Essay #1: On Movement: Infinite Corridor

Due: Friday of Week 4.

How to write about places with attentiveness, to write about places of movement. How to write from the perspective of a walker. How do you enter the space? How do you move through it? Take note of the intellectual and social life of the space and the rules which guide the movement of people. How does it make you feel? To answer these questions, you should walk through and experience the space, taking note of your observations. Write 1000-1500 (max) words about the infinite corridor and its relationship to building 9 at MIT.

Essay #2: On Openness: Maximum City

Due: Friday of Week 8.

Reflect on the previous weeks: reflect on movement, on blindspots, on conversation, on reporting, on intimacy and the power of the personal voice. Maximum City is a book about, among many things, desires and longings that persist in the face of challenges and limitations that make a city messy and oppressive. Look at the city you are examining and write one scene (800 words) about the longings—or a longing—that persist in you (or a person or group you are focused on). Write in rich detail about these desires and longings. As you write, consider Suketu Mehta’s representation of the city as a vibrant, chaotic, sometimes overpowering, and often beautiful, place. His writing immerses us in the city—aim for your writing to do the same.

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