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FY-only/UROP: New Normal Experiences




CMS: Comparative Media Studies

Faculty Supervisor:

James Paradis

Faculty email:


Apply by:

Sept 6, 2020


Yihyun Lim, https://www.newnormalx.org/urop

Project Description

What was your experience like during the pandemic? What have you observed, experienced, and felt - of the changing situations, social spaces, and interactions? Our experiences of the pandemic, social distancing, and the constant reopening and lockdown of the economy is a shared one; yet individual experiences and perceptions are all different. As you’re all currently experiencing, we have faced a ‘new-normal’ life, where our relationship to others, places, and activities have been (and will be) shifted by social distancing. At MIT Civic Design Initiative, we have been studying the everyday emotional experience of the New Normal through an ongoing research. The topic of investigation will specially look into how the current pandemic situation has influenced people’s perception and behavior with respect to interactions with others, spaces, and activities. We’re looking for 10 first year undergraduate students to join this semester, in a workshop-style research to continue investigate this topic. You’ll be introduced to human-centered design methodologies and conduct design ethnography to gather experience-based stories and insights. For more information on what you will do, and what you can expect to learn from this opportunity, please visit https://www.newnormalx.org/urop. Application form is available on the website, we will accept until September 6th. If you’re not a first year student but interested, please contact Yihyun Lim (yihyun@mit.edu), and also fill out the application form.


Who we are looking for: - This research workshop is open to 10 incoming first year students (if you’re interested but not a first year, please send us an email cdi@mit.edu) - You will have an inquisitive mind, structured way of thinking, at the same time have an open mind to listen to others. You should be comfortable with collecting qualitative and unstructured data, and from this be able to connect the dots and extract relevant insights that can help us identify opportunities for design intervention. - If you have previous experiences in social research, design research, and/or editorial writing - it’s a plus, but not a prerequisite. - If you know how to use Adobe Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop, etc), it’s a plus, but again, not required.