01 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

1.) Innovation + Society Lab

I visited both of these locations around noon. The first photo is the ramp between the sidewalk and the street. My neighbors and I use these ramps to help safely and smoothly reach the sidewalk from the street. Wheelchairs, bicycles, wagons, and strollers benefit from these ramps because it creates a bridge for the sidewalk which is higher than the street. The bushes, flowers, and other plants help to make the space pleasant and peaceful. This creates value for people walking by this neighborhood.  These ramps look like they were made out of newer concrete which means this was built recently. I believe that policies were implemented to help people with disabilities independently reach the sidewalk. The ramps help them achieve this goal because wheels have a hard time going through bumpy surfaces. A lot of people interact with this space when they walk their dogs, push their strollers, or pull their wagons. Overall these innovations benefit a lot of people in this neighborhood by improving the transition between the street and sidewalk.

The second photo is the ramp to my garage. It’s meant for vehicles to smoothly enter the building. This building is meant for the storage of vehicles and yard equipment. There’s a ramp that helps the car smoothly reach the sidewalk but there’s a leveling difference between the building and the sidewalk which creates a bump when moving your vehicle into the garage. The end of the sidewalk doesn’t have a ramp that would connect it to the alley. The foundation of the garage looks newer than the sidewalk. This means that the garage is newer than the driveway and sidewalk. Overall the garage fulfills its purpose by providing vehicles protection from weather and storage for tools and other equipment. The interactions I see are usually the cars going into the garage. However, I do see cyclists struggle to get on to the sidewalk from the alley. Adding ramps between the sidewalk and the foundation of the garage would create a smooth transition for the car to enter the garage.

2.) Reading Response + Annotated Bibliography

The idea of the Land Grant is important to President Henry because he knew about the benefits of opening a Land Grant University. The Morill Act indirectly pushed Land Grant Universities to find a way to incorporate mechanical arts (Geiger 307). This act helped to fulfill the industrial and mechanical needs that were demanded by the respective states. According to President Henry, “The complex needs of society have placed new demands upon the University at the advanced levels of education” (“Congressional Record: University of Illinois Centennial” 74). This quote explains that because of the advances in society, the University of Illinois and other Land Grant Universities are obligated to fulfill these needs. The idea of the Land Grant is important to President Henry because he sees the University of Illinois as a place for serving the people.

The Land Grant focused on three intentions placed in the Morrill Act. Wide educational opportunities, comprehensive curricula, and diversification of education services were innovative ideas that Land Grants provided (“Congressional Record: University of Illinois Centennial” 75). Another innovation was its ability to serve the working-class students. According to Roger Geiger, “the institute served Morrell’s industrial classes or, as one Harvadian put it, ‘a class of students who rarely find their way to Cambridge’” (313). Land Grant Universities focused on the education of the industrial and working classes.

1 thought on “01 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response”

  1. I noticed too how in your first location, tactile pavement (the red part of the sidewalk with circles) would likely make it easier for those that are blind to navigate around as they would be able to (say) use a walking stick and feel that tactile feedback. I wonder too, however, if tactile pavement like that is more difficult for wheelchairs to cross over since it’s bumpy and likely the vibrations of crossing over something like that would be disruptive.

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