“Media studies as an academic field is not in a different universe from media production as a practice, skill, or craft. They can live in the same space, and they can inform each other in really useful ways. Students do both at the same time. Initially I regarded myself as the traditional scholar amid this practice program. But eventually I started to teach production courses myself, co-teach with people who have much greater, deeper production skills than I do. I started to recognize that it’s not a hierarchy. They’re just different modes of scholarly production, different modes of making knowledge.”
Shannon Mattern is an associate professor in the School of Media Studies. Her research and teaching address relationships between the forms and materialities of media and the spaces—architectural, urban, and conceptual—that they create and inhabit. She has written about libraries and archives, media companies' headquarters, place branding, public design projects, urban media art, media acoustics, media infrastructures, and material texts. She is the author of The New Downtown Library: Designing With Communities (University of Minnesota Press, 2007).