Assignment Three

Using what you have observed and documented so far, create a Web version of your observation for either the Brown or Athenaeum/RISD library Web site (depending on where your observation took place).

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July 30, 2008

Kyle Buza Lecture & Activity

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Kyle Buza (M.S. MIT Media Lab), one of the creators of E15, presented the application, a desktop application that uses Web APIs to present site content in a degree of ‘spatial relevance.’ E15 separates the content from its intended 2-D form and presents it in 3-D dimensions according to the developer’s vision. The end result is a more browseable content.

  1. See Kyle’s lecture notes and documentation
  2. http://e15.media.mit.edu

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July 30, 2008

Assignment Two

Document your site or experience.

Documentation understood as document is any communicable material (such as text, video, audio, etc., or a combination thereof) used to explain some attributes of an object, system or procedure. (Wikipedia)

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July 29, 2008

Assignment One

Take tours of the Rockefeller Library, the Athenaeum and the RISD Library. Then spend the rest of the day wandering in one location, noting your experiences.

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July 28, 2008

Overview Lecture

Essential Question

How do we come across information/ideas/forms that we don’t know exist?

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July 28, 2008

Workshop Overview

“For the most part, it is easy these days to find what you’re looking for; one hallmark of digital efficiency is that the more specific the query, the more efficient the querybased search. Megan and Rick [Prelinger], however, would like to help you find what you are not looking for. Between the two of them they’ve seen a lot, which is why they’ve built their lives-and this reconsidered version of the small private library-around the question of how to make certain that there are still surprises to be had.” (Lewis-Kraus, Gideon. “A World in Three Aisles.’ Harper’s Magazine, May 2007, p47)

Although the life blood of any library is its cataloguing system, it is easy to sidestep this orderly process by wandering through it whether or not you have a predetermined book in mind. You may browse in any section of the stacks, through the day’s newspapers, the ‘ready for shelving’ cart or the ‘new books’ section.

Because we increasingly rely on the digital archive to quickly find what we are looking for, we lose serendipity — the unexpected feeling of finding something better than what was originally sought. Particularly because the interface to many collections is a simple search form.

This workshop asks students to translate the joy of happenstance from the physical library to the digital one. Students will receive an introduction to three Providence libraries. Students will perform three one-day exercises that follow a design methodology of observation, documentation then creation.

Assigned reading for Monday:
  1. A World in Three Aisles: Browsing the post-digital library
  2. Lost in the stacks: The Decline and fall of the universal library
  3. Good Design: What is it for?
  4. Order, Order (Arranging your bookshelf)

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July 28, 2008