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

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