Toolkit for the Future of Work

Syllabus (In Progress – Subject to Change)

NYU ITP, Spring 2022 // Instructor: Carrie Sijia Wang

Course Description

The future of work is ________. Starting with this fill in the blank question, this class will examine the opportunities and challenges in the imminent future of work affected by the rise of automation, the advent of artificial intelligence, and the global pandemic. Students will identify, research, analyze problems related to the changes in the way we work, and propose project ideas that can help workers survive, prepare for, adapt to, or resist the changes.

How can we make art and design projects—practical or speculative—to raise awareness about existing issues in the workplace such as intensified automation and algorithmic hiring bias? How do we empower and uplift workers in an ever so close future of ubiquitous surveillance and the gamification of everything? What are some creative ways to bring the team together in the age of remote work? These are among the questions that the class will explore.

Activities in class will include topic-based workshops, discussions, project ideation, and student presentations. At the end of the class, students will have gained more understanding about the implications of the future of work, improved their research and presentation skills, learnt a few project ideation methodologies, and completed a research-based creative project proposal and prototype related to the topic of the class.

Schedule

Week 01: The future of work is __________.

In Class:

  • Introductions
  • Class Overview
  • Workshop and Discussion
  • Research and Ideation Methods

Homework: Mini Research and Project Ideation Exercise

Week 02: Hired by the Algorithm

In Class:

  • Student Presentations and Feedback
  • Workshop and Discussion
  • Project Example Critique
  • Project Ideation Exercise

Homework: Mini Project Proposal (Topic: Algorithmic Hiring)

Week 03: Gamified Management

In Class:

  • Student Presentations and Feedback
  • Workshop and Discussion
  • Project Example Critique
  • Project Ideation Exercise

Homework: Mini Project Proposal (Topic: Gamified Work)

Week 04: Surveillance in the Remote Workplace

In Class:

  • Student Presentations and Feedback
  • Workshop and Discussion
  • Project Example Critique
  • Project Ideation Exercise

Homework: Mini Project Proposal (Topic: Surveillance in the Workplace)

Week 05: Opportunities for Remote Team Building

In Class:

  • Student Presentations and Feedback
  • Short Lecture on the History of Team Building
  • Final Project Assignment
  • Guest Talk and Q+A (TBD)

Homework: Final Project Proposal

Week 06: Final Project Proposal + Impact Design Workshop

In Class:

  • Student Presentations and Feedback
  • Impact Design Workshop

Homework: Final Project (Refined Proposal + Mini Prototype)

Week 07: Final Project Presentations

In Class:

  • Final Project Presentations with Guest Critique (TBD)