Academic Prototyping as a Method of Knowledge Production: The Case of the Dynamic Table of Contexts


  • Stan Ruecker IIT Institute of Design
  • Nadine Adelaar University of Alberta
  • Susan Brown University of Guelph
  • Teresa Dobson University of British Columbia
  • Ruth Knechtel University of Alberta
  • Susan Liepert Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Andrew MacDonald McMaster University
  • Ernesto Peña University of British Columbia
  • Milena Radzikowska Mount Royal University
  • Geoff G. Roeder University of British Columbia
  • Stéfan Sinclair McGill University
  • Jennifer Windsor University of Alberta



prototyping, table of contents, table of contexts, DToC, ebooks, book design


Academic prototyping, like ethnography or bench studies, is a way of producing new knowledge about an idea. It is a phase in a critical process. In fact, it is perhaps better to speak of academic prototyping, rather than of academic prototypes. In this paper, as an example, we discuss the Dynamic Table of Contexts, an academic prototyping project that has served for many years as a focus of ideas about what it means to remediate and improve on a venerable print tradition.

Author Biography

Stan Ruecker, IIT Institute of Design

Stan Ruecker is Associate Professor at the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, 350 North La Salle Street, 4th Floor, Chicago, IL, USA 60610