Description of space

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The area I have chosen to observe is my school’s cafeteria, opened as part of current building works earlier in the year. It is very different from the traditional school canteen and is essentially a visually appealing space, which has been set up with benches, stools, café style lounges, tables and chairs. I have focused on the main service area for this task and I have spent time observing the area before school, at morning recess and again at lunch time.

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Observations:

  • Entrance to the service area is through double glass sliding doors.
  • A large bench and some stools separate the service counter from the area closest to the main entrance.
  • Two large planters continue the bench line to extend the division of the space near the service area.
  • Students move to the left around this divider to line up for service.
  • As there are often 2 staff members serving, students sometimes move in from the right to access the service counter at the right, jumping ahead of those who have lined up.
  • Students seem to patiently overlook queue jumpers and just wait and chat with friends
  • There are two narrow spaces between bain maries and support columns through which staff serve
  • The space in the line-up area also has benches and stools around the edge and a series of ottomans with a lounge against the windows.
  • At the start of lunch at the busiest canteen time, this area is very congested, with lined up students as well as people occupying the seating.
  • The walkthrough space into the service area is quite narrow, but opens out on the servery side of the dividing bench, where the ‘line’ becomes a bit disordered
  • The rest of the room includes lounges, tables and ottomans
  • After the main breaks some of the ottomans get left lying around the room in random places
  • Two teachers supervise the space during breaks. There was only one staff member on duty here but issues arose with rubbish left behind and the congestion in the space
  • There are a number of large support columns, as this room is on the ground floor with two floors above
  • The columns have dictated much about the layout of the space and have limited flexibility
  • Senior students rarely/never use this space during break times to sit
  • The floor is tiled
  • The lighting is quite low, ambient
  • Colour scheme is neutral (brown, grey, white black) with some red stools and ottomans
  • The room is cold as there are no heaters yet
  • There are approximately 1000 students enrolled in the school and at the busiest times, there would be approximately 200 people in the space.

Comments on peer blogs:

Bec’s Blog http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/becspink/2014/08/04/observation-task/

Margo’s reflective journal http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/margo/2014/08/06/blog-post-2/#comment-9

Jerry’s blog http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/jerry/2014/08/08/inf536-blog-task-2/#comment-28