Architexture, Infrastructure, and the Rhetoric of Design | Computers & Writing 2014
Rusty Carpenter | Eastern Kentucky University | [email protected]
Dànielle Nicole DeVoss | Michigan State University | [email protected]
Andy Frazee | Georgia Institute of Technology | [email protected]
James P. Purdy | Duquesne University | [email protected]
David Sheridan | Michigan State University | [email protected]
Douglas Walls | University of Central Florida | [email protected]
Purdy, James P., & DeVoss, Dànielle Nicole. (In process). Making space. Ann Arbor, MI:
University of Michigan Press / Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative.
Digital Composing as a Distributed, Emergent Process: Technology-Rich Spaces and
Learning Ecologies
David Sheridan
This chapter looks at a small technology-rich teaching and learning environment called
the Language and Media Center (LMC), located in Michigan State University's new
Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (RCAH). I begin by summarizing current
conversations on living-learning communities (LLCs), on learning spaces, and on writing
centers. While these conversations rarely intersect, they share a number of salient
themes, especially an emphasis on the role that social connections play in facilitating
learning. I then turn briefly to conversations on networks and ecologies. Finally, I examine
the experiences of one RCAH student who visited the LMC as she worked on a series of
related compositions. This student's experience, I argue, reveals a composing process
that is distributed across a range of human and nonhuman agents. Tracing the activities
of this student reveals the presence of a larger, learning ecology. The LMC participates in
and helps to nurture this ecology.
From the Ground Up: Shaping Community, Collaboration, and Multiliteracies at Georgia
Rebecca E. Burnett, Brandy Ball Blake, Andy Frazee, Karen Head, Diane Jakacki, Chris
Ritter, Nirmal Trivedi, & Christopher Weedman
This web text discusses three dynamic Writing and Communication Program spaces that
serve the entire Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) campus: the Laptop
Classroom in the Skiles Classroom Building (Skiles 302), the Communication Center in
the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons, and the Stephen C. Hall Building. These
spaces—which encourage both community and collaboration—are not just any spaces
that our program happens to be using; these are spaces deliberately designed by us and
for us. Working with the Writing and Communication Program throughout both the
planning and design stages, the designers and architects were particularly concerned
about the match between the physical spaces and our philosophy, our pedagogy, and
our research practices. Representatives of our program also worked with interior
designers, landscape architects, and information technology experts in determining
details. This chapter focuses on physical and digital affordances that contribute to the
Writing and Communication Program’s core philosophies of rhetoric, process, and
multimodality; we also offer, however, implications and conclusions flexible enough for
readers at a range of other institutional contexts to consider and apply.
A SPACE TO PLAY, A SPACE TO COMPOSE: A Model for Creative Collaborations and
Composition Practices
Russell G. Carpenter and Shawn Apostel
This chapter situates the Noel Studio for Academic Creativity (Noel Studio) at Eastern
Kentucky University (EKU) as a new space for composition and pedagogy. As its name
implies, creativity influences the Noel Studio’s design. In turn, the Studio's design is
intended to enhance the creativity of its visitors by breaking from traditional writing
space models and integrating areas to foster multimodal invention practices.
Employing student interviews as our primary method for understanding the role space
plays in the composing process of college students, we trace the journey of composition
as students move from room to room, from one form of technology to another, and as
they research, brainstorm, collaborate, write, revise, seek feedback, and polish their
communication projects. Furthermore, our chapter features student narratives explaining
how the Noel Studio’s space enables creative expression and how that experience
translates into stronger composition projects and more robust student experiences.
The Infrastructure of Space: Expanding Writing Classroom Activity into the
Douglas Walls and Leslie Wolcott
In this chapter, we leave the space of computer lab classrooms to build on the idea of
hacking space (Walls, DeVoss, & Schopieray, 2009). We explore ways of hacking the
virtual space of classrooms—even those situated with little to no technology.
We consider how “digital objects” can allow students and their work to shift and move
through the physical walls of their assigned classrooms. We also propose a combined use
of institutional and non-institutional virtual spaces simultaneously, where “kitchen tables”
or their software equivalents become both within and outside of the university and the
classroom–at the same time.
We frame this discussion of shifting and complicating classroom walls through ActorNetwork Theory, a particularly useful way to reconsider Ruggles Gere’s kitchen tables as
objects that generate activity around them. We suggest that digital tools can act as the
same kind of activity-generating objects, but only if—and when—networks of people and
activities around those objects exist in a way that invite opportunities for meaningful
writing work to be done.