This semester, each student will do an outside project on a topic of his or her choice. The topic can be anything relevant to this section of capstone, in which we explore the interrelationships among the built environment, society, and technology. You can choose some topic that we will cover in class (see the class activity page for a list), but you may not do a project on the same topic as your class presentation without making a very strong case.
Your project should be "hands on" in the sense that you do something, rather than merely do library research and write a report. At the end of your project, though, you will write a report of your activities.
Choose a project that you can complete in the timeline of the course. Here are a few ideas that came to my mind quickly as I thought about our textbook. I give them only as examples. You may choose any topic you like, and I'm not likely to allow everyone in class to do one of these projects.
You can also choose a project based on your early reading of The Design of Everyday Things, in which Norman describes all sorts of anomalies in design and use of common tools.
Selecting a project may not seem easy, but you do have the week of September 8-12 off from class, which will give you some extra time to read and think and propose. And be sure to discuss any questions you have with me, in person or e-mail, early on.
I think that your project could be a lot of fun for you and for me, if you choose a topic that excites you and that adds to the course content. I'll be as flexible as possible in accommodating proposed topics.
By the beginning of class on Tuesday, September 16, submit to me by e-mail a proposal for your project. Your proposal should include:
By the beginning of class on Tuesday, December 9, submit to me a printed version of your final project paper.
Your paper must be typed, of course, and be of professional form. It should probably be in the range of eight double-spaced pages or so, though the length will follow from the type of project you do.
You should cite sources where appropriate and include a references section that lists all works cited. Before you cite a web page, be sure to corroborate its authority by tying it to some refereed source or by getting my approval.