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Author Archives: Somin Heo
Washington Square Park Team: Mockup Plan Report
(Datrianna, Nic, Shixiao and Somin)
‘Zero Food Waste 101’ was an experimental graphic assignment I did from The Advanced Fundamentals of Graphic class. The goal was to raise awareness about food waste and inspire others while trying not to waste food for myself. I saved 7 days of food waste and take a photo of each day’s. I created icons of elements that are related to each food such as water, time, tools, ingredients, etc. Putting this project to MTA subway stations is a great opportunity since it’s where people can see more campaign ads. The trick is make it look like a gourmet restaurant ad. When people come to make a reservation, they will see what’s the ad is really about. You can see the work here.
Ray Oldenburg describes “Third Places” as places where we spend our time and get close to each other often sharing information. When I look at the characteristics of third places, I see it’s mixed of first place (home) and second place (work). It’s pleasurable like how we spend time at home. It’s also a place where we could share information like we usually do at work. According to Ray Oldenburg, we are having less and less places like third places. I somewhat understand why. We all know how technology and web-based service have been developed rapidly for last 2, 3 decades. Since we have internet, a lot of things can be accomplished online even creating communities.
Third places could be also different depending on what culture you have. Us, Koreans, have different cultural background comparing to American’s. When I think of third places in Korea, there’s none. Simply, we are not used to that. Another thing is that more and more Koreans don’t make time for neighbors nowadays. Only some Korean mothers who are very passionate about their children gather together to share school or after-class-activity related information. I won’t say this can be called so since it’s not pleasurable, moms are often competitive and even stressed out. Besides that, Koreans look for convenience a lot. For example, Ray Oldenburg mentioned laundromat as one type of third places. As far as I know, Koreans, who just came to America, prefer doing laundry in their own unit than doing it in public. Most of the houses in Korea have their own laundry machine and dryer so it makes Koreans naturally spend less time in public.
Though I was born and raised in Korea, I studied about 4 years in Vancouver, Canada where I experienced a bit what Oldenburg describes as third places. As a foreign student, I used to join language meetup every Monday night at a cafe downtown. There we usually talked about what we do, what we think about pretty much anything in multi languages. Now that I read this article, I remember how valuable time I spent in that cafe doing such unforgettable activities. We even met every weekend as well doing more fun activities such as cooking various traditional foods, going on a picnic, bicycling at Stanley Park, etc. I still contact many friends I met from the meetup. One of my friends I made from the meetup actually moved his school to one in Boston after having many talks about design and technology with me. I certainly remember many of us enjoyed our time talking and sharing information. I haven’t tried any language meetups here in NY yet, and I wonder if it’s similar to what I used to have in Vancouver since NY is such a busy city, people seem to have more stuff to do. I hope I could find one third place in NY for myself soon.