Students search for and photograph an example from a specific class module, supporting their find with available online information. The above is an example of a "daylighted" creek that was previously buried in a culvert in North Oakland. This is an increasingly common practice in sustainable urban planning. This example would most directly apply to a landscape architecture or environmental studies course, but the assignment type can apply to a wide variety of courses, from environmental science, policy, and management or integrative biology to economics, public policy, or sociology.
Students select an image from an online historical photo archive, and then photograph the same location in the present. In the entry, they document the differences they observe at the site, from physical elements to social settings, and explain the reasons for and implications of the differences they see, relating them to readings and concepts from class. The example above is of Head House Square in Philadelphia, in 1889 and the present day, and illustrates the effects of economic change and corresponding urban policy over the course of the 20th century. This assignment could be used in a history, urban planning, or architecture course.
Students search for examples of advertising and other publicly displayed images that illustrate important course themes. This assignment asks students to consider not just the design of the public image, and what it reveals about the designer's expectations of the viewer, but also its location in physical and social space, such as the demographics of the area and its placement in relation to other objects in the place. The above example shows two different promotional ads for Philadelphia's IndeGo bicycle sharing system, both of which display "cultural sensitivity" in advertising and reveal tropes of race, class, and gender in their presentation. The left image is located in a predominantly African-American neighborhood within the orbit of Temple University, and the right is situated in a rapidly developing "loft district" where new residents are likely to work in downtown professional employment. This assignment would be well suited to a marketing, information, media studies, or sociology course.