Identifying a point of entry

Identify an over-arching element for the hub (water, energy, land, air, life, waste, food). What particular issue or theme floats above all the rest in this particular place? More importantly, is there a particular issue or theme that resonates with or exemplifies everything else there is to say about ecology, infrastructure, and sustainability in this place? Is there some specific topic through which we can better understand all the other topics we want to communicate about at a particular place? What weaves it all together?
--Mary Miss academic partnership

Consider your ANT map from today’s class and identify a point of entry. Thinking about Eric Sanderson’s muir webs, what contingencies exist between factors? Where is the fertile ground or probabilities for a design? How can you think about innovative and/or visual ways to conduct research to support this line of inquiry?

Write a 1-page project proposal considering the following:

1. what is the over-arching element you’d like to tackle, ie. your point of entry on the map?

2. what are the relevant contingencies this element impacts?

3. what sorts of design interventions might you imagine at this point (blue sky) to create awareness/dialogue regarding this element?

4. what sorts of research would support this kind of a design solution?

5. how might you conduct this research so it is fun, visual, perhaps participatory?

6. select one image to couple with this proposal.

Bring your map and the proposal to class next week.

Please upload proposals here:

Janice Rudan
(see attachment)


Maria Barreix &
Radhika Unnikrishnan

Yue Chen

7. Heba Elmasry

8. Lindsay Taylor


1. Elisabetta Distefano &
Lisa Anastasio


One of the innovations of the Mannahatta Project has been Eric Sanderson’s reconceptualization of this web of interconnection as incorporating all the elements of a given ecosystem – not just connections of predation and prey. Sanderson is calling this web a Muir web – named for John Muir, a California naturalist who emphasized the interconnection of all things in nature, and who worked to preserve wilderness in America. A Muir web shows how different species are connected to each other not only in that one may eat the other, but also, for instance, in that one species may provide shelter for another. A Muir web includes not only living species but also abiotic elements, like water, sun, soil and air. Such a web also includes habitats as discrete nodes. Though Sanderson has developed the Muir web model for Mannahatta, a Muir web could be applied to analyze relationships within any other ecosystem.
This Muir Web shows all the habitat relationships for all the species on Mannahatta. Visualization by Chris Harrison of Carnegie-Mellon University. ©WCS