Neighborhood Narratives London

DIfferent Spaces DIfferent Places – A Brian Noel Joint
April 19, 2007, 7:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

During the course of my study abroad, I’ve had many new experiences; however, one long lasting experience truly sticks out. Until this semester, I never shared a bedroom with anyone and the most people I lived with was 3. This semester I was made to share a relatively small bedroom with 3 other guys and live with 5 other people altogether. Therefore, I decided that I would try to relate my experiences to my fellow classmates for my final project.

I created a game in Hyde Park that revolved around playing cards. First, I made a scaled down diagram of our flat out of orange string on the grass, with the bathroom, common area and kitchen separated. There were six sets of 3 playing cards and 1 index card, one for each person participating. On the index card, there were 3 activities that had to be completed in order and each person had a different order. The activities were to shower, watch tv, and cook and eat food. Once everyone was situated, I had everyone with the same activity go to the appropriate area of the flat. Once there, whoever had the highest card of the group held priority over the activities and there was always someone left out who had to do nothing while everyone else was showering, cooking and watching tv. To simulate cooking in a small space, I had two people kick a soccer ball the whole time and the goal was to keep the ball in the kitchen. To simulate watching tv, I had two people listen to an iPod, one headphone for each person, and the person with the highest card chose the music they both listened to. While showering, the person with the highest card went into the small shower space and listened to an iPod.

The goal of this exercise was to show how small spaces affect different people. I made it a point to have someone during each activity left with nothing to do because there are times in our flat that there is no room in the kitchen, someone is in the shower, and you have nothing to do until space becomes free. Hope everyone enjoyed it


Brian Noel’s thoughts on last week’s class
January 28, 2007, 8:19 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Last week, I was really impressed with the GLobe theater. The theater has played an important role in the history and development of the British theater and most of all, it was home to exhibitions of the works of Billy Shakespeare. The one aspect of the Globe that really fascinated me was the spacial environment of the theater. Three thousand spectators was the norm for Shakespeare’s plays and in a relatively small theater, this large amount of people could have a major effect on the actors because they were just footsteps away from the crowd.

The concept of traditional and non – traditional narrative was definitely on display throughout the course of the day last week, in that a traditional narrative like one of Shakespeare’s plays, required people to physically travel to a theater and sit in their seats for over 3 hours and watch a performance. I would say that our narrative was spacious, in that viewers from different parts of the world will be able to view it without much effort and our narrative was comprised out of a wide variety of topics and locations.

I liked how we used the plague of cholera to expose the importance of networking and how networks are communicated. In this case it was communicated by a central location: the dreadful water pump. The idea of networking was tied together with mapping very nicely, in that mapping and networking come from the same family of concepts. For example, people map their way through cities when sightseeing to find their way and also to find the best and most meaningful locations possible. Networking is a term commonly used in the job field and business world, commonly known as the practice of getting to know people that know people that can help you in some way. So both ideas can be interwined in that when you are networking in the business world, you are actually mapping your way through and instead of mapping your way through the city, you are networking your way in and around the city.

I really liked the Cradle to the Grave exhibit and I feel like it really represented the notion of a “Changing World.” I liked the way the exhibit was presented, using a wide variety of different pills and family photographs to display the effort people make to live longer and the many different changes people undergo at different stages of their life.

Excursions deep inside Brian Noel’s hand bag
January 26, 2007, 2:50 pm
Filed under: identity, in class exercise, rubbish, Uncategorized


The contents of my bag included:

 An MP3 Player

A video camera

digital camera

4 AAA batteries

A Syringe


Opened package of a digital camera memory stick.

An unusable cell phone

A worthless checkbook

Camera chargers

    Part of me believes that the contents of our handbags exposes our shared identity but I’m not completely sold on the idea. Though some of the items in my bag could explain different facets of my identity, I would not base the image of my identity through the contents of my bag. My main example is the fact that I had 3 electronic devices in my bag, along with headphones, batteries and battery chargers. One might think that I was trying to make myself out to be a strong being who does not approve of showing any type of weakness. Or, it could be that I went out and about around South Kensington before class like a tourist taking pictures and video…or maybe I hadn’t cleaned out my bag since I arrived in London. I enjoyed the exercise but I’m still not sold on the principles of the exercise.