4.330/4.331 Introduction to Networked Cultures and Participatory Media

Nitin Sawhney

TA Mabel Negrete

We will examine the design, aesthetic and ethical challenges of actively engaging dynamic information and participatory media in networked culture and contested urban spaces, particularly under conditions of conflict and crisis. We will study the role of emerging digital media, mapping and communication technologies in conjunction with artistic interventions and sensory ethnography as creative responses that increasingly represent, transform or subvert changing urban, political and social conditions in critical ways.

In this hands-on, project-based studio course, we use design exercises to both create and capture new forms of social interactions, cultural identities, communication spaces, and sensory expe¬riences that address critical issues within the context of networked online and urban spaces undergoing transformation during conflict and crisis. The ideological framing will draw from theories, methods and practice in new media, cybernetics, information design, sociology, anthropology, film, art, and architecture.

This class is a HASS-CI class and undergraduates will be expected to complete writing assignments totaling about 20 pages.


  • Prereq: Permission of instructor
    Units: 3-3-6
    Lab Fee: 110
  • Notes: 4.330 subject level h / 4.331 subject level u:hass-ci
  • Schedule: W 2-5p with recitation M 7-9p, E15-070
    Location: e15-283a

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