Site : 0.006 {observe:diagram:sketch:annotate}

Posted on March 21, 2011

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On Friday I went to the site to do a passive observation. Our task was to observe everything in the site and note the temporal changes as they happen. A large part of DeSoto is under water at the moment, so there were limited views with in the park. I chose this location because there was a break in the vegetation, and it was on a side of the park that I don’t know very well yet.

Slowing down my observations to this micro level made me think about the larger changes that are happening at DeSoto park. As the floods rise and fall, how does the land shift, accumulate or wear away? What plants can survive the flooding, and which grow back annually? How does the activity of the fauna affect the flora, and vice versa? The length of time also effected the qualities I was noticing, and what I took my notes on. At first it was very easy to write down everything that happened and everything I saw, but as time wore on, the frequency of the notations decreased, and became about things that were barely noticeable. This exercise made me realize the importance of details when observing a site. The average user of an outdoor space may or may not be aware of details and sounds like I noticed at DeSoto park, but they would be affected by them on some perceptual level. Designing the space at DeSoto could take the noise into account by attempting to separate the sounds of River Road from the sounds of the river, furthering the user’s connection.

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