Children + Identity Kristina Quinlan
Children + Identity
A Thesis Submitted to The Faculty of the School of Architecture and Art In Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Architecture By Kristina Quinlan Northfield, Vermont May 13, 2011 Aron Temkin : Dean Michael Hoffman :
Director of Graduate Architecture
David Woolf : Thesis Critic
Art Schaller : Thesis Critic
Lisa Schrenk : Thesis Critic
Cara Armstrong : Thesis Advisor
Acknowledgement Thesis . Premise . Question . Abstract . Methodology  Introduction  Chapter 1 Who am I?  Chapter 2 Child Identity  Chapter 3 Storytelling  Conclusion  Chapter 4 Precedent  Annotated Bibliography 
Design  Triad of Play  Encapsulate Project  Site Analysis  3 Parti  Program  Schematic Design  Final Design  Epilogue 
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT To Doreen Mitchell, my supportive mother: You always listen, helped build cardboard box trains, supported sock fights, read Goodnight Louis (despite it being the millionth time), let me scrape my knee, allowed my imagination to flourish, and it is because of you I have gotten to where I am today. Thank you.
THESIS.PREMISE.QUESTION. A B S T R A C T. M E T H O D O L O G Y
THESIS A child’s notion and perception of identity can change to develop within him or her a greater amount of societal awareness. This change can take place via a journey through a series of experiences relating to various aspects of identity.
PREMISE The meaning of identity and how identity is utilized is constantly changing for children.
QUESTION In what ways can the built environment help shape a child’s notion and perception of identity to provide a greater degree of societal awareness that can help him or her develop into more sensitive adults?
ABSTRACT On one level the question, “Who am I?” can be answered quite effortlessly; however, to convey one’s true identity, a complex answer is necessary. The answer might entail several characteristics serving as a description of a person, the perception of oneself and how one would like to be viewed by others. In other words, this list of characteristics can provide a person’s identity, a very dynamic aspect of the human being shaped through the environment around the individual as well as how one views oneself. Identity changes constantly because of different experiences and the different environments. During early childhood, specifically those prior to eight years of age, discovery of the individual identity is made and then developed infinitely in life. Children interact socially with one another at a more sophisticated level than most adults may recognize. Since identity is driven largely by what others may think of one, it is important to know that the ostracizing comment a child is making to another is not to be ignored. The main goal of this thesis is to minimize ostracizing comments made by young children. Such a task can be completed by exposing each individual to the experiences of others through different types of play. Through play, the child can then create a story to understand and process experiences with others. A story that will be stored for a lifetime to
METHODOLOGY Childhood is a general term alluding to the playful period of time in a human's life filled with stories and imagination. The research performed for this thesis is in reference to early childhood, the time between the ages of three to eight, a time when children are meshing the worlds of reality and imagination. Often, visualizations are used to explain concepts to young children, who might not yet be proficient in a spoken language. With this in mind, maps can serve as a visualization of a story. In essence, a map is explaining how to get from start to end and what might happen in between, the basic structure of children stories. With this in mind the story of Children + Identity begins. 
INTRODUCTION Identity is a word that has morphed in meaning throughout history. The word identity can be traced back to Late Latin—circa 500 C.E.—as identitatem, meaning sameness.1 During the eighth century C.E., a British source used the word as a condition or fact that a person or thing is itself and not something else; however, it was not until the eighteenth century C.E. that identity conveyed the sense of individuality.2 The previous definitions support the theory that humans have needed and continue to need a word to serve as a classification of the individualistic characteristics of others and one's self. The word serves as a way for people to compare themselves to one another, it provides a path to labeling and categorizing. Categorizing is the act of placing an identity onto an object or person in our daily environment, an activity we do on a daily basis out of human nature. By categorizing elements around us, both living and nonliving, we are creating a list within our minds and prioritizing the list to decide what should happen next, either our own actions or of the environment around us. We make a list of what we feel should be avoided and what we feel is approachable, a list that constantly changes often because of how we continually categorize those people and objects around us. The purpose of this thesis is to encourage and engage individuals, specifically children, to place more people and things into a category seen as approachable and understandable. Children travel through the beginnings of life with an open-mind; however, once they develop biases, stereotypes, and opinions towards aspects of the world through their own experiences and others' opinions, the open mind begins to close. In some respects, children can become more like those surrounding them on a daily basis. They begin to view others as those surrounding them do by attaching themselves to others' opinions instead of developing their own. These borrowed opinions are then maintained and begin to develop into unalterable opinions. The formations of schemas take place due to the opinions formed and all of the references the individual can make while telling a story, or talking in general, will revolve around the chosen schemas. In a sense, the schemas and opinions provide a framework for the individual to build upon while interacting with another individual. Casual observation shows that this scenario is very similar to specific news stations. Some take a conservative approach while others take a liberal approach. The two types of news stations may be reporting on the same topic; however, because of their basic approach to opinions, the presentation of the news can differ quite significantly. The person watching either individual station can take on the views of that station, either conservative or liberal. When the individual is carrying out his or her daily life, he or she will categorize people in reference to the schema formed based off the opinions of the news stations, if the news station is their only source for the categorization—to keep the example in a simple form. It becomes a sort of trickle down of categorization and identification.
Douglas Harper, “Identity,” Accessed November 3 2011, http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=identity&allowed_in_frame=0. OED Online, “Identity,” Date Revised September 2011, Date Accessed November 7 2011, http://www.oed.com/viewdictionaryentry/ Entry/91004. 2
WHO AM I?
A person’s identity is a characteristic unconsciously and consciously developed throughout a lifetime. It is common to have an urge to change aspects of one’s identity. This type of change is often in reference to a change in clothing or hairstyle, or other material appearances. The constant comparison of ourselves to others that developmental psychologist Erik Erikson speaks of causes an involuntary formation of identity, an identity simply unalterable.1 It is this constant comparison with society how one's identity is shaped. Throughout the human life span, the question, “Who am I?” is being asked. It is a constant struggle between the inner world of the self and the outer world surrounding the self. American sociologist Charles Cooley describes this constant inner and outer struggle as the looking glass self, meaning that through other people we see ourselves2. Those surrounding us serve as a mirror for each of us to view ourselves. No matter how hard a person tries to control how others view the self, those surrounding us will always contribute to the definition of our identity. Movements through life seem to offer points in which re-identification can take place, such as going to college; however, there are some aspects of a person’s identity inadaptable to change.
STATIC + DYNAMIC It can be argued that we, as humans, are born with a prescribed identity to build upon. Identity is a dynamic aspect of the human being; with static components. As soon as the umbilical cord is cut on a newborn, the child becomes a separate entity from its mother. The newborn then takes on aspects acquired prior to birth as a generator of a new identity. For example, the newborn is thought to have fifty-percent of each the mother and the father, speaking in terms of genetic make-up. It then can be concluded, theoretically, that the newborn acquires fifty percent of the mother’s genetic identity and the father’s genetic identity. Although there are several pieces to the puzzle in addition to the previous statement, it can logically be concluded that if a child has a mother of Asian descent and a father of African descent, it is born with both Asian and African characteristics. The aspects of identity the newborn acquires from its parents are the static components of identity that it cannot control. However, in the process of growing and developing, dynamic aspects of the newborn are transformed. One of the dynamic aspects of identity that the American social community imposes on a child at birth is social class. This particular aspect is inherited from the parent. Being unable to provide for itself, the newborn child is unable to control this aspect of its identity; however, once it has grown up and is able to transform this aspect of identity, the dynamic traits become visible and the individual is potentially able to move up or down the social strata. Dynamic components of identity can be initiated to mask static components, such as skin darkening. The child described above could mask a static component like skin color by tanning and using makeup or chemicals to darken or lighten the skin. With the technology of today, once static components—in the case of cosmetics—have become dynamic components. To further explain the dynamic components of identity, it is best to look at more examples in daily life. Social psychologist Hazel Rose Markus and her colleagues presented a question to a controlled group of students, one group in Japan and one group in the United States. All of them were presented with the same question, “Who am I?”, and the question required an answer by each individual. The students from the United States generally answered in terms of characteristics physically describing themselves, while the students from Japan answered in terms of activities. The words the students used to describe either the characteristics or the attributes also varied based upon their physical and social environments. The students commonly answered the question in regard to the surrounding physical environment. Several of the answers alluded to the fact that the individual was a student 1
Hazel Rose Markus and Paula M.L. Moya, Doing Race: 21 Essays for the 21st Century (New York, New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2010) 363. 2 Markus, 361.
and this was explained further through other relating characteristics. If the same question was asked later in the day, the answer would have changed to reference the environment in which the individual was located. For example, if the student were asked to answer this question in his or her family home, he or she most likely would have described himself or herself as a son or daughter and other relating characteristics in response to the environment surrounding the person.3 I performed this same interview process at Norwich University within the confines of Chaplin Hall, the School of Architecture + Art. My subjects were both professors and students. The students ranged in age and by their year in the architecture program. I chose to ask each individual, “What is your identity?” In support of Markus’ findings, I discovered nearly all of the students identified themselves as students, and some went as far to say architectural students. The professors answered in a similar fashion, but referred to themselves as teachers or professors. One issue arose: some were unable to answer the question because there are so many components involved in the answer. For some, I received an answer back two or three days after the question was asked. A delayed response supported the notion of identity being too complex to be explained effortlessly, while the contextually-linked answers supported the notion of identity being shaped by one’s environment.
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” —Anaïs Nin4
UNIQUE The uniqueness each of us possesses as humans is dependent on the past experiences we have had in our lifetime. A shared experience does not produce the same experience for each person. For example, all of the students and professors interviewed shared a common experience: Norwich University School of Architecture + Art. Beyond this one thread are millions of others, like the place in which each individual spent most of their youthful years, where there parents were from, and so on. Norwich University School of Architecture + Art is one thread in the make-up of a network of threads supporting one’s identity. These previous experiences explain a greater framework of meaning and value, referred to as schemas by psychologists. The schemas we develop help each individual to be guided through life and provide one’s position in the world. They allow us to determine what is right, what is safe, and what is wrong. Schemas are an aspect of our identities that guide us through life and provide a set of blueprints to follow.5 Overall, we react to different experiences in life because of our identities. The schemas provide reasoning for us to identify others. Although identity is largely dynamic, there is one particular element of identity that remains the same. This particular element is the unique nature identity takes on for every individual. If one compares oneself to others, a conclusion can be made and upheld, that those surrounding are not the same and thus, “I am unique.”
HOW SOCIETY SHAPES US Race and ethnicity are aspects of an individual’s identity that many in the social world act upon daily. These two characteristics used to describe one’s identity are shaped from the history of the world we live in today. They are not static components; they are components society has placed in the realm of identity to categorize people. For example, in the United States, the white man bestowed race-label onto those he saw as being inferior, anyone who did not look like him. This act of bestowing difference is an act of racism. It was this act of categorization that led to the creation of the concepts of race and ethnicity. It is human nature to identify 3 4 5
Markus, 364. Markus, 366. Markus.
people, to figure out who they are good or bad, etc.. One can think of it as a defense mechanism. When society places these categorizations as labels on groups of people, we are identifying people as possessing certain characteristics. We can perform this toward the group with which we are identified by the social world. An example of this vary act is illustrated in a excerpt from “Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”:
One Saturday afternoon a few years ago, after attending choir rehearsal at a church located in a Black section of a nearby city, my oldest son and I drove past a Black teenager running down the street. “Why is that boy running?” my son asked. “I don’t know,” I said absentmindedly. “Maybe he stole something.” I nearly slammed on the brakes. "Why would you say something like that?" I said. "Well, you know, there's a lot of crime, and people steal things," he said. He did not say, "Black People," but I knew the cultural images to which he was responding.6
The individual who is describing this particular example previously stated is Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, a black woman who is a psychologist focusing on racial development, in black children specifically. Her son places the running black teenager in a stereotypical category. They were driving through a part of town consider to be the bad part because it was the black sector, but had never experienced anything bad in this part of town; thus, he had no previous personal experience to provide a basis for the remark.7 The basis for his remark was the cultural racism references which the social world bestowed upon the labeled race. These remarks made to reference cultural racism can then determine how individuals view themselves and those surrounding them in their socially determined category. The youth documentary film, A Girl Like Me, directed by Kiri Davis—a high school student at the time— touched upon the same issues as those given in the previous example with the running teenage boy. In the beginning of the documentary, Davis set out to convey what it is like to be a black teenage girl today. The girls interviewed discuss the pressures of today’s society, specifically the impact the social aspect of beauty has on them. The world of hair relaxing and skin bleaching surfaced to show how hard some try to be like those who are of the norm, the white people. Since being white was considered normative, having lighter skin was considered to be of a higher level of beauty, and, as a young girl, the pursuit of beauty can be a rite of passage. Towards the end of the documentary, Davis asks the children a few questions, as Dr. Kenneth Clark and his wife, Dr. Mamie Clark, did for their experiment for the historic Brown vs. Board of Education (1954) case.8 She asked the children the following questions, in order, with two physically identical dolls in front of the child, one black and one white:
Can you show me the doll you would like to play with? Can you show me the doll that is the nice doll? Why is that the nice doll? Can you show me the doll that is bad? Why is that the bad doll? Can you give me the doll that looks like you?9
Beverly Daniel Tatum, “Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” (New York, New York: Basic Books, 1997) 48-49. Tatum, 49-50. 8 A Girl Like Me, Web, Directed by Kiri Davis (Reel Works Teen Filmmaking: 2005) http://www.mediathatmattersfest.org/films/a_girl_like_ me/. 9 A Girl Like Me: This can be vieat http://www.mediathatmattersfest.org/films/a_girl_like_me/. 7
Alarmingly, fifteen of the twenty-one children preferred the white doll over the black doll, in general.10 The original experiment was used in the case Brown vs. Board of Education (1954) to prove that segregation was harmful to the development of black children in schools. In both experiments, the white doll was associated with positive traits, while the black doll was associated with negative traits. In addition to the doll experiment, Dr. Kenneth Clark and Dr. Mamie Clark also asked the children to color in the outline of a boy or girl to be the same color as themselves. Several of the children with dark complexions colored in the outlines to be either white or yellow. The outlining portion of the experiment showed how the children felt a sense of inferiority to whites by wanting to be like them, since they were seen as normative at this point in history.11 The startling factor is how much those who fall into the normative category know about their own history of social class and ethnic history. Dr. Tatum finds this issue first hand in her classes and workshops. She explains, “The first question I pose is one that most people of color answer without hesitation: “What is your class and ethnic background?” White participants, however, often pause before responding.”12 Dr. Tatum explains that the white participants hesitate to answer the question because they are not in touch with their ethnic background. Since many consider whiteness as a societal norm, it is often left unexamined. In reality, many whites believe racism is just the physical act of showing it, like discrimination; however, there are invisible aspects as well.13 As a child growing up, one may not realize it, but the places in which we grow up and travel to are divided into racial strata. Although this division might not be on purpose, it is the pattern society falls into for social and economic reasons. Often, the poor and run-down neighborhoods are often associated with people of color, while the nice neighborhoods—often the suburbs—are associated with whites.14 For the example given prior of Dr. Tatum’s son stating the reasoning as to why the boy was running must be because he stole something, the setting was in the black sector of city; thus, the bad sector. This aspect of segregation is imposed on members of society due to the history of racism. The same is found within the roles men and women play in society. There are known stereotypes and biases, and we may try not to act on them; however, they still remain throughout society undercover. Take the traditional maternity leave as an example. Although some fathers are beginning to take paternity leave, it has been written in the history books as a traditional act of the mother of the child to take on this role. Gender role identification is forced onto children even before they come out of the womb. In a normal middle-class American family there is the decoration of the nursery; if it is a girl, pink may be chosen, if it is a boy, blue may be chosen, and if the happy couple decides they do not want to find out the gender of the baby until birth, the color will most likely take on a gender neutral meaning, such as green or yellow. A shock is inflicted onto society when someone decides to work against its unwritten norms. In an article written by Linsey Davis and Susan Donaldson James, a discussion was sparked into being. The article, “Canadian Mother Raising ‘Genderless’ Baby, Storm, Defends Her Family’s Decision”, explains exactly why the discussion was sparked. The Canadian couple described in the article, Kathy Witterick and David Stocker, decided to raise their four-month-old, Storm Stocker, as genderless. Only the couple’s midwives and two older sons know exactly what sex the child is. Approximately two years ago, a Swedish couple announced the same 10
A Girl Like Me. Library of Congress, “Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas,” Accessed November 07 2011, http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/ brown/brown-brown.html. 12 Tatum, 93. 13 Tatum, 95. 14 This statement was taken from an analysis of suburban and urban public school report cards in the State of Vermont, specifically in the Burlington area. The urban school, the Integrated Arts Academy, is located in the city of Burlington. The suburban school, Shelburne Community School, is located in Shelburne. State of Vermont Department of Education, “Vermont Public School Reports,” Accessed November 27 2011, http://edw.vermont.gov/ REPORTSERVER/Pages/ReportViewer.aspx?/Public/School+Report. 11
news about their gender-neutral child named Pop.15 Both families are providing this opportunity of choice to the child allowing him or her to develop into the gender that the child feels is a fit. Some claim the children will grow up to have identity problems and not know who they are. Society will play a large role in this identification process when each child grows and expands its realm of travel in the world. Eventually, each child will determine its gender when comparing itself to others because, as humans, this is what we do. Instead of the parents shaping the child’s identity right out of the womb, they are allowing the child the choice to define itself via its own point of view of the world and that of society. Since the 1970s, those in the United States have embraced a more flexible point of view in regard to gender. Prior to this point, women were to be nurturing and men were to be tough, similar to how the girl’s room should be pink and the boy’s room should be blue.16 In today’s society there are labels such as the Stay at Home Dad and the Working Mom, a modernization of the gender role identification. Overall, the conclusion can be drawn that identity is truly made up of multiple things. A person’s identity can be diagramed out to show the different layers of which the whole, being-identity, is made up. The diagram below shows how the static layer of identity remains close to the individual while the dynamic layer tends to be further away from the individual. The blank space in between the two layers is the transition space for dynamic and static components of identity. The diagram explains how there is no single or easy answer to the question, “Who am I?”, within the layers are sub-layers with more sub-layers continuing on infinitely.
dy na mic ide
id e n
ti t y
LAYERS OF IDENTITY 17
Linsey Davis and Susan Donaldson James, “Canadian Mother Raising ‘Genderless’ Baby, Storm, Defends Her Family’s Decision,” ABC News, sec. Health, May 30, 2011, http://abcnews.go.com/Health/genderless-baby-controversy-mom-defends-choice-reveal-sex/ story?id=13718047. 16 Davis and James, 2011. 17 Original Diagram.
C H I L D D E V E LO P M E N T + I D E N T I TY
There are several theories as to how children develop, all of which are written by adults, of course, and not children. Jean Piaget was a researcher in the realm of childhood development, who believes that children live in a world filled with imitation and careless ways in the years prior to the age of eight. Through this lens of thinking, children are egotistical in the sense that they are unable to understand the viewpoints and attitudes of others; thus, they are only able to understand their own viewpoints and attitudes.1 In relation to this, children are then unable to perceive interpretative actions such as race, gender, ethnicity, or class. Piaget’s research took place nearly half a century ago; however, due to the great amount of childhood described in his studies, and the span which it encompasses, his research is still valued today. Piaget used his theory of cognitive development to explain why children seemed unable to understand race, gender, ethnicity, or class. Within this frame to define development, the time of development was broken up into four stages: Sensorimotor: Birth to two-years-old. Preoperational: Two-years-old to six-years-old. Concrete Operational: Seven-years-old to eleven-years-old. Formal Operational: Twelve-years-old and beyond until adulthood is reached.
Movement from each of these stages supports the quest of the child to achieve equilibrium with the environment. In the past, behaviorists believed the development of a child was influenced by how the adult reinforced and punished the child.2 With respect to the behaviorist point of view, the child takes on the role of a puppet the parents control. This is a rather adult-centric way of looking at children. By perceiving children in this fashion, the adult is then belittling them—the children—into being incapable of thinking for themselves and making their own decisions.
Children are active and involved in appropriating information from their environments.3
In some cases, young children may understand what they are seeing and talking about, such as in the example of a three-year-old girl named Carla. She stated she did not want to take a nap on her mat next to a nigger during naptime because “Niggers are stinky”.4 Often, adults become embarrassed in this case and try to hush the child. Although Carla may not have been aware of the full connotation the word nigger entails, she was still using it towards a specific type of person and had obviously picked it up from a social interaction she had witnessed earlier. She used the word to provide reasoning to the teacher as to why she needed to move her mat. Following the incident, the teacher decided to meet with the parents, a mother who was half-white and half-Asian, and a father who was white, to insist the child did not learn this at the school. The parents both insist Carla did not learn this word at home and began to make excuses as to why Carla made such a loaded comment. At this point, the parents and the teacher decided to find the source; they concluded that the young girl learned the racial slur from their daughter’s friend’s father.5 For many, this would most likely be the first reaction to take place because they were embarrassed and did not want others to think this was how they thought of members of another race.6 The next step after this initial reaction should be to try to transform the 1
Debra Van Ausdale and Joe R. Feagin, The First R: How Children Learn Race and Racism (New York, New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2001) 4-5. 2 Van Ausdale and Feagin, 5-6. 3 Van Ausdale and Feagin, 6. 4 Van Ausdale and Feagin, 1. 5 Van Ausdale and Feagin, 1. 6 Tatum, 36.
child’s view of those to whom she was referring with the slur. It is through play that children learn social and moral limits. By testing these limits on themselves, they are learning the boundaries society imposes on its members via social norms from each other. However, in today’s society, often play is seen as having little to no importance. The No Child Left Behind Act, passed during the George W. Bush presidency, is an example of how the perception of play is causing a decrease in its importance. There has been an increase of importance placed on standardized testing, since the Act limits the funding given to schools based on standardized test scores. The better a school does, in regard to scores, the more funding received; the worse a school does, less funding. Since the pressure is on the teachers to basically train children to pass standardized tests, there is more of a focus on academic activities, causing play to get pushed out of a student’s daily school life.7 However, for humans, play is essential to develop and to maintain everyday wellbeing.
HOW SOCIETY SHAPES US According to child psychologist David Elkind, the essential triad to maintain and develop a happy and productive life consists of work, play, and love. This triad is built on the duo Sigmund Freud believed were essential to living a happy and productive life, loving and working. Play helps us adapt to the world and create learning experiences to then engage ourselves in. Work allows our mind and character to adapt to the social and physical world. Love allows us to express our desires, feelings, and emotions.8 Throughout our individual journey through life, these three aspects work together, with one coming to the forefront while the other two fall back into supporting roles (see diagram below). Infancy and early childhood set the stage for play to come to the foreground, while in the stage following, childhood proper, around the ages of six or seven, work becomes the foreground. During the adolescent years, work falls back as love emerges to the front. Finally, in adulthood, work, play, and love become separate from one another and begin to take on several different forms depending on what the adult is seeking in life.9 In order to better understand children under eight, a focus must be taken on the first two stages: early childhood and childhood proper.
ESSENTIAL TRIAD DURING THE FOUR STAGES OF LIFE 10 7
David Elkind, The Power of Play (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Da Capo Press, 2007) x-xi. Elkind, 3. 9 Elkind, 5. 10 Original Diagram. 8
During early childhood—the years between two and six—the triad of life essentials are becoming separate. As an infant, the triad is almost indistinguishable and meshes together, because the infant is using all three attempting to discover the world and make sense of it. At the stage of early childhood, children begin to put names to people and identify colors; thus, they are working. Elkind describes this type of work as being woven with play because children can make up words, working play into work. This stage is also filled with fantasy. Words, symbols, and drawings take on different meanings as objects around the child can take on the fantasy; thus, play is the driving force of work and love. German education innovator Friedrich Froebel understood this when he created his ten gifts to give to children.11 The gifts allowed children to take a series of objects and create designs using them. There were limitations as to how many pieces could be moved at once, so children would understand a constructive type of play—play with discipline.12 The knowledge learned through this stage of development is then transferred on into the elementary school years, childhood proper, from the age of six to twelve. Work comes to the foreground during the elementary school years, leaving love and play in the background. If one were to look at our education system, no matter the pedagogy, children are learning basic skills at this point, skills such as writing, reading, and computing. At this time in development, children are being pressured to adapt to the demands the social world is imposing on them. Author, illustrator, and educator Dr. Theodor "Seuss" Geisel recognized that the best way to learn these somewhat dull subjects was to combine them with play. For example, in the book Hop on Pop there is a wealth of playful rhyming.13 The rhyming creates a rhythm and provides a basis for song and singing, aspects of play. Teachers play a large part in creating enjoyable exercises engaging play at this point in development. On any given day, a visit to a local aquarium or children’s museum can be filled with masses of school children engaged in learning. These types of programs, outside of schools, provide hands-on learning with an element of play, which teachers cannot always provide inside the classroom. Teaching arithmetic can be done through blocks, M&Ms, and beads, but more complex ideas such as those found in the science arena can be a challenge for teachers to find a playful approach. In reality, children’s science museums and aquariums allow visual and object-based learning to take place. Besides the many learning facilities throughout the world, children learn through interactions with one another in their social environment. The home, school bus, and playground are all examples of other places children learn. Free play is taking place and children are learning social norms and rules.
TOYS + MATERIAL CULTURE OF CHILDREN Material culture is something children alter on a daily life. Adults have designed material culture for children, such as toys and furniture, basically anything a child wears or uses. What is so distinct about children is that they take this material culture created by adults and alter it. Children create and recreate their material culture using space and the elements in it.14 Items designed for and by adults can be changed to be an element of a far-off world only found in the mind of a child. For example, think of the typical cardboard box, an everyday object transformed through the hands of a child. It can take on the form of a fort, a rocket ship, or an 11
Elkind, 6-7. Elkind, 7. 13 Elkind, 7. 14 Marta Gutman and Ning de Coninck-Smith, Designing Modern Childhoods: History, Space, and the Material Culture of Children (New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2008) 3. 12
elaborate dollhouse, sometimes without even altering its standard form. This happens because children use their imagination to enhance play. Imagination is filled with creativity and innovation, something children are beginning to lack in the present day. The limiting of recess in schools and the amount of homework given are beginning to cut into the time children have to create these worlds of fantasy.15 The creation of technology toys is also limiting quality play. Toys encourage imagination for children when they are playing. They serve as a tool for imagination and storytelling. There is a shift going on in regard to what children get out of playing with toys, a shift towards using toys for amusement and distraction instead of imagination and inspiration. Toys are becoming a vehicle of acceptance for children into the social world and a symbol of social status. By having the latest toy, they now posses a bragging right.16 Toys become a way to push an identity on a person by labeling him or her in a particular social class if the child does or does not possess the it toy. Today’s toy world is filled with toys that are made of synthetic materials.17 The coldness of plastic does not provide a warm sensory experience to a young child. Research shows infants need cuddling and fondling—the human touch—to develop in a healthy way.18 It is this contact with the human skin that soothes them. There is always the case of the crying infant; often an amazing thing happens once the infant is picked up—the crying stops. Some might say the child would just like to be held, but the human touch provides a natural warmth, soothing the child. Some children are starved of these warm and natural textures in life and look for them, especially in the toys they play with. Additionally, with the introduction of synthetic and technology toys, children are losing what Elkind describes as the middle step in the process. The middle step can be described as the process of understanding how an action of a toy happens from start to finish. This middle step can be explained simply through differences of the old Etch-a-Sketch and the new Etch-a-Sketch. The old Etch-a-Sketch allowed the child to understand the impact his or her hand had on the knob, which would then draw the line. If one moved or flinched during this process the line would be impacted, causing the desired outcome to be disrupted. The new Etch-a-Sketch removes the impact of the hand and outside forces on the drawing. When the child turns the knob, a line appears on the television screen, a line for which the child has lost the understanding as to where and how it came to be.19 The process of connecting the various steps is then lost, eliminating the middle step. Since the emphasis on innovative toys using the latest technology, children have begun to take over new technology items intended for adult use. This is a typical act for children to take, largely due to the aspect of play involving role-playing and has been performed throughout history; however, children are now obtaining expensive iPods or cell phones from their parents, a situation labeled as age compression.20 There are many intricate pieces inside a cell phone or iPod, and this complexity keeps the child from understanding exactly how it works, unlike playing with the normal bottle of bubbles. Children then begin to just accept how things are and do not question any further. The curiosity of children should not be limited; it is this important aspect of development that helps a child learn and understand that questioning is the process of learning. If we are all to accept how things work, we would live in a cyborg-like society because we would not wonder what the middle step is or was.
15 16 17 18 19 20
Where Do the Children Play?, DVD, Directed by Christopher M. Cook, (Michigan Television and Metrocom International, LLC., 2007). Elkind, 16-17. Elkind, 21. Elkind, 20. Elkind, 21-22. Elkind, 22.
ADVERTISING + MATERIAL CULTURE OF CHILDREN If one looks to television, film making, and children, a particular company will come to mind, the Walt Disney Company. In 1923, the company was founded by both Walt Disney and his brother, Roy Disney. They began the company with a series of short live-action and animated films called the Alice Comedies. The company began to grow as popularity for the animations rose.21 Mickey Mouse was born in 1928, and debuted in Steamboat Willie Steamboat Willie marked the company's first big hit and brought Mickey Mouse into the minds of Americans. In years to follow, the Silly Symphonies were introduced, allowing the animators at Disney to focus on mood, emotion, and musical themes. The rising popularity of all of the characters, mostly Mickey Mouse, opened more doors for the Walt Disney Company. One day, a gentleman came to Walt Disney offering him three-hundred dollars to put Mickey Mouse on paper tablets for school children, marking the beginning of the long line of consumer products the company would market. In 1930, the first book featuring Mickey Mouse was published as well as the first comic strip with the popular character. Walt Disney took these offers because the company needed the money, and what better way to have company grow than with consumer goods? Soon, animated feature films would be added to the list of the company's productions.22 These films were created on folktales and fairytales found in many cultures and books. They served as a basis for the world of film to build upon. When World War II hit, the United States government asked the company to produce propaganda and training films for the military. The State Department also asked Disney to produce two films on South America to expose Americans to the culture.23 With the success of television and animation films, Disney was looking to expand to fascinating world of amusement parks. On July 17th of 1955, Disneyland opened its doors. The amusement park created by the Walt Disney Company allowed people of all ages to step into the lives of the Disney characters.24 The park allowed people to escape the realities of everyday life and step into a world of fantasy and imagination, exactly what children would want. Today the company seems to target children and families. A vacation to Walt Disney World Resorts is on the list of many families. Children arrive to one of the many Disney parks, stores, or hotels and become surrounded by the mass marketing of the Walt Disney Company. When visiting the company's website, the top banner lists Games, Videos, TV, Movies, Parks, and Music, all of which are only an aspect of the overall profile of the sectors the company possess. If a child was to want everything they owned to possess a picture of Mickey Mouse, they could get it. Their whole life could evolve around a Mickey something. One thing in todayâ€™s society we should be questioning: Should companies be allowed to target children in their advertising? With companies advertising about the next game coming out for the hot game system, children are asking their parents for them. Perhaps these parents cannot afford the games; the child is then socially labeled as being unable to afford the game by other children; thus, the child can be labeled as lower class, an aspect of his or her identity. Todayâ€™s society leads children to think it is okay to label people for not having certain materialistic items. With the media pressuring children to bug their parents for these new and hot items, there is then a shift to children possessing the high tech toys. Many of these toys have the ability to hook up to the television and cause children to be put into a trance by the glowing screen. The screen-dominant toys keep children inside and away from the natural world, an aspect children are lacking contact with in recent years.25 By keeping children inside and limiting them from the world of play outside, how they interact with others later in life can worsen. A study done at Carnegie-Mellon University provides evidence to how location 21 22 23 24 25
Disney, "The Walt Disney Studios History," Accessed November 30 2011, http://studioservices.go.com/disneystudios/history.html. Disney, "Company History," Accessed November 30 2011, http://corporate.disney.go.com/corporate/complete_history_2.html. Disney, "Company History." Disney, "Company History." Where Do the Children Play?.
can support a greater amount of screen interaction and potentially hurt children. Dr. Claire Gallagher and her students at the university asked children to create a city. The children were provided with cardboard boxes and crayons. They were then divided into groups based on the location in which they live, an urban or a suburban location. Throughout the process, the urban children chose to work together in a collaborative effort while the suburban children chose to work independently. The design of the urban children’s city was composed with people in the windows with furniture inside the spaces, such as hospitals and shopping centers. The suburban children formed what looked like a traditional strip mall, one without any people in the windows or intricate parts. The study suggests the suburban children are those children stuck inside playing video games with little interaction with others, while the urban children are playing with others at the local playground.26 The children who are playing on the playground are gaining social interaction by testing boundaries the others are not learning from a form of artificial play. Artificial play is limiting their creativity and innovation.
WHY PLAY? According to Stuart Brown, an expert on play behavior in the United States, there are seven properties of play: apparent purposelessness, voluntary, inherent attraction, freedom from time, diminished consciousness of self, improvisational potential, continuation desire. Apparent purposelessness is the fact that play is done for its own sake. Play is also voluntary and done because we want to, not because we have to. It is one of the essentials in life that is not as essential. The free spirit of play is an example of the inherent attraction it has. Then, when we participate in play we feel free from time and our consciousness of self disappears; we are no longer worried about making it home on time or if our hair looks funny. When playing, we do not have to follow rules; they can be made up as time goes on, supporting the property of improvisational potential. Sometimes when we are participating in play, we do not want it to stop, supporting the desire continuation.27 All of the properties of play support one thing, a light and carefree world leading to the limitation of stress. Through play, we can use our playmates as test subjects, in a good way. Young children use play to test the limits of the social world and learn what is it like to be in another’s shoes. If we use play to figure out boundaries, when do we start the act of play?
Even in the gestational stages of life, play can be found. The random acts of motion in the womb by
the fetus can be the beginnings of play. Kicking, punching, and movement are all signs of play.28 These random behaviors can help the child, once he or she is born, to explore the environment. The behaviors in the womb lay a basis for future play to come. During the infant years, play is used to make sense of the infant’s body. Movement provides a way of creating an individual’s knowledge of the world. The babbling of an infant can be thought of as the beginnings of imaginative play, developing the thinking aspect of the mind.29 True imaginative play, simulating realities, begins to appear in early childhood. As the child grows, the line separating the worlds of the real and the imaginary begins to solidify in the mind. The act of fantasizing about other people allows us to adapt to the views of others and become empathetic towards them if need be.30 Social play, a major contender in the development of social behavior, can be divided into three subcategories: friendship and belonging, rough-and-tumble play, and celebratory and ritual play. Children begin to engage in social play via parallel play. Parallel play is the act of sitting next to one another while doing an activity. It is 26
Where Do the Children Play?. Stuart Brown and Christopher Vaughan, Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul (New York: Avery, 2009) 17-18. 28 Brown, 81. 29 Brown, 84. 30 Brown, 86-87. 27
through parallel play that children reach out to one another, to then move to cooperative play, playing with one other child, and then mutual play, playing with a group of children. Between the ages of four to six, mutual play begins to take place and children are exposed to more identities through multiple children. Empathy towards other childrenâ€™s identities and situations develops further at this point. It is in this stage when friendships start to flourish. Rough-and-tumble play can help grow social mastery in children. The physical (mostly boys) and social (mostly girls) boundaries of society are tested and confirmed in several cases; however, rough-and-tumble play can cause the over protective parent to jump in. Adults limit this crucial part of play because they are afraid of their child getting hurt; sometimes a child needs to get hurt to understand what it feels like and to then be empathetic if it happens to another. Celebratory and ritual play help to encourage a child to participate in play, instead of initiating. By doing this via dances or birthday parties, when the children grow up, they understand as adults when to participate in play.31 When reflecting on childhood during adulthood, past experiences we recall and refer to as the most memorable are those involving play. During my interviews with students and professors at Norwich University in Chaplin Hall, one of the questions posed to each individual was, â€œWhat is your most memorable place and what were you doing there?â€? One of the professors answered that his most memorable place was in a Midwest cornfield, during the summer, playing hide and go seek with neighborhood friends. One of the students described the Halloween night when she dressed up as Cinderella and her brother was the mouse, Gus Gus, from a Disney version of the fairytale. Both of these answers featured an aspect of play. Hide and seek in the cornfield can be referenced as roughand-tumble play, while dressing up as Cinderella is a form of role playing found in imaginative play. While both were answering the question, a smile appeared on their face; they were being taken back through their imagination to that point in time, a truly fascinating activity the mind can do.
Is it any wonder that often times we feel most alive, those that make up
our best memories, are moments of play?32
Through acts of play, we as humans
can be taken out of the stresses of daily life to escape into an enchanted world. Although escaping to an enchanted world is not feasible all the time, places such as Disneyland provide a realistic form of escape, this is why the company has been
OUTSIDE INFLUENCES SHAPING INDIVIDUAL 33
so successful. They provide an escape for all ages. Companies like Google are starting
to add physical play into the lifestyles of their employees because they have realized the play can let the mind escape for a period of time and return rejuvenated. Imaginative play, specifically, can allow the mind to think in creative and innovative ways, helping society because this is how advancements are discovered and then made. Walt Disney once said that Disneyland would "never be completed ... as long as there is imagination left in the world."33 31 32 33 34
Brown, 88, 90-91,190. Brown, 5. Disney, "Company History." Original Diagram.
S TO RYT E L L I N G + I D E N T I TY
Throughout the existence of humans, history has been recorded and passed down via storytelling, a unit of human understanding.1 The aboriginals of Australia have used the medium of music and song to transmit information about their culture to younger generations. Every history book, in modern culture, is in essence a storybook, spreading the views of the storytellers to others to explain the previous experiences of time, which have passed. It is through the past we as humans learn and use the key points in the stories of the past to guide us through the future.2 Each individual has his or her own set of stories to tell those around him or her. Stories are formed through our experiences as individuals in life. The more often we recall these stories and tell them, the more our opinions become related to the key elements of the stories.3 Stories we tell typically can be classified into five categories. The first category is official story. We learn these stories from an official place such as a school, government, church or business. There is little questioning of the stories, because they are assumed to be from a reliable source of knowledge.4 Invented stories are the second category. These stories are an adaption of another story or a series of stories, and then elaborated upon, usually for entertainment purposes5 The boy who wants to impress the cute girl is an example of such a storyteller; he will usually tell an invented story to entertain his listener. Firsthand stories are usually the source of the invented stories. They are stories telling of firsthand experiences told for entertainment, but they are also told with no intended point, just to impress.6 Secondhand stories are the fourth category of stories. These stories are told by recalling a firsthand story of an individual. They tend to be clearer than the firsthand story because they are simply repeating the story from before and not trying to put together the pieces of the story as one is talking7. The final category of stories is the culturally common stories. Obtained from our environment, the culturally common stories are not developed from a specific person and are not told by a specific person.8 This type of story can help to define social norms. The way in which we remember these different types of stories can also impact how we tell them over a period of time.
REMEMBERING OUR STORIES During the month of November in 1941, two ships went down off the coast of Australia. The two ships involved were the HSK Kormoran, a German ship, and the HMAS Sydney, an Australian ship. The men aboard the Sydney all died, while 300 of the men on the Kormoran lived and were picked up by the Australian military. The 300 men who survived would know the location of the two ships at the time of the wrecks. After interrogating the surviving Germans, only 70 were said to have known where the location of the ships were. All of these locations were reported as all over and not confined to a single area. Due to the amount of locations and the dispersal of them, the Germans were believed to be lying about the location. Two cognitive pyschologists, Kim Kirsner and John Dunn, became involved in trying to figure out where the Sydney could be.9 Kirsner and Dunn began to look at how humans remember stories, and came upon Sir Frederic Bartlett’s experiment. Bartlett used the Native American folk tale "The War of the Ghosts" and asked his subjects over different periods of time to tell the story back to him. He found the changes the subjects made to the stories 1
Brown, 91. Roger C. Schank, Tell Me a Story: Narrative and Intelligence (Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1990) 1. 3 Schank, 29. 4 Schank, 30-31. 5 Schank, 32. 6 Schank, 36. 7 Schank, 36-37. 8 Schank, 37. 9 Alex Spiegel, “How Psychology Solved a WWII Shipwreck Mystery,” National Public Radio, Last Modified September 27 2011, Date Accessed November 13 2011. http://www.npr.org/2011/09/27/140816037/how-psychology-solved-a-wwii-shipwreck-mystery.
were becoming predictable; they were trying to conform the Native American folk tale to a traditional Western narrative.10 The explanation for these happenings lies in the process of how we remember things. First, we take on a schema, a framework, for what is going on in the story. Over a period of time, the original content decomposes, while the schema remains. To find the Sydney, Kirsner and Dunn put the accounts of the 70 Germans into a chart and began to organize the stories like Barlett’s findings. They then took this information and tried to pinpoint places in the Indian Ocean, fitting the stories the Germans told. Kirner and Dunn then pinpointed one final location in which they thought the ship could be in reference to all the accounts of the Germans. They handed this information over to the Finding Sydney Foundation. In March 2008, ship hunter David Mearns asked the government of Australia to let him find the ship and he did. The ship was only 2.7 nautical miles away from where Kirsner and Dunn thought it would be.11 The results of finding the ship confirmed the predictable nature of people’s stories over time and how they can degenerate into schemas. It is just like playing the game of Telephone where one person starts off with a sentence and slowly it morphs throughout the length of those who are playing the game. By the time the last person repeats what is supposed to be what the first person said, the sentence has taken on a new form; however, the skeleton of the sentence remains. The skeleton of the sentence left remaining begins to develop into what Roger Schank refers as story skeletons or schemas. Story skeletons are described as a way to make sense to ourselves and used as reference to make sense of the story to others when it is told. Through Schank’s eyes, the storyteller is in essence a story-fitter, fitting the story into a story previously told or into a previous skeleton.12 The more we use a skeleton, the greater influence it has on our opinions, developing points of view that cannot be changed easily and begin to develop into personal philosophies by which we live our lives. They provide a basis for us to look at the world around us. Since story skeletons provide a basis for us to understand the world; all five different types of stories can affect our identities. When looking at the composition of one’s identity, the view others have on oneself has a great effect because it can then change how the individual sees himself or herself fitting into the whole. Storytelling is the derivative from which we create identity. The story skeletons or schemas we create to live our lives become morphed by other stories overtime. When we are young, the world is being described to us through countless stories, and while the stories are being told, we are deciding—based off of previous knowledge acquired—what to keep and what to reject. The more often we hear or tell a story skeleton, the greater the role is that is plays in our lives. For example, if one is told repetitively throughout one's life that one is female and given the proper roles females are to take on in the world, the person will believe and live her life based on this.
10 11 12
Spiegel, 2011. Spiegel, 2011. Schank, 168-170.
CONCLUSION In the beginning years of life, the limits of society are gathered and tested. Children are the sponges of society, waiting to soak up information. They are using the opinions of others to provide a shape to stories. These stories are filed as story skeletons, which are then used to base one's own stories on. The stories told by the individual shape the listener's story skeletons and then the stories told by that individual shape the other listener's story skeletons. This continuation will happen an infinite number of times. How we tell stories about ourselves and others can begin to explain our identity. Simply asking a person for directions exposes how identity shapes the stories one tells. If one were to ask someone who is passionate about food how to get to his or her final destination, the person would most likely provide the individual with reference points related to food, such as restaurants or food stands. This happens because, while we are traveling throughout an environment, we gather the information and stories around us and try to fit them to our own stories. This also serves as a way to remember the stories. Sometimes the story is not always gathered verbally, but through observation of moments of others within space. A discovery can be made by observing how others may act around a certain object or in a particular place. Often, body language can tell more than any word in the dictionary and is a large portion of how humans communicate. With children, communication is limited in the early years because of the limit of words the child may know or the inability to form them at this point in development. The removal of verbal communication leaves the language of the body left for communication. In addition to body language, play is used to make sense of the environment surrounding the child and becomes a way of storytelling. Play creates a dialogue between the individual and the surrounding environment. By experiencing the environment through play, stressful factors can be masked through the carefree nature of the act of play. In essence, while participating in play, an individual is focusing on the enjoyment produced and identifying that enjoyment with those surrounding him or her. This then creates a story the individual will generate into a story skeleton to use when interacting with the environment. Early childhood ensures a higher likelihood the child has not developed concrete biases and stereotypes, allowing their opinions to be manipulated to promote a high degree of societal awareness. At this point in child development, a series of interventions along a journey can provide spatial environments for children to identify with through the creation of place. By creating a place, the child is forming a story that will include the spatial aspects of the environment as well as the people and objects. This story will then be filed as a story skeleton for the child to recall when interacting with others. To enhance the identification with the space, a triad of play can be used. The triad of play: storytelling play, imaginative play, and social play, can all provide a basis for the story created of the place to build upon. The stories can be used when interacting with other children in situations of play and then cause the other children's identity to be influenced by the story (see diagram below). In essence, all stories begin to trickle down from child to child, leading to the goal of this thesis: to provide children with a greater degree of societal awareness to then develop into more sensitive adults, can be met. ima gin at
social play ling ytel r o t s
JOURNEY CONCLUSION 13 13
TELL OTHERS OUR STORIES
PRECEDENT . PATH ANALYSIS Path is the circulation of an experience. In this thesis, the path becomes a journey in which an individual will experience different aspects of identity. There will be different elements of play to enhance the experience at each stopping point along the journey. The stopping points are predetermined by the designer as charged areas in which some or all will identify with. Once the individual emerges from this journey, the intention is to have them leave with a new story that can shape understanding of a place and identity. The role of precedent in this thesis is to look at the way path is constructed into a journey in different typologies. The three types of path examined in these studies are horizontally constrained path on one elevation [The High Line], a vertically dispersed path [The Eden Project], and a chronological path [The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum]. Overall, the three precedents chosen convey a story to those pursuing the path; it is through the different structures the stories diversify.
THE EDEN PROJECT Grimshaw Architects A thick mist is found in the Rainforest Biome at the Eden Project in Cornwall, England. It is in this biome one can experience the rainforest in several different ways. The
first is the standard method of grounded foot travel. Second, is the Rainforest Lookout, which provides a bird’s eye view of the rainforest below. The third is limited to only those conducting research or performing maintenance, the canopy balloon. The final method of travel through the rainforest is to be constructed in the near future, a canopy walkway to provide the experience similar to the individual in the canopy balloon.1 All four of these methods of travelling provide different experiences via elevation change of the rainforest.
Accompanying the change in elevation, different events can be experienced throughout the biome. There are rubber trees to educate those enjoying the adventure on the origins of car tires. At the Malaysian hut, visitors can learn about gardening at the vegetable plot. A waterfall can also be found to add to the setting surrounding the visitor. All of these experiences are amplifying the ground path of travel through the biome.2 The biomes, specifically the Rainforest Biome, are meant to educate those coming to the site of the Eden Project. It allows those who have come into contact with the project to take on the appreciation of the environment as well as the environment in which the ingredients of our food, such as sugar, come from. A creation of environmental awareness
is the final goal.3 The Eden Project parallels the main goal of this thesis, societal awareness. My goal is to provide children with a higher level of understanding of others in the world surrounding them via a journey through the built environment. Since children are sponges, it is during their development that values such as environmental and societal awareness can be
Proposed Canopy Walkway4
instilled with greater ease then during adulthood. By analyzing the paths of the Eden Project and the many experiences provided to the visitor, I learn how previous examples of built journeys can provide an experience to an individual in multiple ways to obtain one goal. Eden Project, “What’s Here,” Accessed October 31, 2011, http://www.edenproject.com/come-and-visit/whatshere/index.php. 2 Eden Project. 3 Eden Project. 4 All photos from: Eden Project, “Main Page,” Accessed November 14 2011, http://www.edenproject.com. 1
THE EDEN PROJECT Ratio of Available Path:Elevation
5% air balloon 10% canopy lookout
15% canopy walkway
The above diagram is explaining the ratio of available path to the individuals inhabitating the Eden Project, specifically the Rainforest Biome. As one proceeds up in elevation in the Rainforest Biome, the available path decreases. The ratios take into accounted limited use, such as the air balloon, which is only available to those who are performing maintainence or scientific experiments.
Built in the 1930s to remove dangerous freight trains from Manhattan’s streets, the High Line delivered milk, meat, produce, and raw and manufactured goods into upper-ﬂoor loading docks of factories and warehouses. The last train ran on the High Line in 1980, carrying a trainload of frozen turkeys.
THE HIGH LINE
James Corner Field Operations FRIENDS OF THE HIGH LINE Friends of the High Line is the non-proﬁt Diller responsible Scoficio + Renfro conservancy for maintaining the public park on the High Line, under a license agreement with the New York City Department of Parks Piet Oudolf & Recreation. Founded in 1999 by community residents, Friends of the High Line fought for the High Line’s preservation and transformation at a time when the historic structure was under threat of demolition. Friends of the High Line now provides approximately 70 percent of the High Line’s annual operating budget and is responsible for both stewardship of the park and public programs.
The High Line in New York City served as an elevated
railway between 1934 and 1980. After it was shut down in 1980 the railway was left to decay into the urban landscape. Joel Sternfeld’s
BECOMEsupport A MEMBER efforts to save photos of the abandoned High Line caused Support from our members provides crucial funding for the operation of the High Line,
1 the High Line in the twenty-first century. A uslarge effort towas made allowing to hire gardeners keep the
park’s ﬂowers and trees in peak condition, and
maintenance crews to ensureof the the High Line is to revive the decomposing structure by the Friends High clean and safe for its visitors. Members receive
Line newsletter, discounts at local stores, Line. Today, Section Two of the projectaandHigh has beenTocompleted and other beneﬁts. learn more, please visit www.thehighline.org.
the now elevated park is serving New Yorkers and visitors from all over.
PROGRAMS Check out our calendar of free and low-cost public events both on and off the High Line. Tours, lectures, performances, and events for the whole family will highlight the High Line’s design, gardens, history, public art projects, and more. To register, please visit www.thehighline.org.
At 29 feet above the street, the High Line creates a sequence of varied environments. The elevation of the path For more information about the High Line, please call (212) 500-6035 or 311.
constrains the user and limits their movement. With access points
about every two blocks, the journey is www.nyc.gov/parks not radically limited for the length of the High Line. As a controlled journey, it serves as a link
Diagram showing the connection of three neighborhoods.3
throughout the West Side to three different neighborhoods: the Meatpacking District, Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen, and West Chelsea. 2
The High Line serves as a spine for people to come together
from the different neighborhoods. They begin to learn about one
Friends of the High Line’s program materials are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.
another and form a bond with one another. This bond starts with the High Line and all it stands for, New York City’s West Side now and then.
This map was produced by Friends of the High Line. All images created by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scoﬁdio + Renfro, Courtesy the City of New York. Map design: Patrick Hazari. First edition ©2009 Friends of the High Line.
By analyzing a constrained path, I can learn how to enhance the controlled journey I am looking to construct for children. The changes in environment along the controlled path
Joel Sternfeld’s photo of the High Line pre-adaptive reuse.4
give an example of how people can be introduced to different versions of green in the urban environment. It allows the user to experience the different aspects of the environment, including the people temporarily inhabiting it. The Highline provides a story to be formed in the individuals series of stories, and can then be worked into their identity. The identity then be enriched with those of others in the space as well. In essence, the High Line provides a greater amount of exposure to the built environment and to people, which this thesis is attempting to do.
Field Operations, Diller Scofidio Renfro, and Friends of the High Line, Designing the High Line, (New York : Friends of the High Line, 2011) 26. 2 Field Operations, 15, 38. 3 Base Map from: “Maps,” Accessed November 14 2011, http://www.thehighline. org/pdf/high-line-map.pdf. 4 Photos from: “Image Gallery,” Accessed November 14 2011, http://www. thehighline.org/galleries/images/popular. 1
High Line after adaptive reuse.4
THE UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM James Ingo Freed The Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. serves as a memorial as well as a tool to teach the future generations about the Holocaust. Throughout the day, groups of school children can be found learning about the dark time in history while strolling through the permanent exhibit. The main entrance hall, the Hall of Witness, was designed to provide a disorienting experience as soon as one enters the building. There are bridges crossing above similar to the bridges Nazis built to limit the contact the Aryan race had with those in the Jewish ghettos. Throughout the journey through the permanent exhibit at the museum, the disorienting path is continued; signage is limited to imitate the experience several had when arriving at one of the concentration camps.1 Continuing on through the exhibits, the order of events is chronologically placed. The beginning exhibit is based off of the first incidences of the Nazi’s reign of terror while the last exhibit depicts the liberation of the camp prisoners.2 The chronological order through the permanent exhibit provides an example for this thesis; however, the disorienting aspect of the journey is something that would not support this thesis. Chronologically ordering events provides for an easy, linear way of thinking and analysis; thus, possibly allowing it to be interpreted easily by children.
Laura Dove, University of Virginia, “The Architecture of the Holocaust Memorial,” Last modified June 02 1995, Accessed October 31 2011, http://xroads.virginia.edu/~CAP/HOLO/arch.html. 2 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, “Permanent Exhibition Guide,” Accessed October 31 2011, http://www.ushmm.org/visit/peguide.pdf. 1
THE UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM Chronological Path 1
Americans Encounter the Camps
The Terror Begins
The “Science” of Race
The Search for Refuge
Warsaw Ghetto Milk Can
10 Arrival at the Killing Centers 11 Prisoners of the Camps 12 Auschwitz Barracks 12
13 Gas Chamber Model 14 Danish Rescue 15 Rescuers Wall
17 Liberation 18 Testimony Theater
By ordering the permanent exhibit chronologically, the journey through the existence of the Holocaust is amplified. Each individual encountering the eighteen stopping points on the path, learn about another aspect of the Holocaust. Every stopping point has a theme of a main subject in which it is explaining. For example, the Nazi Propaganda [#3] showcases how the Nazis targeted those seen as different from the Aryan race and specifically focuses on the Jewish involvement.3
Underlaying Picture in Diagram & Pictures from: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, “Permanent Exhibition Guide,” Accessed October 31 2011, http://www.ushmm.org/visit/peguide.pdf. 3
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY A Girl Like Me. Web. Directed by Kiri Davis. Reel Works Teen Filmmaking, 2005, http://www. mediathatmattersfest.org/films/a_girl_like_me/. This documentary explains the pressures young black women endure from society today. Davis then recreates Dr. Kenneth Burke’s experiment using two identical dolls, one is black and one is white, to explain how children are still under the impression white means good and black means bad even though they may fall into the bad category.
Davis, Linsey, and Susan Donaldson James. “Canadian Mother Raising ‘Genderless’ Baby, Storm, Defends Her Family’s Decision.” ABC News, sec. Health, May 30, 2011. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/genderlessbaby-controversy-mom-defends-choice-reveal-sex/story?id=13718047. A highly debatable topic is discussed in the article feature on ABC News. A Canadian couple decided to raise their child gender neutral; thus, providing a topic to branch off of in regard to gender identification.
Disney, "Company History," Accessed November 30 2011, http://corporate.disney.go.com/corporate/ complete_history_2.html.
Disney, "The Walt Disney Studios History," Accessed November 30 2011, http://studioservices.go.com/ disneystudios/history.html. Dudek, Mark. Kindergarten Architecture: Space for Imagination. 2nd Ed. New York, New York: Spon Press, 2000.
Eden Project, “What’s Here,” Accessed October 31, 2011, http://www.edenproject.com/come-and-visit/whatshere/index.php. Elkind, David. The Power of Play. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Da Capo Press, 2007. In The Power of Play, crucial information on the role in play in our daily lives, specifically the relation of work, love, and play, is explained in depth. The relationship of the triad will provide insight to programmatic design.
Field Operations, Diller Scofidio Renfro, and Friends of the High Line, Designing the High Line, (New York : Friends of the High Line, 2011), 26. Gutman, Marta, and Ning de Coninck-Smith. Designing Modern Childhoods: History, Space, and the Material Culture of Children. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2008. In Designing Modern Childhoods: History. Space, and the Material Culture of Children, the discussion on material culture and children is a key point. This discussion provides a wealth of information to support design word as well as key points within this thesis.
Harper, Douglas. “Identity.” Accessed November 3 2011. http://www.etymonline.com/index. php?term=identity&allowed_in_frame=0.
Holloway, Sarah L., and Gill Valentine. Children’s Geographies: Playing, Living, Learning. New York, New York: Routldge, 2000.
Laura Dove, University of Virginia, “The Architecture of the Holocaust Memorial,” Last modified June 02 1995,. Accessed October 31 2011,. http://xroads.virginia.edu/~CAP/HOLO/arch.html. Library of Congress. “Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.” Accessed November 07 2011. http:// www.loc.gov/exhibits/brown/brown-brown.html. The article explains the details of Dr. Kenneth Burke’s experiment used in the court case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.
OED Online. “Identity.” Date Revised September 2011. Date Accessed November 7 2011. http://www.oed. com/viewdictionaryentry/Entry/91004.
Markus, Hazel Rose, and Paula M.L. Moya. Doing Race: 21 Essays for the 21st Century. New York, New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2010. In this work by Hazel Rose Markus and Paula M.L. Moya, the pyschological and sociological aspects of identity are examined. There are several key examples given providing support for the topics of static and dynamic identity.
Schank, Roger C.. Tell Me a Story: Narrative and Intelligence. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1990. A scientific approach is taken at the beginning of this work by Roger Schank; however, there are several key points on the derivation of stories and how we formulate them. Stories skeletons and their function are a specific aspect used to support this thesis.
Spiegel, Alex. “How Psychology Solved a WWII Shipwreck Mystery.” National Public Radio. Last Modified September 27 2011. Date Accessed November 13 2011. http://www.npr.org/2011/09/27/140816037/howpsychology-solved-a-wwii-shipwreck-mystery. The psychological basis of storytelling is discussed in this National Public Radio article. A decomposition of stories is explained to be formulated into a framework for each individual, a schema. This provides a direct link to Roger Schank’s work and story skeletons.
State of Vermont Department of Education. “Vermont Public School Reports.” Accessed November 27 2011. http://edw.vermont.gov/REPORTSERVER/Pages/ReportViewer.aspx?/Public/School+Report.
Stuart, Brown, and Christopher Vaughan. Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul. New York: Avery, 2009, 17-18. In this work, Stuart Brown and Christopher Vaughan discuss the reasons why play is an essential in life. Their opionion is then supported by an examination of the several different types of play and their importance in the different stages of life.
Tatum, Beverly Daniel. “Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?.” New York, New York: Basic Books, 1997.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, “Permanent Exhibition Guide,” Accessed October 31 2011.,http:// www.ushmm.org/visit/peguide.pdf. Van Ausdale, Debra, and Joe R. Feagin. The First R: How Children Learn Race and Racism. New York, New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2001.
Where Do the Children Play?. DVD. Directed by Christopher M. Cook. Michigan Television and Metrocom International, LLC., 2007.
TRIAD OF PLAY
Basis of Design
Through the research performed for this thesis, a discovery was made in regard to how three different types of play interact with each other: storytelling play, imaginative play, and social play. Each of these types of play support one another and are apparent in daily life of children. As a basis of design, the triad of play can then be used to enhance the sense of place at every node or stopping point along the path of the journey. To better understand the characteristics of each type of play the definitions of each are given below: Storytelling Play: Promotes imaginative play and encourages the listener to make sense of something, then store the overall message of the story as a story skeleton to reflect on later. Imaginative Play: Simulate realities and allows one to fantasize about the life of another, creating empathy for the other. Social Play: Test the limits and learn the rules of society through others as test objects. ima
social play ng telli y r o st
TELL OTHERS OUR STORIES
Threads . The Network of Identity Purpose: To begin a conversation about threads which form the network of identity. The torso of the genderless figure serves as a representation of the whole. The figure is composed of a collage of Byron Kimâ€™s work Synecdoche, meaning part of the whole; thus, every individual is made of parts. Moving down to the naval region, the connection of the braided cord is a metaphor representing the network of threads formed at birth. Each of these threads have a starting point coming out of the network of identity, the pile of yarn. The threads of yarn were purposefully selected to deviate in color and texture, signifying a distinction between each thread or identity without creating specific labels.
Grounding the Theory . Burlington, Vermont Purpose: To find a demographically diverse urban environment to support the experience of nodes; thus, creating stories and the formation of place for an individual. When looking for a site, the demographic of the locale was crucial to the enhancement of the journey. With several different types of people coming together in a diverse community, the exposure to several different identities would amplify the exposure each child would receive to the array of identities in the world. The State of Vermont is predominantly white and a diverse population is usually difficult to encounter within the boundaries of the state. In the historic Old North End of Burlington, Vermont there is a large refugee population due to the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program causing the number of whites to fall while the numbers of Asians, African Americans, and Hispanics rises. Within the confinements of the Old North End, there are two public schools both possessing diverse demographics within each school. In 2007, the Lawrence Barnes School and H.O. Wheeler School were transformed into magnet academies via a vote by the Board of Education of Burlington School District. Traditionally, magnet academies focus on certain areas of interest. The Lawrence Barnes School would become the Sustainability Academy and the H.O. Wheeler School would become the Integrated Arts Academy. The magnet academies were transformed to allow the impoverished Old North End to gain some financial ground and make people from around Burlington want to visit. In 2008, both schools opened their doors to students from around the Old North End and others from around the school district of Burlington, only by application. Within the Integrated Arts Academy, there is a demographic that is largely different from the surrounding city of Burlington and the State of Vermont. Below is a graph showing the diverse numbers of the state average demographic within schools and the Integrated Arts Academy:
Academy of Integrated Arts
1% Hispanic 4% Multi Racial 14% Asian 27% Black
1% 2% 2% 2%
The difference in the state average demographic in schools compared to the Integrated Arts Academy demographic supported centering the journey of identity around this particular school. A school with a diverse demographic, as well as the surrounding area, would serve as the perfect beginning for grounding the theory discovered in this thesis. From this point the triad of play became the focus. What stopping points in a surrounding half-mile radius, a comfortable walking distance for children between three and eight years old, would enhance the triad? Spaces that seemed to be forgotten parts of the Old North End were then sought out. Candidates for such places where those created by the paths of roads, the change in topography, green spaces, and places already possessing standardized objects such as a playground or park. The path of the journey had to pass by the Boys and Girls Club located on Oak Street because nearly sixty-five percent of all students attending a school in the Burlington School District participate in an after-school program, the Boys and Girls Club is an active participant in this aspect of daily life. This also would allow the children to pass by stopping points they have already been to and promotes a constant re-identification with the place. 
Grounding the Theory . Burlington, Vermont
Old North End
Schools in Burlington
Sound + Traffic
Private + Public [generalized] Other [1%] Hispanic [3.9%] Asian [8%] Black [9.9%]
Wind + Sun 
Demographic of the Old North End
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Zoning in the Old North End
Enterprise . Agricultural Processing & Energy Neighborhood . Mixed Use RCO . Recreation/Greenspace Residential . Medium Density
The high amount of medium density residential provides for an adequate location for a children's journey. With this type of zoning come less traffic and a neighborhood atmosphere. The neighborhood atmosphere also lends itself to provide for a continuous amount of interaction with the children while they are walking to school and to other places in the neighborhood.
Design Basis Purpose: Analysis of the different paths the connection of different nodes create via the triad of play: imaginative play, storytelling play, and social play.
Proportion of Square Footage Needed for Each Type of Play
Storytelling Play Static Installation
Dynamic Installation 
Elements of a Narrative Journey Purpose: To provide a set of stopping points along a narrative journey for children to engage with while examining issues of identity through the triad of play: storytelling, social, and imaginative. Along the path of the journey, the children will be introduced to the different points that create identification between the user, the child, and the point. Once the identification has been composed, on an individual level, the points are transformed by the child to become a place, somewhere they will want to visit again and again. The journey is to be taken during the school day; however, if a child wanted to return to a place they can since the points are in public areas. For the intended narrative journey taken during the school day, the starting point is H.O. Wheeler Elementary, also known as the Integrated Arts Academy, and the ending point is a plot of land formed into a triangle by the crossing roads in front of the school. In between the starting and ending points are five other stopping points along a colorful path. Together, these different points represent the narrative structure of a story. Each stopping point is designed to represent a particular element of a story, seven in total, designed around the narrative intended for each below:
Status Quo: The existing state of being. Initial Problem: The first problem to arise and cause tension. Exposition: The point in which the background of the problem is introduced to support the story line. Complications: An issue or issues put in place to complicate matters and escalate tension. Crisis: A period of time of intense difficulty. An amplification of the complications. Climax: The most intense and exciting point of the story line. Denouement: The final part in which all the different aspects of the story line are developed into one.
Purpose: To provide a basis to design the narrative journey from. When trying to provide a basis to design upon for the journey, a discovery was made as to how there are several different stories all possessing the same story structure. The analysis first began with looking at the short story of Beauty and the Beast. This then led to the analysis of the movie by Jacque Costeau, which was filmed in black and white. The black and white provided a way to analyze the contrast of the scenes with ease. The search for other movies with these same qualities then was taken. While analyzing the different movies, a list of different qualities needed within the narrative journey and how the movies conveyed each factor was created. The different lists included Identity Structure (Sensory + Emotional, Communication, Location, Economic, Synthetic, Technology), Work-Play-Love Structure, and Contrast. After analyzing the movies and composing each list, the formulation of a set of lists [provided below] for the Burlington narrative journey began and the outcome was the narrative description created on the previous page. Each of the movie analysis are listed within the next three spreads.
Storytelling Structure Identity Structure
Sensory + Emotional, Communication
Sensory + Emotional, Location, Economic
Sensory + Emotional, Communication, Location
Work + Play
Sensory + Emotional, Communication
BEAUTY & Complications
THE BEAST Climax
Quantitative Analysis Purpose: To provide a set of quantitative data to design spaces from and determine the length of each element of the narrative story [in reference to final design]. 0 min
SCHEMATIC DESIGN Elements of the Journey Paths: Predominant city elements . Spatial qualities strengthen the image of the paths Edges: Linear elements not considered paths . Boundaries between two kinds of areas Districts: Large enough that observer can mentally go into Nodes: Junctions of paths or concentrations of some characteristic Landmarks: Points of reference, physical elements
Utilizing Kevin Lynch's elements of a city, given above, I began to look at each stopping point as posses one or a combination of the elements and how they can enhance the triad of play at the particular points along the journey. Below are the descriptions of the different points correlating with the elements of a city: Start: Landmark The H.O. Wheeler school provides a landmark due to the iconic physical nature it possess in the community and children's daily life. #1: Edge developing into a Node after intervention The chain link fence at this point is a edge, physically representing the boundary between Rosemary Park and the North End. Once the child has identified with the edge it will be created into a node and then move on to become a place for the child. #2: Edge developing into a Node and a Landmark after intervention The area in which point number two takes place is an edge due to the boundary it provides to the road and the bikeway behind. After the intervention has been installed, the point begins to morph into a node because it is a concentration of an edge and roadside land; however, the intervention provides a physical landmark for the node to develop in to. #3: Node The park in which stopping point three is located, is a node because of the concentration of physical activities the park encourages. Social play is physical in nature and leads the children to interact with others in such a fashion. #4: Landmark & Node The playground at stopping point four is a standardized landmark children begin to develop. When children arrive to such a place they know it is time to physically play creating a node. The introduction of the intervention creates a mystery about the playground but because of the previous elements identified with the playground the children will still play. End: Edge developing into a Node, the tree develops into a Landmark The triangular plot of land found in front of the H.O. Wheeler School has lent itself to being an edge simply because it serves as a boundary between the road and the island of land. The addition of the intervention can develop the triangular land into a node where storytelling and reflection will take place. The tree towards the center of the plot will provide a landmark for the children to reference and the storytelling play to encompass. 
Grounding the Theory . Burlington, Vermont
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Node Selection Map End
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The Initial Response Beginning Sketches
A strange tube-like being or object is going in and out of the ground on the side of the road at stopping point number two. What is this thing? Is it an animal or just an object?
#2 An invasion of sorts is taking place amongst the park at stopping point three. Large blocks are crashing into the ground. Are they from outer space? Who put them here?
What is this? There is a type of fungus taking over the playground. Is it dangerous? What can we do with it?
The Initial Response
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Site Site PlanPlan 100’
The Initial Response
Site Plan + Path of Journey
Purpose: To provide a generative descriptive narrative path. Status Quo: The path is seemingly normal coming out of the Integrated Arts Academy. A pattern of odd and even numbers has been introduced to the sidewalk via astroturf. In the distance, one can see the path morhing in pattern. Initial Problem: Here the path has been added to. Fibonacci's sequence and the prime number sequence provide additional patterns. The combination of these patterns provide a new norm to the path. Exposition: Blocks have been placed on rails blocking the path in some places. When the blocks are pushed they seem to be different weights. There are now places to sit within the fence. Complications: The path is back to its altered norm without any obstructions, but in the distance one can see things are changing again. A Tetris-like pattern is apparent. Crisis: As the path bends sharply around the basketball court, it begins to peel up off the ground to reveal a walk amongst the trees. Climax: The peeling of the path becomes more structured and multilayered at this point in the journey. A tubular structure is used to gain vertical height while mimicking the structure of the trees used previously. At night, the bathroom serves as a beacon for those to be pulled to from further away. Denouement: The Tetris patten of the path seems to be accompanied by the status quo state of the path, the odd and even number sequence. This path is now introduced as the new norm. Upon reaching the triangular plot of land in front of the Integrated Arts Academy, a small berm is apparent. It is a place for reflection to change with the seasons. The extruded blocks provide a place to sit and explain the narrative experience.
FINAL DESIGN Elements of a City Paths: Predominant city elements . Spatial qualities strengthen the image of the paths Edges: Linear elements not considered paths . Boundaries between two kinds of areas Districts: Large enough that observer can mentally go into Nodes: Junctions of paths or concentrations of some characteristic Landmarks: Points of reference, physical elements
Utilizing Kevin Lynch's elements of a city, given above, I began to look at each stopping point as possesing one or a combination of the elements and how they could then enhance the different elements of the narrative structure I discovered will analyzing the . Below are the descriptions of the different points correlating with the elements of a city [in reference to final design]: Status Quo: Landmark + Paths The H.O. Wheeler school provides a landmark due to the iconic physical nature it possess in the community and children's daily life. Initial Problem: Paths developing into a Node after The concrete sidewalk has become a path within the landscape; however, once a pattern in introduced to the sidewalk, more node-like qualities will emerge. Exposition: Edge developing into a Node and a Landmark The edge of the park can develop into a node and landmark because of the availabilitiy to inhabit the sidewalk and the transformative nature of the moving boxes. Complications: Paths developing into a Node The changing pattern of the path will provide a multi-layered node for the children to identify with. Crisis: Edge developing into a Landmark The walk amongst the trees will transform the edge of the park, not marked by sidewalk, as a landmark because of the monumental qualities it possesses. Climax: Node + Landmark The playground is a standardized landmark children begin to develop. When children arrive to such a place they know it is time to physically play creating a node. The introduction of the intervention creates a sencse of change about the playground but because of the previous elements identified with the playground the children will still play. Denouement: Edge developing into a Node, the tree develops into a Landmark The triangular plot of land found in front of the H.O. Wheeler School has lent itself to being an edge simply because it serves as a boundary between the road and the island of land. The addition of the intervention can develop the triangular land into a node where storytelling and reflection will take place. The tree towards the center of the plot will provide a landmark for the children to reference and the storytelling play to encompass. 
SITE MODEL Status Quo Initial Problem
STATUS QUO 
Odd Prime Even Fibonacci
INITIAL PROBLEM 
HABITABLE FENCE AND MOVING BOXES
APPROACHING THE EXPOSITION 
COMPLICATIONS | DAY
TRANSFORMING PATH Odd Prime Even Fibonacci
COMPLICATIONS | NIGHT
APPROACHING THE CRISIS
WALKING AMONGST THE TREES
TREE + PATH CONNECTION DETAILS
PROCEEDING TO THE CLIMAX 
CLIMAX | DAY
CLIMAX | NIGHT
SELF PORTRAIT WALL
CORNER OF THE STRUCTURE
THE STRUCTURED TREES
THE JUNCTION OF PATHS
TAKE THE SLIDE UNDER THE WALKWAY
CONTINUING ONTO THE DENOUEMENT 
Odd Tetris-like Pattern Even
EPILOGUE The Beginning of the End This year has been an up and down journey for myself.
During the beginning of the design process, I was having a rather difficult time connecting the narrative sequence together. It seemed like everything I could come up with was a one-liner and was a stand alone piece. I was to create a spatial experience not a sculpture. No matter how many ideas I came up with, the design could not develop from this point. This led me back to thinking about this thesis and what my intentions were. Going back to the beginning allowed me to discover fairy tales and eventually led to analyzing movies, a visual narrative.
Once I began to analyze the different movies, a basis for design began to develop; I now had a set of parameters to design around. These parameters are what kept my narrative journey from falling apart and straying from the intentions of this thesis. The design of this thesis, what I see as a simplexity idea, has been transformed into a narrative sequence with each element of the structure of a story speaking to those around it. In general, this journey is meant to be taken as a whole and then to be returned to under different circumstances, like a daily walk to school, not necessarily completing the whole journey. It is this aspect of taking the broken story that can either be a dramatic flaw or reinforce the journey and... ...the only way to find out if it works is to try it.
What is your identity?
... and so they lived happily ever after.