I had a lovely chat yesterday with Chris Crews (Parsons, NYC), George Bixby (Parsons, NYC), and Hong-An Truong (about to teach at U of N. Carolina Chapel Hill) about the design project.
An thought that recurred several times was the idea that it would be good to incorporate a personal element into the media that we begin working with in the first stage of the design process. Photographing people’s daily surroundings seemed one way to do this. We also talked about the fact that it might be good to start with a common text, but since the US and Iraq groups speak different languages as their mother tongues, perhaps it might be better to isolate ideas from those texts.
For example, maybe we could start with larger concepts like freedom, speech rights, free speech, human rights etc. In the first week, we could have groups generate some kind of media themselves that interprets what those terms mean in relationship to their surroundings. Then, as I mentioned in my earlier email, in the second week, material could go on to a different group to re-interpret, analyze, and break down. One example (I think from Chris?) was that in the first week, perhaps one group, in accordance with the theme(s) could take video without sound. They would send it on to a second group, who comes from a different place, and would need to try to analyze and interpret how the theme was being applied in that video. This is one example, but there are many we can do.
So I have a couple of questions & requests for you all:
If you are interested to participate in the design process, and wish to be put in a group, then please get in touch with Lauren and I (either email us, post some ideas to the blog, or participate in the chat tomorrow). It looks like we will probably break up into 3 groups, organized by location: Baghdad, NYC, and US other, so that groups for the most part can meet together locally in person according to schedules that work the best for them. Before people can really be put into groups however, we need to know who will be participating. The timeline will basically be the month of August; we all need to go back to school after all!
If you have ideas to contribute to themes, generating media, or process, or anything else for that matter, please post to the blog in advance of the conversation tomorrow at Cali 10:00 am / NYC 1:00 pm / Baghdad 8:00 pm. We’ll try to finalize form, and once I get an idea of who is officially participating, we’ll put everyone in groups on Thursday so you all can get started immediately.
Please let me know if you have any other questions / concerns,