Thinking Pieces


A Thinking Piece is a short essay (around 750 words) that discusses a topic thoroughly and elaborates a critical point of view designed to provoke conversation about the subject. Each essay should raise and explore one specific question or issue. It’s defined as:

: a piece of writing meant to be thought-provoking and speculative that consists chiefly of background material and personal opinion and analysis *

These are essentially a short paper on a topic of your choosing (but related to the prompt or module) that showsclear, critical, and independent thought. Each paper should introduce and synthesize research, theory, topics, perspectives, ideas and outcomes from across domains and disciplines.

Learning Objectives

As part of theses exercise, students will:

  • learn about the history and domain of physical computing and intelligent spaces;
  • build familiarity with foundational concepts relevant to the topics within this course;
  • review and learn from key authors, scholars, and practioners who have contributed to the field;
  • use these texts to assess and examine past, present and future trends for IoT devices; and
  • raise questions, issues, challenges or provocations that we can bring to our investigations within this course.


Add your Thinking Piece to the #think-pieces as a new post on slack (see below).

This post should contain a essay (750 words) on a topic of your choosing. This should a) introduce the topic you have chosen, b) raise questions and provocations, and C) provide a critical reflection or perspective on the topic.

The thinking piece should include appropriate citations, link referenced texts and works and acknowledge authors appropriately. You’re welcome to include illustrations and images as needed too.


As part of thinking pieces, students will identify an open question or challenge posed in developing responsive technologies within the scope of the themes or projects assigned and that they are personally interested in. This should include a clear description of your area of interest as well as supporting research, examples, precedents, and other sources that provide context to your ideas and argumentation.

Reflect on the ideas you’ve encountered as part of the course and select one you’d like to explore more. You’re welcome to go beyond the three investigations to other ideas you’ve encountered too.

In your statement do three things:

  1. Start from a problem, open challenge or area of interest i.e. give a little explanation what you chose the area/idea/question you did and why its interesting and relevant;
  2. Formalize a question or statement which expresses that interest effectively and narrowly i.e. distill it down to something quick, easy and clear to communicate
  3. Develop a statement of how it relates to ideas and outcomes which precede it i.e. support it with references and research; tell us why this is important; how does it advance or extend prior work; etc.

For part 3, don’t rely only on things introduced or surfaced as part of the course materials or discussions. You’re expect to go beyond the course materials and readings and bring in new literature, projects, exemplars, and ideas.

Submitting your work:

You’ll submit your work on Slack. As a new post:

  • Open Slack and navigate to the #think-pieces 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.