week 11-15 | Roadmap for the final project

Concept & Outreach
– Discuss your proposal in class
– Find project partner in New York AND/OR in Hong Kong & Cologne
– Define elements of publication/project (text and images)
– Group discussion: Connecting variables

No class—Outreach and Prototyping
Use these two weeks to
– communicate with project partners (New York and international)
– collect and organize your assets and footage
– start designing your project

Bring to class: Your first prototype or alternatives and all content you are going to use.

Bring your revised prototype or alternatives to class

Individual Meeting
30 min meeting between Nov 20 and Dec 10
As discussed the session on 12/22 will be replaced with an individual meeting with your group

Final presentation

week 10 | Explore New Microhabitats

Itinerary for Tuesday Nov 10:

Meet: 4.15pm at 10th Ave & 23th Street
North/West Corner (next to The Half King)

Stephen Wilkes “Day to Night”
MicroHabitats & collective memory
Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, 505 W 24th Street
Artist’s Website
Read on NY Art Beat

Robert Rauschenberg
“Anagrams, Arcadian Retreats, Anagrams (A Pun)”

Fragmented and re-composed MicroHabitats
Pace Gallery, 534 W 25th Street
Bio on Guggenheim
Read on NY Art Beats

Jil Weinstock “Things Arranged Neatly”
Collecting & Preserving
Winston Wachter, 530 W 25th Street
Gallery Press Release
Read on NY Art Beat
(Prep: Meijun Li)

((((( STOPOVER: Zhang Huan “Let there be light”
Pace Gallery, 510 W 25th Street )))))

Andy Goldsworthy “Leaning into the Wind”
Same subject—shifting habitats
Lelong Gallery, 528 W 26th Street
Artnet: Andy Goldsworthy
Gallery Press Release
Read on NY Art Beat
(Prep: Kristiana)

Printed Matter
231 11th Ave (26th Street)

First Cologne Blogs are online! See them on our other website:

Adrian Witzel

Max Mauro Schmid

Hanna Lisa Paul
Leah-Lilith Heeren
Philipp Naujoks

week 9 | Talk about it

Finalize your three MiniBooks.
Take 5-10 pictures to document them; one picture should show all three book covers (closed) and one picture should show all three posters. The rest should display your books in the best possible way including close-ups and spreads.
Record a video to introduce your three books. It should be between 60 sec and 120 sec. Start with the book you designed for your habitat, followed by the book designed with the pictures of one student in Hong Kong and finally the book that uses images from several blogs. Smartphone quality is all we need.
Upload images and video in a folder with your name to our shared google drive to the folder “08 MiniBook Final”.

Have your two proposals documented and be ready to talk about them.

Hong Kong Blogs:


ProudCreative a creatively-led, strategically minded, multidisciplinary design studio based in London

A great place to visit, browse and find inspiration (after checking out a few galleries in Chelsea…): Printed Matter


week 8 | What? So What? What next?

Develop two short project proposals in the context of global microhabitats.

Use your visual diary (blog), your assignments and experiments so far as a guideline. What are your observations? What would you like to explore in depth? Use the three “What” for a brief description.

The facts. The environment. Something you noticed in your habitat. Objective description.

So what?
Why is this relevant to you? What kind of problem does it cause or point out. What are the effects of it?

What next?
What would you like to do as a response? Which medium would you like to use. What kind of reaction would you like to evoke?

Your proposals could be as short as one sentence to address each “What”. Add pictures of three precedents to each proposal including name of project/artist and source.

Finalize the three MiniBooks.

Hong Kong Blogs:





Occupied Mono by Aaron Gillett

Slinkachu Tiny People on pxleyes

Jim Denevan creates temporary drawings on sand, earth, and ice that are eventually erased by waves and weather. These drawings range in scale from smaller beach compositions to large scale land works the size of a city.

atelier olschinsky founded in 2002 is a small creative studio based in Vienna, Austria. Peter Olschinsky and Verena Weiss are operating in various fields such as graphic design, illustration, photography and art direction. In addition to their jobs for clients they also run several independent projects, always trying to develop and refine their work.

week 7 | HGK NYC HGK

Urban Biomes MiniBook
You are creating 3 MiniBooks with footage from your NY habitat and images from Hong Kong. Even though the content might be very different, think of them as a series that is visually connected. Most of you are already thinking in this direction.

MiniBook 1 DUE: 10/27
This documents your habitat in New York.
(Detailed description see week 4)

MiniBook 2 DUE: 11/3 or 11/10 (TBA)
This documents several habitats from Hong Kong. Based on your Mini Book 1 you selected images from across all HGK blogs.
(Detailed description see week 6)

MiniBook 3 DUE: 11/3 or 11/10 (TBA)
This documents one habitat of a student in Hong Kong. Only use images from one discreet blog and reach out to the student to get high quality images. You can keep the concept you used for the first two books but also consider a new perspective. Get inspired by the footage while considering the visual language and direction of your first two books.

Students in HK selected a student/blog which they want to work with. You find this in our google drive folder “07 Mini Book Hong Kong” and the link is also shared in an email.

It would be great if you would work with the images of the student who selected you. If more than one student selected your blog choose one of them. If nobody selected you, you are free to choose any student/blog. If you feel you wont be able to work with the images of the student who selected you, it is ok to change.

Please send me an email with the name of the student/blog you are going to work with on Monday 10/26.

Hong Kong Blogs:


The Process

This is only a documentation of the process in Hong Kong. You will find the final selection in our google drive.

This looks nice!

WAYWARD ARTS magazine. By Blok Design. Also look at the stuff on their site!

week 6 |CrossOver

Experiment 4: Urban Biomes MiniBook Final
Refine your design based on the critique in class. This will be the last iteration!

Experiment 5: Urban Biomes MiniBook CrossoverOne
Design a second Mini Book following your concept but use images from HK blogs.

The spreads should tell the same story just with different images. Let’s say your concept for the three spreads was “large > medium > small” look for images from HK that would visualize this. Also look for (one) image(s) from HK that fits this content for your cover/backcover and poster.

You can grab images from all blogs and mix them or use only one blog. Keep the names of the student/photographer and put them next to the image. These are online, low-res images so this booklet will be a mock-up version first.

Hong Kong Blogs:


The MicroHabitat of Claudia Jim
Hanging clothes is part of Hong Kong cityscape. From large quilts to towels, and even to underwears, Hong Kong people never hesitate to display their private live. The clothes float in the wind under sunlight, they are a part of my daily reflection of the city.

week 5 | rhythmanalysis

In class:
As a team, look at all Hong Kong Blogs and create a digital mood board with the published images that represents rhythm as you would imagine it in HGK. Consider cyclical and linear repetition and secret/public rhythms.

At home:
Experiment 4: Urban Biomes Publication 2

  1. Refine your design based on the critique in class.
  2. Bring to class:
    Print the MiniBook and bring it to class
    The pictures and text you used as footage (updated?)
  3. Upload a PDF with one (or more pictures) of your PsychoGeography map plus a one paragraph description to the folder 03 PSYCHOGEOGRAPHY in our shared google folder

You will find an excerpt of Rhythmanalysis. Space, Time and Everyday Life by HENRI LEFEBVRE in our readings folder. Read: The Critique of the Thing.

week 4 | Urban Biomes

Experiment 4: Urban Biomes Publication

Bring next week:
Both sides of your Mini Book (poster and spreads) and the grid you used for the spreads printed
The pictures and text you used as footage.

Crafting your book

Watch this movie on youtube. Watch it again.

In our READINGS folder on google drive, you will find a PDF explaining how to create the book. Only use the process explained on the first page.


Browse some recent creative projects. For example on manystuff, dezeen, The Next Web or Coolhunting


The Typographische Monatsblätter was one of the most important journals to successfully disseminate the phenomenon of ‘Swiss typography’ to an international audience

Grid: An introduction and How-to by Andrew Maher

Ellen Lupton explains the history and usage of the grid

DALE magazine

LUST is a multidisciplinary graphic design practice based in The Hague, Netherlands.

week 3 | OBSERVATION: Environmental consciousness

Remember to keep documenting your habitat. You should upload one picture per day. Look at the blogs of your peers – all links can be found at the end of this page.

Experiment 3: Environmental consciousness
What defines your habitat? Create a Psychogeographic Map of a day–or a week, or two weeks–in your habitat. Use things from your environment like magazines, newspapers, pens, materials, anything analog to create a collage on a tabloid format paper. You might use the internet to research and use a computer to print elements but the final work needs to be a handmade collage using a mix of materials–or at least paper. You can base the map on actual geography but you can also create something completely abstract.

Browse: Eye magazine: FIGURES AND FACTS. You do not need to read all the articles. Get inspired by text and image.

Psychogeographic Maps

Appetite Engineers Sundance Festival

Appetite Engineers Workbook Endpapers

Martin Venezky

Project 360 by Franke Dresme | Psychogeographic Map

More Psychogeographic Maps (Guy Debord)

Films & Architecture: “Metropolis”

Selena Kimball The New World

Selena Kimball The New York Times (continued)

Katie Nairne The altered book 2

Personal Mapping: Feltron Reports

Our Partners

Academy of Media Arts Cologne

Hong Kong Baptist University Hong Kong, Academy of Visual Arts

Guy Debord. PsychoGeography: “the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals.” mappingweirdstuff

week 2 | Observation: Sense of place

Experiment 2: Sense of Place
Find a random place in the city: Walk ten blocks from your home. Follow the green traffic lights so you will not stop and your walk becomes random. The street crossing you arrive at after ten blocks is your place of study. Spend some time to experience “the identity” of the place. Read our text first – you can study the suggested dimensions in the article (Biophysical Setting, Psychological Elements, Sociocultural Elements and Political Elements) – you can also just breath in the experience. Do you feel it is a commercial place, a place to rest, is it annoying or peaceful? Could this place be part of your habitat or are there reasons to avoid it? What grabs your attention?

  1. Take a camera (or phone) to take pictures and record sounds.
  2. Create 3 collages that reduces the experience to simple shapes. I will demonstrate in class how to use the “threshold function” in combination with “multiplying layers” in a photo-editing tool to do this.
  3. There is a PDF with examples in our shared google folder.
  4. Format: 1280 × 720px, png
  5. Create a sound file that is not longer than 60 sec.
  6. Upload both to the Folder “Experiment 2: Sense of Place”.

Write: A 140 letter short description for your visual diary tumblr blog. What’s going on? Why are you doing this? How are you connected to this topic? The challenge is to keep it focused and short at this point.

Read: Toward an Interdisciplinary Understanding of Place, Nicole M. Ardoin, pages 112-118 (stop at “An Educational Framework” – or feel free to read the rest of the article)

The Economist: Sense of Place | Geography Matters

Photoshop Threshold

Photoshop Multiply Layers

Our Partners

Academy of Media Arts Cologne

Hong Kong Baptist University Hong Kong, Academy of Visual Arts

On the point: Define species, habitat, population, community, ecosystem and ecology

Organization of Life: Species, Populations, Communities, and Ecosystems

Martin Venezky’s Appetite Engineers. Promotional Publication–Find more exciting work on their website.

week 1 | OBSERVATION: Species, Habitats & Biomes

To facilitate our collaboration we will build archives documenting your MicroHabitat. You are expected to upload one picture per day for the whole semester–think about a concept for this. Instead of posting random food-pictures you might want to observe your habitat through a specific perspective–for example Signage and Typography; Human expression in the subway; Tiny things you find in the streets–you can use the whole city for your investigation but you can also constrain your habitat (your room, your bag, a square, a street, …)

Create a new tumblr blog with a minimal theme that only shows your pictures on a white background. Good themes are: YUKI, WICKED, LOOKBOOK and JUSTIFIED. Have your first seven pictures uploaded before next Tuesday and send me the link to your tumblr. You need to take all pictures yourself! Feel free to post more pictures using different concepts if you would like to discuss alternatives.
Here is an example of what it should look like:

Experiment 1: Storytelling
Select one object from your everyday life. It can be something in your room, at school or in public. It can be something you own since many years or you just found. Write about the habitat of this object. Study and observe its nature, its environment and think about past and future. See if you can use the terms SPECIES \ HABITATS \ BIOMES \ POPULATION \ COMMUNITIES \ ECOSYSTEMS at all when you think about this object. Take a picture of the object, write at least 200 words and create a PDF with both to be uploaded to the DRIVE folder.

Read: Environmental Psychology by Raymond De Young, pages 17-22 (stop at TRANSITIONING TO SUSTAINABLE LIVING)

Our Partners

Academy of Media Arts Cologne

Hong Kong Baptist University Hong Kong, Academy of Visual Arts

On the point: Define species, habitat, population, community, ecosystem and ecology

Organization of Life: Species, Populations, Communities, and Ecosystems

FORTY FIVE SYMBOLS magazine Issue One

tumblr themes




Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest on TED and on his website