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UBC Publications

UBC Reports Feb 26, 1970

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 VOLUME   SIXTEEN,   NUMBER   SEVEN
FEBRUARY 26, 1970, VANCOUVER 8, B.C.
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* < Colorful posters showing the 12 signs of the zodiac will
decorate the Department of English display in the UBC
Buchanan building during Open House. Assistant
professor Dr. Thomas Blom, above, has arranged the
display which relates the zodiac to English literature.
Six fortune tellers will dispense literary fortunes to
visitors, naming famous literary figures and their signs
and quoting poetry. Assisting Dr. Blom In decorating
zodiacal posters are Claire Sander, second year Arts,
left, and Barbara Pow, second year Education, right.
You'll be able to see how primitive man made crude
weapons for hunting and work at the archaeology
display in the north west basement wing of the
Mathematics Building. Anthropology Ph.D. candidate
Paul Sneed demonstrates in the picture below how
B.C. Indians used obsidian, or volcanic glass, to create
knives, spear points and cutting and scraping tools.
Photos by Extension Graphic Arts.
UBC Opens
Its Doors
March 6-7
This is, the astrologers tell us. The Age of Aquarius, a
period when, according to the hit musical Hair, "peace will
guide the planets and love will steer the stars."
It is doubtful that anything as unscientific as the arcane
and ancient Babylonian art of astrology would appeal to
Dr. Gordon Walker, associate professor of astronomy, who
is shown on the front cover of this issue of UBC Reports
star-gazing with the help of a 10-inch reflecting telescope.
The telescope, located in a dome atop the Geophysics
Building, which used to be inhabited by the B.C. Research
Council, will allow evening visitors to UBC's eighth triennial
Open House on March 6 and 7 to look far into space and see
the planet Saturn, the dominant planet of Aquarius, a
fanciful name applied to one of the 12 divisions of the
Zodiac. During the daylight hours, UBC astronomers plan
to train the telescope on the sun and project that star's
image on a screen which will allow visitors to see sunspots.
The UBC telescope will, of course, be only one of
hundreds of displays which will be available for public
viewing during Open House, a joint faculty-student venture
designed to acquaint the people of B.C. with the research
and activities of one of Canada's largest and most highly
developed universities.
Open House 1970 will get underway at 3 p.m. on March
6 when B.C.'s Lieutenant-Governor, the Hon. John
Nicholson, declares the event officially open at a short
ceremony at the flagpole at the north end of the Main Mall.
The official hours of Open House 1970 are 3 to 10 p.m^M
on Friday, March 6, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday^^^
March 7.
Here are brief descriptions of some of the hundreds of
displays available to visitors:
FACULTY OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES -
Displays will be built around the theme "Spaceship Earth,"
and will relate the involvement of agriculture in the survival
of man and the earth's ecological system. Located in the
H.R. MacMillan Building.
SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE - Displays will include
a prototype housing unit, a photographic history of the
growth of UBC and an explanation of the "Venice Trip"
currently being undertaken by Architecture faculty
members and students. Located in the Frederic Lasserre
Building.
CLASSICAL STUDIES DEPARTMENT - A dramatic*
presentation of Clouds, by the Greek playwright
Aristophanes, a slide show of Greece and Italy and a
facsimile of the Pompeian wall, with graffiti. In the
Buchanan Building. (Almost all displays by liberal arts
departments will be located in the Buchanan Building.
Presentations will include stage plays, poetry readings and
slide and film shows).
FACULTY OF EDUCATION - A total of 22
department displays will include classroom situations and
current educational methods. UBC's educational television
unit will also be on exhibit.
FACULTY OF LAW - In addition to a mock trial, using
visitors as jurors, the Faculty plans a display of current
litigation and a legal aid booth.
FACULTY OF MEDICINE - Demonstrations of
complex equipment for medical diagnosis and research.
Displays will be located in units of the developing Health
Sciences Center immediately to the south of University
Boulevard opposite the War Memorial Gymnasium, where
the SCHOOL OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION will stage
gymnastic displays and demonstrate work being carried out
in the Fitness Performance Laboratory.
DEPARTMENT OF BOTANY - A total of 14 exhibits
including fossil displays, ecological studies being carried out
in B.C. and aquatic vegetation utilization. In the Biological
Sciences Building, corner of the Main Mall and University
Boulevard.
GEOLOGY AND GEOGRAPHY - The Department of
Geology will display models of an offshore oil drilling rig
and the west coast sea floor and one of North America's
best mineral collections. The Department of Geography will
use films, maps and slides to demonstrate the critical
ecological balance between resources, urbanization and the
physical limitations to B.C.'s potential. The Geology and
Geography Building is located on the West Mall.
All campus Food Services will be operating during Open
House and student guides will be in evidence on all parts of
the campus to assist visitors in finding displays of interest
to them.
2/UBC Reports/February 26, 1970 /■
The UBC Theatre Department's production of William
Shakespeare's "As You Like It" opens March 6, the first day
of Open House 1970 and continues until March 14 with a
special performance for students at 12:30 p.m. on March
12. Costume mistress Mrs. Jessie Richardson is shown at
right giving a costume fitting to Susanna KcKeown, a
theatre and fine arts student, who plays the role ofPhebe in
the production. A "spaceship game" involving a computer
will be one of the main attractions at the Computing
Center's display in the Civil Engineering Building during
Open House. The spaceships which can be seen on the
screen below are guided by remote control boxes like the
one being operated by programmer analyst David Twyver.
The object of the game is for one spaceship to shoot the
other down using the 32 torpedoes which each ship is
equipped with Spaceships behave as if they were in deep
space. All pictures on Pages Two and Three by UBC
Extension Graphic Arts.
Ingenious "perpetual motion" machine will be
demonstrated in the chemical engineering
building by its inventor, fourth year student
Lee Dawson, at right. Dawson's machine
consists of a protein Jibre which runs on a set
of pulleys through a salt bath and a water bath.
In the salt bath the negative charges on the
protein fibre are attracted to positive ions in
the salt solution. This causes a rippling effect
winch tends to bunch the fibre. In the water
solution the salt is washed out of lite fibre,
which causes it to expand. The result of the
bundling and expanding effect is to cause the
fibre to move continuously on a set of pulleys.
UBC Reports/February 26, 1970/3 Two of the top four black and white prints in
the Ben Hill-Tout Memorial Photographic
Salon are "Spectators,"above, by Dr. Michael
Frimer, a research fellow in  UBC's Surgery
Department, and "Sue," below, by Keith
Dunbar, a third year Arts student. Photos will
be on display in SUB Art Gallery March 2-15
and during Open House March 6 and 7.
Prelude to Open House
As a special in-the-community feature of Open
House 1970, the Extension Department will
present four noon-hour downtown lectures by
noted UBC teachers Dr. David T. Suzuki, Prof.
Sam Black, Dr. Roy Daniells and Dr. Michael W.
Ovenden. The lectures will be held at the
Vancouver Public Library, 750 Burrard Street,
from 12 to 1 p.m. March 2-5.
The program exemplifies the Extension
Department's activities in helping to make the
resources of the University available to British
Columbians who wish to continue their education
as adults.
Speakers, topics and dates are:
Geneticist Dr.  David Suzuki, Department of
Zoology, will speak on "Science, Technology and
Social Responsibility" Monday, March 2;
Artist Prof. Sam Black, Faculty of Education,
will discuss "Art and Life," Tuesday, March 3;
Poet and writer Dr. Roy Daniells, Department
of English will speak "In Defense of the Ivory
Tower" Wednesday, March 4; and
Astronomer Dr. Michael Ovenden, Department
of Geophysics, will talk on "The Universe and
Man" Thursday, March 5.
Sessions will be chaired by Mr. Gordon R.
Selman, Director, Extension Department. There is
no admission charge for any of the lectures. For
further information contact the Extension
Department, 228-2181.
Labor Leader
Arts Speaker
UBC's 1970 Arts Week concludes today and
tomorrow with an address by a noted Quebec
labor leader and a panel discussion on American
domination of Canada.
Mr. Michel Chartrand, former president of
the Montreal Confederation of National Trade
Unions, will speak on the labor movement in
Quebec in the Old Auditorium at 12:30 p.m.
today.
Tomorrow, the five speakers who have taken
part in Arts Week will participate in a panel
discussion on American domination of Canada
at 12:30 p.m. in Buchanan 106.
In addition to Mr. Chartrand, panellists will
be Canadian historian Stanley Ryerson, Mr.
Robin Matthews and Mr. James Steele, of
Carleton University, whose concern over
foreign teachers at Canadian universities has
sparked a nationwide debate, and former labor
leader Jack Scott, who is now head of the
Progressive Workers Movement.
Arts Week is presented by the Arts
Undergraduate Society and sponsored by the
Faculty of Arts.
Free Advice
The "Quo Vadis?" program of information
and advice for students on academic programs
and vocational opportunities takes place in the
ballroom of the Student Union Building today
and tomorrow.
The program, initiated last year by the Dean
of Women's Office, attracted so much interest
from both men and women students that it will
this year be open to both.
Professors from all Faculties, graduates and
students will be available for consultation and
to provide assistance to students making
decisions about their academic and vocational
futures.
Women only will participate in the program
today from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and both men
and women are welcome at the same time and
place tomorrow.
More Carrels
Now Available
Over 150 additional study carrels have been
made available for use by undergraduate
students. They are located in the Auditorium
Annex, the Mathematics building, and the
Mathematics Annex.
Some 85 carrels are located in Room 154 of
the Auditorium Annex and are open daily and
for evening study until midnight.
Spaces for approximately 35 students are
available in Room 124 of the Mathematics
building and study hours are posted on the
door.
Rooms 1119 and 1102 in the Mathematics
Annex each have space for approximately 20
students and are open until midnight.
4/UBC Reports/February 26, 1970 ';'   r^:i'^-"'IJ:^#'*iV,
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iflea: nfioqMiiuWtio'iii.Hro :ss, r 3fWt!E. TWO RARE BIRDS
KNOWN AS ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGISTS CAME TO ROOST AT THE UNIVERSITY
OF BRITISH COLUMBIA IN SEPTEMBER LAST YEAR. DR. RICHARD SEATON AND DR.
JOHN COLLINS ARE BASICALLY PSYCHOLOGISTS WHO HAVE A BACKGROUND IN
ARCHITECTURE. THEIR MAIN TASK AT UBC IS TO ASSIST IN THE CREATION OF AN
IMPROVED LEARNING ENVIRONMENT. 'UBC REPORTS' EDITOR JIM BANHAM TOOK
THE TWO NEW FACULTY MEMBERS ON A TOUR OF THE CAMPUS RECENTLY AND
RECORDED THEIR COMMENTS FOR THE ARTICLE WHICH BEGINS AT RIGHT. IN THE
DISCUSSION WHICH BEGINS BELOW, DR. JOHN COLLINS TALKS ABOUT THE CURRENT
LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AT UBC AND HOW IT MIGHT BE IMPROVED. AND ON PAGE
EIGHT DR. RICHARD SEATON DESCRIBES THE CHARACTERISTIC ACTIVITIES OF THE
ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGIST.
^TALLOWED
*IN   THEATRE
Tour of UBC Campus Proves To Be An Illuminating Experience
ByJIM BANHAM
Editor, UBC Reports
Touring the campus with Dr. Richard Seaton and Dr.
John Collins, UBC's environmental psychologists, is an
illuminating experience.
They are constantly pointing out architectural anomalies
and delights which the regular or intermittent campus user
would either take for granted or scarcely notice.
Our tour began at the covered arcade adjacent to the
Music Building in UBC's Center for Fine Arts (see picture at
left above).
Dr. Seaton characterized the arcade as "silly and
wasteful" because the structure did not meet the
architectural yardstick of a "form which follows human
function."
The arcade, Dr. Seaton went on, has no apparent
function   other  than   to  serve  as  the  framework  for an
enormous stone sculpture of the head of an Asian girl
which sits on a pedestal at the far north end of the arcade,
"it directs people along a north-south axis which leads from
nowhere to nowhere," Dr. Seaton said.
One of the arcade's major functions at the moment, he
continued, is to relate the bulk of the Music Building to the
external surrounds and create a courtyard at the south side
* the buil^        "The architect visualized something which
^~4 quite satis-r-rhg in a pictorial sense but relatively useless
and very expensive," Dr. Seaton added.
He went on to say that because of the heavy annual
rainfall on the campus he would like to see many times that
amount of covered arcade space to provide protection for
students and others. "UBC could buy a lot more arcade
space much more cheaply than this," he said.
In the midst of the Fine Arts Center, Dr. Collins
suddenly  stopped   at  a   point  on  the north side of the
Frederic Wood Theatre where the brick and pebble-surfaced
terrace ends and a short gravel walkway crosses a grassy
area. (See picture second from left above).
This change of texture from a pebbly surface to gravel
and grass he characterized as one of the "pleasant things
about walking through the Fine Arts Center complex.
"if you want a delightful experience in non-visual
architecture close your eyes and feel architecture through
your feet and listen to it with your ears. As you cross the
courtyard you feel the pebbly surface embedded in
concrete and surrounded by the smooth brick but when
you get to the gravel pathway, you have a number of
textural options. "On the one hand, you can skirt the path,
feel and hear the grass under foot, or you can walk on the
path and experience the crunch of sandy gravel. It's a
pleasant change in tactile and acoustical texture and an
interesting thing for an architect to provide.
At the Frederic Wood Theatre, Dr. Collins stopped and
asked the photographer accompanying us to take a picture
of "those garbagey signs" plastered on the windows and the
walls of the Theatre, terming this "visual pollution."
Then he walked into the Theatre lobby and pointed out
a huge sign (see picture at right above], which cautioned
students about taking food and beverages into the Theatre.
"It's an affront to the dignity of human beings to have
big signs like this telling people what they can and cannot
do," he said. "The students ignore it anyway," he added,
pointing to a couple entering the theatre with food and
plastic cups containing drinks.
In   front   of  the   Faculty   Club  we  climbed   into   Dr.
Please turn to Page Eleven
See MAKE PLACES
A PSYCHOLOGIST LOOKS AT THE CAMPUS ENVIRONMENT
UBC REPORTS: Mr. Collins, perhaps we could begin
with you telling us a bit about yourself—where you've
come from?-and the kind of work you're doing at UBC
in the Office of Academic Planning.
DR. JOHN COLLINS: I joined UBC at the beginning
of this academic year. I came here from the University
of Utah, after completing doctoral work in a new
program—a combination of psychology of an
environmental sort with a considerable emphasis on
architecture theory, although I'm not a building designer
in the architectural draftsman sense.
As for my work, it's still being defined. Part of my
responsibility lies in deciding on the needs of the
Academic Planning Office, how it can be of service to
UBC as well as in terms of my own interests and the
areas where I'm expected to advise.
My own interests lie in studying the campus and the
University as a setting in which educational things
happen. At some point there must be a reasonable
amalgamation between the one concept of the
University as a single, huge organism and the other
concept of the University as a complex of individual
human beings, the student, the instructor, and the
student in the context of the instructional situation. In
addition, I'm a teacher-I have one section of
introductory psychology.
PLACE OF LEARNING
One thing that has struck me since coming here is the
amount of official emphasis on UBC as a place for
teaching. Only recently, in the report of the Senate
Committee on Long-Range Objectives, have I seen much
emphasis on thinking about the University as a place for
learning.
UBC REPORTS: I'd like to talk about the idea of
UBC as a teaching and/or a learning institution.
Certainly there has been greater emphasis in recent years
on the University as a teaching institution. Are you
saying that the learning environment is in some way
antithetical to the teaching environment or do you think
of those two aspects as being in some sort of balance so
that  teaching and research are combined to create a
learning environment?
DR. COLLINS: Your question suggests a separation
of function that I may not subscribe to. We know from
research that good things often go together: a good
instructor tends to be a good researcher and vice versa.
Consequently I would hesitate to say that a de-emphasis
on research is necessarily going to result in a greater
emphasis on learning. It may not even result in a greater
emphasis on teaching.
NOT AT EASE
What often is overlooked is the fact that teaching has
to be judged ultimately in terms of the student. One
question which has to be investigated is "Does the
information get transmitted in such a fashion that the
student assimilates it?" Based on the assumption that the
student has some facts at his disposal, he must be given
the tools by which he can integrate this information into
some kind of a whole. I suspect that what the student
does in the classroom has to have some relevance to
what he does as a member of society, as a member of the
University community and as a human being.
UBC REPORTS: Can we talk about the current
campus environment as you see it? It's probably fair to
say that UBC has done two things: first, because of the
large numbers of students we've created large classrooms
for mass lectures but because the small group learning
situation is regarded as desirable, we've also created
seminar rooms or small classrooms. This is the kind of
response UBC has made to the problems of the last
couple of decades. Has this response created a good
learning environment?
DR. COLLINS: That's a difficult question, but I
would have to say that the University has not always
Created the kind of environment in which learning can
flourish. UBC has created an environment which too
often maximizes the separation of the student from the
faculty member. This is expressed in a number of ways,
one is that students do not feel at ease in approaching
faculty members to ask an academic question, let alone
just to talk with him.
I would guess that most first year students haven't
the faintest idea where their instructors' offices are,
much less have ever been there. Second, I would say ' ;
this attitude has been incorporated into the design of
classrooms as conspicuous physical separations. A gulf
has been created by putting a lectern, either a long table
or a podium between the instructor and the student
which means, "You stay away, you're back there and '
I'm going to tell you how it is."Another aspect of this is
the raised podium in front of the classroom. This
admittedly increases the view of the instructor by the
student, but it also puts the teacher on a different social
plane and confers on him a different status. Faculty
offices have been made maximally disadvantageous to
the student. In the Angus Building, for example, faculty
members are six and eight floors above the campus. The
student may know his instructor is housed in the Angus '
Building, but he may have no idea of how to get there.
Students are amazingly reluctant to ask. If information
isn't posted conspicuously on a directory and if the
directory doesn't explain the location of each office in
the building, that's the end of it. They just don't pursue
it. I find, interestingly enough, a considerably more
authoritarian student body here than I found in the
States.
SOCIAL ATTITUDE
UBC REPORTS: Would you ascribe this to a
different cultural background or do you think the
environment of the campus is largely responsible for this
attitude?
DR. COLLINS: Both. I think some of it is ascribable
to the social attitude which is propagated by faculty.
Many do not wish to have their authority assailed, and a
freshman student is understandably a little reluctant to
do it. Students in the States say, "Look, we've had
enough. We refuse any further assignments or we refuse
to do a particular assignment." That doesn't happen
here. I would say that this attitude is of cultural origins, c
but much classroom architecture furthers a minimum of
interaction between students and faculty.
DR. JOHN  COLLINS
UBC REPORTS: What has been your reaction to
UBC's physical environment, the buildings that people
have to operate in?
DR. COLLINS: I'm committed to the notion that a
university campus is not really the place for a tour de
force of architecture. Somewhere between the rather
grandiose concept of universities as architectural
monuments and the existence of universities as bunches
of army barracks is some reasonable, practical statement
of a university as a set of social purposes which it aims
to fulfill and the translation of those purposes into a set
of architectural guidelines. British Columbia simply does
not have the funds to build campuses such as we see in
some places, nor do I think this is necessary.
UNITY OF DESIGN
UBC REPORTS: Do your remarks imply some kind
of unity to university design, a unity that's lacking here
at UBC?
DR. COLLINS: Not necessarily. A university is a
number of different ventures, and personally I find
highly diversified campus architecture more appealing
than a single, unified concept. I find, for example, a
more pleasant campus environment at the University of
Victoria than at UBC or Simon Fraser. However, I am
prepared to argue that SFU is a much more rigorously
designed campus than either of the other two. I have a
hunch that the design of SFU contributes considerably
to some of the trouble they've had out there. It's easy to
see, if you want to go out there on a rally day, how the
campus can facilitate mob psychology. When it's said
that a poll of students indicated that, say, 75 per cent
supported an issue, it usually means that somebody on
their soapbox on the mall harrangued the student body
until there was sufficient mob psychology operating that
he could afford to take a vote.
This means that physical spaces can constrain human
behavior. The mall at SFU is a beautiful example of
what we call a "non-bleeding" space. There is no way
that a student caught in the mall during a rally can
inconspicuously flow out of the space. If he chooses to
leave he has to do so conspicuously.
Conversely, Sproul Plaza, the equivalent of the SFU
mall at Berkeley, is a bleeding space. There are any
number of exits and this may be a safety valve which
prevents a group of people from becoming a mob.
UBC REPORTS: At UBC we've tended to create a
number of separate environments. In zoning the campus
for specific academic pursuits, are we isolating groups of
students from other groups of students? And faculty
from faculty?
DR. COLLINS: Certainly. However, I'm not prepared
to say that this is totally bad. One of the things that any
university has to do is to delineate a set of human
purposes which it wishes to have served. The
environmental psychologist may wish to take the
position of an impartial scientist and say, "if you will
specify those social purposes then I can suggest design
implications that will help meet them." Remember,
there are many, many ways to spend a million dollars for
a proposed new building. Part of my function is to see
that as many of those purposes as possible are met, but
they have to be spelled out very explicitly in order to
make rational decisions about how to spend the funds
allocated. All too often, the university thinks it has done
its job when it presents the architect with a "shopping
list" of things it wants hi a building and forgets that a
building is intended to serve people rather than to
contain objects. I fear that university architecture is
trailing behind business in coming to realize that it is
service as much as hardware that is the measure of
quality.
SUGGEST IMPLICATIONS
If you arrive at the decision that you want students
isolated from faculty and departments isolated from
each other and you are prepared to defend that decision,
I can suggest form implications. So can any good
architect, but he rarely has time or the training to spell
out the stated purposes. If, however, you want an
amalgamated campus with a considerable amount of
flow, interaction and interchange amongst faculties and
Please turn to Page Nine
Sec Remove
6/UBC   Reports/February 26,1970
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Seating in
Classrooms
Continued from Page Seven
students, then you do not allow specific groups to pull
, themselves away (as is the case with a number of
faculties here). But the decision whether to do that must
lie mutually with the academicians and the planners and
the students.
UBC REPORTS: Would you say then that the kind of
campus that has been created in the last couple of
decades at UBC has reflected a lack of purpose on the
part of the University about its educational goals?
DR. COLLINS: Sometimes, yes. It does reflect an
overlay of several campus planning notions. One is the
Main Mall with the East and West Malls running parallel
to it. Another is a concentric plan, with the proposed
new Sedgewick Library under the Main Mall at its centre
and various nodes of activity contoured around it at
two, five or ten minutes walking distance from the
Library. Any one of these plans is quite viable, but
several plans, none of which has been thought out
thoroughly, can only lead to more confusion.
My recommendation is that someone or some group
•must decide which campus planning notion ought to be
implemented for the student-faculty mix and off-campus
constituencies to which we plan to cater in the next ten
years.
UBC REPORTS: One of the ideas behind the new
Student Union Building was that of a unifying factor on
the campus which would, by its location and the services
^^fted, try to create a more cohesive feeling among
students. Do you feel that SUB meets that need?
DR. COLLINS: It certainly attempts to. All you need
tlo is walk in there any time between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
and see the degree to which the building is used. One
index (if only one) of the success of a building is the
number of people who use it.
SUB SUCCESSFUL
I   don't  know yet whether any one student spends
great amounts of time there, nor do I know the kind of
"student   that   spends   time   in   SUB.   But   I   think   the
Student Union Building is, in many respects, a singularly
successful building.
One thing that campus planners must realize is the
«that UBC is located, geographically and
itologically, in an area which is grey a good part of
the year. A disturbing percentage of the buildings match
that fog grey almost exactly. I maintain that on a good
foggy day it's possible to walk into arid out of a building
.and never see it!
I think this contributes to a depressing overtone to
the University at certain times of the year. All you have
to do is walk through the Education-Health Sciences
area to realize how grim this can be. The Music Building,
the Student Union Building, the new West Mall
faculty-seminar annexes have broken away from this. I
would like to see a considerable number of buildings
dotted about which alleviate the monotony of the
concrete grey. Concrete is a very beautiful building
material—it is one of the most workable and plastic
materials we have. In high sunlight areas, which UBC is
not, concrete against the blue sky is very striking. But
against a foggy sky or against a sky which is grey much
of the year, I think it's questionable. The University of
Victoria has done much better than UBC and SFU in
having a warmer look.
UBC REPORTS: If you could adapt existing
.buildings to improve UBC's intellectual environment,
what would you do?
DR. COLLINS: There are several things that I would
do. First, I'd point out that UBC is failing to meet the
needs of the disadvantaged student. By disadvantaged I
mean the student who is in a wheel chair or on crutches
or the student who is blind.
One of the problems is that there are numerous sets
of stairs. A student who is in a wheel chair cannot
negotiate stairs alone but can very easily negotiate a
ramp as steep as an ambulatory person can. It would be
desirable to have a three foot wide ramp at every set of
stairs.
In the case of the blind students, things are more
complicated in some ways and simpler in others. A blind
jtudent can negotiate stairs if he knows where they are.
We    find    in    designing   for   the   handicapped    that
traumatically blind students seem generally to be able to
form a mental map of the campus more quickly than do
congenitally blind students.
My feeling about classrooms is that they must be
made sufficiently flexible so that any reasonable kind of
faculty-student pattern of interaction can obtain. The
first thing I would like to see is that all instructional
spaces, with the exception of a minimum number of
auditoriums, had fixed seating removed and single,
moveable desk-table combinations inserted. These are no
more expensive than fixed seating. Secondly, I would
carpet the classrooms. Let me hasten to point out that
industrial carpeting is about as cheap as tile to install.
But the maintenance costs on carpeting are much less
than for tile or for hard floors. Carpeting cuts down the
noise level and creates a more homey feeling.
The faculty member who prefers a certain amount of
social distance from students can easily do so by staying
in front of the classroom, by standing on a podium or
using a lectern. The other kind of faculty member who
prefers a more informal, closer relationship need not
employ these restraints. I find it educationally crippling
in my class of some 75 students not to be able to stand
in the middle of them, not to be able to walk up to the
individual student because I have to dodge seats, not to
be able to break the class into small groups of five or six
students to work on individual problems.
I'd suggest that in future buildings, we build in these
flexibilities. Another thing which UBC has been slow in
exploiting are the advantages of media educational
techniques, such as closed circuit television and taping
particular lectures or demonstrations to be shown to
large classes.
Another very useful function of closed circuit or
taped presentations is to allow the instructor to observe
and improve his own lecturing techniques.
SHUTTLEBUS SYSTEM
Also lacking at UBC is the sufficient expression of
community interest and activity. There are some reasons
for this. One of them is the two- or three-mile separation
of the campus proper from the community as a result of
the Endowment Lands. There are a number of solutions,
such as the establishment of a downtown campus centre.
Another is the University offering a broader program of
extension courses than it now does. This, happily, is
being carried out now to some extent. Another thing
that I think should be discussed is the establishment of a
shuttlebus system to West Broadway, the Hydro transit
terminal and from the parking lots to the campus
proper. 1 will argue for free shuttle service that loops
around the campus.
UBC REPORTS: It's questionable that such a service
would discourage students from wanting to drive cars to
the campus.
DR. COLLINS: I do think we are doing students a
grave and unjustifiable disservice by placing parking lots
as far from campus facilities as they are, and a shuttlebus
service should include a system of stops that would bring
parking areas closer to the campus. I'm sure there are
better solutions than the present one.
UBC REPORTS: One aspect of planning which must
be frustrating is that of trying to predict what students
are going to do. An example of this was the placement
of the lawn areas and the walkways to the Student
Union Building. The lawn areas on the west side of that
building were laid down during the summer, and the
moment the students arrived they began to carve
walkways straight across the grass. Would it not be
better to leave these areas open until the students arrive
and then let them carve out their own pathways?
MAJOR ERROR
DR. COLLINS: Yes, many campuses do exactly that
and it works quite well. You've raised a very interesting
issue, though, that of trying to predict student activities.
Another is trying to force certain kinds of activities.
Architects are somewhat "big brotherish" in trying to
provide aesthetic experiences while the user is walking
from point A to point B. I'm not really sure that it's the
architect's right to enforce where and how I go, or to
provide for me his concept of aesthetic experiences. I do
think it's the architect's responsibility to provide the
opportunity for such experiences, but only if I wish to
take advantage of them on the way. In the case of SUB
the major error was in the positioning of the building so
that the major access to the building runs north and
south instead of east and west, unless UBC plans
extensive development on the east side of campus.
Some people are thinking along these lines for future
campus planning, but I have a strong suspicion that the
major pedestrian access of the campus is going to
continue to be east-west and not north-south. There is
an interesting misconception of the Main Mall—that it
provides a north-south walkway. If you stand on the
Mall and look at what happens, you'll find nobody walks
north-south, everybody walks east-west. The suggestion
that no walkways be put down for a year after a building
is complete is very apt. You simply watch where
students go, and then put in walkways.
Another thing that needs to be looked at in terms of
environmental planning are the three major
constituencies which use campus facilities. The first of
these is the student, certainly the largest user, but of
short duration. He may be here in thousands, but he is
usually only here for four years and six or seven at the
most. The second constituency is the faculty—a
considerably smaller number, but a much more
permanent user of campus facilities. And thirdly, there is
the constituency which we might call the viewer, or
observer of the campus; parents of the students who
come to the campus for an afternoon, the general public
which comes to a play or a concert or to use campus
facilities occasionally. They are here only for a limited
period of time and don't have the opportunity to
become intimately acquainted with buildings, traffic
patterns and campus customs. This group is frequently
made to feel unwelcome because information and
directions are not made easily available to them.
BUILDING SIGNS
I am strongly opposed to the practice, for example,
of using names only in building signs, for example,
Hennings Building, Angus Building, when it could just as
easily be the Hennings Physics Building, the Angus Social
Sciences Building. Every parent knows what his son or
daughter is majoring in but does not know the building
in terms of the faculty member for whom it was named.
UBC REPORTS: How does UBC compare with other
North American universities in devoting attention to the
architectural and environmental aspects of higher
education?
DR. COLLINS: In one sense, UBC is not as far along
as most other major universities having even larger
academic planning staffs and whose concerns include the
physical development of campuses and the consequences
thereof on the educational processes. On the other hand,
to my knowledge, UBC is the first North American
university to hire personnel specifically trained in
environmental psychology and sociology. There are four
U.S. universities offering doctoral training in the
environmental aspects of human behavior, but I'm afraid
that even these schools aren't capitalizing on their own
resource personnel as well as they might. In short, I
would say that in the past two or three years, UBC has
taken several important steps toward a more
user-oriented campus design.
UBC Reports/February 26, 1970/9 POISON
CENTER
ON DISPLAY
The Poison Control Center described
in the article on Page Five and on this
page will  be on public display during
UBC's triennial Open House March 6 and'
7.
A computer retrieval system which
provides immediate information for the
treatment of individuals who have been
poisoned will be demonstrated by Mr.
Glen Moir and his team of assistants in
the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
The demonstrations will take place in
room 160 of the George Cunningham
Building for Pharmacy. The display will
also include material on drug abuse.
*?#-: :Xi%
Poison
Continued from Page Five
1,700 commercially available products which have
toxic or potentially toxic properties.
The cards provide information on the toxicity of
each product, symptoms which may occur if it is
ingested and methods of treatment.
The B.C. Telephone Company is co-operating in
the project by listing in its regional directories, along
with such other emergency services as police and fire,
the telephone numbers for poison control centres at
local hospitals.
Development of the information system involved
several years of painstaking research by Mr. Moir as
principal investigator, assisted initially by pharmacist
Wendy Mar Eng and subsequently by pharmacist
Gillian Willis. Additional part-time help was provided
by two fifth-year science students and several senior
nursing students.
Others who have played major roles include the
staff of the UBC computing Centre, particularly assistant director A.G. Fowler and programmer John
Campbell, and Dr. A.A. Larsen, director of the division of epidemiology for the provincial department of
Health Services and Hospital Insurance.
Financial support for the project was provided by
two national health research grants plus grants from
the Canadian Foundation for the Advancement of
Pharmacy and the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation.
One of the first matters the UBC research team had
to consider in planning the poison control information program was the nature of information sources
available.
GAPS IN DATA FILLED
Canada does not have an agency, such as the U.S.
National Clearinghouse for Poison Control Centers,
for collecting, editing and distributing information on
national products. The federal Food and Drug Directorate does make available non-edited information
submitted to it from industry which is in turn
supplied to recognized poison control agencies.
Information from this source required further extensive checking by the UBC research team to fill in gaps
in essentail data. Another source used by the team
was feedback data associated with case reports of
poisoning submitted by hospitals to the provincial
Health Department.
The gathering and processing of data for use in the
poison control cards was meticulously checked for
accuracy and comprehensiveness at every stage.
10/UBC Reports/February 26, 1970
«***
The simple card file under the right arm of
assistant  professor  of pharmacy   Glen Moir
contains  data on   close  to  1,700 commercially-available   products   which   could   have
toxic effects if swallowed. Moir and a research
Material for each monograph or poison control
card was checked for any additions or corrections
necessary by a poison control review board consisting
of Dr. John Dean, department of pediatrics, UBC
faculty of medicine, who is also head of the poison
control centre at Vancouver General Hospital; Dr.
J.E. Halliday, professor of pharmacology; Mr. J.E.
Smith, director of pharmacy services. Royal Jubilee
Hospital, Victoria, and Dr. R.S. Tonkin, department
of pediatrics, faculty of medicine, UBC.
STORED IN COMPUTER
The material on each card was proofread an
average of five times before being sent to the printer
for publication and distribution to hospitals.
When a hospital receives a set of cards the staff
members involved are given a user training and
orientation program to ensure that they are familiar
with the operation of the system.
It took the UBC research team more than two
years to assemble the information and process the
data on the 1,700 products dealt with initially.
Information sometimes became outdated because of
the time lag involved between preparation and
publication.
The information gathered has now been stored in
the memory banks of the UBC computer which has
been programmed for rapid selection, storage and
retrieval of poison control information. Additions
and corrections to data can now be made quickly and
easily.
The object of the computer-based information
system is to study methods of data-processing the
various essential categories of information relating to
toxicity of drugs and other commercial products
having toxic properties and the symptoms and
treatments involved in cases of overdose or accidental
poisoning.
A second objective is to expedite and facilitate
processing and updating of product information and
provide a model system for the rapid processing,
storage  and   retrieval  of  information  on  drugs and
team developed the card file index for use in
B.C. hospitals. Small flags on the map behind
Moir denote the 44 hospitals which now have
the index. Photo by UBC Extension Graphic
Arts.
commercial products for use by hospitals with
computer facilities. a
Thirdly, it is hoped computer studies will provide"
solutions to current problems related to the
inadequacy of poison control and related information
and the multiplicity of poison control information
sources and the inefficiency and error potential
involved in use and interpretation of data from such
sources.
Symptoms are listed on the information cards
according to logical and standardized rules, from
onset symptoms to those which might appear at a
later time. In addition to updating cards the
computer can create a variety of cross-indices which
will make it easier for doctors and nurses and
subsequently for drug information service personnel
to find the information they need more quickly.
Distribution of the cards to hospitals is the
responsibility of the provincial health department.
Hospitals receiving the system agree to report all
incidents of accidental or intentional poisoning and
provide an evaluation of the information provided by
the new system. In addition, public health nurses
follow up with home visits and interviews with
parents where cases of poisoning have occured.
This type of feedback information, essential to the
evaluation of the program, is provided to both the
provincial health department and the UBC research
team for analysis.
NEW HEADQUARTERS
Sets of card files are now being supplied to
Saskatchewan hospitals and it is hoped that the
system will eventually be expanded farther beyond
the borders of B.C.
When UBC's Health Sciences Centre—a major
medical complex—is completed in the 1970's, it will
probably become the headquarters for a provincial
poison control centre. The centre would operate on a
24-hour basis and doctors anywhere in the province
would be able to phone in and get immediate
information on poison cases. FROM PAGE  SEVEN
Make Places out of Outdoor Spaces
Collins's car to drive to the south end of the campus
to look at the new gymnasia for the Faculty of
Education. As we pulled out of the parking space. Dr.
Collins pointed to a set of doors in the north wall of
the Frederic Wood Theatre and said: "Look, there are
doors that rarely get used. If you're an architect and
say 'door' then make it a door that serves human
function."
At the Education gymansia, Dr. Seaton stopped
outside the west end of the building and said, "The
architect had an interesting problem here of how to
handle a blank wall." (See picture at left above).
MAKE A BLANK WALL USEFUL
"One wonders," he continued, "whether the
ncrete   wall   couldn't   have  become  as   useful   to
pie as the glass at the top of tne wall, which lets
light in and allows one to see out.
"The architect has attempted to make the wall
interesting with a projecting buttress and by breaking
up the surface with decorative lines at various levels,
but it seems as though he was embarrassed by the
richness of his surfaces.
"On the whole, this is a good building and sincere
effort, but this external wall could have been used in
such a way that it could have said 'this is a
gymnasium.'
«
"For instance, why couldn't this wall have been
used as an informal, outdoor handball court, or why
couldn't hockey nets be set up against the wall for
athletes to practice shooting into."
BACKBOARD FOR TENNIS
"It could even have been a backboard for tennis
practice," Dr. Collins put in.
"Right," said Dr. Seaton, "and then there would
have been a case for projecting the north wall of the
gymnasium out even further than it now is to create a
sheltered niche. Then you're genuinely using the
external form for a purpose."
Our final stop was the open grass and concrete
area on the west side of the Student Union Building.
(See center picture above).
There was a faulty pre-assumption made about
SUB, Dr. Seaton said, namely, that the axis of transit
to the building was north-south.
Instead of following the concrete paths to the
main entrances to the building, which were aligned on
the north-south axis, students cut across the two
large, grassy areas in front of SUB. New paving had to
be laid down across the grass to correct the situation.
Many of the concrete pathways to the building are
walkways which  lead  nowhere,  Dr. Seaton pointed
out. The main pathway ("Look at the width of that
path," Dr. Seaton exclaimed, "you could run a drag
race on it") ends abruptly at the East Mall and then
narrows to a cramped asphalt walk which "sneaks
around the corner of the Library."
Dr. Seaton next turned his attention to the
flagpoles adjacent to SUB which double as notice
boards for advertising student events. (See picture at
right above).
"Why are the signs old and falling off and why are
some of the notice boards empty?" Dr. Seaton asked.
"Because nobody reads them. This exposed space,
where there's no shelter or protection, is a place that
nobody comes to. It has no quality of leading you in
and focusing your attention. It's just a bunch of poles
in the air."
LOOK AT THE WHOLE PICTURE
This sort of situation is a serious one on the UBC
campus, Dr. Seaton added. "We don't have outdoor
spaces that are places. It seems as though we plunk a
building down in the landscape without looking at
the relationship of one building to another in terms
of human uses and traffic patterns. We're wasting the
environment by not making places out of it."
-    4
DCM I V^l^l continued from Page Eight
form part of the perceived and effective environment
of all users.
^^Emphasizing the diversity of users, the
environmental psychologist will attempt to make
clear to decision-makers that campus constructions are
valuable insofar as they serve the different purposes
of inhabitants, visitors, and the public in the milieu
surrounding. Then he tries to suggest to those
decision-makers that their purposes will best be
served if users' purposes are served.
The issue is central to design, for all users in and
about a built environment have purposes of their own
which they will attempt to promote, good design or
no. If no firm path is built to the west door of the
Student Union Building, then a path will be trampled
into the lawn. If lecture halls are designed with
imposing podia for lecturers, then those who are
antipathetic to one-way classroom monologues will
stay away.
BUILDING PURPOSES
There is nothing radical in such perspective. Just as
a power relay station in the wilderness is shaped to
the character of the machinery it encloses, so
ordinary buildings should be shaped to users'
propensities.
Once building purposes are worked out, the next
problem is designing to meet them. For instance, a
purpose of the incipient new Sedgewick Library is to
encourage student search and discovery among books.
A number of design attributes derive from this
purpose, including provision for a variety of kinds of
individual and group study spaces, central location of
stacks between study areas, provision for small
supports to lean on while browsing, pull-out shelves
in stacks to make notes on, restrooms immediately
proximate to stack and study areas, a degree of visual
privacy in stacks, as well as other features deriving in
part from systematic studies in libraries on student
attention spans, duration of visits to stack areas, and
the like.
Once such a purpose is defined, the environmental
psychologist convenes with the architects and user
groups to generate such derivative spatial forms and
arrangements. If facilities are not used — because they
are bleak, hidden or under-identified, lacking privacy,
or whatever — then money is wasted in providing
them. Thus facilities first must relate to our
intentions for users and second must be designed to
encourage use. The E.P. draws on his research
knowledge and theory to contribute to form
solutions meeting these two requirements.
Earlier it was suggested that measurement clarifies
thinking about the merits of designed environments.
Thus it is useful to specify purposes in terms of
concrete objectives where possible: e.g. the per capita
stack browsing time in the new Sedgewick Library
may be increased 10 per cent over present rates.
Specific objectives force planners to .give serious
attention to implementing stated purposes. Objectives
also allow measurement of the effectiveness of
planning months or years later after construction is
complete.
Research (user behavior and opinion studies)
conducted by the environmental psychologist on
completed buildings serves three purposes: 1. it
reveals errors in planning; 2. it exposes needed
adjustments and correctable flaws and 3. the
feedback it provides increases the odds that "next
time" past errors will be avoided (because they are
known).
HUMAN REACTIONS
In his research role, the E.P. has a gay time; it
always fascinates him to study human reactions to
slight changes in the environment. In his advisory
role, the E.P. is somber and deliberative, for large
sums of money are to be spent on structures affecting
many persons; wasted facilities are dismal and
mistakes can be serious.
It was indicated earlier that as a design consultant,
the environmental psychologist properly does not
define purposes of academic buildings, relegating that
responsibility to the client or users. This would seem
to imply ethical irresponsibility. Yet the E.P. cannot
deny an ethical commitment in the design or research
work he conducts, and where he disagrees with stated
building aims, he tries to change them.
ETHICAL BALLAST
The E.P. retains an ethical ballast by adherence to
several beliefs based on behavioural evidence. Firstly,
as noted above, users modify environments which do
not suit their purposes. Secondly, buildings serve
many purposes, and usually most purposes of most
users are satisfied. Thirdly, environmental design can
always avoid "the tyranny of architecture" by
providing a variety of options to users, so that if one
feature does not suit them there is an available
alternative which they can use. Fourthly, designers
can always reduce obstacles and barriers to use of
available facilities by convenient arrangement, clear
identification, liberal access, proximity, provision for
a medicine of privacy screening against social
surveillance, and so on. Fifthly, there is no harm in
putting a little fun in things especially through variety
of shapes and appearances. These are
environmental-psychological principles which tend to
override explicit implementation of any particular
stated building objectives.
Finally, good design extends beyond the domain
of the environmental psychologist, for architectural
form often delights in its own right even though its
details may not suit behavioral criteria. The E.P. can
only continue to study and wonder at the world we
design.
■■■fcjfc Volume 16, No. 7-Feb. 26,
1119 I" 1970. Published by the Univer-
IIII II sity of British Columbia and
^^ mm^ ^** distributed free. J.A. Banham,
REPORTS Editor. Barbara ciaghorn, Production supervisor. Letters to the Editor should
be addressed to the Information Office, UBC,
Vancouver 8, B.C.
UBC Reports/February 26, 1970/11 ^m^ UBC ALUMNI    ■ ■
Contact
Dr. W.C. Gibson, professor of the history of medicine
and science, studies an old letter by Dr. Frank
Wesbrook,  the first president of UBC. The Alumni
Fund has approved a grant of $1,500 to assist the
publication of a biography of Dr. Wesbrook, which
Dr. Gibson has written. Bill Loiselle photo.
$17,000 BURSARY PLAN
Alumni Aid Needy Students
The UBC Alumni Association has launched a
major program of providing financial aid to qualified,
needy UBC students. At a recent meeting, the Alumni
board of management voted to grant $17,000 to
support two new bursary schemes. The money is to
come out of contributions to the 1969 Alumni Fund.
"The Association has noted for some time that
many students have been experiencing difficulty in
financing their University education," said Ian
Malcolm, director of the Alumni Fund. "It is for this
reason that we've decided to give more emphasis to
this side of our academic awards program. We want to
do as much as we can to ensure that highly qualified
students are not prevented from attending UBC due
to financial need."
The board of management approved the granting
of 10 John B. Macdonald Alumni Bursaries annually
in the amount of $350 each. These new awards are to
be made on the basis of academic ability and need
and will be given to students entering UBC from a
B.C. regional college.
The other new program approved, the UBC
Alumni Bursary Plan, was granted $13,500 to be
awarded to students in varying amounts. These
bursaries are to be granted on the basis of financial
need and academic standing.
At a recent meeting the Friends of UBC (U.S.A.)
Inc. approved the southern California UBC Alumni
Branch's plan to establish a $500 scholarship. This
12/UBC Reports/February 26, 1970
annual award is to be made to a qualified American
student entering UBC, with priority consideration
being given to a student from California. It will be
financed by Friends of UBC (U.S.A.) Inc., through
the Alumni Fund.
These new awards will mean that in 1970 the
Alumni Fund will allocate a record $55,000 to
support the Alumni scholarship and bursary program.
Through its various phases, the program will assist
more than 100 students in studying at UBC. The
lion's share of this support will provide 64 N.A.M.
MacKenzie Alumni Scholarships of $350 each to
qualified freshmen from all over B.C.
Considerable support will continue to be provided
for the other key scholarship programs. These include
10 N.A. M. MacKenzie American Alumni Scholarships,
awarded annually to qualified American students
attending UBC; the $500 Daniel M. Young Memorial
Scholarship, awarded annually to a qualified
American student entering UBC; and the $200 UBC
Nursing Division Alumni Scholarship, awarded to one
or more qualified nursing students.
Increased support for scholarships and bursaries is
made possible through donations to the Alumni
Fund, which have come in at a healthy rate during
the current campaign. Malcolm commented: "We're
hoping to exceed our 1969 target of $250,000 so we
can continue to expand our programs aimed at
fostering academic excellence at UBC."
Pool Project
Given $12,000
The UBC Alumni Association has agreed to
contribute $12,000 toward the covering of Empire
Pool. The Alumni board of management approved the
grant, subject to certain conditions, at a recent
meeting following the presentation of a proposal by
the University Recreation Committee. Money for the
contribution will be provided out of donations to the
1969 Alumni Fund.
At the meeting, the Recreation Committee
outlined the need for a more readily available
recreational swimming facility on the University
campus. The committee noted that Empire Pool lies
unused for seven months each year while winter
session students are on campus. The committee
envisaged the pool being covered by a plastic bubble
roof, which would be removed in summer. The total
cost is estimated at $125,000.
"Our Association is very pleased to be able to
participate in this project," said Jack Stathers,
executive director of the Alumni Association. "We
think the most important advantage to covering the^
pool is that it would give 21,000 students
opportunity to do some recreational swimming on"
campus during a time of the year when they are
studying hard and when convenient, casual recreation
is pretty important to them."
The Alumni grant is designed to match a $6,000
contribution pledged by the Alma Mater Society and
a $6,000 gift requested from the graduating class. The
recreation committee hopes to receive contributions
also from the UBC Board of Governors, private
donors, and revenue from pool operation.
The Alumni board of management pledged the
$12,000 subject to the UBC Board of Governors
approving the project and submitting it to tender by
April 30, 1970. At such time, if the project has not
started, the pledge becomes null and void. The
Alumni Associaton has made its pledge conditio1"^^^
also on the pool being used primarily for recreational^
purposes.
*   *  *
There's still hope for alumni wanting to see Expo
70 in Japan. A few seats are still available on the
Alumni charter flight going June 20 to July 12.
Return fare is $337. Further information: 228-3313.
o JUMP OI\l A
JITNEY a AMD
° TRUCK OIM
DOWIM  TO"
ALUMNI
MARCH 7
o CECIL GREEN PARK
UBC ALUMNI ASSOCIATON
TOURS o REFRESHMENTS
VISUAL DISPLAYS o SLIDE
SHOW a 6251 N.W. MARINE
DRIVE BEHIND FORT CAMP
RESIDENCES o   228-3313 o

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