14 February 2007

meeting with chris re: thesis proposal

originality: marginal. well-traveled technique in art, well-tested technique in STEM education with one change in nuance... it's wired!

contribution to field: "a more diverse construction toolkit that is to be used for building a wider variety of interactive computational artifacts than what currently exists."

contribution to media lab themes: some incremental contribution to education: i do like the use of found objects - this is a good thing for some one in constructivism at the lab to try. otherwise seems about average for the areal.

awareness of related work: good.

proposed methodology/evaluation: fine.

scope: narrow. i believe that nichols could expand the notion of environmentally-specific materials and topics. how does she relate this to design for development style work?

quality of presentation: fine

suggestions for minor revisions: broaden scope to develop methodologies for integrating local materials, themes, topics.

suggestions for major revisions: expand theorization of indigenous or local knowledge and technologies. polanyi and baird refs are good, but should include some geertz, some dunne, and some other viz local/tacit technology. she can see me for more references.


ok. so. wow. it's hard for me to organize my thoughts today.

themes to bring out:
mutual debugging?
local availability of materials

1) mutual debugging being that by using wire, there is the option to "debug" a mechanism... more so than having to rebuild it every single time. is it actually possible to carry the thinking of the computer to the physical world? the physical world back to the comptuer? do they help reinforce each other?

2) as opposed to lego/erector sets/k'nex... using what's locally available. again, this is one of my major arguments for using wire instead of other things as a basis for mechanisms. kids in africa use wire to make moving toys all the time. wire can be found in old telephone cables, old fences, baling wire, etc. and wire can be used to incorporate found objects and found mechanisms... to build stands for things... to prototype.

things to watch out for: don't come off as self-indulgent. be clear as to why i'm doing this but also be clear in my generalizations out from my own experiences. tie into not only the constructivist angle, but also into the sustainable/local/developing angle... and... open source?

sigh. so much to think about. i'll give the proposal another try.

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