Construction of a Door

Photo Jan 31, 8 56 41 AM

During my daily pilgrimage to class from the depths of my warm apartment, I walk past the construction site that will eventually be RIT’s new Magic center. As I get closer to the breezeway between Gannette and Booth, I tend to notice a large plywood board adorned with neon orange writing. During an earlier stage of the building process, the builders added this plywood door to give the workers quick and easy access to the side of the building. Eventually, to clear up any confusion, the word “PUSH” had to be added to the outside of the door. Soon after that the weather started to shift. With the drop in temperature came the realization that this new door would let in the cold and rain. The sides of the door were then insulated, and “Do Not USE” was added to the message to let the workers know it’s off limits.

Within the span of a few weeks, what was designed to be a helpful addition to the construction site, ended up devolving into nothing more than a wall and a contradictory cryptic message. I think this is an example of how poor planning and and thinking for the short term can hurt good design.

This former door was created quickly and inelegantly to serve a purpose. Looking at it now in its current form, I think it follows some of the themes of Enargeia. Like a piece of modern art, the object has sense of wonder to it. Its mixed messages and purposeless existence make me think about the story and people behind it. Doors are made to be opened, and a door that can never be opened again feels poetic in some way.

 

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6 thoughts on “Construction of a Door

  1. Wow, I really enjoyed your descriptors in this post. To me, this is one of those frustrating things you see every day that tends to evolve and leaves you more confused. Have you ever driven by a construction site, strange billboard, or graffiti message and wondered why it’s there/how it got there/what the thought process was behind the project? I think I subconsciously ask myself these questions, especially during mundane tasks like a commute home, because these little unappealing things can sometimes frustrate me. Even though they don’t seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things, these visual messages we see in our every day lives can build up and cause a sense of unease – think about the nicer parts of Rochester vs. the parts that are under construction/just not aesthetically pleasing. They didn’t just get like that in a day. You really just want to get out of there and get to the nicer parts, or back to RIT! Really well thought-out post.

  2. Like we talked in class today, this is a great example of how some functionalities of objects can be so confusing and sometimes when people don’t know how to use them, it can make them feel less intelligent. This also ties in with Norman’s ideology of object affordances, which are meant to highlight what the objects purpose is. This image of a piece of plywood with “push… do not use” on it, is quite contradictory because the whole point of a door is to allow things to enter/exit. So, if they are saying, “do not use”, then what is this door’s affordance?

  3. I agree with your point on how the workers lack of foresight created a confusing situation and a door that is now just a poor design. Although most people should be able to figure out that the door is no longer operable I think this case just shows that often times people don’t put much consideration into door design. Poor design of doors just lead to situations where people are pushing instead of pulling and pulling instead of pushing.

  4. I really liked the symbolism you found within this door. I think it was intriguing to hear about the evolution of the door. The message on the door is confusing, and I wonder if the construction workers even laugh at the mixed message or still sometimes try to use the unusable door.

  5. I found this image and your interpretation of the construction site very powerful. I definitely see the themes of Enargeia. The sense of wonder is immediate, in the sense of why did it change into a wall. Was it going to be a door? And obviously, what is behind this door/wall that made it change the purpose/function of the design. Maybe the weather?
    It also makes me think about construction sites and plans. Are plans usually not followed through? Do they plan based on functionality and design? Lastly, it is interesting how they did not cross out the previous message, which I think makes the audience wonder more.

  6. As someone who is majoring in Construction, I always find these kind f things funny. What some people need to remember is that when it comes to construction is that everything is temporary until the building or project is finished. Yes it may be stupid to have created a door that no longer can be used but we cannot see inside. Maybe there is a reason other than letting the cold or rain in, it could be a safety risk or doesn’t meet OSHA’s regulations to be a active door for the time being. I agree that there are some things that makes you think “what were you thinking” but in the end it helps the works get their job done or it’s to prevent any health hazards.

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