Week 9 Activity : Architecture and Urban Planning

Art 110

For this week’s activity we had to do three things : draw our mental map of the CSULB campus, ‘adopt’ a building, and redesign the campus layout.

First, I found my mental map was missing quite a bit of information and some of the ways I got to certain places seemed a mystery, especially if I had not been there in a while. As it is still my first year on campus, I expect my mental map to become at least slightly more accurate as the years progress.

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For the second task, I chose the Microbiology Lab building. Though I walk by it nearly every day on my way to and from Art 110, I never really noticed it until after class on Thursday. When randomly looking up on my walk to the gym, I noticed the weird tiny circular and slit windows on the giant building. Then, as I passed it, I also noticed the back balcony area was covered in plants.

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Despite its giant concreteness, I liked the building because it had a bit of “personality” from the slanted small windows and the greenery on it’s sides.

From researching more about it, I found the building is supposedly one of CSULB’s oldest Science labs. Most of search results for the building brought back news of the new Science Hall and other buildings being created and barely even mentioned the Microbio lab’s existence. I thought this was sad because even though it is old, it still is much more unique than most of the newer buildings I’ve seen practically anywhere, much less just on campus.

I also found that many of the people who use the Microbiology lab seem to be very nature-oriented (a page even mentioned surfing as one of the popular activities of microbiology students), which explained the plants on the otherwise cement building. There was also an article about a mural being done by a student inside the building concerning wildlife and nature. Though I may never have classes in this strange yet awesome building, I might stop by some day after class to have a look at the inside and how the mural turned out.

mural

The mural in the Microbiology lab in progress

Lastly, for the campus remodeling, I decided to keep the basic layout of the campus (roads inside and some basic structures), but change the campus to be less confusing and more eco-friendly.

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First, I added many more parking structures, all of which would have solar panels on their highest level to shade the cars and provide energy for the school. I put bike/scooter rentals next to each parking structure to reduce the traffic inside campus and make it easier for students to get around. I added housing and dining halls close to the parking structures so people living on campus can much more easily transport themselves and their things. These structures would act like some new shopping centers, with dining and entertainment options on the lower floors and accessible to all students and guests, and dorms on upper levels and slightly more restricted to those with ID cards. I already like the greenery on campus, but I thought there should be a few areas where nature is the focus rather than a passing thought, so on the giant hill I created a park/hiking area, in the middle of campus I added a courtyard/park (somewhat similar to what already exists but bigger),and then finally an agricultural field. I thought an agricultural study field would be a good way to educate students and offer fresh produce to the dining areas. With the classes rooms and areas, I tried to group them by type to make it easier for students to locate them. I also added a large advising hall so students can receive the help they need without the hassle of hunting down the proper location for their major’s advising room.

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