CLMOOC 2015 | Make Cycle [number]
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Make Cycle #5: Stories & Spaces!

We would like to begin by thanking the folks over at San Diego Area Writing Project (SDAWP) for engaging us in deep analysis of systems and their influence on our lives. It’s been great to see the variety of creative approaches and makes people have shared in the CLMOOC community.

This week we are going to explore public spaces and their meaning through digital storytelling. But first, we are going to start with some definitions and characteristics of public spaces.

What’s a public space?
Public spaces are places that are open and accessible to anyone. They can be both physical or digital.

Children playing in Hågelby Park by Viktor Karppinen, CC by NC-ND 2.0

Examples of physical and digital public spaces:

  • Parks
  • The Internet
  • Libraries
  • Virtual Worlds and MMOs
  • Museums
  • [hack this list]
A diagram of the different social media spaces by Brian Solis and JESS3, CC BY 2.5

KQED is also a public digital space. We provide content that is accessible to anyone, and encourage the community to get involved whether it’s through commenting, submitting a story, or engaging in civic discourse through Do Now. Do Now is a participatory space for users (primarily youth and educators) to actively engage with media and current issues, and  use digital storytelling tools (Twitter, Instagram, Vine, etc.) to express and share their views.  

Why public spaces?
The fight to keep the internet public and the disappearance of public spaces are timely issues in our society. Additionally, we believe there are interesting connections between the public spaces we interact in, and the media we make. We want to explore those public spaces through digital storytelling to see what these connections are.

Project for Public Spaces (PPS) identifies four key features of successful public spaces: access and linkages, sociability, comfort and image, and uses and activities. As you are exploring both physical and digital spaces, you can use the following diagram to analyze them.
The Place Diagram is a tool to help people judge places, developed by Project for Public Spaces

Make with Me

For this make cycle, we invite you to create a digital story about a public space - physical or digital - that holds an important meaning to you or your community. 

Here are some additional questions that you might think about as you’re exploring spaces:

  • Why does this space matter?
  • How does this space shape you?
  • How do you shape this space?

Your story can take on many forms. It can be a video, a photo slideshow, an interactive image, a website, a song - anything you want to make! You can create a game about a public space, remix an existing text to tell a story about a place, or remediate any of your previous makes! Maybe you’ll design your own public space and make a story about it through multiple mediums!

In addition, we have a few questions to spark our thinking as we embark on this journey:  

  • How can the design of a public space influence and shape interactions and identity?
  • How do people connect and learn across different public spaces?
  • How are norms established in public spaces?

Check Out These Resources

The CLMOOC Make Bank is a great place to look at past projects and get inspiration for your ideas.

Here are some examples of digital stories about public spaces:

Digital Postcard about Teotihuacan
Thinglink about Wikipedia

Here are some examples of public spaces:

Digital stories come in a variety of formats. Here are some digital tools and tutorials to explore:

A collection of readings on public spaces, community and design:

Places to Share


  • Join our Make With Me live broadcast with chat on Tuesday, July 21, at 4 pm ET/1 pm PT/8 pm UTC live streamed with a synchronous chat here at CLMOOC. This session will also be recorded so you can watch the archive later.
  • We will be hosting a Twitter Chat for Make Cycle #1 on Thursday, July 23, at 4 pm ET/1 pm PT/8 pm UTC  with the #clmooc hashtag

Need More Information?

Finally …

As fellow storytellers, we can’t wait to explore and make with you!
Randy Depew, Merisenda Alatorre and Annelise Wunderlich

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