Research Overview

Each student will complete a research project that focuses on an artist/designer, particular technology, societal impact, or other topic relevant to the field of digital fabrication. The research must be thorough, with multiple sources and source types. Each student will present their research in two formats. One will be a media-rich essay published on the class website. The other will be an in-class presentation and discussion. There are incremental deadlines for the research project. There will typically be two presentations per week, so these deadlines vary for each student. See the schedule below for your due dates and add your topic before a classmate chooses it.

Research Schedule

How to publish on the class website

  1. Log in.
  2. In the top menu bar, mouse over “+ New” and choose “Post” from the drop down menu.
  3. Create a rich presentation of your research, using writing appropriate for an academic paper, capitalizing on web-based platform, and considering the tips found below.
  4. Consult this tutorial to learn bout using the WordPress editor and use resources on this page to answer other questions about embedding images and other media.
  5. Proof-read your paper and have at least one friend proof it.
  6. Set the categories, tags, and featured image of your page.
  7. Save your paper as a draft.
  8. Email the instructor that your paper is ready for review (due one week prior to your presentation).
  9. Look for an email reply from the instructor with suggestions
  10. Make edits as needed.
  11. “Publish” your research publicly on the class site.

Guidelines for publishing research online

  • Collect relevant and current information on your topic.
    • Use a variety of sources.
    • Consider the bias of the source.
    • Note your sources in your paper and provide links where possible.
  • Take a stance on the topic.
    • Do not just make a listicle of cool things you found on the internet.
    • Have a thesis to the paper that is clear to the reader.
    • Support your thesis with research.
  • Incorporate links into the body of your paper.
    • Good:
      • “Claire Warnier and Dries Dries Verbruggen lead the interdisciplinary design team Unfold, conducting innovative projects that question the role of the designer in this time of increasing digital manufacturing.”
    • Not so good – unnecessarily breaks the flow:
      • “Claire Warnier and Dries Dries Verbruggen lead the interdisciplinary design team Unfold, conducting innovative projects that question the role of the designer in this time of increasing digital manufacturing. Check out their website for more more information.”
    • Even worse – URLs are for computers to read, people deserve meaningful words:
      • “Claire Warnier and Dries Dries Verbruggen lead the interdisciplinary design team Unfold, conducting innovative projects that question the role of the designer in this time of increasing digital manufacturing. Check out their website for more more information. http://unfold.be/”
  • External links should open in a new tab.
    • When adding a link, click the little gear to open link options, and check “Open link in a new tab.”
  • Embed videos and images in your paper where appropriate, rather than just proving a link.
  • Scale and position your images to create a pleasing and sensible flow through your paper.
  • Use captions to describe the images and credit sources.
  • Set a featured image for your post.

Guidelines for presentation and discussion

  • Format your research in a manner appropriate for an in-class presentation.
    • Condense your research to fit in a 10-15 minute presentation.
    • You will be present to speak, don’t fill slides with text.
  • know your material.
    • Don’t read slides.
    • Look at the class, not the presentation.
  • If you include a video from the internet, download it and embed it in your presentation.
    • Avoid:
      • Leaving your presentation to go to a web browser.
      • Waiting for videos to download.
      • Interrupting your presentation for a commercial for dog food prior to the video.
    • How to:
      • If the site where the video is hosted offers downloading, use it.
      • Otherwise, utilize a helper website to download the file.
        • There are many out there; just avoid anything that seems sketchy and be careful not to download anything other than your video file.
    • What about copyright?
      • Downloading and using a video for an in-class presentation falls under the scope of “fair use.”
      • Cite the source of the video – site, video creator, video poster, and even URL where relevant
      • Note that the terms of service for the specific site may not permit downloading and it is up to you to decide how to handle that issue.
  • Practice your presentation.
    • Make sure that the timing is appropriate.
    • Present to a friend.
    • Confirm that the thesis and key points of the research are clear to the viewer.
  • Engage the class in discussion.
    • Your final slide should include two or three questions for the class designed to spark dialogue.
    • Pose your questions to the class and do your best to support the conversation.