is the idea that we shouldn’t think in a straight line. Nothing is to be assumed. Everything is subject for closer examination and questioning. Thats the meaning behind Magrites paintings and Ticks opinion on design.
Reading Analysis 5
In the last chapter City of Rhetoric, Fleming concludes his argument by serving the readers with a summary of the existing enviable problems that lie, and forever will lie, In our cities today. Fleming states that these physical entities, which we call cities, act too much like a private space. Cities, weather intentionally or unintentionally, segregate and gentrify societies into categories. Fleming realizes that there and pros and cons to both low income housing as well as prestigious neighborhoods. Low income housings are more dangerous and have poor standards of living. However on then flip side, prestigious housing lacks diversity and social interaction. Fleming sees this as a problem. He believes buildings shouldn’t be designed for low income or higher income individuals, they should just be designed for humans. All humans are humans, therefore we shouldn’t be broken up in to categories that label us according to our income level or race. All humans are equal and cities should be designed to embrace that similarity. Fleming argues that the ideal cities should have the nessieties to sustain human life such as a close proximity to jobs, schools, parks etc. The most important quality that cities should have, however, is the adjacency to other people. Part of Flemings main thesis is that cities should cause public discourse and conversation whilst embracing the diversity that metropolitan areas are blessed with. This idea of public discourse and conversation can best be embraced if everyone, rich or poor, the majority or the minorities, lived within close proximity to each other. ” We need spaces that… not just as private individuals- as family members, friends, workers shareholders- but as citizens who are irreducibly different from one another”
Schindler pt 2
In Sarah Schindler’s article ” Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment, Schindler argues that built environments are a catalyst for discrimination and segregation. Schindler spends a lot of time talking about how unique of a medium of Architecture is and how thats detrimental to the people effected by segregation. Architecture is unique in the sense that its negative effects can’t be regulated by laws, however Schindler doesn’t believe this is right. Even though she believes that there should be some sort of regulation on the discrimination caused by built environments, she knows its a slippery slope. One of the interesting parts of this essay was her outlook on public transportation. Schindler feels that public transportation is a leading cause in the segregation. The example that he gives is how public transportation lacks acres to public parks. Schindler also shows how upper class white people in northern Atlanta are agains the expansion of the public transportation system. All these examples in regards to public transportation are perfect at explaining the gentrification that is happening all over the country through built enviorments that may have had the original intention to make things easier to the lower class. Public transportation is a perfect example of this. Normally the goal of public transportation is to allow access to different parts of the city with ease for the people who don’t have means of transportation on their own. Its almost like the upper middle class is using a tool meant to make things easier for everyone, agains the lower class to benefit them selfs and to keep them segregated from the rest. This text parallels that of our main text by Fleming in respects to the idea that built environments influence the way society acts both in ways that we can control and in ways that we can’t.
In City of Rhetoric by David Flemming, Flemming aims to convey to the readers that all built environments influence the way people interact with each other. These interactions can be through conversation, public discourse or language. In part two of the book, Flemming provides commentary on different types of subcultures and societies within cities. In this section, he focuses on the suburbs. Fleming talks about why academics have a “thinly veiled disdain” for suburbia as well as talks about the history of suburbia and the suburbs effect of society and vice versa. A man by the name of Gautreaux implemented the Gautreaux Assisted Housing Program in the late 70’s. This was a private, non profit housing program that moved family out of the main city of Chicago and put them in affluent, mainly white, neighborhoods. This new conglomeration of housing soon became the definition suburbs that we picture today. Fleming gives the definition of what this new housing program turns into. “makes low-density density housing (2) possible, while the fear of urban heterogeneity (3) makes it attractive. As Dolores Hayden has put it, suburbia is the physical expression of the middle-class desire for living in a detached house (2) with like-minded neighbors (3) in a quasi-pastoral setting (1)” ( Fleming pt. 2). The result is a very homogenous group of homes where the look and the personality of the people living in these homes are similar and alike, this negates all types of diversity for the most part, given that a majority of the people living in these homes were alike in race and socioeconomic status. This is a perfect example of how society can be shaped by history. This also exemplifies how long the effects of these subcultures, such as the suburbs, can last.
In David fleming’s book “ The City of Rhetoric”, Fleming argues that the man made and built environments that make up our city evoke conversation, conflict, public discourse and even capital. The specific way in which these cities are designed alter the way that communities act with one another as well as interact with the world around them. In the preface of the book, flemming claims that the organization the United States between 1865 and 1915 aided the emergence of the country as a whole buy structuring the city scapes in such a manner that was inviting to the immigrant population as well as enticing enough to move the country further economically.
“…the massive urbanization of the United States, as the size and population of the nation’s cities swelled from both foreign immigration and internal migration; the heightened diversification of those cities, as residents from different racial, ethnic, religious, economic, and linguistic backgrounds suddenly came into close contact with one another; the rapid industrialization of the period, which saw not only increased capital concentration but also recurring financial panic” (Flemming 39)
In this particular example, Flemming’s main point is to highlight the success of America and how it’s grown over the years due to the infrastructure of the City. In this specific example, the political affiliation and conflict that cities conjure is less prominent. However the more positive aspects of the effects of these cities are illustrated. The urbanization of america offers a meeting place for immigrants all over, the advancement of technology is demonstrated throughout the cities, thus inviting a more diverse crowd.
This description of America during the 1900’s was merely an example of how influential and persuasive the infrastructure and rising of cities can be. America grew from nothing to one of the most diverse cities in the world. Immigrants referred to America as the new world because of the potential and the diversity that this country offered. This example was merely just the surface of the influence and power that cities have
David Fleming. City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America (Kindle Locations 42-47). Kindle Edition.
My website is an amalgamation of different analysis of the rhetorical message behind a collection of different mediums. On my website I analyze music, paintings, art, philosophy and most importanty, Union Station of D.C.
First starting with my commonplaces. The first few common places in this class were to write about any medium of art we came a cross. This could be writing, art, songs etc. For the first few commonplaces, just to get a feel of the assignment, I wrote about pieces of writing; mostly philosophy as well as the assigned text of David Fleming. Either writing about J.M Coetez “The lives of animals” or Friedrich Nietzsche’s ” On the genealogy or mortality” and “even the city of rhetoric” by David Fleming. I found common threads in all of their thinking. The deal with all these philosophers isn’t to confuse or overanalyze the simple things of the world. The goal of philosophers is to discover and explore the meaning and rhetoric effect of ideas that are limited by assumptions or expectations that all of of everyday people think today. For example, when most people see a building, we don’t think twice. Fleming took the ideas of buildings and went above and beyond. Buildings aren’t just stuck in their location, their built and crafted through the combination of the context of their environment and the vision of the architect. But the building doesn’t stop there, these buildings influence its environment just as the environment influenced the building. My essay goes more in depth on this topic. But nevertheless, philosophers go beyond the preconceived exceptions of why. As a went further into my commonplace’s, I started to experiment with the medium in which I was writing about. Then I started analyzing music. I’ve always been fascinated with artists and the many ways they can get their message across through lyrics, the instrumental aspect as well and their tone. One of the songs that stood out to me was Bruce Springsteen ” Born in the USA” not only is this one of the best songs ever from one of the best albums of all time due to Springsteen spiraling voice that enraptures his ability to bring presence to the microphone, but this song also has a hidden meaning. Its satiric.Almost like rap songs speak in metaphors ( I also analyzed a few rap songs)The whole song is a metaphor. Artist I started to analyze paintings. People say a picture is worth a thousand words. After really analyzing paintings, Ive come to realize that this Is very true. Artists can paint to show literal meanings, metaphoric meanings, or the painting can enraptures their whole philosophy towards life. My commonplaces have little correlation with each other besides the requires analysis’ of Flemings text. You can find my commonplaces here https://edspace.american.edu/pm0550a/category/commonplace/
The next pieces of work that Im going to talk about are my reading analysis’. I like to think of my RA’S as mini essays. Just as I mentioned with my commonplaces, everything has a rhetorical message. The RA’s have the same intention. My goal is to provide an analysis on the rhetorical meaning of the work of literature I’m analyzing. However, the level of analysis is deeper then that of the commonplaces. I also aim to connect how these individual pieces of work relate to the main message of the class.
The next section of my website are my Annotated bibliographies. When crafting my main essay, I needed numerous sources so aid my argument presented through my thesis. Ive gathered articles that fir the BEAM model. Being that my location was Union Station and my Essay was about the rhetoric conveyed by the aesthetics and design of the station, I tried to find articles that talked about the history and transformation of the station over the years as well as the effort and intentions brought to the station by the architects of Union Station as well as the city planners of D.C.https://edspace.american.edu/pm0550a/category/annotated-bibliography/
“Reimagining Union Station.” The Washington Post, WP Company,
This source is a special one. This article touches on eventing we discuss in our class. This article touches on the gentrification of D.C, the evolution of D.C as an architectural city and, most importantly talks in depth about the development about Union Station. Union was never the grand masterpiece that it was today. It was built then renovated into something much grander then it previously was. Another interesting thing about this website is that it breaks down the development of Union station. There are three separate sections; Past, present and future. The past describes how the station started. The present describes what its currently evolved into. All the improvements to make what Union is today. The furure section of the article outlines the future plans of the station. They plan on expanding it by digging a tunnel under H street to expand the station and cover two blocks instead of one. This can be read as the literal, as an expeansion of a building. This could also be read as the ever expanding and improving city of D.C. Having to expand due to the gentrification and rise in population and popularity. I see this article serving as all elements of the BEAM model. Because this article is so in depth and covers a lot, it can be used in multiple ways. Im going to be using this article as an exhibit because I can analyze the transformation and design of the station overall.
Union Station: Washington DC.” Union Station: Washington, D.C., American Planning Association
I believe that this source qualifies as a method. This article is really good at illustrating the planning and design of the building. This article is similar to many of my other sources, however it differs by adding photos and small little of the photo. This source also talks a lot about the architects that were involved in the project. This source is a pretty good overview of the station.
The painting that I am writing about for this weeks commonplace is a very famous painting from one of my all time favorite painters. This is titled “nighthawks” by Edward Hopper. The first thing to notice when looking at this painting is the diner. The thing that hopper was famous for was the way he painted his windows; or lack thereof. Hopper never painted glass, it was always just assumed to be there. This is very prominent in this image. The dinner consists of a large curved glass wall, yet you can’t actually see the glass. It’s like the glass isn’t actually there. This is done to show the relationship between the subject and their surroundings. Here we can look at the people as the subjects or even the diner itself as a subject. We see a lit up diner in the middle of a lights out, empty street. This painting was done right around the time of pearl harbor, where the U.S would have blackout drills. Everyone would turn off their lights and close their blinds in case there as another bombing. So maybe hopper wanted to show the fearlessness of these people in the middle of maybe one of these blackout drills.
The image that I am writing about for this weeks commonplace is a painting by René Magritte. This painting is titled “The Son of Man”. There are many speculations regarding this painting including the man’s relationship to water and any religious affiliations. However, I believe that this painting shares similar ideologies to the painting I wrote about in last weeks commonplace. Magritte liked to challenge the idea of identity and viewer’s relationship to something they assume to be a fact. In this painting, viewers assume there to be a man’s face under the apple. But because this is a painting the only thing there is a painting of an apple. There is no mans face painted under the apple. That’s just what we assume. Just like we assume the word apple to represent a physical apple. We assume there to be a face under the apple here. Magritte liked the idea that language assumed hierarchy. That the word apple is greater than the apple itself. An apple would never be an apple without its label. This painting is almost a visual representation of that idea. That assumptions are even made visually, not only verbally.