Assignments

Corners and Squares

What do you know about intersections, or what many in Cambridge, Boston and Somerville call “Squares” in the city? Are they really squares at all? Are they just crossroads, places that have lights, signs and cars traveling in different directions? How do you know when you are in a “square”?

How do you know when you leave a square? What make a square interesting, exciting, hip, or dead? How many squares have you been to? Can you name them? What is unique about Central Square, Davis Square, Kendall Square? What is fun about Post Office Square or Winthrop Square.

  • Pick a square to study. It cannot have a major transportation line running through it (buses are fine). Squares such as Davis Square, Harvard Square, Central Square or Kendall Square are disqualified. It cannot be Post Office Square in Boston, too much has been written about that one already. It could be Union Square or Ball Square in Somerville. It could be Inman Square or, well, you get the point.
  • Analyze your square. Spend time in your square, take pictures of your square, interview people who hang around your square. What makes it a place to be or not be? Sketch your square. What stores are in your square? Take an inventory.
  • Create a 1-minute visual presentation that analyzes your square for the class. Learn what works/doesn’t work in the square that you have chosen. How do you know when you enter the square? How do you know when you exit? What clues can you find that help you know whether the square is “successful” or not?
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As Taught In
Spring 2011
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