Above & Below
The congestion and complexity of New York City’s transitional spaces exist above and below ground. Major navigational routes are mirrored and penetrate through the ground plan of the city in a series of ground-level and underground pathways and areas. People use these above and below spaces, including the subway system, to navigate from all city areas. As of 2020, there was an average of 2 million weekday subway riders and roughly 2.1 million weekend subway riders. A study conducted by the office of the New York City Comptroller, found that the average New York city full-time worker who does not work from home spends approximately 6 hours and 42 minutes per week commuting. This is equivalent to 348 hours and 18 minutes a year spent solely commuting on the new york subway system. This dense infrastructure is becoming increasingly layered and chaotic, with movement, visual stimulation, noise, and people leaving little to no room to find spaces to find moments of relief. Instead, New York city continuously pours out a large quality of artificial light as it illuminates this vast city, creating intense moments of concentration and no relaxation. This extensive sense of artificial light, especially in the subway system, utilizes light in a manner of functionality, imposing a stale and hardened space. As new yorkers spend their time navigating through their transportation, time should be a better-utilized space of a refreshing quality. This proposal explores the qualities of light to alleviate transit spaces to revive the experience of the transportation system millions of people use daily within New York City.