This week’s design blitz was great fun.
I decided to use the time before and after my morning class to walk thru the campus, from the parking garage to and around Mercer Hall to capture some of the design elements listed in the blitz assignment.
Metaphor and Symbol
As I walked out of the garage my attention was caught by an excellent example of metaphor and symbol, one of the older emergency call boxes on the upper deck. I like the design , color, and the labeling. It is straight forward, easy to understand and it even has the word HELP written in Braille below the red emergency call button. While this box is not as slick or modern looking as the blue topped call boxes around campus, I particularly like this one because directly above it there is a close circuit television cat eye. If nothing else it makes one feel safe in this location, especially at night, knowing that the campus police are monitoring it.
Walking around Mercer Hall I was struck by the balance seen in the arches that form part of the the ground floor walkway. They are symmetrical and give the impression that they are holding up more than the weight of the second floor walkway above.
Form, Function, Message
Walking back to the parking garage, after class, I noticed all of the work signs that were posted between the garage and Goolrick Hall, on Alvey Drive. Workers are in the process of doing renovations in the area and have a large dumpster parked taking up part of the road. I think the Form, Function, and Message of these signs definitely make the point to drivers that they need to be extremely cautious in the area. The last sign, in the series, that tells that there is a flagman directing traffic is especially important since it is his job to de-conflict two way traffic at this choke point.
Getting back to my car I noticed that the concrete used to build the parking structure is a Portland Cement Grey. As I thought about the color grey and then did a quick Google search in it. The first thing I discovered is that I have been spelling Grey using the British spelling for most of my life…not a big deal. What I found more interesting is that grey is an intermediate color between white and black. Neutral in nature. In the case of the parking garage it is functional and meets the utilitarian nature of the structure. The grey cement is solid and reassuring. This is one parking garage that will not collapse.