Critical World
Thinking Globalization Through Popular Culture
Design Principles

There are three basic principles that inform the way that projects are structured in Critical World:


The projects in Critical World are designed so that the project’s contents do not necessarily follow each other in a linear progression from introduction to analysis to conclusion.  The different media that make up a project are not shown in any particular order, rather the order of ideas and the particular combination of ideas depends on the person who is making his or her way through the project.  This structure is useful for discovering unexpected links between ideas and images or sounds.


With recent advances in web-based technologies it is possible to access one or more media simultaneously, combining media in ways that will create unexpected outcomes (for example listening to a sound recording while viewing images, or reading a text that is interspersed with video). The concept of intermediality (or the referencing of one media in another) is inspired by literary scholars’ use of the notion of intertextuality (the referencing of one text in another).  For more information on intermediality, and the University of Montréal’s Center for Research on Intermediality, click here

Free Association

One way we discovered of getting around the issue of copyrights in the context of project design was to simply create the various media ourselves.  The methodology that we use to come up with original content for particular projects is similar to that of free association, where individuals use spontaneous reactions to make links between words, images, and ideas. Free association activities often lead to exchanges filled with humor and wonder, in part because this type of activity combines unconscious thought with the rational behavior of synthesis and analysis.