Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Diary of Observed Urbanism
by Gwendolyn Moruzzi and Tien Nguyen

            The inspiration on our Urban Landscape diary lead us to one of the most famous places in Seattle, Pike Place Market. The theme we have chosen for our diary is how the ideas of urban planners and everyday citizens create several contradictions but yet are able to coexist flawlessly.

University Lutheran Church and The City Church
50th and 16th Ave.

We started our day at 50th and 16th where we observed a contraction between the placement of “The City” church and the “University Lutheran Church”. Although the ideas these buildings represent contradict each other, they still exist within the same block like many churches around the community do. Churches are an example of urbanism because religion is given its power through human involvement and community, thus giving these spaces importance.

Busy Intersection on 45th and University Way

            Another contradiction can be seen at the University cross walks because of their coexistence between man and machinery. Crosswalks keep pedestrians and automobiles in rapid motion in each other’s general vicinity but prevent accidents from occurring. This is a form of urbanism because it allows urban planners to construct simple pathways that both machine and man can understand to control everyday traffic.

Graffiti Bridge on NE Campus Pkway

            As we rode the metro-bus we passed by street art that had been spray painted onto a bridge, this is an example of coexistence between different forms of public art. The refined art of creating a structure (like this bridge) combined with the art of an ordinary graffiti artist creates an interesting artistic entity. There is this 2 dimensional art working together in a 3 dimensional space; where architects and an ordinary citizen work together to create public art.

The View From Pike Place Market

        The view from Pike Place is phenomenal in its perspective relative to the Lake Union backdrop. This shows the relationship between the man-made city and the environment. A connection can be made bridging seafood caught in the wild to the seafood on the stands at Pike Place market. This is an important form of urbanism because the existence and success of the market relies on the human ability to produce and sell goods that come from the environment.

Work and Leisure on Pike Place Market

           Inside Pike Place we see another interesting contradiction between leisure and work. This can be observed as tourists shop as other people are going about their daily jobs. This is a form of urbanism because the idea of work and leisure is completely man made and Pike Place is just a facilitator of its practice.

Cosmopolitan Apartments Above Wine World on 45th St. and 4th Ave

We concluded the day with our final contradiction between public and private spaces. By looking at café’s and restaurants with apartment units above this can easily be seen. By having these two things in one structure it is an example of people merging their private space with public space. Developers produce these spaces in their attempt to create a place of dwelling while bridging a connection to public spaces for a unique urban lifestyle.

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