Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall term 2013

Neighborhood NarrativesGlobal Classroom:  Istanbul Collaboration

3 credits
 T 12:30 – 15:20
Instructor: Hana Iverson, Visiting Professor, CoMAD + CoAS, Drexel University
Guest Instructor:  Dr. Eugenia Ellis, Associate Professor of Architecture, CoMAD + Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Drexel University
Istanbul: Dr. Mine Ozkar, Professor, Department of Architecture, Istanbul Technical University

Neighborhood Narratives is an out-of-the-classroom locative media course that uses alternative technologies such as easy-to-use mobile Augmented Reality, basic mobile recording devices, on-line open-source tools such as blogging, folksonomies and Google Maps along with analog resources such as sketch maps to produce context rich stories that portray aspects of a neighborhood. It explores the real and metaphorical potentialities of mapping, walking, and way-finding as methods of developing attachments, connecting, and constructing narratives in a virtual and spatial locale. Using GPS, cell phones, audio and visual recording, the Neighborhood Narratives projects engage the physical and economic infrastructure of local cultures, facilitating global comparisons and growing appreciation of the multiple ways in which local processes are intricately tied to regional, national and global forces and events. With Professor Mine Ozkar at Istanbul Technical University, this class will create an international project using locative technologies to reconceptualize streets and sidewalks as green public spaces.

No prior technological experience is necessary.

Led by Visiting Professor Hana Iverson, Managing Director of the Center for Creative Research (, this class has received the Global Classroom award.

Learning Outcomes

·       Gain an introduction to theories and practices of design for urban environments, green public space and art in the public sphere that integrates mobile media with community engagement
·       Examine spatial issues of green public space as it relates both to Philadelphia and Istanbul
·       Reflect on a series of creative artistic community-based collaborations
·       Present work-in-progress and final products for peer review and revision


The class is 3 hours long once a week. The class will introduce methods of collecting data and artifacts, internet and field observation along with the examination of project presentations with rigorous discussion. Mobile city-wide exploration (public transportation, on foot) will include the presentation of the final project on location in the city. The class will also engage in peer dialogue and interdisciplinary teamwork, to extend the breadth of a project through collaboration. Participants in the class are responsible for communication with their international project student team members in Istanbul, initiating Skype, email, Facetime and/or other means of communication in order to complete an international team project. Students will keep semester long blogs including observations, photos, video and audio recordings (where equipment and resources allow) - a personal diary of the Neighborhood Narrative experience. 

Students are expected to complete readings and project assignments before each class. Attendance is greatly valued as the course relies heavily on students’ open and intense participation in class.

The role of faculty in this course is to 1) facilitate the learning process of individuals and the group; 2) serve as a subject matter expert when needed; and 3) to assist you in developing your final project presentations and other writing assignments.

Grading and Course Requirements

Attendance Requirements: (35% of grade)
Research, attendance and participation at all class sessions
Participation in and completion of international assignment
REQUIRED Mid-term and Final presentations

Attending the sessions outlined in the schedule is a requirement of this course. 
More than two unexcused absences will decrease the overall grade by one unit for each additional missed class. Four absences will result in a failing grade for the course.  If you are going to be absent, please inform the instructors by email at least 24 hours in advance. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to make up any work in a timely fashion.

Graded coursework: (65% of grade in total)
1.     In-class assignments  (30%)
2.     Due Dec. 3: International project completed in collaboration with students in Istanbul (25%)

Course Instructor Contact Information – Office Hours by Appointment:
Hana Iverson, Office: 241 URBN, email:
Gena Ellis, Office: 134 URBN, email:

Disability Statement:
Student with disabilities requesting accommodations and services at Drexel University need to present a current accommodation verification letter (AVL) to faculty before accommodations can be made.  AVL’s are issued by the Office of Disability Resources (ODR).  For additional information, contact ODR at, 3201 Arch St., Street, Suite 210, Philadelphia, PA  19104, 215.895.1401 (V), or 215.895.2299 (TTY).

Student’s Responsibilities:

Academic Honesty and Integrity:
Drexel University is committed to a learning environment that embraces honesty. Faculty, students, and administrators share responsibility for maintaining this environment of academic honesty and integrity, accepting responsibility for all actions, personal and academic. Each member of our community is expected to read, understand, and uphold the values identified and described for academic integrity. It is the student’s responsibility to maintain acceptable academic practices. Please refer to the Student Handbook at:
An explanation of what constitutes academic dishonesty can be found on the Provost’s website at:
An explanation of the sanctions given for academic dishonesty can be found in your Student Handbook and on the website of the Office of Conduct and Community Standards at

Drop/Add/Withdrawal Policy:
Once you are registered in this course, it is your responsibility to attend the course, drop the course, or withdraw from the course. Dropping and withdrawing are distinct actions that affect your course enrollment status. In either case, a form from the Registrar’s Office, with signatures, is required to change course enrollment status. There are billing, financial aid, and academic record affects for changes to your enrollment status in this course; therefore, you must attend to the proper procedure when dropping or withdrawing from a course. Please refer to the University’s drop/add/withdrawal policies and timelines on the Registrar’s website or contact your academic advisor.

Financial Obligations:
Students who do not satisfy financial obligations to the University and have been placed on financial hold are not entitled to a grade by the instructor.

The student acknowledges receipt of this syllabus and the information herein contained by continuing to attend this course. The instructors reserve the right to make changes to this syllabus if circumstances warrant such change. All major changes will be provided to the students in writing.

Course Schedule and Outline

Week 1: Sept. 24
Hana: Introduction to the course: 
·       What is a neighborhood, what is narrative in the context of this class
·       Description of the global collaboration for the class.
·       Presentation of the Mechanics of Place project as inspiration for the assignment
·       Present Shadows from Another Place by Paula Levine  to show an example of how two cities can be layered onto each other virtually.

In class assignment: Creating an internationally networked class via Blogs.  Class blog and students blogs created and linked.

Gena: Introduction to the history of Philadelphia city planning and green public space (and share this presentation with the Istanbul class).

Project Assignment:  Pick a green public space in Philadelphia and photograph the spatial rhythm of the city, thinking about the relationship between green and non-green spaces.  Think about pattern and form.  Create a selection of three images, grouped as one, and bring to class next week.

Week 2: Oct. 1   - Walking in the City, Rhythms and Patterns

Review of photography assignment, considering rhythm (spatial relations, repetition, similarity, difference, variance, patterns)

Create a collective class blog portrait, using our photos, of a rhythm of Philadelphia, green and non-green for Istanbul class

Introduction to Green Public Space in Istanbul –presentation from Mine

Discussion of International Assignment:

Students will be teamed with students in Istanbul class.  Email addresses of each team will be given out to students in Istanbul and Philadelphia.  The term-long project includes charting a route through the partner city… and designing hypothetical green public interventions along that route. You can define these ideas with photographs and/or drawings or sound and load them into an Augmented Reality platform that will be tagged to the route.  No technical skills required!  We will be using a simple upload platform.

Reading Assignment Due:
Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life. Spatial Practices, Chapter VII: Walking in the City. University of California Press, 1984.
Kevin Lynch, The Image of the City.  Chapter III: The City and its Elements.  MIT press, 1960

Week 3: Oct. 15 – Physical and Augmented Public Space / Sounding the City

The relationship between physical and virtual space. How green space can be hybrid space
Presentation about perception and public space. 

Augmented Reality – how-to
Zooburst and Junaio tutorial; tech specs for sound capture, photo, video; what is image recognition technology and how is it embedded in virtural environments (games, VR, AR etc)
Media requirements for international project defined

Look at photos from Istanbul class and review reading from Istanbul readings.

Reading Assignment Due:
Amy Mills, Streets of Memory: Landscape, Tolerance and National Identity in Istanbul.  Chapter I: The Turkish Nation in the Urban Landscape: Cultural Geographies of a Nationalizing City.  The University of Georgia Press, 2010.

Green 2015 reading

Assignment:  Test in Augmented Reality platform

Week 4: Oct. 22 – What is public space?

Review AR assignment

Discuss different notions of public sphere and ownership and regulation.  Hannah Arendt reading in class – small discussion groups.

Review uprising of Taksim Gezi park in Istanbul.  Review government attitudes towards public space in Philadelphia.

Reading Assignment Due:
Creating Democracy: A Dialogue with Kryzstof Wodiczko.  Art Journal, Vol. 62, No. 4.

Amy Mills, Streets of Memory: Landscape, Tolerance and National Identity in Istanbul.  Chapter 3: Garden Street: Narratives of Contested Place

Week 5: Oct. 29 – Route, wayfinding and mapping

Discussion of the route for international projects, how to map these routes
Landscape art and Locative Media.  Richard Long, Robert Smithson, Teri Rueb and EcoArtTech, , Rebecca Solnit: Infinite City

Discussion of Map design for this project

Reading Assignment Due:
Mobile Interface Theory
Mapping and Representations of Space
Greenworks Executive Summary + Rooftops to Rivers

MID-TERM PROJECT:  Assignment to visit, experience, research a Philadelphia green project

Week 6: Nov. 5Presentations of Mid-term Projects + Rituals in Green Public Space

Either a 6-page written report or creative work researching, describing and responding to the green project in Philadelphia that you visited during the previous week.

Presentation about Rituals in Green Public Space

Week 7: Nov. 12 – Designing green
Map designs due
Review of Map designs
Different approaches to spatial design considering both physical and virtual space

Assignment:  Designing for Istanbul/Philadelphia, Map design assignment

Reading Assignment Due:
Phillips Rejuvenate Cities
Shawn Micallef, Stroll: Pyschogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto. Chapter: Rouge Park. Coach House Books, 2010.

Week 8: Nov. 19
Review of first design efforts;  Review of Istanbul class design.  Final map design decided and tasks assigned

Week 9:  Nov. 26
Putting all the media together in the Augmented Reality platform

Week 10: Dec. 3
Final Presentations and critique:  AR + map Istanbul/Philadelphia Green Public Space