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Comfort levels

r.graham.barrett's picture

Hi, my name is Graham and I’m a sophomore who is an Environmental Science minor

  1. Visiting each of the five chosen  locations around Bryn Mawr’s campus, I would have to say if I had to rank them based on how happy I felt at each one, I would rank them (#1 being the location I was happiest in and #5 being the location I was least happy in) as:
    1. English House I
    2. Morris Woods
    3. Dalton Hall’s glass staircase
    4. Park Room 20
    5. Campus Center Parking Lot
  2. I would have to say that what influenced me the most in ranking each of the locations on a level of how happy they made me feel was mostly due to their aesthetic qualities as well as the qualities of how willing I would be to spend time at each of the locations. I ranked the parking lot as the least appealing, because although the location does serve a function, the man-made qualities (i.e. the concrete and the cars) made the parking lot unappealing both visually and physically. Likewise, the glass staircase and the lab in the Park Science Building were ranked lower because both were indoors and had a more simulated or sterilized feel to both of them (although I ranked the staircase higher due to the greater access to natural lighting. Morris Woods was ranked especially high because it was outside and felt relatively untouched in the aspects that made it feel like I was in nature despite being surrounded by relatively high levels of development/urbanization. Although it did not share the same levels of feeling like a natural setting like the Morris Woods had, I ranked English House 1 as the place I felt the happiest since of all the locations, I felt the most relaxed there due to its qualities of being a smaller space with aesthetically pleasing decorations and a closer proximity to a more natural setting than the other locations (with the exception of Morris Woods).
  3. If I had to rank these same 5 locations again, but instead considering whether a plant would feel happiest in them , the ranking would be:
    1. Morris Woods
    2. Dalton Hall’s glass staircase
    3. English House 1
    4. Park Room 20
    5. Campus Center Parking Lot
  4. If I had to say what best influences a plant’s comfort level in a location, I would have to say whether it is in a natural setting, if it’s getting enough access to natural lighting and other natural conditions,  and whether if it is in a simulated environment how easy is it to replicate a natural setting,. Morris Woods, as a natural setting that contains all the conditions that make a plant best suited to thrive, was thus at the top of the list. The staircase and English House 1 I felt were pretty close in terms of being a non-natural setting that could be plant-friendly, although I thought the staircase was better able to provide a plant with natural lighting. I thought Park Room 20 as a science laboratory, could be transformed into a setting which a plant could survive, although because in its natural state Room 20 was supposed to be clean and sterile would be ill-suited for providing for a plant’s comfort level. The parking lot once again was at the bottom list because its function has a purpose that best suits people’s needs rather than providing an environment where a plant could grow and survive, so I thought it possessed the worst qualities for meeting a plant’s comfort level.
  5. When it comes to feeling comfortable, I feel that both plants and humans prefer it best when the setting has more a natural, outside feel instead of a man-made feel to it, and both are relatively adaptable in that they can survive in settings outside a naturally-occurring one.
  6. I feel that when it comes to comfort levels, humans are much more adaptable in whatever location they find themselves in, be it natural or simulated, regardless of their preference or needs and are much more able to transition between the two with little difficulty in adapting to the change. Plants though, are much more accustomed to natural settings, which specially address their biological and comfort needs, and taking them out of these settings decrease their comfort levels substantially. Even when a natural quality can be stimulated for a plant’s comfort, the simulation usually still remains outside the plant’s comfort zone and the plant is thus less likely to be in a comforted state.