Urban Hacking
Instructor: Evan Roth

Download Syllabus (pdf)
(Syllabus subject to change, please check course blog for updates)

Communication Design
Fall 2010
FCMD 0325 Urban Hacking
CONTACT INFORMATION evan[at]evan-roth[dot]com
Thursday 16:45 – 22:00 Room 13B

In Urban Hacking, we will study the urban environment and create work designed to exist within the city. We will study and interact with the city much in the same way that computer hackers treat digital systems. The main goal of this course is to look upon the city with fresh eyes and to identify existing systems that can be “hacked” to tell new and untended narratives.

We will study the subversive and creative practices of artists working both in digital and physical spaces, as well as studying the work happening locally in Paris. It is impossible to know everything occurring in the streets but it is possible to know your immediate daily surroundings better than anybody else. By the end of course, you should know more about what is up on the walls between your apartment and Parsons better than anybody else in the world.

The point of this course is not to become an expert with spray paint and markers. We will be studying graffiti and learning about how graffiti writers approach the city with the aim of applying your own set of skills and interests to hacking the city.

Successful projects will use the urban environment as a unique medium and answer the follow questions:

“Why is it important that this is outdoors? Would this be any good if it weren’t? Why does it matter that this is done where and how it was? How is this new and, most importantly, why should I care?”

(Questions from http://streetartblows.com)

In Urban Hacking, we are not interested in a strong visual aesthetic as much as we are in ideas and altering existing systems. In the end you will be evaluated on the strength of your ideas rather than the visual beauty and appeal of the final product.

Throughout the course of the semester students are expected to carry a camera at all times and be photographing graffiti and street as they happen to come across it in the city. Each week students are expected upload at least ten photographs to the course website, which will comprise 25% of their final grade. An additional 25% of the student’s grade will be from in-class participation. The remaining 50% of the grade will based on the quality, completion and web documentation of course projects. Only projects that are documented and published on the course blog will be eligible for grading. A bonus 25% will be awarded to students who have projects published on the Wooster Collective website (http://woostercollective.com) or any of the most popular 20 blogs on the Internet as listed here (http://technorati.com/blogs/top100).

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