Find a space on campus that you have never been before. This does not need to be the same site for your larger project. Your space may be public, but you must be the only one from your class in this space for the assignment.
Find a comfortable seat or place to lean or stand and observe the space for 30 minutes. Resist the urge to look at your phone or talk to anyone. During this time, take note of the following, and use this data to produce a space map.
- inhabit the space (walk the perimeter, note ceiling/sky and floor/ground)
- measure the space (traditional measurements such as inches and feet, or relative measurements such as steps, jumps, body lengths, arms, etc.)
- listen to the space (record sounds, frequency, tempo, background and foreground noises)
- touch the space (note temperature, moisture, texture)
- thoughts in the space (record where your mind wanders, what you think about in the space and how many of these things are unrelated or triggered by something in the space)
- changes in the space (how has the space changed in 30 minutes, more/less populated, changing activities, light shifts, etc.)
- notice any other details about the space that define the experience of being there — be creative!
Bring all your data back to class and use it to create a space map. Your map can be a drawing or collage that illustrates the sensory details that someone may not see when they look at the space. Your space map should give viewers a sliver of “being there.”