Weekly Outline & Syllabus

Weekly Outline

Applied Research Collab: URTing NYC
PUDD 4570B; CRN 6089
Tuesday 12 – 2:40pm  Room L-1006

Jess Irishirishj@newschool.edu – office N-721 [hrs: Wed3-6]
Jane Pironepironej@newschool.edu – office – L-1009 [hrs: by appt]

Course Description:
Collaborating to build the interface and data sets within the  Urban Research Toolkit (URT), students will work on projects focused on the cultural, socio-economic, ecological, and historical currents that drive the post-industrial city of New York. Urban Research Toolkit is a multi-interface tool that enables exploration and creation of the layers of urban data, exposing and mapping rich, multifarious histories of spaces that are rapidly changing.  More than generating content for one specific research topics, URT aims to connect and relate multiple forms of research, thereby revealing unforeseen patterns and emergent views of new relationships.   Field recordings, interviews, writings, photography and GIS mapping will reveal the stories, local histories, demographic shifts within thematic layers that can be navigated both through mobile devices and a web interface. This collab is part of the Applied Research within the urban initiatives at Parsons, and will also collaborate with the Media Archeologies class within Media Studies.

Learning Outcomes:
By the successful end of the semester, students will:

  • Demonstrate a solid understanding of urban sensing, mapping and modeling, as it relates to different project contexts.
  • Articulate and develop research criteria within the Urban Research Toolkit.
  • Develop their own problem sets  within shared projects and model their research data effectively.
  • Design creative and effective interface modules related to specific research projects within URT.
  • Articulate their own understanding of research data within their maps through presentations and descriptive writing
  • Participate effectively within a collaborative design process.
  • Evaluate their interface design through user testing and analysis.

Themes within Collaborative Projects:
By simultaneously interrogating several research projects while designing the interface modules for Urban Research Toolkit, the following themes will arise:
Citizen Sensors: urban sensing, environmental pollution, noise, ethnographic research, activist mapping.

OUThistory: activist history, cultural networks, non-linear histories,  conceptual maps, narrative voices, queer identity, civil rights

Urban Media Archeology: media networks, archival research, invisible systems, urban infrastructure
Evaluations and Grading
Project 1 investigation: 20%
Project 2 investigation: 20%
Class discussion: 20%
Research projects: 20%
Final interface: 20%

Course Policies:
Email:  Students are required to maintain and check their NEW SCHOOL email accounts daily, except over Thanksgiving break.  We both receive a LOT of email every day so when you write to us you must CC both of us and put “URT – Subject” in the subject line.  If you do not receive a requested reply within 24hrs, please re-send your email and be sure the email has the correct subject line.

Adaptations: If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, emergency medical information to share with us, or if you need special arrangements, please bring it to our attention as soon as possible.

Attendance: Class attendance is mandatory. Students are expected to participate in each class session, be punctual to all scheduled meetings, and complete all coursework by the due dates assigned. It is your responsibility to make up work missed due to an absence. If you know in advance that you will miss a class you should notify us as a courtesy in advance – it will be much easier for you to make arrangements to share notes with other students. Your third absence will guarantee your failing grade in the course, as stated in the Parsons Student Handbook. http://www.newschool.edu/forms/ss_student_handbook.pdf

Courtesy: Please turn off your cell phones for the duration of class.  Students arriving more than 15 minutes late will be dismissed and marked absent for the day.

Course Outline:
Session 1 – Aug 31     Introduction, Mapping precedents, URT
Session 2 – Sept 7     Urban Sensing ( w/ Joe Saavedra) on Citizen Sensors
Session 3 – Sept 14     Urban Sensing/Data Sets/UXD Primer
Session 4 – Sept 21     Urban Sensing/Research
Session 5 – Sept 28     Presentations: NYC Environmental interface
Session 6 – Oct 5     Framing OUThistory
Session 7 – Oct 12    Urban XYZs: past, present, future, imaginary
Session 8 – Oct 19     Midterm: Individual meetings
Session 9 –   Oct 26     Team Presentations: Interface|OutHistory
Session 10 – Nov 2         Final project teams, problem sets
Session 11 – Nov 9        Presentations of user scenarios, research plans
Session 12 – Nov 16       Team Meetings

~ Thanksgiving Break ~

Session 13 – Nov 30     UI prototypes
Session 14 – Dec 7     Final Presentations
Session 15 – Dec 14     User Testing & Evaluation

Readings: (see weekly outline for most up-to-date list)

An Introduction to Buckminster Fuller by Victoria Vesna

Urban Probes: Encountering our Emerging Urban Atmosphere by Eric Paulos and Tom Jenkins

Introduction; Sensing the City by Brian McGrath and Grahame Shane

What is User Experience Design by Kimmy Paluch
The City Image and it’s Elements; The Image of the City by Kevin Lynch
Carto-City: Mapping and Urban Space; Mapping a City by Denis Cosgrove
All at a Glance Mapping a City by Lucy Lippard

Experimental Geography: Radical Approaches to Landscape, Cartography, and Urbanism by Nato Thompson

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