Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Essay 2 - instruction

Back when the course started, in the beginning of September, I wrote:

"You have to write an individual essay twice during the course; one in the beginning and one more right when the course ends. Writing these essays are compulsory."

The time to write the concluding second essay has now come. This essay replaces other forms of course evaluations. Do note that it is compulsory to write this essay and you will not get your course credits registered if you haven't written both essays (for those who for some reasons did not write the first essay, see further instructions below).



Please download and use the template that is available in Bilda ("Documents/FoM essay 2") when you write your text. Use your family name when you name your file ("Pargman essay 2") and upload it to the "drop box" that has been created exclusively for this purpose in Bilda ("Contents/Essay 2"). Do note that you can only upload the file formats .doc, .docx (MS Word) or .pdf to the drop box.

The deadline for handing in the essay is Monday December 29 (17.00), i.e. twelve days after the final presentation. Do note that English or Swedish is ok. If you miss the deadline, there is a new deadline on Saturday Jan 19 at 17.00 (officially last day of the autumn semester). The task below is neither very comprehensive nor time-consuming, but please do set some time off to sit down and reflect upon the course when you write the essay!

The essay consists of three parts:

1A. "Instead of a course evaluation".
- What were in your opinion the two (or three) best things about the course?
- What were in your opinion the two (or three) worst things about the course?
- What are your (perhaps two or three) suggestions for how to change/improve the course?
- What is the most important advice you can give to the students who will take the course next year?

You are of course allowed to posit more than three suggestions (etc.), but plese don't answer each question with just a few words or a sentence each. State your opinions and then exemplify, explain and back them up. We will not specify a set length, but do not just enumerate stuff without also including (at least a brief) explanation of each.

1B. "The project"

Taking into account that this is a project course, we are interested in creating structures for the project phase (Oct-Dec) that help project groups work with limited resources (primarily time) and still deliver high-quality results. Here are some questions to help you think about these issues (use the list below for inspiration, not as a checklist):
- How would you evaluate your project group's work effort? Are you happy with it?
- Was the work effort in the group more or less well distributed among group members or did some group members work a lot more or a lot less than others?
- Did you reach the quality you aimed/wished for in the allotted time and with the resources available? Why/why not?
- Did group members have similar priorities, or did you have different opinions about some (important) things? How did you resolve them?
- How much (or little) have you enjoyed working with your project group?
- Knowing what you know now, what could/should you or the teachers have done differently during the project phase of the course?

NOTE: we ask this question because 1) we only have limited insights into the work processes of individual project groups during the last few months and 2) we want to learn more so as to be able to improve instructions and advice for project groups next year. Your comments might thus refer to "mistakes" or unfortunate decisions you made in your group as well as aspects of the course that could be improved in order to clarify and support the work of the project groups better.

1C. "Closing the circle"
Go back and re-read the essay you handed in at the beginning of the term (if you absolutely can't locate it, send a mail to Daniel Pargman who will find it and return it to you).

In that first essay (the instructions are here) you wrote about A) your "expectations and apprehensions" regarding the course and B) about your "relationship to the digital commons and the sharing economy". What has changed and what hasn't since you wrote that first essay? Did the course live up to your expectations or did you apprehensions come true? Has your relationship to the digital commons and the sharing economy changed since then or are they still the same?

Please write no less than 400 words (1 page) and no more than 1000 words (2.5 pages) on topic 1B and 1C together.

For those (few) who did not hand in essay 1 or for some other reason have to do an extra assignment:
I will anonymize and distribute eight different essays to you (making sure that none of them comes from any members of your own project group). Instead/on top of 1C above, you will summarize these essays and furthermore see if you can find patterns that several students agree on (or important stuff people disagree on). I will send further instructions together with the essays. You you will not be able to complete this task before Dec 29 since your classmates have to submit their second essays before I can give you this extra assignment. You will thus have to aim for the January 19 deadline instead of the December 29 deadline.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Final presentation jury members

We have four members in the jury for the final presentation. Since we have little time for each group, there might not be time for all members of the jury to express their opinions about each group's presentation. In fact, my guess is that perhaps two members or a maximum three members of the jury will be able to comment each group's presentation (they will have to take turns throughout the afternoon). I also strongly suspect that the comments might for the most part be feedback and opinions/reviews rather than open-ended or "deep" questions (there is unfortunately not enough time for that).

The members of the jury are:
- Milad Hossainzadeh
- Airi Lampinen
- Mario Romero
- Daniel Wentz


Milad Hossainzadeh is a young architect and entrepreneur who was born in Iran. He grew up in Sweden and partly in London where he received his Masters from UCL The Bartlett School of Architecture. He is currently based in Stockholm, working at the leading Scandinavian architectural firm White. He shares his time as a member of Urban Land Institute and working strategically with international relations within the field s architecture, urban design, business development and start-ups. As an architect, he has an interest in optimizing the power of cultural innovation and systematic root thinking.

Airi Lampinen works as a postdoctoral researcher at Mobile Life Centre, Stockholm University. Previously, she has been a researcher at Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT, a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley's School of Information and a research intern at Microsoft Research New England. Her research is focused on interpersonal boundary regulation in networked settings, such as the sharing economy and social network services. Her qualifications include a PhD in social psychology from University of Helsinki and a BSc (Eng.) from Aalto University's interdisciplinary Information Networks degree programme.

Dr. Mario Romero is Associate Professor in Human-Computer Interaction in the Department of High-Performance Computing and Visualization (HPCViz) at KTH. He is a Fulbright Scholar from Ecuador and a graduate of Georgia Tech (PhD Computer Science, 2009), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Master Computer Science, 2001), and Universidad San Francisco de Quito (B.S. Industrial Engineering and B.S. Construction Engineering, 1996). Dr. Romero is also a technical co-founder of BrailleTech, developer and distributor of BrailleTouch. Dr. Romero's research centers in Human-Computer Interaction, Visualization, and Ubiquitous and Accessible Computing.

Daniel Wentz is Vice president for Strategy & Digital Transformation at Schibsted Media Group. He studied at KTH during the vintage years of 1998 - 2003, at the time when KTH Graphic Arts (Grafisk Teknik) was trying to understand what the Internet was and how it could be useful. After having finished his studies at KTH, Daniel ventured into entrepreneurship and Management Consulting (focusing on European Telecom and Media sectors) before joining Schibsted Media Group in 2011.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Masters Theses opportunities


I don't know if the place to publish this is in this or the companion blog. I guess here is better or it will disappear in the volume of traffic due to your weekly updates on the companion blog...

The message below comes from one of our guest lecturers in the course - Airi Lampinen



Dear Future of Media Students,

we are looking for students who would like to write their Master's thesis at Mobile Life ( on topics related to our Homes & Cities project where we collaborate with IKEA, Ericsson, and Stockholm city. Based on your mid-term presentations, I think some of you might be interested in the topics we are working on -- and I'm convinced you'd make for great collaborators for Mobile Life!

In Homes and Cities, we are rethinking the smart city (& home) with on liminal spaces, that is, spaces that are at the boundary of home and city, the private and the public. These could include playgrounds, courtyards, tv├Ąttstugas, and more. We are interested in (a) exploring how people use such spaces and adapt them to fit their needs and (b) designing for these spaces by bringing personal and city infrastructure and data together.

At this point, we are primarily looking for students to work on these two topics:

1. Novel ways of food sharing (and/or growing) in local urban neighborhoods: urban farming, guerilla gardening, eating together with strangers, sharing left-over food to reduce food waste... The domain is broad and can be shaped to fit the student's interests. The thesis could be a combination of inquiry into current practices and design work on what kind of (mobile) technologies could enable/facilitate the interactions related to food sharing.

2. Windows as displays: a more design-oriented project of approaching apartment/building windows as a design space at the boundary of home and city. Next to the (during this season) common christmas star, what else would people be willing to display in their window? How could this be a way to interact with neighbors or people in the street? Could it also be a way to more actively manage what others can see about the tenants & their home (even in some ways akin to a social media profile page)?

Beyond these lines of work, you are also welcome to be in touch about your own idea if you'd like to pursue it in collaboration with Mobile Life researchers. In particular, further topics related to homes, cities, and the sharing economy are of interest to us.

If you are interested, please be in touch with Airi Lampinen (airi<at> for more information. You can also come and chat with me on Dec 17 at the final presentations event.