Thursday, June 13, 2013

The beginning !

It has been four days since we started working in field school.

We are looking at the Historic Water tower neighborhood in Milwaukee. We are focusing on the Bradford beach area, the Villa Terrace (residence converted into an art gallery) on the lake front, some of the residences in that precinct and the businesses on the Downer Ave. The students have been divided in groups of three to study each of these areas.

For the first week we were supposed to document the buildings in the assigned areas, investigate the cultural environment and based on that were expected to interpret the society of Milwaukee now. Further we are also going to build up on interpreting the society of Milwaukee which existed before, from various sources.We want to understand the change.

I was in a group which was studying the Bradford beach area. Bradford beach is not a natural beach. It is an artificially created beach on the lakefront. The action replay of what I observed while measuring, having my lunch on the beach and talking to people there, I have started to interpret certain things.The beach with its tiki bars, the cabana and the artificially created green areas for water purification, the North Point custard and the Lake Park in proximity to the beach are three spaces for leisure with different characters in the closest proximity to the lake.They are different in character in terms of  1.) the amount of time they can engage the people there 2.) the activities the people do there and 3.) the kind of the people who come there.

These spaces are visually connected to the beach and physically or visually connected to each other but there  invisible boundaries which separate them.

The questions which have stated arising are
1.) What was the character of the beach earlier?
2.) Was it done for the society then because they needed it or was it done with some purpose which in turn became a part of Milwaukee's culture?
3.) How did the change in the culture and the attitude of the society brought changes in the cultural environment on the beach?