Case Studies

tl;dr; Students will be asked to share a series of well researched and throughly described case studies. Students will prepare one case study to help provide context to and inform the work of creative projects.

Developing Case Studies

To help support your creative explorations and to become familiar with work in the field, you will prepare a supportive case study related to each creative project. This is designed to encorage you to go beyond the course materials, to uncover new ideas and techniques related to the topics at hands, and to develop materials and collatoral that provide context and rationale to your creative projects. To incentivize this self-directed exploration, it is a graded component of this course.

A case study is a 150-300 word statement that introduces work from the field. The case study should be related to the topics under investigation, be relevant to the course materials, but go beyond them to provide a new perspective that is a) immediately useful to your work and b) potentially relevant to the work of others in the class.

Your case study can take a few different approaches:

  1. A critical dissection of a single reference project
  2. An exploration the work of someone influential to the field;
  3. One or more projects produced at a lab, by a collective, or at a company.
  4. An examination of a body of work that’s thematically, historically or in some other way related.

Generally speaking, a case study should introduce things (projects, artefacts, outcomes, systems, etc.) not ideas (research, ideas, theory, concepts). The latter will be dealt with through the ‘think piece’ exercises. That said, you will need to discuss the ideas surrounding the work to properly introduce them. But you again have latitude with this. If in doubt, ask!

Simply put this exercise asks you, find, assess and report resources that will help you make better projects as part of this course.

Learning Objectives

As part of the exercise, students will:

  • build familiarity with projects and approaches that are relevant to the course;
  • identify and critically review prior precedents, reference projects and creative work that relate to the course;
  • help co-create a set of exemplars to draw on as part of their own creative projects;
  • increase their ability to describe the domain and to provide context to their own projects.


Add your documented example to the #casestudies as a new post on slack (see below).

This post should contain a short narrative (200-350 words) about the work. This should provide a critical reflection on the selected work, it’s significance and contribution to the field.

The case study should include appropriate citations, link to each project and credit creators appropriately.

Submitting your work:

You’ll submit your precedents on Slack. Each case study should be submitted separately.

To submit your work:

  • Open Slack and navigate to the #casestudies channel
  • In the text box (bottom), click the + on the left hand side. Choose the option to ‘Create a new post’
  • In the post editor, give the case study and appropriate title.
  • Add your narrative to the body of the post.
  • When you have added your post, click the Share button on the top right.

Important: the hashtag will be used to automatically check you have made the required posts for each module. If you forget to include it you won’t get a grade for the post.

Developing a Narrative

In each post, write a short critical reflection on the case study (about 300 words) in which you:

  1. Briefly introduce your case study in a couple of sentences).
  2. Describe why you selected this case study (what is interesting, inspirational, innovative, etc. about it)
  3. Unpack any example projects in terms of the how it was made (execution, tools, technologies) and why it was made (context, intent, concept)
  4. Describe why the projects are significant or exciting
  5. If appropriate: Critique projects - what are their shortcomings; what concerns do you have, etc.
  6. Draw relationships between projects: What inspired or informed it? How does it compare to other work? Why is it influential and what has it influenced?

The post should contain supporting materials (video, audio, data, code, documents that will help serve as augmentation of the project narrative and represent the case study to your peers. You should provide at minimum one cover/masthead image at the top of the project and you should import from online sources (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.).

Examples Format

Examples of comparable narratives for case studies include:


Case studies will be graded as pass/fail:

  • 0 - Unsatisfactory - Incomplete or failing work. The example does not fit within the constraints of the project, is not relevant to the course or does not demonstrate any comprehension, reflection or analysis on it.

  • 1 - Satisfactory or better - Meets or exceeds the minimum requirements for the exercise; Highlights a good example within the scope of the exercise AND shows adequate research and reflection.

This will be applied to EACH discovery.

To guarantee you pass the assignment, make sure you have:

  • Used the correct format and channel for your post on Slack *
  • Added each discovery as a separate post on Slack *
  • Appropriately titled and given credit to the creators of the project/work *
  • Have included at least one link to the resource *
  • Written between 200-350 words on the case study and it’s relevance (not copy-paste descriptions!) *
  • Made an effort to reflect on the discovery and it’s relevance/utility
  • Written clearly, effectively and critically
  • Illustrated the case study with reference images
  • Provided citations and references to works appropriately.

* Incidates that if you do not meet these criteria you will immediately fail the assignment.

More information can be found in the Grading, Feedback and Policies section


  • No two students may submit the same work. Claim early.
  • You may not create a case study on a work formally introduced in class
  • You may not create a case study on work that another student has previously reviewed.
  • Avoid examples already in the Resources section of the course site or that are covered in class (unless you seek instructor permission.)

Starting points

To help guide your explorations, a list of potential places to find exemplars, case studies, labs, etc are found in the Resources section of this site.

Note: This is by no means an exhaustive list. You should explore beyond these!