Friday, July 19, 2013

Urban fabric and noise: the art and science of being considerate

Our urban fabric is woven from mutual respect we have for one another. If not respect at least we understand there are conventions of self-restraint that we adopt in order not to impose on one another's space. The urban space is crowded so in general, these conventions are carefully observed. We try to be considerate. 

In the case of urban noise the boundaries are less established. What is the source of noise? How to control it from spilling into other peoples' space? Noise isn't something you can keep to yourself.  Here the urban fabric may falter. Recently the New York Times published a series on urban noise. The sources of noise are often far from the "recipients." In a word, hard or impossible to control. There's not much you can do about noise that is generated from a distance. For close neighbors, the only solution may be restraint and consideration. "Neighborliness." Is it too much to ask?

Here in Cambridge we have a dense urban fabric and in some cases, like in the big city, noise is hard to find and control. In other cases it's easy. We live in a small space with two other households immediately in front of us. On all sides there are lots more households. We have a small green space that we maintain as a lush and generous garden, somewhere we can cool off and enjoy the flowers, something everyone can enjoy even though it "belongs" to us. 

One neighbor's wall, unfortunately windowless, faces our open space, which we share with the two families in front. The outdated in-wall air conditioners spew their clatter whenever the temperatures warm up. Some days they're roaring at dawn, when it's cool, in the otherwise peaceful moments of the morning. It's a shame, because if we want to catch a breeze outside we also have to catch a few unwanted decibels of mechanical clatter. 

Living together in the city is an art and a science. It's an experiment in mutual constraint, an opportunity to develop respect, or at least consideration, for other people who live close by. A bit of a challenge as temperatures approach 100, but maybe worth a try. 


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  2. These posts do make sense due to the fact that they are both attempting to understand through observation. In the Solving Problems article, there is written documentation of trying to summarize the art works in shorter and shorter lengths. The visuals of the paintings is more of the art aspect that is then connecting to the science aspect in trying to understand every detail and meaning. They both involve thinking and interpreting the art which is aesthetics. The articles focus on the very small details of the works and atmosphere in interpreting them.

    In Panel 1, Endless, the idea of connecting art and science is especially emphasized because it combines the science of the city grids and nature in the clouds while presenting it in an artistic fashion. If we were the writers, we would add more information and connections to science in the article.

    Gabrielle Kanellos
    Evan Sternstein

  3. Isabel Vera

    Camila Machado

    Isabelle Earls

    The posts make sense to us in that they connect our senses with our cognition process. The "Solving Problems" post spoke to us in particular because the three steps seemed to portray the process of observation, documentation, and analysis. The first sentence is a broad description of what we first observe in the painting, the second is a documentation of what's a little deeper below the surface. The third seems to make a firm analysis of the painting in one word. We think that this is a clever approach to connecting art and science. In the beginning we trust our physical and logical senses and as we take it in further we are able to use the more creative and expressive parts of our cognition. In "Blank Horizon or Crowded Wall" we would have a different, but also similar aesthetic experience when viewing the collection of paintings or the horizon. When viewing a collection of paintings there are seemingly infinite approaches to interpretation, and conversely when viewing a horizon it may at first seem as though there is only one way to absorb the scene. However, after taking in an exhibit of paintings, there can be a calming and simple sensation taken in after acknowledging the fluidity of the exhibit’s order. The horizon, straightforward on the surface, can in fact be more abstract when analyzing the intricacies of the landscape. We find that this example constructs an interesting combination of both the complexity and simplicity of our observations.

  4. These posts do make sense to us because they work to they are able to compare the difference between natural beauty and man-created beauty. There is something inherently pleasing to the eye when one sees the natural phenomena because they radiate beautiful organic processes that could not be recreated by anyone else. At the same time, the beauty reflected in the MFA presents a similar beauty, one that could not particularly designed by nature itself. Viewing something in nature shows us the cohesive aspects of our worlds and how we live. Each blog relates to our goals of viewing, documenting and analyzing because the different beauties found in our world are all interconnected regardless of their origin. Something can not be clearly defined as articulate or abstract simply because they are viewed differently by each analyzing factor. In the second article, the breakdown of words to describe and document a work is something that can be interpreted differently by each individual, leaving the argument that abstract and articulate are subjective. Describing an image in fewer words each time can cause a different interpretation of the work between the first and third description. The connections of nature and man-made creations both complement and contrast one another in the ideal of beauty for each of them.

    Alexandra Nulty
    Olivia Imperatore
    Brandon Mojahee
    Elizabeth Mignon

  5. Eleni Alafouzos, Alexandra Hilas, Ashley Mezack, Gabrielle Ciemny, Mike Capp

    These posts made sense to our group because the language is easy to understand, it is put into simple terms and a lot of it was easy to interpret. They are trying to make you think about how you should interpret things and different ways to look at it. These relate to our goals of observing, documenting and analyzing because it makes you look at at the way you look at science. They applied aesthetic to science, which makes it easier to understand. They applied the same concepts of science and art which is how they showed their connections. These posts relate to the process of aesthetics because it describes how things are viewed and looked at. The blog was put in such a simple way that adding something more would complicate the message.