the payphone project 400 600 words

This assignment asks you and your group to physically locate and (critically) examine the state of San Diego’s payphones. Payphones and phone booths were once vibrant, ubiquitous, and indispensable facilities that enabled the public to communicate and connect with each other on location. Today, their social function has been rendered all but obsolete by our modern-day, tailored-to-the-individual mobile devices. Are the ordinary payphones and phone booths of yesteryear bound to go extinct? Or do they still have a purpose in San Diego’s communities? It will be your job to shine a light on these questions. As a group, you are to draw up a plan and set out to find and inspect in person a number (minimum of 3) of local payphones/booths that may or may not still be in use. What do they look like? What are they used for, and by whom? What role do they fulfill at these particular locations, and what role may they play in the future? Take inventory of each payphone or phone booth’s particular circumstances, and consider how they could offer opportunities for new, alternative and creative uses. Based on this payphone investigation and your experiences at each location, you will write a narrative group report that compellingly discusses your discoveries and creative ideas. In this, you may also incorporate bits on the history of phones; explore film and television representations of payphones; contemplate how phones relate to how people move through the world; and make explicit what payphones of the past, present, and future can tell us about human connection, social spaces, and political geography more generally. For the individual writing portion of the project, each group member should “adopt” one of the payphones/booths and focus explicitly on it; this may include tracking that location’s history, and/or imagining future uses (installation art, transportation/communication hub, etc) for it. The following websites may help you get started: 1. https://www.payphone-directory.org/ 2. https://www.payphone-project.com/ 3. https://www.citylab.com/life/2014/11/why-some-plac…

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