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ITP Classes (old posts, page 1)

Taxonomy and Field Guide Entries: Take 2

In last week's post I tried to organize the information to be presented into a hierarchy of some kind. I explored several maps showing the relationships between the different components related to the life cycle costs of home ownership. Although I did a good job mapping the information, there were a few problems. The biggest problem is that I was moving this project in a direction I don't want to go. Specifically, I don't want this to result in a business-like presentation that somebody from an MBA program would produce. Not that there is anything wrong with such presentations; educating people about financial literacy and home ownership is a critical function that somebody needs to do. The problem is that doing that would be painfully boring for me. I worked in the finance industry for too long and I really wanted to do something else for this class.

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Taxonomy and Field Guide Entries

Continuing my research on the "Life Cycle Costs of NYC Home Ownership," my next step is to create a taxonomy and draft field guide entries.

Before exploring the details of each I wanted to first discuss some higher level concepts to get them clear in my mind. First, in last week's post I was concerned that this project would become tedious and boring as I presented real estate financing details like ground leases and the mortgage tax. Rather than go in that direction I would rather bring these concepts to people's attention but then direct people to other sources for the detailed information.

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System Map

Our first topic is to create a field guide on some subject to contribute to a collection of Energy Field Guides. The field guide will be small pamphlet or zine. My randomly selected topic to research is "Life Cycle Costs," which I understand to mean both the visible and hidden costs associated with some entity or thing.

It wasn't immediately clear to me how my topic relates to Energy. I would have preferred to have a topic like Nuclear Energy so I could research the various technologies humankind is using or could be using to generate electricity with nuclear fission or fusion. But Life Cycle Costs? What does that mean in this context? In class I inquired further and was told by Marina to think about the hidden costs of ownership of something.

After thinking and exploring I decided to research "Life Cycle Costs of NYC Home Ownership."

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Temporary Expert

Temporary Expert, taught by Marina Zurkow.

Class blog posts:

Post-Spring Show

The Spring Show is over and it was a big success. If you are reading this and you attended the event, thank you for coming! I hope you were inspired by our hard work.

I enjoyed the show very much and am grateful for the people who stopped by to see what I am working on and ask questions. People seemed to like my project and had great feedback. I feel encouraged and even more motivated to continue working on this.

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I'm going to keep developing these ideas over the summer and will continue posting to this blog. Check back often!

Spring Show

I created a software program to apply a Neural Style Transfer algorithm to Google Street View data to make an animation that looks like you are traveling inside a painting.

Google collects panorama photos from all around the world and makes them available through the Google Street View service. Although they visit many interesting locations, the photos often look dull. My project involves obtaining these photos through their API and using a coherent style transfer algorithm to make the sequence look like a painted animation.

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Becoming Maurizio Cattelan

Maurizio Cattelan (b. 1960) is an Italian artist who is well-known for his sculptures that on the surface seem humorous or satirical but on a deeper level address the bigger concepts of life, love, and death. He is one of the most famous and successful living artists in the world, and remarkably, he has achieved this without any formal art education or training. His success can be attributed to several factors. First, he is very knowledgeable about art history and has made a careful study of the contemporary art world. Second, he has a charming and engaging personality and has been able to use his character to build a network of people who like him, support him, and want to see him succeed. And third, he has been able to craft his artistic persona and brand to establish himself as a key figure in the art world. Sometimes Cattelan is criticized as a flamboyant artistic con-man, but I see him as a resourceful and motivated individual who initially floundered and struggled to find his place in the world but took some risks and worked very hard to build a successful career as an artist.

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Final Presentation

Today was the final day of our class. Our team presented the reLive business we developed over the course of the semester. The presentation included user personas, a UX design, a technical prototype, and a business model.

I'm proud of our team and how well we worked together. We all had other classes and responsibilities competing for our time but we all pitched in and worked when we could and we were forgiving when others couldn't. We had a good dynamic and were able to explore ideas effectively and efficiently.

The presentation is available online. The code for our prototype is available on Github.

End of Class Presentation

The semester is over and I am giving my end of class presentation tomorrow. I decided I'm not going to call it my "final" presentation because this project is nowhere near over. I've built a great platform for working with Google Street View data but haven't done anything with it that demonstrates its potential. I'm going to continue working on this over the summer and beyond.

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