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Writing Prompt #2: Case Study as Argument

Writing a Case Study: Case studies are a type of writing and/or research that aims to understand and explain a phenomena or pattern. They are used in many fields to promote critical thinking and to understand a problem better. They are not meant to solve the problem, but instead to provoke an analytical discussion. In this assignment, you are being asked to look at the work of one of our contributors as a case study and to extract from that examination a larger argument about how design is in transition. 

Prompt: Using the contributor who’s name Tania supplied to you (see below), write a case study of the person + their work and how that is evidence of some aspect of the them of Volume 38 (Flux: Design in Transition.) You should plan to use 1 specific project from their work as a specific example of this relationship. You should also do outside research to validate your ideas for the importance of flux (quotes from famous designers, etc.)


Step 1: Do some research on your Contributor. Create a summary of what you think their work is all about and how it relates to Flux/transition, etc. Then create a series of 5-10 questions that are provoked by this research. These questions should explore the boundaries of their work, be critical of elements that you think are in contrast to your own ideas and thoughts, or hypothesize on new applications of the idea of Flux. They should relate to the topic of Volume 38 (Flux). Chose one of these questions as a basis of your interpretation of Flux and how you think your Assigned Contributor relates to the topic of Flux.

Step 2: Consider this statement and fill in the blanks. (My contributors) work is an example of design in transition (in this way…). This should form the basis of the thesis of your case study.

Step 3: Find an non-design article, book or other resource that addresses a new concept of flux, transition or one of the tensions that we discussed within the theme (some interpretation of those). It should be something that relates to your assigned designer and what and how you think their work exemplifies or relates to Flux. This should be something that comes from the hard sciences, social sciences, mathematics, social work, any field OTHER than design.

Step 4: Identify a project that the designer engaged in (an exhibition, a research project, a building) that you think exemplifies the idea of Flux that you are interested in exploring. 

Step 5: Create a concept map, visual outline or regular outline that includes your main idea, supporting claims and evidence that validates these claims.

Step 6: Read Selections from On Writing Well, pp. 95-99; Chapter 15 (Science and Technology), pp.147 – 164; Chapter 20 (The Sound of Your Voice), pp. 231 – 240.

Step 7: Write a 1000 word essay. Use the research that you have done (i.e. the original article) to help set up and validate why this topic that you are writing about is important. 

Step 8: Include 2 – 3 images that are evidence of the argument in your case study. One or 2 of these should be project images from your Assigned Contributor. The other can be an example from your larger argument about Flux, transition in design, etc.

Case Study Assignments:

  • Rachel: Prof. Fadi Masoud
  • Ashley: Terri Irwin
  • Nick: Dori Tunstall
  • Doug: Teddy Cruz
  • Savannah: Anthony Dunne + Fionna Raby
  • Katie: Michael Rock
  • Julia: Sasha Newell
  • Sidney: Andy Fox and David Hill
  • Lauren: Bryan Bell
  • Mikhail: Cecilia Mouat
  • Swati: Brittain Storck
  • Amanda: Skillet Gillmore


October 18: Initial Discussion, Preliminary Research

October 25: Review of Concept Maps and Introductory Paragraphs

November 01: Full draft of paper is due

  • Read and discuss Selections from On Writing Well, pp 95 – 99 and 147 – 164.

November 08: Paper is due

  • Read and discuss selections from On Writing Well, Chapter 20