Research Briefs

The assignment for this week is to do background research in support of a final project concept, and write a short “research brief” that presents your findings.

You should work independently, not in groups.

Due in class on Oct 24:

Write a basic 1-2 page research brief on a topic of your choice – thinking primarily about social or political aspects.  Think of this as a micro-investigation into a field that interests you – your goal is to give a summary of your topic, and present some of your own findings and thoughts.  Focus on something you’d like to investigate further for the final project (but don’t draft a project proposal!).

At this stage in the course, we are beginning to expand our concept of “climate” and “environment” to envelop more social spheres like political speech and action, global flows of economy, people, and information, the production of social and virtual narrative spaces, and the exchange of ideas and identities.  It may be helpful to consider scales of space and time, and think how your topic might relate to microclimates, microcosms, and microfictions, and as well as planetary scales like geological “deep” time, global industry and labor, the immediacy of networked culture, and the urgency of addressing our future as beings on this planet.


  • The New Climate – Bruno Latour, Harper’s Magazine, May 2017
    “The complete indifference to facts that marked the campaign is simply a consequence of claiming you can live without being grounded in reality.”
    Download as PDF
  • Principles of 4D Design, by Ellen Mueller:
    chapter 1Components of a Work, and
    chapter 2Getting Started.
    These are quick reads, mainly to help you brainstorm your concept.