This paper compares three essays: Scientific Paragon to Hospital Mall; Cultural Infrastructure; The City as Moral Universe Yi-Fu Tuan. Each of them tackled how architecture transformed the objectives of edifices by driving the changes in the way people see and use them…
The main idea of the essay is found in the third paragraph after a considerable discourse on the background of hospitals and medical treatments from the 1900s. To quote: “In a quirky continuation of past thinking about the need for a civic image for the hospital, designers and administrators began emulating community center, the shopping mall. As a result, hospitals entrances became more welcoming, waiting rooms more inviting, facilities reintegrated more fully into daily urban life, and patients (or even better clients) treated more as guests or consumers.” (p. 82) The argument is that by adopting an environment of domesticity and emulating community-center, hospitals were able to change the old negative perception into something pleasant even without any significant alteration to the patient-doctor relationship. From cold, clinical and drab institution into a welcoming public space, Sloane successfully depicted how hospitals were effective in taking control of their development and their future by using architectural design in their strategy to adopt. Meanwhile, Cultural Infrastructure investigated the influence of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal on the modern design of American public space. It immediately opined that such “brief and rich period of commitment to public building produced many of the works that define the public space we now use”. (p. 226) It was cited that Roosevelt Administration resulted in the widest public building program ever that left a lasting mark on what Leighninger called as cultural infrastructure – roads, bridges, schools, courthouses and other public facilities such as parks, museums, gardens, civic centers and city halls, among others. The paper is well researched and has outlined impressive figures and data to support arguments made. For example, a list of new and modified infrastructures and edifices were provided, showing the number of constructed buildings ranging from schools to rodeo grounds. An important claim made by the author was the fact that the flurry of construction completed during the period was driven by the need to address the unemployment and economic stagnation of the Great Depression. The reference to this variable allowed Leighninger to explore the distinct contribution of the New Deal to the way public spaces were designed. A case in point was the suggestion that public spaces were designed in such a way that they might discourage dissent. This is supposedly demonstrated in the way the construction of large spaces was avoided and instead more neutral and distracting ones were erected such as zoos and gardens. While there are pieces of evidence of large public spaces constructed such as the Orange Bowl and Cow Palace, Leighninger maintained that there was, indeed, the presence of bias in favor of smaller spaces that constrained politically charged atmosphere. (p. 230) A more important claim, however, was made when the author discussed how public space – as approached by the New Deal architects and urban designers – is not all about the economic consideration. ...
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