Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
The visit to North Park proved to be quite opposite to the previous adventure at Horton Plaza. In my opinion, the section of North Park we explored optimizes what the main street of a neighborhood should encompass. For one thing there seems to be a tremendous pride in the town. The neighborhoods insignia is plastered everyway, you know that you are in North Park everywhere you go.
Two distinct styles became apparent to me, the tile work on many of the facades, although not exactly the same, the language reads throughout most of the downtown area. The murals and art around the town are incredibly noticeable too. All the street art creates an aura in the town that screams craftsmanship to me. I felt like I was in a creative environment while walking around.
I think what this style does for the neighborhood is create a specific type of community. It becomes a place that thrives on culture, style, and creativity, and draws like minds into the area. You get the sense that information displayed or given in the area isn’t specifically planned or sanctioned, but the residents are ok with that. After some time spent, patterns began to emerge to me as well. I noticed several murals done by the same artist, some more subtle than others, but a consistent mixing of patterns by many artists and craftsmen.
Speaking to our discussion of the readings, and our approach to the design of our display, I think as a group we started at a very good place. The idea of weighted fabric that is easy to move and create different spaces is fantastic. If we can create an adaptable, unique space for gathering and displaying information, that shows off the language we develop, it should be a successful project.
I can’t help but feel that exploring Horton Plaza was good example of what not to do when approaching design. In my opinion the space is not comfortable, terribly hard to navigate, and a mess of styles. When approaching our design for the information display, the language should be clear and speak to a character that we decide, as well as aid in navigating. I found it difficult to find qualities worth taking away amidst all the advertisements and the dizzying maze of pathways.
What really stuck out to me was the juxtaposition of style. Much of the buildings were painted and treated like post modern structures, yet the main clock and lamps have an art-deco style, and I’m not even sure how to classify the obelisk. Then when you get to the food court it becomes a free for all with each store attempting create their own environment.
As for information displays I did find of few interesting moments. I thought some of the display/store units riddled throughout the mall provided some insight. In one small box, information about the product, and at the same time contained the product, and mitigated the sales of the items as well. Some other things I noticed were information put on the ground. Just outside the mall a manhole cover have the Gaslamp Quarter logo on it, signifying the neighborhood you were in. There were strips of tape along walkways in the mall to signify changes in the floor height, and there were advertisements on the ground as well.
I also found it interesting that people tended to gather in the space that we met as a class, by the chessboards. I believe that when interactive elements are provided then people naturally gravitate towards the opportunities provided. That one space seemed to be the only spot in the entire mall people decided to stop and gather other than in the stores they were visiting.
A few of the displays I mentioned before, but another place I visited recently is worth mentioning. The memorial on top of Mt. Soledad is a beautiful place for people to gather, along with displaying the information of soldiers.