In partnership with The Pride School Atlanta, this course explores advocacy through the design of space at three scales of architecture (in this case, as the design of building): interior space, the building, and the landscape. Can architects re-imagine the future of educational spaces and social equity by placing attention to the bidirectional relationships of space and behavior within the context of gender equality and human rights? Can advocacy become a mainstream practice, a political voice, for architects?
Prototypes are typically thought of as nearly complete products or technologies which are used to conduct system, alpha or beta testing near the end of a development process. This course is designed to expand on the idea of prototyping and teach how to employ a variety of tools as methods to inspire, contextualize, evaluate and inform any phase of any research or development activity.
In this course, students will create research-based comics about a topic related to urban development, particularly in relationship to Atlanta’s underserved West Side neighborhood. They will then present these comics at an on campus exhibition with the goal of raising awareness about the issues and assets of the West Side. While comics may seem an odd fit for serious issues, many organizations--from the UN to the Alzheimer's Association--and authors have begun using them to explore and educate on such topics as climate change, medical issues, and violence against women.
Biodiversity Dynamics will be a project-based course will explore where plants and animals live on the landscape, and how and why they move or evolve in response to environmental changes and human impacts. We will use real species, landscape, climate, and human impact data to explore biogeographic rules, such as the latitudinal & elevation diversity gradients. We will also learn about how landscape ecologists use species distribution models and corridor models for conservation purposes.
Making the List: Banned Books, Best Sellers, and Best Of
What makes a book a success? In this writing course, we will examine three measures of book quality: literary prizes, bestseller lists, and the banned book list. The course will include projects that enhance written, oral, visual, electronic and nonverbal (WOVEN) communication skills while honing students’ ability to think and talk critically about literature, culture, and consumer habits within a wide variety of reading communities and other audiences.
Vertically Integrated Project: Civic Data and Design
The purpose of this course is to research and develop information, communication, and media systems to address regional civic issues, using techniques from design, computing, and social sciences, in collaboration with government and community partners. These systems will have real-world impact, and promote social sustainability, equity, and justice.
How do you know what a user wants to see on a wearable display, whether an app feature is being used, whether a clickable button is better than a swipe, or whether a person who is blind can use your physical product? Research methods for HCI allow you to investigate such questions and develop evidence to inform design decisions. In this course, you will learn about common methods employed in user-centered and evidence-based design. You will also learn how to choose methods, plan studies, and perform research that is inclusive of users with a range of abilities.
The goal of the Map Room project is to develop local spaces for grassroots map-making, where people can creatively and collaboratively explore data. Conventional digital maps help people see rapid, large-scale social and environmental changes as they unfold. But often these maps are based on abstract data alone and are disconnected from the lived experiences of their audiences. The Map Room project aims to empower people to understand, but also challenge and even redefine, the stories that maps and data tell about their lives and about the places they live. In this tool, students will visit a Map Room on campus to make their own maps and to reflect on the potentials and pitfalls of map-making in a contemporary civic context.
In recent years, a variety of disciplines in the sciences have made achieving sustainability one of their foundational values. Scholars within these disciplines have devoted their expertise to developing programs and campaigns for achieving a more sustainable world. But these campaigns need broad public support to succeed, and academic scholarship isn’t always written with a public audience in mind. How can scholars present their ideas so as to make them widely accessible and thus, more successful? This tool will introduce you to important concepts in science communication, and guide you through an analysis of real-world examples of sustainability-related science communication. It also includes wrap-up questions, additional resources, and suggestions for collaborative learning opportunities.
Over the past decade public institutions have put considerable resources towards improving the quality and availability of civic data, such as budget and expenditure information, building permits, air quality readings, police incidents, and property ownership records. The agencies behind these efforts claim that data sets alone are sufficient to create transparency, increase civic engagement, foster innovation, and ultimately make our communities more sustainable. However, making civic data accessible does not necessarily make them valuable or actionable. To take effective and ethical action, we need contextual information about the processes involved in creating, managing, and interpreting civic data. In this modular, multi-day tool, you will create an accessible, practical guide to an existing civic data set. Working through the modules below can help you, and subsequently others, engage with civic data in productive ways.