Assignment Spotlight: TimeMapper

Beck Wise

Locative Media, Pedagogy

When the DWRL staff started talking about preparing digital lesson plans for new instructors teaching first year composition in our classrooms, one of the first tools we settled on was TimeMapper. This free and open-source tool allows individuals and classes to quickly and easily build timemaps: timelines with associated geodata, in which every data point is mapped to both its temporal and physical location. It’s fun and accessible, and it builds on the DWRL’s long history of research in locative media, including our past GeoEverything project. And it’s already proving a success in our classrooms.

Studying Twitter Communities

Pete Kunze

Social Media

Image Credit: LSE Gender Institute

Recently, Twitter user Aziah King posted a lengthy story via Tweets that took social media by storm. Chronicling a seemingly unbelievable weekend trip to Florida, King’s 148-Tweet epic is amazing not only for its content, but how she tells the story. Her voice—intensely personal, often hilarious, brazenly forthright—exhibits the Black discursive practice that Henry Louis Gates, Jr. notably theorized as “Signifyin’.”

What’s the Matter with Helvetica?

Jake Cowan

Multimodal Writing

Throughout this semester, anyone who hears that I am researching typography will sooner or later ask me what font they should choose for their latest paper, their new blog logo, their latest tattoo. Typically, I respond with something like: What’s the matter with Helvetica?

Digital Lesson Plan Open House: Augmented Reality

Keith Leisner

Events, Locative Media


To Our Usual Readers,

In lieu of a conventional blog post, and in preparation for the 2015 DWRL Digital Lesson Plan Open House, this post summarizes a lesson on augmenting a physical space to better understand arguments about the rhetoric of space — in this case, the DWRL itself (how meta!).

See ya next post!

The Augmented Reality Team

Does this font make me look amateur?


Multimodal Writing, Pedagogy


Designers have strong feelings about fonts and will spend hours picking out a font, making it the right size, moving it around to the right place. There are font that should never be used—Papyrus and Comic Sans always seem to make the list. Whereas other fonts are considered top notch—Times New Roman and Helvetica (which has its own documentary). As I mentioned in another post, there isn’t a lot of research on the topic of fonts and there is room for growth.

From the Archive: Learning To Move: Connecting Pedagogy With Context Through A Difficult Classroom

DWRL Staff

History, Pedagogy


The lab is hosting a open house this coming Friday that showcases the pedagogical work that our staff members have been doing this semester. We’re planning on rearranging one of our rooms a bit to fit everyone in, and this got us thinking about how drastically the physical classroom can impact the course of a semester. Here’s a look back as some former lab members worked through these issues.

Graphic Design, Theatrical Movement Training, and Augmented Reality

Deb Streusand

Locative Media

Image is of the cover of Graphic Design: The New Basics, which features the title centered in black text, with a swirling pattern of red lines covering the top two-thirds of the image.

The cover of Graphic Design: The New Basics, showing a repetitive graphic design choice itself.

While I was doing research for my role as graphic designer in the Augmented Reality group, one of the lab’s supervisors suggested the book Graphic Design: The New Basics to me. I looked through the book and found one section that stood out to me, a discussion of balance and rhythm. The piece in question examines the role of symmetry and asymmetry, rhythm and repetition, in graphic design.

These words are very familiar to me because of my training in theatre. As an actor, I studied the Viewpoints system of movement. In this system, there are eight viewpoints that an actor learns to consider in their movement: shape, gesture, spatial relationship, architecture, repetition, duration, tempo, and kinesthetic response. Some of the Viewpoints, like the body’s kinesthetic response to stimuli, don’t apply as much to graphic design. But shape, spatial relationship, repetition, and duration all play a role in the construction of a two-dimensional image, just as they do on stage. When I make my designs for our how-to guide, I will need to consider the shape of the image on the page or screen, the spatial relationship between it and the text our programmer Felipe Cruz provides, the repetition from page to page, the duration of text as punctuated by images.