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Pleasant Surroundings


When I started Helmer’s reading for this week “Picturing Place”  immediately came to my mind one of my favorite places on campus. Java Wallys, a coffee and tea shop located next to the RIT library, is a great example of a multi-modal  environment. Helmer explain that most of the places utilizes different ways of attracting their target public: by their decoration, music and even specific smells, that evokes (Helmer ch3) different emotions. Multimodality was introduced by Gunther Kress and Theo Van Leeuwen to describe those spaces that combine sound, image and tactile sensation to communicate with the public. They states that ” Verbal language may be one of the modes of communication, but it is not the primary method of conveying an argument or meaning.” And sure is not. When I first visited the Java’s Wally’s store I was impressed for the vintage style decoration, with all the old long play covers they have over the walls, and the rustics colorful chairs along with a lot of interesting artistic compositions. As part of the entire assembly they also have  indie/alternative music that accompany the pleasure of tasting and smelling a great coffee or a relaxing cup with tea. It reminds me all of the bohemian style bars I used to visit back in my country. This place really fulfills its purpose of causing a pleasant and relaxing effect on all who visit. It was designed primarily to an alternative audience that can “relax, converse, or find inspiration”,  and the entire set emphasize its purpose.


I'm from the Dominican Republic and did my BA in Communications. I like creative writing, blogging, reading poetry and playing guitar in my spare time. Also I like to spent time volunteering and promoting social causes. I love to travel and Im fascinated about anthropology and anything that has to do with people's behavior. I am currently studying the MS in Communication and Media Technologies and hope to be done in summer of next year.



Great post – I love Java’s too! I think it’s also interesting to consider that these visual elements appeal to a very specific group of people. There are some that might find the environment cluttered and chaotic and prefer something like Artesano’s instead. This is why consideration of these visual elements is so important.


I really love this picture! The placement of the coffee cup really shows a good vantage point, and makes me feel like I’m there enjoying a cup of coffee. I’ve never noticed the metal siding on the side of the bar – I think it goes well and adds to the bohemian atmosphere. I’ve always found Java’s very comforting as well, even though I’m not a huge coffee drinker.


I love this too! My image this week is also of my favorite coffee shop. I think you did a better job at capturing your point of view. My photo is taken from the front door of the shop. It’s weird how our individual interpretations differ. Cheers to coffee :)


Java’s was the first place that I went to when I first came to campus. The vantage point that you captured this shot really makes it seem as if you are in a small coffee shop in another country outside of RIT. The vintage filter helps too. I think what I am most fascinated about this place is that there is always something new that I’ve never seen before so I’m constantly seeing a new visual element in the same place.


The perspective, along with the different filters and effects certainly help to accentuate the meaning of a photo. Glad you liked my post this week. Thanks for the feedback. :)


Great shot! I feel its getting repetitive already but i have to say i love the composition you organized with the coffee in the picture, the filter also gives it somewhat of a warm feeling, kind of relaxing. The image reminds me how i feel when i go into Javas, there are certain places that have such a pleasant atmosphere to specific public’s that you just feel different when you walk into them. Javas is a place that just makes me feel relaxed once i take a seat and start listening to the music.


I really like your image here, I think you captured exactly what Helmers was talking about in the reading. When I am at Javas, I feel their environment does evoke very positive emotions. They have a lot of art specific decor on the walls, and this combined with their music and furnishings.. the atmosphere is very welcoming.


Amarillis! You’re on a roll this week because I’m the next person who will post in your picture this week. I really loved your picture because like the chapter says you have different ambiances for different people and every restaurant/cafe for example likes to achieve it. They can have great food/coffee and that is why people might go there but they also might have a great ambiance that reminds you of your childhood and that is why people go. Everyone has their own perception of Java’s. I personally love it because it makes me feel cozy.


I agree with you Amarilis, this is a fine example of how the combination of décor, music, lighting, space distribution and even the employees personality and style can create a signature atmosphere for a restaurant. Each element on Java helps to maintain that indie/bohemian/hipster kind of feel. I think they really appeal to their main target, which are mostly bohemian people who would like to relax enjoying a good cup of coffee or tea while listening to some great music and receiving an awesome service. I don’t visit Java very often but is one of the few places on campus where I can sit and relax.


Love this! I am a coffeholic though, so that may explain why. I definitely can see your representation of Helmers text, although I was surprised to read the description because I thought for sure it would be based on the Starbucks reading! Nonetheless, Java’s does fulfill its purpose :-)

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