I.  Collaboration: WHO, WHAT, HOW, and WHY

Week 1: AUG 29 – Intro, Group Structure: WHO Collaborates?

  • Introduction: students, teachers, expectations (15)
  • Structure: 3 part course (intro, cases, final project)  blog, reading groups (15)
  • Activities (60)
    • Boal name game
    • Asset Mapping
    • ABCD
    • Groups Identification
  • Questions for discussion (30)
    • Who gathers here? Who are “we”?
    • What kind of group are we forming and what is the dna of that group?
    • How do you interact in a group and with this group in particular?
    • Activity: each person lists the groups they are in. Everyone stands up, we read out a group (ex: a coop).If you are in a group like this stand together. Repeat, talk about in/exclusion in groups, membership
    • What groups are you already a member of; what structures do you participate in; willingly or not?
  • Explanation of homework readings, reading groups, postings (15)
  • Homework:

Week 2: SEPT 5 – Rosh Hashana; class does not meet

Week 3: SEPT 12 – WHAT is Collaboration?

Week 4: SEPT 19 – HOW does one Collaborative? Dorchester Event

  • Question:
    • How does one collaborate? What skills are required? How is power delegated, distributed, or assumed?
  • Speakers: Theaster Gates’ studio manager (Kate Hadley Wilson) and Gina Martinez, Dayna Kriz, and Charlie Viz from Rebuild Foundation
  • Reading Discussion: Social Practice as Art, Joe Friedman v Roschdale principles (30)
  • Activities (30):
    • Rearrange the classroom
    • Boal’s Carnival in Rio, communal sound pattern game: each member of a group creates their own sound pattern, and slowly, without speaking, forms a single communal sound pattern
  • Discussion (20):
    • What are the skills that were necessary for the Dorchester project; Boal’s Carnival in Rio game, and collaboration in general?
    • Collaborative Approaches for upcoming CASE STUDIES: Prepare for types of collaboration with this framing device (a commons ID kit (15)
  • Homework

Week 5: SEPT 26: Why Collaborate? Thoughts on Power Sharing

  • Reading Discussion on Ostrom’s Governing the Commons and Sennett’s Culture of New Capitalism, about why one would or would not collaborate (30)
  • Activity:
    • Debate with 3 Readings – w/ selections from Etienne Wenger’s Community of Practice, Temporary Services Group Work, and The Tyranny of Structurelessness (30)
    • Columbian Hypnosis & Blind Cars about power; guide vs guided (10)
    • Discussion of delegation, distribution of roles within the class, diffusion of info and allocation of resources (20)
  • Group work: Discuss midterm project. Research groups the class will meet with over the course of the semester.  Float collaborative ideas you would would like to work on with your classmates. Are you forming a group based on content or form? Prepare an idea to present to present on Oct 10 at WOW for feeback (30 min).
  • Homework
    • Read: Temporary Services’s Against Competition
    • Read: Dolores Hayden’s 7 American Utopias p. 1-14


II.  CASE STUDIES: Meerkat, WOW, Ghana Think Tank & NLE, Public Lab, Free Software, IDEO

Week 6: OCT 3 – Creative Cooperatives: Meerkat Media Collective

  • Collaborative Approach: Closed Collective, Consensus Video via Consensus
  • Question: What is consensus? What code of ethics are at work?
  • Question: Can groups create a unified aesthetic; how?
  • Discussion: Student moderators comment on Temporary Services and Hayden readings, in light of Meerkat presentation
  • Homework:

Week 7: OCT 10 – Creative Collectives: WOW Cafe Theater & MIDTERM PRESENTATION 4:30-6:30pm

  • meet with Jen Abrams 
  • Collaborative Approach: Open Collective, Consensus?
  • Question: What is consensus? What code of ethics are at work? Can groups create a unified aesthetic; how?
  • Student moderators lead discussion w/Jen on above questions and Dreaming in the Dark in light of WOW presentation
  • Homework

Week 8: OCT 17 – Participatory Art: Christopher Robbins from Ghana Think Tank at No Longer Empty space 

  • Meet at No Longer Empty’s temp space at 196 Stanton St., 2 blocks east of Clinton, 4:00 – 6:30 pm
  • Collaborative Approach: Participatory Action Research
  • Questions: Who are we talking to? Who are we ignoring (without even knowing it)?What assumptions are we bringing with us? What assumptions do others have about us?
    How do our own habits and fears limit who we work with? How can we work through all of this?
  • Discuss: Student moderators lead discussion w/Robbins on: WHO gets to participate, stakeholders, mediation, citizen control
  • Activities:
  • Homework: Grassroots Mapping: Creating a Participatory Map Making Process

Week 9: OCT 24 – Free Software: Sandra Ordonez from the Open Internet Tools Project & Benjamin Mako Hill from the Free Software Foundation

  • Collaborative Approach: Distributed networked collectivity
  • Question: Student Moderators lead discussion w/Mako on readings and: Do forking structures used in software programming affect the barriers for collaboration?  Do they create new possibilities for collaboration and social exchange?
  • Final Project Benchmark 1: Accountability structure & Prototyping Plan due; to be posted to the blog & discussed in class
  • Homework

Week 10: OCT 31 – Open Science; Public Laboratory with Liz Barry

Week 11: NOV 7 – – Human Centered Design: IDEO

  • SITE VISIT: 28 Mercer Street, between Grand and Howard, and the entrance is next to the orange CB2 sign
  • Collaborative Approach: LLC Consultancy
  • Question: What is human centered design?
  • Activities: led by IDEO
  • Homework, read Starhawk, Empowerment Manual WOW protocols


Week 12: NOV 14: Choose your own collaborative style

  • Question
  • Final Project Prototype 1: to be presented and discussed in class
  • Activity:
    • Project Management skills, make a plan for the next 1.5 months
    • Meeting Archetypes
    • Define a Job Well Done

Week 13: Nov 21

– TBD: Work in class, feedback in class

Week 14: NOV 26 (Thanksgiving week; meet Tuesday not Thursday)

  • Final Project Prototype 2: to be presented & discussed in class
  • TBD: Work in class, feedback in class

Week 15: DEC 5

  • TBD: work in class, feedback in class

Week 16: DEC 12


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