What is a “Looking Outwards” Assignment?
Every week this semester, you will be asked to “look outwards” — to browse various blogs and feeds in order to deepen your knowledge of the field, and familiarize yourself with the current state of the art. You will then be expected to report on your findings, as described below — hopefully, with a critical perspective. Often, the “Looking Outwards” assignments will be thematically oriented. There is no restriction on the sources of information you may use for a “Looking Outwards” assignment — for example, you are welcome to use the library, especially to learn about older works which may not be well-documented on the Internet.
A “Looking-Outwards Assignment” is one blog post containing 3 discoveries.
The emphasis is on “discoveries” — browse blogs and other sources to encounter and report on three projects that you haven’t seen before. (For this course, it may be most appropriate to select projects that are made by individuals or small teams, rather than large companies, but that’s not a strong requirement).
How to do a Looking Outwards Assignment.
In a blog post, embed relevant images or video of each project, and write a paragraph (~150 words) about each project, in which you:
- Explain the project in a sentence or two (what it is, how it operates, etc.);
- Explain what inspires you about the project (i.e. what you find interesting or admirable);
- Critique the project: describe how could it have been more effective; discuss some of the other possibilities that it suggests, or opportunities it missed; explain what you think they got right, and how they got it right.
- Research the project’s chain of influences. Dig up the ‘deep background’, and compare the project with related work or prior art, if appropriate. What sources inspired the creator this project?
- Please be sure to label your blog post with our WordPress “category”, Looking-Outwards.
- Title your blog post(s) consistently, with the title YourName-LookingOutwards-1, etc.