Monday, August 25, 2008

4S/EASST Conference Presentations

/EASST - Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Urban Native, Digital City - Interdisciplinary e-Research
Erasmus University Rotterdam, 23 August 2008

Research projects can be found on our Wiki.

conference photo albums, click on thumbnails to see album:

- the road to Rotterdam ----------------- presentation snaps -

Monday, August 11, 2008

VKS meetings -- tuesday & thrusday 10-12:00

you can take bus 43 from Prins Hendrikkade, in which case you would need to get off the bus at Cruquiusweg street. [this post has been updated to correct the bus number].

or you can walk/ride your bikes per the following directions. walking takes about 30 minutes, biking takes about 10 minutes. please do not be late!

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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Kröller Müller - Sunday

Meet at 8:45 am, across the street from Westermarkt, near the Prinsengracht dorms. Our bus will be parked in front the the Albert Heijn, at 21 Westermarkt:

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Presentation & Publication Guidelines

Urban Native, Digital Native
Honors in Amsterdam 2008
Presentation & Publication Guidelines
[updated 11 August - added link to outline]

10 August: for Sunday’s project updates at the Kröller-Müller park, each group will have 5-7 minutes. Here’s the presentation format:

* brief statement of project focus
* field research progress & road blocks
* next steps

Note: For all presentations, each group member should speak: divide your time evenly.

18 and 20 August: conference rehearsals: (10 minutes/group)

* intro
* research question
* methods
* findings
* conclusion

* you are free to choose the presentation software/media of your choice provided that it can be projected on to the wall using a computer

23 August: Conference Presentation (10 minutes/group)

* intro
* research question
* methods
* findings
* conclusion

* you are free to choose the presentation software/media of your choice provided that it can be projected on to the wall using a computer

24 August: Final Projects due.

Online Presentation requirements:

Each group will make use of the collaborative wiki platform to develop their research findings. You will use text, image, video, and geotagging as tools to communicate your research project. An outline/format for both the textual and video options is detailed here.

Text – use the wiki to collaboratively develop and communicate your project. Use the outline below as guidelines for your write up. Note: You can use your research proposal as a starting point—there should be much overlap in content.

Images – Incorporate photos of your field sites and/or subjects in strict compliance with your IRB Human Subjects certification.

Video - Incorporate at least one video clip related to your research topic and/or subjects depending on consent and privacy considerations.

Geotagging – create a Google map to identify your field sites and annotate these sites with text and/or images as appropriate. Where privacy is an issue, you can instead link topically related images to the group map.

Wiki – use the wiki format as the central ‘place’ for accessing/organizing all of your research materials; blogs, data, presentation, images, text, etc. this means to link to your online photo archives and such, rather than downloading to the wiki, in a manor that provides intelligent navigation possibilities.


Text & Video options - Each group needs to choose between a text based and video based approach. The requirements for both are detailed here.

Friday, August 8, 2008

pluk de nacht! - free outdoor cinema

Amsterdam's open air film festival runs 7-23 August. Films are outdoor, English spoken or English subtitled, and are free of charge."... the Open Air Film Festival Amsterdam will take place from August 7 till August 23 on various locations. Every day you can enjoy the best films that haven’t been screened in the Dutch cinemas under a beautiful starry sky. We have a superb film programme, interesting art projects, a cosy bar, comfortable beach-chairs and bon fires. Free entry for everyone!" [see more at the pluk de nacht website]

Thursday, August 7, 2008

NYT - Going Dutch in Amsterdam

Article on traveling in Amsterdam in Aug 6, New York Times: ...As I walked up Weteringstraat, an unassuming street not far from the city’s most famous museums, I spotted a corner bar, the Café de Wetering (Weteringstraat 37; 31-20-622-9676), its entrance shrouded in grapevines. Inside, beyond the clumps of pale green fruit, it was narrow, the wood all burnished brown, with a low-ceilinged mezzanine and, all the way at the back, a fireplace. Soft jazz played on the stereo, a melodic counterpoint to the Dutch spoken by the dozen regulars, one of whom set down his glass and announced, to nobody in particular, “Sonny Rollins.” [ see the full article in 6 August, New York Times]

Mieke Bal: Tell and Show

Saturday 9 August is our much-anticipated meeting with Professor Mieke Bal. Here are the details.

2-5 pm Eik en Linde bar, upstairs screening room
Map of 10 minute Walk from Prins Hendrikkade

Plantage Middenlaan 22
1018 DE Amsterdam
tel: 020-6225716

We will meet there. After a brief introduction, we will screen three short films: "Mille et un Jours (1001 days)" (43 mins); "Access Denied" (30 mins); and "Lost in Space" (17 mins). Professor Bal has directed or co-directed each as part of a collective... [continue reading on jessica's blog]

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

dinner at Kantjil

from Prins Hendrikkade

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from Prinsengracht

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

photo stream

see photo album

see photo album

Friday, July 18, 2008

Arrival Information

UPDATED 26 July, Thursday

CT cell: 06 812 149 81
JB cell: 06 201 592 16

student arrival/departure info (pdf)

upon arrival info (you will find):
- suggestions on what to bring with you
- what to do when you arrive in Amsterdam
- directions to the dormitories
- addresses and contact info
- useful links
- etc.

- who/where (go here to find where you will be staying)
- map with dormitory locations
- latest schedule (version: 18 July)

- walking directions:

[central station to chez clifford - Prinsengracht 223-233]

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[central station to chez jessica - Prins Hendrikkade 189-B]

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[walking directions between chez jessica and chez clifford]

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Amsterdam Schedule

Download Detailed Schedule (pdf)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

research proposal guidelines

Each group needs to submit a 3-5 page paper synthesizing their project proposals by friday, 13 january, 5pm.

1) Introduction to object and context of your study - In your introduction you should situate the 'what' and 'why' of your project within relevant literature. What is/are your object(s) of study and why is it worthy of studying? Here is where you need to define your terms, which should be based in (or informed by) prior research.

2) Research question - The 'what' and 'why' from above should lead you into the question. A good way to frame this is to first pose a broad question. This can also be a problem statement if you would prefer. Then break down the broad question and/or problem statement into smaller, answerable questions. For example, in a group of three, the broad question serves to illustrate the general domain of inquiry, which then is examined in terms of the individual research questions.

3) Conceptual framework - identify the conceptual framework you will use, explain the basic idea of the framework, and then describe how it helps you think about/understand your object of study.

4) Methods strategy - Identify which methods you plan to use and how they will be used. For example, if you are planning to observe stuff, what specifically will you be looking for? If you plan to talk to people, who are they and how will you get access to them?

5) Field research schedule - Develop a consolidated schedule for the group. Initially, this will be a partial schedule and is expected to be a evolving document. However, you should try to add as much detail as possible even if it's just a placeholder for some event that has yet to be defined. The schedules should include resources you will use in Amsterdam, i.e.:

• People (names, titles, etc.)
• Places (address)
• Equipment
• Information

6) Reference List (bibliography)

7) approved (or waived) Human Subjects certificate

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

conceptual framework

after reading the Ragin chapters, i would like you to use wednesday's blog post as an opportunity to think about how a conceptual framework would help you frame your project.

begin by stating the latest formulation of your research question. by now you should be able to pose a specific question that can be plausibly answered within the scope of our program. select one of the conceptual approaches presented by Jessica this quarter (or some other theoretical framing of your choosing) and provide some brief comments about how and/or why it helps you think about your particular social phenomenon/space/place/object of interest/etc.

we will draw on your individual posts for discussion material on wednesday--posts are due by 5:00pm before class. also, for most of you, this exercise will occur before your scheduled group meeting, so think of it as part of your meeting preparation.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

2008 Honors in Amsterdam social gathering

Welcome 2008 cohort, alumni, and faculty. This Saturday Jessica and I would like to invite you to a social gathering in downtown Seattle. It will be a pot-luck bbq in my swanky condo lounge.

Saturday, May 10, 2008, 1-4pm

Pot-luck BBQ: bring something to share and/or grill

The Cosmopolitan Lounge
819 Virginia St. 9th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
tel: (206) 356-7140 (Clifford's cell)

directions & map

bus: The 71, 72, 73 buses from UW are frequent (approx every 10 minutes). you can pick up the bus across the street from Solstice cafe on University Ave at 42nd St. Get off the bus at the downtown bus station, walk north to 9th & Virginia.

parking- there is street parking of the sort where you pay at a centralized meter and are provided a parking sticker. if you drive, i would recommend car-pooling.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


in his new book, The Emergence of Genetic Rationality, our guest on wednesday, Philip Thurtle, maps the ways in which genetic information has been organized over the years. he argues that modes of organization and processing of genetic information have shaped how we view ourselves. "In a very real sense, the social need and the technical capacity to articulate a concept of heredity reliant upon heritable traits emerged from the circuits of recordkeeping, clerical divisions of labor, data analysis, new forms of institutional memory, and rationalized communication and transportation practices of the era—what we today might call “information processing.” "

in the youtube video titled, "Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us" Mike Wesch illustrates how we (users of the web) contribute to the organization of information on the web. both authors deal with the organization of information and how this organization shapes our view of reality. philip tells a story about how methods of scientific inquiry have shaped how we think about ourselves. mike tells a story about how users of the internet shape the organization of information about the world.

the blog assignment for tomorrow is to think about the medium each author uses to communicate their research. thurtle uses a print medium (a book) to articulate his ideas and wesch uses video (youtube). thinking in terms of your respective research projects, what are the affordances and limitations of these two modes of communication? who will benefit from the findings of your research and what is an effective way to reach your expected audience?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Westergasfabriek and De Waag

Potential projects with Westergasfabriek and De Waag
Theme: the Westergasfabriek Park (WGF) wants to develop into a park of the 21st century, in which new media, new forms of representation and identity, novel forms of social networks, and technologies merge to create and sustain new forms of cultural expression and production.
General questions for the projects:
  • the Westergasfabriek Park (WGF) as test bed for scientific and scholarly research. What are the possibilities? Which topics are most suitable? And which facilities, work routines and technologies are needed to realize these?
  • the Westergasfabriek as test bed for applications. What are the possibilities for commercial and public sector partners to use the WGF as a Living Lab? What infrastructures and tools are needed? What would this mean for both private and public partners?
The following projects might be interesting for students:
  • study the role of the WGF as facilitator for the development of new media cultures. Which parts of the international scene of multimedia artists and designers should be the main target audience for the WGF? What has the WGF to offer them?
  • tagging and tracking visitors to the park. To what extent can it be useful to offer monitoring and tracking services during events (like massive parties, musical festivals, conferences, workshops, theatre, and exhibitions)? What are the dilemmas, ethical and political? What kind of concepts should be developed? This project can be split into sub-projects, eg a projects on the use of Radio Frequency Identity (RFID) tags in networking applications.
  • design an Interactive Network Map of the WGF. What is their present network? How do they position themselves? Can this be visualized? Can lacunae be identified?
  • what is the potential of the WGF to perform new forms of survey research? For example, study how young tourists are using the park and what they would want in the near future. How does this relate to how they see themselves?
  • the development of new concepts of “pathfinding” in and around the park. This relates to an earlier student project on pathfinding.
  • can mobile phones, game screens, and mp3 players etc. be used to show visual arts and drama? In other words, how can we couple performing arts to locative media? What would it mean for the technology, and what for the art?
  • can the park be “tagged” with social networks, for example link a particular location in the park to a particular community? Would this make sense? How could it be done?
  • what is the potential of locative gaming?
  • how sustainable is the WGF presently? How can this be improved by measures on energy use, environmental protection etc.?
photos of WGT-

Westergasfabriek - summer 2007

Thursday, April 24, 2008

project archive: amsterdam 2007

the wiki site from last year is "damaged" but fortunately google does a pretty good job of archiving most of what it indexes. following are the google cache pages for last year's projects. check out what the students were able to accomplish, the kinds of methods they used, and the resources they found/developed.

amsterdam 2007 research projects:

- Waste Management
- Squatting Movement
- Wayfinding Group
- Addiction Services
- Muslim Immigrant Fashion
- Health Information Needs of Sex Workers
- Visual Study of Transportation
- Drug Policy, Coffeeshops, and Information

Mark and Sathi converted their final presentation to video.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

group presentations

for your presentation next week, each group will have 10 minutes to address three key points:

1) formulation of a preliminary research question: frame your question by providing some background information on the phenomenon, problem, and/or area of interest.

2) development of your research strategy: use the research methods we have read about, discussed in class, and practiced using. when developing your data gathering strategy consider practical issues such as a) ethical issues associated with human subjects, b) language barriers, c) access to people, and d) the context of your field site. use the articles on methods in developing a rationale for the methods use choose.

3) identification of potential ethical issues: choose among the three human subjects categories: minimal risk, exemption, and int'l engagement.

the a laptop and projector will be available for use. you are also welcome to use your own laptop. presentations will be on monday and wednesday. individuals presenting on wednesday (30 April) will evaluate monday's (28 April) presentations, and vise-versa. your peer evaluation is your blog post assignment for next week.

choose one person in each group to schedule the group presentation (day & time) here.


Monday, April 14, 2008

pro-china group protests at dalai lama talk

in the spirit of environmental behavior, i am posting a couple of pictures from today's pro-china rally.

local news reports (here & here) indicate 3-400 participated in the protest, which occurred amidst thousands queued to see the dalai lama. they were well organized and had a strong message for western news media's account of the situation in tibet.

the group's message of media distortion was clear. they claimed that we, who understand the situation in tibet based solely on western media accounts, only have one side of the story. their account was multi-faceted. from what i understood, they were pro-peace, anti-violence, anti-separatist, and they held the dalai lama at least somewhat responsible for the violence in tibet.

there were a number of speeches and lots of chanting, as well as a looping video showing the riots in tibet. with bullhorns they made numerous requests of the dalai lama who was presumably already inside the stadium.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

environmental behavior assignment

UPDATED 10 April, 7:00pm (revisions in red)-

The goal of this assignment is to use the research methods we have discussed to explore an urban space of your interest with an eye toward what you might want to research in Amsterdam. In other words, choose a setting in Seattle that will help you understand how to approach a similar setting in Amsterdam.

We expect that this exercise will help you 1) sensitize yourselves to the kinds of things you can learn from an urban environment, 2) understand the ways you can approach urban places in Amsterdam, and 3) give you practical experience formulating social research questions.

There are two parts to this assignment, the field research part and the analysis part. Here's what you need to do between now and next Monday:

Field research:

- find a partner or partners (3 per group max)

- choose a place in the city to study; a building, a public space, a neighborhood, an historical site, a piece of public art, etc.

- explore, observe, inquire, and document (take notes, photographs, etc.)


- from your observations develop a research question. select and justify a couple of methods that will help you answer that question. choose among the methodological approaches we have read about and discussed in class: Burstein's close reading, b) Lynch's walk around the block, c) Zeisel's physical traces and environmental behavior, and d) Jacobs' looking at cities.

- in your blog describe your field site (use images if possible), post the results of your analysis (the research question and methods justification), and use references from the readings.

- reflect on your Amsterdam research interests/preliminary questions(s).

NOTE: blog posts are due before class on Monday

zone of proximal development

the "zone" is theoretical basis for teaching/learning our research process. vygotski defines the zone of proximal development as "the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance, or in collaboration with more capable peers." for example, consider the acquisition of language, which "arrises initially as a means of communication... [and] only subsequently, upon conversation to internal speech, does it come to organize thought.

Vygotski (1978) Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes.
our social research process starts with the research question, which shapes the design of the project but which is itself subject to reformulation as we learn more about the subject of our inquiry.

Monday, April 7, 2008

brief history of amsterdam

Guest Speaker
Ran Hennes, History

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

walk around the blog assignment

a couple of points to think about for monday's blog assignment. the Lynch & Rivkin article was meant to both introduced you to urban studies methods and begin to sensitize you to using your skills of observation.
in class we discussed the notion of space. as noted by Lynch & Rivkin, people either perceive order in space or they try to create order in the absence it:

"the individual must perceive his environment as an ordered pattern, and is constantly trying to inject order into his surroundings, so that all the relevant perceptions are jointed one to the other." --Lynch & Rivkin (1959) A Walk Around the Block

we also discussed the social construction of space, the idea that both the built environment and our conception of it are constructed through social interaction. As noted by Henri Lefebvre:

"Social space is a social product - the space produced in a certain manner serves as a tool of thought and action. It is not only a means of production but also a means of control, and hence of domination/power." -- Lefebvre (1991) The Production of Space

In your blog posts of 3-500 words max, consider the following:

1) observation skills: trust your skills of observation to inform what you see in the blog content.

2) ordered patterns: what sense of order is present and/or imposed? you dont want to spend too much time discussing the structure per se. instead your comments should focus on indications of the blogger's reaction to or interaction with the structure.

3) social construction of space: in the blog you select, look for indications of socially constructed norms, particularly with respect to space.

UPDATE: slides from class

Monday, March 31, 2008

Broken Obelisk

sculpture by Barnett Newman in 1963, 

photo by  Elephant wearing striped pants

reference for today's lecture: the modernist journals project