Finding neighborhood boundaries

Interactive Web Design I · DM2280B spring 2013 · Corcoran College of Art + Design
Instructor: David Ramos

What neighborhood is the Corcoran located in? Some people say “Georgetown,” while others argue for Glover Park. Develop a method for finding out where DC neighborhoods begin and end, according to the opinions of real people. This project explores the ways in which defining a question will shape the answers, and it offers an introduction to testing and design through iteration.

old map

DC neighborhoods in 1877, from the Washington Post.

This project is not about actually locating the edges of neighborhoods, although you will be able to draw some conclusions about the city’s shape using the information that you gather. You are primarily concerned with developing a method for acquiring this information and presenting it to the public.

A few examples of related projects:

Part I: for 17 September

Answer this question:

What neighborhoods do you pass through when moving from the “Social Safeway,” south along Wisconsin Ave., and east along P St. to Dupont Circle? Where are the boundaries of those neighborhoods?

Base your response on the thoughts of at least one dozen people. (No more than three of these people may be affiliated with the Corcoran.)

Think about the question. What kind of an response are you interested in getting? Form a plan, set that plan to paper, and then collect data. Whatever your approach, you must use a single, consistent method. Interpret the data that you have gathered.

Present your methodology and your findings to the class, in the form of text, images, maps, or drawings.

Part II: final critique on 8 October

Develop a way of gathering information about neighborhood boundaries – this time, across the entire city of Washington, D.C. Design the tools that you would use to gather information and to publish the results.


Published 2012-09-09.