Red Square – A Place of Borders and Transitions

Borders are not fixed - they move around ©pc britz

Borders are not fixed - they move around ©pc britz

Red Square is a central space on the campus of the University of Washington. For some it is a pass-through on their way to their destination, for others it is a place to rest (see a live image of Red Square)
Here is my view on Red Square:

Watching people on Red Square and their relation to it, I realized that it is a transitional place for most of its users. For many, it marks the boundary to or from their work or school, while only few chose the area for other purposes.
Preoccupied with the idea of borders, boundaries and their crossing (states of transition), I went to capture Red Square as a boundary as well as the different “sub-borders” that are part of Red Square. This includes boundaries in a physical three-dimensional space, visual boundaries and perceived boundaries that separate two different things from one another.
A challenge was to visualize the concept of a “border” that is not visual and obvious. How would you show a border that is not physically perceptable?

I think I did an acceptable job on finding different ways to visualize borders and their crossing on Red Square. I am not so convinced about representing Red Square in itself as a boundary space in one single picture. However, the assortment of images shows this function (and its disruption).
If I had to redo the assignment, I would do one of two things:
a) I would try to figure out more borders that exist as a concept and try to bring in a more diverse set of borders (a stair may not be a boundary to a pedestrian, but to a biker/s.o. in a wheely)
b) I would work more artistically and actually create a physical border or boundary to see how people would react and whether they would realize or even reconsider their use of Red Square. I believe setting up a “Border Patrol” on each point of entry would cause quite some confusion, because people are mostly unaware of the space they use and live in.

(Update) Post assignment was:
(a) one to two paragraphs with a succinct summary of the visual story [your Red Square interpretation] and explanation your goals; note any reporting/photography challenges and (b) one to two paragraphs explaining how well you met your goals, what you learned doing this project, and what you would do differently if you had a chance to redo this assignment.

  1. Nicely done, Paul.🙂

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