© Graham Larkin 2013
Here, in brief, are some production parameters for the projects on this site.
All projects were multimodal (i.e. layering and integrating text, image and data) but there were no predetermined limits on the media used for production or distribution. Having been trained as a print historian I made a strong case for paper-based projects. At a time when we’re so caught up in novel gadgets and experiences we can easily lose sight of the affordances of older technologies (such as paper sheets and codices) that can be transformed by new tools (such as open source GIS information and the latest imaging software).
In a spirit of free enterprise I ended up approving digital projects, or hybrid projects such as this web site for printing neighbourhood running maps. As anticipated, electronic projects such as web sites resulted in some formidable technical challenges, some of which have yet to be resolved. In all cases an emphasis was placed on what I call vernacular design solutions–namely formats tailored to specific content and audience. Good examples are the Iqaluit map, which includes features important to locals but not shown on existing maps, and the fact that the route colours in the Sault Ste. Marie transit maps are derived from the new city logo.
There were no preestablished limits on the project team size, and some projects ended up with as many as four collaborators. In future I would be inclined to cap the team size at two or possibly three, to encourage serious input from each team member and to facilitate grading. Many of the top projects were entirely conceived and executed by a single student, and some some individuals produced more than one project. Not all of the secondary projects are posted on this site, but for each student at least one project is shown.
I was available for office hours many days a week, and students were strongly encouraged to consult with me every few weeks. As a rule those students fared best who produced something early and kept returning with successive drafts. In future I would use deadlines and grading to encourage all students to do the same. One of the tasks would be submitting a Project Description by the sixth week, and to update it as the class progressed.
Students were required to chart the contours of each project in an extensive description, the format of which is shown here. This form was only fully developed at the end of the class, but in future I would implement it at an early stage.