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May 2, 2007


I walked around CMU for about 6 minutes trying to find a particular place to observe, and in doing so I covered almost the entire building. The place I chose was downstairs on one of the chairs next to the downstairs doors. It's the area you go out from after you exit the cafeteria area. The first thing i noticed, of course, was that this place was the easiest place to get a seat at. Starbucks and the upstairs area were all full of people but this place didn't seem to have any competition for empty seats. The people who passed by in it were all in a hurry to get somewhere not really talk or find a place to sit. Almost everyone who was sitting was quiet on their laptops or mp3 players and alone. The area smelled a little gross like old food that hadn't been taken out of the garbage can in a while. The color scheme was yellow white and black, which gave it a musty old feeling to it. The atmosphere was rather unkempt and unappealing, at least compared to the other areas in CMU. Even the setup of the area was lonely; the area was open with lots of space in-between and a lot of lightning everywhere which highlighted the space. The Starbucks area and the upstairs area were all cozy with low friendly lighting and color schemes. It appeared to me that this area was an area for people who were either uncomfortable in a cozy atmosphere or who were forced to because all the good seats were already taken elsewhere. Not only this but the area was filled with business oriented areas rather than entertainment. In this I mean that the cafeteria served meals for those there to eat a meal, and the bookstore was there for those who needed supplies or clothes, and the great hall was for meetings. Although some could see these as entertainment, other areas were much more entertaining based. The upstairs for example has a theater, Sta travel agency, Jamba Juice and a piano even (Not to mention it doesn’t smell like old food). The starbucks area does have business related areas, but it is the spotlight of the area, and the aroma and atmosphere of coffee fills the area with a comfortable lounge feel to it. The area I was in had a slightly uncomfortable feeling to it, like everyone else was moving past while I was sitting in a big open space doing nothing. It’s a lazy feeling, like people walking by you are hurrying you to get done quickly so you can move on. It seems as though people didn’t really mean for this area to become a place to stay, but more of a convenient place to put some chairs in.