Our future technologies will engage, express, and co-habitate with us across a myriad of landscapes and manifest themselves in a variety of forms - from the expected to the unexpected. As HCI practitioners using interaction design as a lens, this studio based course will challenge us to reflect on these future technological artifacts as well as be emboldened to explore risk taking ideation of new forms of interaction. The course explores three primary themes:
physical sketching - learning to give form to ideas using drawing, sketching, cutting, folding, as well as modeling software tools such as Fritzing, Tinkercad, Sketchup, and EagleCAD
materials - fluid use of new materials for making such as paper, cardboard, foam core, play-doh, fabrics, textiles, string, wire, etc.
sensing and expression - skills in electronics from programing simple Arduino based microcontrollers to attaching sensors and actuators in the design of novel, compelling interactive objects
In this studio course you will...
get your hands dirty
make real physical objects
and you will have great ideas....and bad ideas....
...and you will gain a set of indispensable skills for approaching, framing, and tackling many of today's foremost physical computing and interaction design challenges and those in your future
We will also examine how new technologies have impacted the way HCI practitioners, designers, and artists observe and interpret the world. The course will result in a final show of student final prototyped interactive physical technologies.
goals for the course
In this course, students will explore the fundamentals of physical interactive design prototyping using HCI as a lens of approaching and making work. Students will be introduced to and have opportunity to practice the fundamental concepts, methods, and practices of physical modeling, sketching, form giving, electronic prototyping, and hands on making. They will explore how physical objects create experiences, and understand the role that interactive experience can play in furthering that dialogue. Finally, students will improve their ability to make expressive, physical, interactive objects and present their design ideas.
This is a studio/seminar class with time devoted to lecture, discussion, practice activities, design worksessions, and critique of student work. This course will consist of two Design Vignettes and a Final Project demonstrating a functional interactive object set within a real life context and scenario. There will also be a series of Field Activitiesthat are incuded as a portion of your particpation grade.
Readings will be assigned throughout the semester. Everyone is expected to read the readings. One person will be selected for each reading to prepare a class presentation. Each student is expected to engage in class discussions when readings are assigned. This counts towards your class participation grade.
Most classes will begin with a zip.crit. A zip.crit is a rapid crit of an interface, object, design, etc. We will be rotating through the class roster and choosing one person to do a zip.crit each class. That person will select an interface, object, design, instructable, kickstarter, toy, etc. At the beginning of class that person will briefly introduce the object, interface, design to us. The class will collectively critique the artifact.
Work and performance in the course will be evaluated after each Field Activity and the Final Project. Students will receive a grade at mid-term and again at the end of the semester.
In addition, the process of exploration is as important as the final product, so it is important that students manage time well and devote time to working on the assignments during the course of a week. If class time is given as a worksession and is not put to good use, students’ grades will be penalized. For assignments done in teams, students will be graded on individual contributions as well as synthesis with the team. Work that is late will be decremented in grade.
rules of engagement
One of the main learning exercises in this course is the critique. We will be building this skill throughout the semester Each of the assignments will be critiqued in class.
Critique days mandatory attendance. If you are not in class or late, we will deduct from your attendance grade. There will be no exceptions.
Attendance of all classes is mandatory. You are allowed one absence for the semester without penalty (except critique days); thereafter you will receive zero credit for the missed studio. To receive an additional excused absence, you must ask in advance, and receive an acknowledgment from the instructor.
Excusable absences include family emergencies, job interviews, and presenting at a conference. It does not include wanting to leave early for long weekend or vacation. To receive credit for attendance, you must arrive on time. No late assignments will be accepted.
During the in class critique everyone is expected to be engaged in the discussion. Assignments, timely attendance, and in-class and team participation are a critical part of the grade. Bringing examples from outside of the class is considered to be an assignment and is also important.
No laptops, phones, electronics out or used during critique or during other critical discussion parts of class.
participation in assignments
good use of class time: attendance, critiques, (NO multitasking)
rigorous design explorations
quality of craftsmanship and level of completion
quality of the team’s reflection and communication about a design solution and process
For projects done in teams, students will be graded on individual contributions as well as synthesis with the team.
Work that is late will be decremented in grade.
|DESIGN VIGNETTE 1||20%|
|DESIGN VIGNETTE 2||20%|
Google Group: AO2011
Flickr Tag: ao2011
lab support technician
DevLab @ 3612 NSH
Mon 2-4 pm
Making Things Interactive (MTI) 48-477 - this is a fantastic course taught by Mark Gross in CMU's School of Architeture as an interdisciplinary studio in which students design, build, and demonstrate projects in tangible embedded interaction. MTI uses the Arduino microcontroller as a platform for exploring the design and implementation of physical objects and places with computational behaviors. MTI focuses on many of the fundamentals of interaction and electronics programing. MTI foregrounds the interdisciplinary and open exploration concepts of interaction design where Activating Objects approaches the design of tangible and physical interactive experience through the lens of HCI. Both courses complement each other and both are highly recommended for students pursuing a tangible interation design practice.
Applied Gadgets, Sensors and Activity Recognition in HCI (Gadgets) 05-833 - this is a course taught every other year by Scott Hudson with HCII at CMU. Gadgets, as it is often referred, provides a terrific foundation for hacking and building electronics and gadgets. Like MTI, Gadgets and Activating Objects, capture a related theme of physical making and electronic programing. Gadgets foregrounds more of the electronics challenges in its curriculum where Activating Objects approaches this landscape from interaction design and industrial design framing. Both courses complement each other and both are highly recommended for students pursuing a tangible interaction design practice.
Gadgetry 101 - another great making course. Offered in the Robotics Institute at CMU, Gadgetry 101 provides one of the strongest backgrounds in electronic building. Brian Kirby and Tom Lauwers expertly instruct students of this course in advanced electronic circuitry and a myriad of valuable, custom electronic skills.