Visual Assignment

As we explore the semester through our senses, many authors have shown that sometimes you need more than just words to explain a spatial phenomenon. Because inequality occurs over space, because it takes many forms, and because it needs to be experienced viscerally, it can sometimes be best explained visually.

Pick a place that you have access to – could be a park, a restaurant you frequently visit, the street you live on… anywhere. You can pick a place that either holds significance for you, or a place that you are unfamiliar with but have questions about. Take a series of 4-5 photographs of the place as “visual” answers to these questions:

    1. Where is this space located? (This relates to our question of spatial scope in the reading guideline. For example, what is the wider context of this place? What other spaces surround or encompass it? How is this space demarcated as distinct from another space?)
    2. Who is in this space, if anyone? What activities happen in this space?
    3. What is the role of the built environment in the creation of this space? What are things put in place that makes you recognize it as a place?
    4. Where is power located in this space? Think about institutions, or symbolic representations of power.

With these photos as your reference point, write a 500 word reflection that elaborates on the questions above. Before you begin to answer the questions above, first answer: Why did you choose this place as your subject? 

End your reflection with three of your own questions about your chosen space that you would like to explore further and discuss the next steps you would take in order to answer those questions – for example, would you need to do external research on the history of the place, or perhaps conduct an interview?

Please send your written response with your images to on March 9th by 11.59PM.

Students’ work:

Visual Essay on my childhood school” by Guadalupe Colotl

Chinatown” by Isabelle Ma

Brookdale Campus: Community Center and Home for Many” by Saar Haber

Phnom Penh – Nha Trang Market” by Tien Nguyen

The Secret Garden” by Jocelyn Avila

Long Island Piers” by Kimberly Pacheco