CMS 362/862 Spring 2020: Open Collectives

An image of the poster for the codesign studio in spring 2020. Poster text is in the body of the post.
Poster for the Spring 2020 Codesign Studio

A Civic Media Codesign Studio On Open Collectives

Comparative Media Studies 362/862, Spring 2020

First class on Tues Feb 4th: 6-9 pm
Room 9-217
Regular sessions: Tuesday evening, 7-10pm

Instructor: Marisa Morán Jahn 
mjahn AT
Prereqs: One subject in CMS or MAS, or permission of professor
Enrollment: limited to 16. Open to both grad and undergrad 

The Civic Media Codesign Studio is a service-learning, project-based studio course where students partner with community-based organizations to create civic media projects grounded in real-world needs. Covers theory and practice of codesign, including methods for community participation in iterative stages of project ideation, design, prototyping, testing, launch, and stewardship. Projects are collaborative, interdiscilplinary, and team-based.
In the Spring of 2020, this course involves students in co-designing projects with “open collectives,” or self-organized communities whose digital and physical platforms harness 21st century tools and together share the goals of economic sovereignty and communal self-determination. The groups are as follows:

  • Quipu is a micro-currency platform and physical marketplace empowering members of a low-income community in Colombia, 75% of whom are resettled victims of armed conflict.  
  • is an affordable housing construction collective pioneering the use of machine learning to simplify building assembly and facilitate communal barn-raising.
  • CarePod, a care-based co-housing unit and strategy created with the National Domestic Workers Alliance.
  • Re-appropriating the concept of the kibbutz to meet 21c urban trends, Communit offers low-cost collective living in abandoned buildings in a neighborhood known for its worker history and mixed, diverse population.