100 DAYS OF MAKING Taught by Katherine Dillon Iteration and its impact on your creative process is the theme of this class. The format of the course turns its head on the traditional class structure and instead of focusing on syllabus that builds to a final project, the course is focused on a daily, iterative practice. Students will identify a theme, idea or topic they would like to explore over the course of 100 days and must commit to making or producing a variation on that idea and posting social evidence of their work every day for 100 days. Projects can focus on building, writing, drawing, programming, photographing, designing, composing or any creative expression. In parallel to the making, in-class lectures will examine the work of artists whose work has been defined by iteration and discuss the role of discipline and routine in the creative process. Please note this class will have two meetings in December (dates TBD) with Katherine Dillon to establish the ground rules and to help students identify projects
ALGORITHMIC COMPOSITION Taught by R. Luke DuBois This class looks at ways to compose music using algorithms. Drawing from both computer-age and pre-computer repertoire and literature on writing music procedurally, the class will look at different topics and issues in the automatic or rule-based generation of music in both pre-compositional and real-time interactive environments. Students are expected to make a series of musical studies investigating different systems covered in class, ranging from stochastic music to rule-based grammar models to data mining. No specific knowledge of music theory is required, though a basic understanding of MIDI, digital sound, and some of the tools for manipulating them are useful. A broad overview of the history and repertoire of algorithmic music is covered in weekly listening presentations.
ALT DOCS: INVENTING NEW FORMATS FOR NON-FICTION STORYTELLING Taught by Ziv Schneider and Julia Irwin How does the ability to capture and publish transmedia pieces lend itself to documentary storytelling and journalism? How are traditional genres enriched by the addition of new-media techniques, including 360 film, photogrammetry, depth sensing and spatialized audio? And how can the use of these techniques help to evolve the definition of nonfiction storytelling?
This is a production class in which the projects will be content-driven. The subject and the story should drive the students’ choice in media formats used to present the material. The interplay between different mediums should add to the experience of the story. A successful final project will be a piece in which the story is better told through the incorporation of the mediums chosen over a traditional cinematic documentary or journalistic piece.
The goal of the class is to investigate the merging and branching of documentary, journalism and games and to invent new formats. The class focuses on two main technical areas:
- Capture techniques (including 360 video, photogrammetry and depth sensing)
- Composition of material in a 3D environment (Unity 3D, adding interactivity, interface design, publishing platform considerations)
The first two short assignments will cover different capture methods and documentary techniques. The final project will focus on creating one interactive documentary piece in a digital 3D environment composed with Unity. However, the digital element can be accompanied by other components (immersive installation, sculpture, performance, web experiment, public intervention, etc.).
ART TOY DESIGN Taught by Benjamin Light Is it a plaything? Sculpture? Nostalgia? A Product? Art toys exist at the center of a unique Venn diagram. Each student in this class will develop an original limited edition art toy. We will cover toy fabrication, character design, material selection, packaging design, and art toy culture. The class will be fabrication heavy, there will be weekly assignments, and a final project. 7 week class, 2 credits.
ARTISTS IN THE ARCHIVE Taught by Jer Thorp The Library of Congress holds more than 160 million physical items, alongside countless more digital resources. The collection spans vast swaths of subject areas, geographical places, historical periods, and political eras. In this course we’ll learn about the unique properties of these holdings, about the ways that these objects are encoded in data, and how we can access the archive both remotely and in person. Most importantly, we’ll dream up ways that artists might interact with and interrogate the collections, to produce work in a variety of media from software to sculpture to performance.
AUTONOMOUS ARTIFICIAL ARTISTS Taught by Gene Kogan Autonomous Artificial Artists (AAA) is a class to explore ways of making artworks "autonomous." In this context, "autonomy" brings together three independent but related criteria: 1) artificial intelligence being a primary determinant in an artwork's aesthetics 2) autonomous software principles culled from peer-to-peer network design, blockchain and decentralization technology, serverless and federated machine learning, cryptoeconomics, and agent-based multiplayer simulation. 3) crowd-sourced art where mass, unbounded cooperation of many participants creates novel artworks which represent the "hive mind" or collective input. The goal of this class is to learn a little bit about each of these seemingly disparate fields, and see how they may interact in interesting new ways. The idea of autonomous artworks is very new, and is being actively discussed by a small group of interdisciplinary researchers and artists since 2016/2017. Although the topic is highly experimental, it is nevertheless based on concrete technologies, making simultaneous use of several techniques which are under active development and have potentially far-reaching ramifications well outside the domain of art. The time is ripe for people within more design-oriented fields to begin thinking about how they might be used in a broader context. The class has both a theoretical component (learning about each of the individual technologies and their interplay) as well as a practical component: training and deploying generative models on computational environments that are as close to decentralized or autonomous as possible. In addition, we will explore prior notions of crowd-sourced or mass-collaborative art, touching on older principles and strategies such as Oulipo, exquisite corpse, and crowd-sourced computational artworks like Electric Sheep, Exhausting a Crowd, and others.
AUTOMATING VIDEO Taught by Sam Lavigne In this experimental video class students will learn to use Python and command line tools to explore the possibilities of automating the film-making process. We will cover techniques for capturing, analyzing, editing and manipulating video with code. We’ll treat video as a textual as well as visual medium, repurposing found footage to generate new compositions and narratives, and experiment with home-made camera rigs that can be controlled remotely and algorithmically.
AVANT-GARDE PROCEDURAL ART Taught by Marina Zurkow This class is an introduction to using the strategies of Procedure and Instruction in visual, moving image, performance and sound art. It is a mixture of making, reading, analysis and critique. We will look at the historical precedents to today’s practices that range from algorithmic art to socially engaged art, and their roots in the artistic revolts of avant-garde movements beginning in the early 20th century. These include Surrealism, Situationist International, Fluxus, Neo Dada, Conceptual Art, and Happenings. We will examine the artistic motives and contexts for using these strategies, and students will design and test their own art experiments using these techniques to create meaningful and responsive prototypes.
BASIC ANALOG CIRCUITS Taught by Eric Rosenthal Todays mostly digital world also requires a basic knowledge of circuits that do not require computer processing. Analog circuits are simpler, lower cost, smaller and require less power and still perform many of the functions of digital circuits. In this course students will learn about the basic principles of electricity, components such as resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors, audio amplifiers, power supplies and timers and circuits that interface to digital devices. The course includes circuits design and fabrication through lectures and hands on labs. Students will also learn the operation of electronic test equipment such as the digital multimeter, oscilloscope and function generator.
BEYOND BINARY: ANALYTICAL METHODS FOR NAVIGATING UNCERTAIN FUTURES Taught by Michelle Shevin The purpose of this course is to push beyond quotidian “problem solving” methods to equip students with the analytical capacity to tackle insoluble (“wicked”) problems and strategic uncertainty, with a particular focus on forecasting methodologies and “long-term thinking.” Taking a critical lens on analytical capacity building, the course will quickly progress from classical methods (i.e., critical thinking / design thinking / systems thinking) to more specific practices (i.e., forecasting, scenario planning, prediction markets). Readings from diverse disciplines, and exploration of timely and important issues such as information disorder, Surveillance Capitalism, biodiversity loss, persistent colonialism, climate change, algorithmic intermediation, and more will form the setting for collective inquiry. Specific design methodologies including human-centered design, design fiction theory, biomimicry, speculative design, agile, etc. will be both problematized and used to locate and expand on the “designer’s role” within critical forecasting projects. Throughout, participants will interrogate the cultural narratives, power dynamics, epistemological dichotomies, myths, and assumptions that uphold dominant paradigms of strategy, design, and planning.
BIG LEDS Taught by Aaron Parsekian This course will cover the process of creating large LED systems. The main goal of this course will be to explain the hardware related to large LED arrays, and how to interface it with software like touch designer, mad mapper, and processing. We will go through every major part of the hardware - different styles of LED arrays, drivers and gateways, cables, data protocols, and how to safely power all of them. We will also cover what paperwork it takes to furnish a professional LED installation - creating the riser diagram, plan view, section view, elevation, bill of materials, and instructions.
BIG GAMES Taught by Gregory Trefry What happens to games when they escape the boundaries of our tabletops, desktops and living rooms? From massively multiplayer online games to mobile games that turn the city into a gigantic game grid, super-sized gaming opens up new spaces in which to play and seeps into the interstices of our days. Whether these games are measured in terms of number of players, geographical dimensions or temporal scope, they represent a new trend in which the ‘little world” created by a game threatens to swallow up the "real world" in which it is situated. This class is a hands-on workshop focused on the particular design problems of large-scale games. In this class students: develop a foundation of basic game design understanding from which to approach the specific issues particular to big games; analyze existing digital and non-digital large-scale games, taking them apart to understand how they work as interactive systems; and work on a series of design exercises that explore the social, technological, and creative possibilities of large-scale games.
BIG SCREENS Taught by Mimi Yin This class is dedicated to experimenting with interactivity on large-scale screens. Students will work in pairs to develop one project over the course of the semester, culminating with a showing at InterActive Corps' 120 X 12-foot video wall at their corporate headquarters on 18th St. and the West Side Highway. A mock-up of the system is available at ITP for testing. Class time is divided between independent project development, critique, technical demonstrations, and field trips to IAC. Registration for this course will happen through a separate lottery which you will enter in pairs.
BIODESIGNING THE FUTURE OF FOOD Taught by Stefani Bardin Modern farming is built for monocultures with its large scale machines dispersing synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides and the collateral destruction of biodiversity and seasonal harvesting. Permaculture is agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient like the The Three Sisters Agriculture practice of Native Americans where three cops planted near each other are mutually beneficial by providing nitrogen or blocking sunlight or discouraging the growth of weeds. How can we design systems and hardware and software that addresses the individual needs of permaculture ecosystems at the scale of monocultures? How can we combine the ancient and analog practices of using biologicals (soil microbes, fungi, bio-pesticides) with sensor, light and robotic technologies to maximize our food yields without sacrificing taste and health benefits and not destroy our planet in the process?
In this class we will look at speculative and ecosystem design, biotechnologies related to agriculture, top down and bottom up design and the scalability of these systems and practices. Students will work on small design-build projects that incorporate elements of contemporary technologies, current science and applicable methods of observation and analysis into centuries old practices of biodiversity and permaculture.
BLOCKCHAIN FICTION Taught by Joerg Blumtritt "Blockchain is the new Internet" - something bigger is going on here, than just another form of digital payment like Bitcoin. The blockchain enthusiasts promise applications from smart contracts, to autonomous organizations, to anarchistic systems of government. This course introduces fundamental concepts and functionalities of the blockchain and its applications, and offers a way to playfully explore its multiple dimensions. The goal of the course is not only to improve skills in this utopian however very real technology, but also to creatively apply it, to come up with design fiction and push the concept to the edge. Students will learn the basics of blockchain technology, cryptography, and the functions specific to the blockchain like crypto-currencies, smart contracts, and autonomous organizations. Students will create their own designs and applications (real or fictional) of blockchain, and their speculative designs what the technology might become. The course includes reading and practical work as homework and in class work. This is a 1 point class.
BLUETOOTH LE Taught by Don Coleman Bluetooth is a short range (~100m) wireless technology for connecting devices. Bluetooth low energy peripherals such as lights, sensors, and wearable devices broadcast their presence and the services they provide. Applications on phones, tablets, or laptops can discover and connect to these Bluetooth devices without any configuration.
The goal of this class is for you to understand Bluetooth concepts, learn to create Bluetooth peripherals, and build Bluetooth applications.
You'll also use Node.js to build peripherals and applications that can run on a Raspberry Pi or laptop. We'll see how iBeacons and Eddystone beacons can be used to determine a user's location or transfer information without a connection.
BODIES IN MOTION Taught by Todd Bryant, Francisco Javier Molina Course Description : This course provides an introduction to the concepts of motion capture and the motion capture production pipeline to perform and record 3D animations for film and video games as well as stream for live performances. Students will learn all of the tools for tracking props and performers using MAGNET’s cutting edge motion capture studio. Students will also develop concepts around the technology and integrate their data into 3D computer graphics along with keyframe and procedural animation and custom 3D assets to build final projects using the Unreal game engine.
Program Learning Objectives : To design a workflow of MoCap and ‘how to’ guides for diverse type of projects using motion capture and the basics of world and character building in the game engine Unreal. Reading assignments introduce students to constructed historical perspective of MoCap and investigates principles particular to animation and performance. The objective of the course is to allow students to understand the importance of pre-production and planning which includes notions of storytelling, 3D modelling and texturing, best practices to capture the sessions, world building methods in video art and game development, and live show running.
● To create storyboards and define recording shots before capturing data. ● To understand and use the correct motion capture pipeline ● To learn the skills to direct an effective motion capture session (best calibration) ● To learn the best practices for capturing and cleaning data ● To be able to apply the data to models in Maya, Unreal Engine, and Max/Jitter ● To be able to perform real-time retargeting for Live Performances
Course Structure The class consists of a weekly lecture and a weekly 2 hour lab session. Students will work in groups and will be required to attend a self-selected lab session on weekends. Examples of motion capture projects will be presented in lectures and discussed in the classroom. Students must demonstrate satisfactory achievement of course objectives through fulfillment of one final project at the end of the semester and a mandatory submission for the programs showcase. Final projects will require students to use a wide variety of software and studio time at MAGNET’s black box mocap studio. Students will be able to process their motion capture data for use in an animation or live performance. Collaboration with students and faculty from other programs is encouraged.
BODIES OF WAR: ENGINEERING ETHICS Taught by Jessica Behm This course examines 21st-century technologies of war and asks: What is the edge of ethical engineering? Students will critically examine U.S. Military technologies including robotic exoskeletons, military robots, neural prosthetics and networking (brain warfare), biometric scanning, and UAVs (drone warfare). Soldiers from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, and U.S. Marine Corps branches will join class sessions along with guest speakers to discuss the role of new technologies and robotic warfare during their service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Students will produce a final course project that may be submitted as an essay, multimedia project, or applied technology that engages with the ethical questions posed in the class. Each project will be designed over the course of the semester in direct collaboration with a U.S. Military former or active-duty soldier who will work with students on a theoretical, technical, or performative final project.
In 1992, French theorist Gilles Deleuze observed, “There is no need to fear or hope, but only to look for new weapons.” In the 21st century, the U.S. government, universities, and private institutions collaborate to “look for new weapons” by engineering technologies for American warfare. These technologies often focus on the human body as the site of military innovation. If the U.S. Military is primarily concerned with engineering “technologies of war,” is there an opportunity for engineers, such as ITP graduates, to engineer “technologies of peace”? What design and function would such embodied “technologies of peace” play and can they intervene in an increasingly militarized U.S. society where Google owns military robotic companies and Apple iPhones are used to detonate bombs throughout the Middle East?
CABINETS OF WONDER Taught by Nancy Hechinger If you were inventing a museum today, what would it look like? Who would be there? What would its main purpose be? The first museums were called Cabinets of Wonder. Usually, a viewer with a guide, often the collector, would open doors and drawers to see what was inside--amazing things from different parts of the world, different times. They were windows on the world to places the visitors would probably never be able to go; to see things they would never otherwise be able to see. And now there’s television, movies, the internet and travel. Why do people go to museums now? Will they in the future? Today, most museums seek to educate and to include more and more diverse visitors than they used to. How do people learn in public spaces? How do we know that they do? How can they make use of the new interactive technologies and not lose what’s special about them? The class is an exploration, observation and theory class with some design mixed in. Museum and exhibit visits are your primary assignments for the first half of the course—usually accompanied by a reading. You will also make some record of your visit (including a sketchbook, a dioramas, reviews) There will be guest speakers from Museums and exhibit design firms, and several field trips. In the second half of the course, you begin to imagine how you might reinvent a museum and develop a full-scale presentation of your own Cabinet of Wonder.
CANVAS FOR PUBLIC DISCOURSE Taught by Andrew Lazarow When you are given a large public canvas, how do you find something to say? This is a course with two primary goals. The first is to provide toolsets for working with a small group to express yourself in ways that are accessible to a wider audience. The other explores the various tactics used over time to change the appearance of physical objects with controlled light and projections. We will look both at projection mapping projects, but also large scale public art projects. There will be several exercises focussed on students honing their own ways of expressing themselves clearly. There will also be some small scale mapping projects in the beginning of the course. Thee will be a final project, which could be a large scale mapping presentation.
CHOREOGRAPHIC INTERVENTIONS Taught by Mimi Yin Most of us are intimately familiar with interfaces where our movement serves as input to control interactive media. Less familiar are systems designed to compel us to dance, to groove, to move in new and unexpected ways. This class explores the use of interactive media to “choreograph” in the broadest sense of the word from choreography as dance-making to choreography as crowd control. How do you get someone to soften their chest? Eat space? Change level? How do you shake the entire room? How do you orchestrate duets between strangers? Conceived as a (re-)introduction to computational media through the lens of dance, students will practice how to apply computational thinking to the craft of choreography. Using computer vision and a broad range of media from graphics and video, to sound and text, we will look at directing both how people move (quality of movement) as well as where they move (pathways and spatial relationships). We will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the various sensing technologies available to us today. What is the delta between what we can see and feel (strength, hardness, contortion) and what a computer can see and interpret (locations, contours, velocity, acceleration)? STRUCTURE Over the course of the semester, we will cover 4 topic areas: Pathways, Shape, Space and Sound+Text. Topics will be introduced through movement-based improvisation exercises. Computational strategies will be examined through code examples and custom software tools. For each topic, students will create a small movement study in 2 stages: the first analog, the second computational. The class will culminate in a showing of student work. Final projects can either be in the form of a tool to aid in movement practice, an interactive installation or a live performance. Because course topics are organized around movement concepts, technical topics will be introduced and built upon week to week. See syllabus for working list of technical topics. PREREQUESITES The course is intended both for anyone looking to deepen their practice in working with movement-based interaction regardless of previous experience with movement technique or programming. As a result, there is no pre-requisite for dance and no pre-requisite for code.
CIRCUIT DESIGN AND FABRICATION Taught by Eric Rosenthal This class is a series of lectures and demonstrations focused on the technical criteria for design and fabrication of electronic circuits for ITP student projects. For example, when designing an analog audio circuit or an analog sensing circuit, a ground plane is needed to reduce electrical noise. When designing radio circuits, the physical geometry and location of the antenna on the circuit board matters. The class would introduce some common technical design considerations for electronic devices, and also explore some more experimental cases of circuit design, like flexible circuits, printing circuits, or preparing circuits on a fabric substrate. Students will be encouraged to engage in discussion of how to apply these concepts to their project work. Prerequisite: Students coming to the class should understand the electronics concepts covered in Basic Analog Circuits, or have equivalent electronics experience. The Energy Class (Jeff's), Homemade Hardware (Andy's), Protoyping Electronic Devices (Deqing and Peiqi's), or electronics experience prior to ITP would suffice.
CITIZEN SCIENCE: BIOTECHNOLOGY Taught by Stefani Bardin Genspace is collaborating on this course with ITP so that students can learn science literacy through several specialized workshops that will take place Genspace – topics include Biohacking (with an introduction to CRISPR) + Biomaterials. Students will create projects throughout the semester utilizing both Genspace and ITP resources. Additionally, students will learn the basics of biodesign and bioinformatics to help them frame and conceptualize their research and their projects and how best to use these skills ethically and responsibly in aesthetic and scientific ways. Since 2009 Genspace has operated a community biology laboratory in Brooklyn stemming from the hacking, biohacking, and DIYbio movements. It currently supports citizen science and public access to biology, biotechnology, synthetic biology, genetic engineering, citizen science, open source software, open source hardware.
COLLABORATIVE DESIGN: HOW TO BUILD PRODUCTS IN THE AGE OF AI Taught by Marc Maleh This hands-on collaborative workshop will explore how to make AI and other new technologies part of one’s creative process without being an expert in coding or data science. We will start by breaking down the most common myths and misconceptions about AI, followed by test-driving a new ideation process to help students create radically innovative products and customer experiences powered by AI, data and new technologies. The course will focus on the process of collaboration to build valuable, user-centered experiences that incorporate these technologies in meaningful ways. Along the way we will explore some of the emerging design principles and ethical considerations that guide the creation of AI- powered experiences. Co-taught by Marc Blanchard, Global Head of Experience Design at Havas, and Marc Maleh, Global Director of Havas Cognitive (ITP Grad from 2005).
COLLECTIVE NARRATIVE Taught by Marianne Petit This two-point workshop is centered on the examination and creation of collective storytelling environments. We will examine a wide-range of storytelling spaces including participatory and user-generated environments, site-specific works, community based arts practices, and transmedia storytelling. Weekly assignments, field trips, and student presentations.
COLLECTIVE PLAY Taught by Mimi Yin Rules of play shape competitive games from checkers to football. But how do the rules of interaction shape non-competitive play? In this course, we will explore, code and test design strategies for playful group interactions while at the same time interrogating both what it means to play and how individual identities and group behaviors. Some of the questions we will ask and attempt to answer: What motivates participation? What hinders it? When does participation become oppressive? What's the difference between self-consciousness and self-awareness? Who has power? Who doesn't? Are leaders necessary? What’s the difference between taking turns and engaging in conversation? What happens when the slowest person sets the pace? Interaction inputs we will play with will include: mouse, keyboard, mobile device sensors, and microphone. Outputs will include, visuals, text and sound. We will use p5, websockets and node.js for real-time interaction. Class time will be split between playing with and critiquing examples and translating design strategies into code and logic.
COMICS Taught by Tracy White Code without content gets boring fast. This seven week course will show you how to create stories around which you can weave the technology learned in other classes. When content comes first, interesting problems arise to solve. Participants will get solid grounding in how to tell a visual story using words and images in a traditional format, so then they can take that format and reimagine it in entirely new and unique ways. The first few classes are devoted to getting basic comic skills. The remaining classes will hone and expand these abilities while posing the question: what can be done differently, and how can technology add to what we have created? At the end of the semester you will have a something that sets you apart; – original content AND technological know how. Students will combine words and images, look at each other's work, look at examples of published works. Reimagine how these stories can be told in new and unique ways. This a demanding course. There is a lot of work involved, they will end up with a lot of original content. During the first half we look at and make traditional comics. Second half we experiment with comic format WHILE honing storytelling skills. Relevant speakers will come in to discuss what they do and how they work etc.
COMPUTATIONAL APPROACHES TO NARRATIVE Taught by Allison Parrish Beginning with the release of Crowther and Woods' "Colossal Cave Adventure" in 1977, the potential and unique affordances of computation as a means of storytelling have become more and more apparent. Combining approaches from literary theory, anthropology, computational creativity and game design, this class considers how narrative structure can be represented as data and enacted through computation, and invites students to implement practical prototypes of their own interactive and procedurally-generated narratives using a variety of technologies. Topics include (but are not limited to) hypertext fiction, "choose your own adventure"-style branching narratives, text adventures, visual novels, story generation from grammars and agent-based simulations. Students will complete a series of bite-size weekly assignments to present for in-class critique. Each session will also feature lectures, class discussion, and technical tutorials. Prerequisites: Introduction to Computational Media or equivalent programming experience.
COMPUTATIONAL APPROACHES TO TYPOGRAPHY Taught by Allison Parrish This course considers aspects of the materiality of typography and type design in the context of electronic media. Students will gain an understanding of how letterforms, typefaces and the layout of text have been represented as data throughout the history of electronic media, and experiment with different ways to author, manipulate and misuse that data through computation. Our eclectic and opinionated historical cross-section of topics includes (but is not limited to) typewriter art, minimalist and asemic poetry, 8-bit home computer text modes, interactive/kinetic text, parametric and generative fonts, and emoji. Students will complete a series of weekly assignments for presentation and critique in each session. In addition to critique, each session will feature lectures, class discussion, and technical tutorials. Prerequisites: Introduction to Computational Media or equivalent programming experience.
CONNECTED DEVICES AND NETWORKED INTERACTION Taught by Tom Igoe The World Wide Web no longer stops at the edge of your screen. When it comes to products, if it powers up, it talks to another device. There's an increasing number of appliances coming on the market that feature web interfaces, but do they work well? This class take a hands-on critical look at the emerging market for connected devices, and will present an overview of methods for connecting the physical world to web-based applications. We don't interact with connected appliances in the same way as we do when they're not connected. It's not enough just to bolt a touchscreen on an appliance and call it networked. In this course we'll consider what the emerging interaction patterns are, if any, and we'll develop some of our own as needed. This class can be seen as a narrower and more interaction design-based complement to Understanding Networks. The latter class provides a broader overview of the dynamics of data networks, while this class focuses specifically on the challenges of connecting embedded devices to web-based services. Neither class is a prerequisite for the other, however. The class will begin with a review of some existing connected devices on the market, in which we'll critique them as products of interaction design. Then we'll have several short exercises to introduce different tools, and a final hardware and software production project in which students develop a more fully realized networked device.
CONTENT (AND ITS DISCONTENTS) Taught by Sarah Rothberg Ever make a cool platform, instrument, or some super abstract reusable code and told yourself you'd make some actual content for it…later? Ever see an awesome camera/display/musical instrument one of your classmates has made and say, wow I'd really like to use that thing to make something else!? Using a unique tool/framework/process invented by yourself or someone else at ITP, this class will focus on making compelling content, while also examining critically the rise of "the content creator" and the relationship between medium and message.This is a crash course in working with the affordances (and shortcomings) of a new tool, a skill which many real-world roles for "creative technologists" requires. We will go against the impulse to throw the paintbrush away after making one painting, and learn and practice creative and generative techniques for iterating, developing concepts, refining and presenting work. Come to this class with 2-3 ideas for a project that you or a fellow ITP-er has created in semesters prior that you want to develop content for. In special cases, you may also propose working with a platform/tool/framework created outside of ITP.
CREATIVE COMPUTING Taught by David Rios This course combines two powerful areas of technology that will enable you to leap from being just a user of technology to becoming a creator with it: Physical Computing and Programming. The course begins with Physical Computing, which allows you to break free from both the limitations of mouse, keyboard & monitor interfaces and stationary locations at home or the office. We begin by exploring the expressive capabilities of the human body and how we experience our physical environment. The platform for the class is a microcontroller (Arduino brand), a very small inexpensive single-chip computer that can be embedded anywhere and sense and make things happen in the physical world. The core technical concepts include digital, analog and serial input and output.
The second portion of the course focuses on fundamentals of computer programming (variables, conditionals, iteration, functions & objects) as well as more advanced techniques such as data parsing, image processing, networking, computer vision. The Java-based ‘Processing’ programming environment is the primary vehicle. Processing is more oriented towards visual displays on desktops, laptops, tablets or smartphones but can also connect back to the physical sensor & actuators from the first part of the class. The course is designed for computer programming novices but the project-centered pedagogy will allow more experienced programmers the opportunity to go further with their project ideas and collaborate with other students.
What can computation add to human communication? You will gain a deeper understanding of the possibilities of computation–– possibilities that will augment and enhance the perspectives, abilities and knowledge you bring from your field of study (e.g. art, design, humanities, sciences, engineering). At first it may feel foreign, as foreign as learning a new language or way of thinking. But soon, once you get some basic skills under your belt, you’ll be able to make projects that reflect your own interests and passions.
CRITICAL OBJECTS Taught by Pedro Galvao Cesar de Oliveira Art, design and experimental electronics can be great tools for inciting discussions of complex issues such as privacy, sexism, racism, economic inequality and climate change. This course aims to provoke thoughtful discussions of pressing issues through the combination of Art, Industrial Design and Embedded Electronics (sensors, actuators, wifi enabled microcontrollers - ESP32, raspberry pis). Topics will include technological disobedience, adversarial design and critical engineering. In this 14 week class, students will combine technology, design, and critical theory to build Art Objects / Interactive Sculptures that are aesthetically intriguing while socially relevant. This is a production heavy four-credit course, where students will learn about new-media critical theory, design and electronics. Prerequisites include an open mind, the drive to make, and physical computing.
CULINARY PHYSICS Taught by Stefani Bardin This studio and seminar course explores the basic principles of food biochemistry, enzymology and food processing and how they relate to memory, the senses and the processing of information. Students will also learn basic principles of molecular gastronomy and modernist cuisine as framing devices for understanding how food also functions in the context of bodily health, environmental health as well as cultural and political narratives. Our food system consists of more than food production and consumption and this class will address how science and food science plays a more integral role in this system and how this knowledge can be mined for work that creatively and functionally contributes to this emerging field. Assignments for the class will be based on the incorporation of food science into design and technology projects that uses food as a substrate to explore and illuminate information within the food system. Workshops involve using liquid nitrogen + hydrocolloids as well as creating performative food objects and a Futurist meal.
DATA ART Taught by Jer Thorp Fascinating and terrifying things are happening at the intersection of data and culture. Our lives are being constantly measured, and information about us is being surveilled, stolen, and commodified. Dialogue around this data revolution has been dominated by corporations, governments, and industry – but what about the arts? In this class, we’ll investigate the means by which artists can engage (and are engaging) in the collection, processing, and representation of data. Using a research-focused, prototype-based approach, we’ll build a series of collective and individual projects to interrogate the ‘new data reality’. Students will use Processing, along with a variety of open-source data tools (such as D3.js, Miso, OpenRefine, MapBox & CartoDB).
DESIGN AND SOURCING FOR MANUFACTURING Taught by Sarah Krasley Navigating the road between a working prototype and a mass produced product is tough. How much will it cost? How long will it take to ship? How do I find a factory? Where will my product be manufactured and with what machines? Knowing the answers to these questions is crucial for something as involved as a business plan for post ITP life or for something as simple as determining how much money you want to raise on Kickstarter.
This class, formerly known as From Prototype to Fabrication: Planning for Mass Production is for students who have identified a well-defined product idea and/or digital or physical prototype. Coursework will focus on increasing the student's understanding of how they would attempt to mass produce their product and how much it would cost. Alongside this, students will gain experience modeling their product in CAD and building an information set that’s specific enough for them to successfully interact with a factory. We will learn what goes into a Bill of Materials (BOM) and how to structure a request for quote (RFQ). The course will culminate in student presentations of their prototype and production plan and cost estimates. Classes will be a combination of lecture, hands-on work, and student presentations.
DESIGN AS STRATEGY AND PRACTICE Taught by Despina Papadopoulos Jasper Johns once wrote in his notebook: "Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it." In this class we investigate what it means to "do things" to objects in ways that transforms them and our relationship to them. We will experiment with materials and objects, stretching their limits and exploring their relationship to space and the self. These investigations are grounded in an understanding of the interactional possibilities of gestures, social and spatial dynamics, and on the recursive relationship between making and inventing.
Softness, modularity, adaptability and re-configurability, connectors and ways to engage the senses (and sensors), social and sustainable design are just some of the ideas and topics we examine through weekly assignments and social experiments.
The course is based on the idea that design is a practice that demands rigor, experimentation, curiosity and openness. Students will be asked to frame their work and uncover the essential tension of design artifacts and how they communicate meaning and intention. Students will be asked to create a new project each week in response to the previous week's topic. Each week students will be exposed to readings and examples from various practices (architecture, dance, philosophy, music, computer science etc) and will be asked to create artifacts that capture the essential meaning of grounding concepts.
DESIGN FOR ACCESSIBILITY Taught by Claire Kearney-Volpe This course will bring together students from NYU's Interactive Telecommunications & Integrated Digital Media programs in order to reimagine the exhibitions of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum for museum goers with disabilities. Set in the Andrew Carnegie Mansion on the Upper East Side and part of the Smithsonian Institution, the Cooper Hewitt is the national museum of design for the United States, and has engaged with the NYU Ability Project on a research pilot to develop better strategies for accessibility. With multiple site visits, the Cooper Hewitt will serve as both a client and playground for us to redesign without barriers to enjoying their collection. Students will learn and employ a human-centered approach to the development of an accessibility framework for the museum and reimagine their galleries, website, and API for a more inclusive museum-going experience.
Expectations ● Demonstrate an understanding of and implement iterative & human centered design research and prototyping processes (including client consultation, design/prototyping and user testing). ● Acquire an awareness of experiences for people with a variety disabilities. ● Demonstrate understanding of various technologies used by people with disabilities. ● Demonstrate the ability to communicate and work within a group to develop a prototype. ● Demonstrate critical and creative thinking in researching solutions to problems ● Develop a prototype device. ● Develop extensive documentation for your part of the project. ● Develop the ability to work under project constraints and client needs This is a 3 credit course
DESIGN FOR CHANGE Taught by Katherine Dillon This 12- week course will examine the psychology of behavior and apply that insight as a framework to affect change. The first half of the semester will focus on researching and discussing human behavior and looking at case studies of how behavioral theories have been applied to motivate change. In the second half of the semester students, working in pairs, will identify a societal issue that they are passionate about and develop a project that attempts, at scale, to move the needle on the issue in a positive way. This class is for students with passion for an issue and enthusiasm to apply their creative and technical skills to solve real problems in meaningful ways. The course is both a seminar class and a production studio. The second half of the semester students will focus on applying the learning. Students will identify a social problem that they hope to influence at scale. They will research and document the problem, develop a concept to influence the behavior associated with the issue and prototype (or build) their solution.
DESIGN FOR THE REAL WORLD: BEATROCKERS @ THE LAVELLE SCHOOL Taught by Claire Kearney-Volpe In this multidisciplinary course, students will work collaboratively to research, design, and develop a system of client-centered data-management, musical interfaces and interactive learning tools for the Beat Rocker beat boxing program at the Lavelle School for the Blind. The Beat Rocker Program incorporates a unique beat-boxing/speech therapy curriculum and children that are engaged in the program excel in both areas. Students in the class are expected to gain practical experience in user research/testing, human-centered design and the prototyping process. The class will be split into three sections: 1) Client/User Research, 2) Design and Prototyping 3) Testing
DESIGN TOOL STUDIO Taught by Patrick Hebron Process is everything. Any programming language can theoretically produce any program. In practice, though, every tool has its own proclivities and point-of-view, which subtly embed themselves in every aspect of the user’s output. In this class, we will explore software-based toolmaking as an artistic practice in its own right. We will study the process of decomposing complex, high-level features into their granular programmatic elements within a low-level, multiparadigm language, C++. Through the granular control of C++, we will think critically about the process of curating a set of high-level features within a tool and form opinions about how these curations influence the user’s own creative process. Each student will test his or her ideas through an iterative, semester-long software development project of the student’s own choosing. Though broadly interpretable, projects should relate to the theme of building software that aids its user in a creative or intellectual process. This could be a user-facing design application (a la Photoshop, Maya, Logic, etc, though obviously less full-featured than those commercial applications) or a developer-facing code library. Students can think expansively about these definitions and challenge these delineations. Weekly assignments will be given to help guide the design, development and presentation elements of the final project. Students will also be expected to spend time engaging with and responding to the tools built by their peers. Our technical work will be supplemented with theoretical readings from Seymour Papert, Nicholas Negroponte, Buckminster Fuller and others.
DESIGNING FOR DATA PERSONALIZATION Taught by Samuel Slover The world is awash with new data, but how can designers take the next step to make this data more meaningful in people's day-to-day lives and interactions? Put differently, instead of giving people yet more data and visualizations to interpret, how can we personalize this data to provide simple insights that more intimately connect with what people really care about?
In this class, we'll examine how personalized design can give people more meaningful and pleasant experiences with their data interactions. We'll explore how new technologies and designs are implementing these personalization strategies and how they're being successful (or not). The course will cover 3 main topic areas, each with a lecture and studio component:
Making (Dry) Data Personal & Playful - Personality and playfulness can go a long way in creating richer interactions around data. We’ll examine how to make seemingly 'boring' data interesting through design and personalization strategies.
Designing for the Self - It often helps to start by designing for our own problems. We'll explore how to track and design around a dataset of our own that we'd like to better understand.
Re-Contextualizing Everyday Data - Given the sheer number of daily data interactions, there's so many opportunities to do it better. We'll explore how to take data we encounter everyday (the weather, food labels, subway delays) and re-contextualize it to give people more pleasant and smarter interactions.
DESIGNING FOR DIGITAL FABRICATION Taught by Daniel Rozin The ability to digitally fabricate parts and whole pieces directly from our computers or design files used to be an exotic and expensive option not really suitable for student or designer projects, but changes in this field in the past 5 years have brought these capabilities much closer to our means, especially as ITP students. ITP and NYU now offer us access to laser cutting, CNC routing, and 3D stereolithography. In this class we will learn how to design for and operate these machines. Emphasis will be put on designing functional parts that can fit into a larger project or support other components as well as being successful on a conceptual and aesthetic level. In this class we will discover methods to design projects on CAD applications for total control of the result, and we will develop algorithmic ways to create designs from software (Processing) to take advantage of the ability to make parts and projects that are unique, customizable, dependent on external data or random. The class will include 3 assignments to create projects using the three machines (laser, router, 3D) and the opportunity to work on a final project.
DESIGNING FOR LIVE PERFORMANCE Taught by Andrew Lazarow For centuries, great works of music, theater, and dance, have combined art and science to make integrated performances that move audiences. Today, we are seeing exciting changes as artists experiment with video and real-time interactivity to draw audiences even deeper into the performance, and enhance the shared experience of the moment. This class explores conceptual approaches to design, industry-standard software, prototyping frameworks, and data flow programming to provide student designers with the cutting-edge tools necessary to confidently collaborate with writers, directors, and performers. Structured as a studio course, students will make designs for contemporary performance pieces, and collaborate with working artists to design original projects.
DESIGNING FOR SENIORS IN THE INFORMATION AGE Taught by Staff Design is a field which occupies itself with the hypothetical questions of 'what if?' and 'what could be?'. In any design process we are presented with dozens or hundreds of questions along the way. Like in a geometric proof, each decision we make will have an effect on subsequent questions and answers. How and why we make these decisions will determine whether a design will succeed or fail. This course will teach research, analytical, and design techniques which will help designers identify critical opportunities and make informed and defensible design decisions which will stand up to the scrutiny of clients and resonate with end users. We will focus on identifying opportunities to create physical and technological design solutions which will help seniors and Baby Boomers remain relevant and integrated in mainstream society and extend the quality of their lives. Consider that there are over 80 million Boomers in the US controlling over one trillion dollars in assets (80%+ of the US total). The oldest Boomers are now only 73 years old but, as a group, they have already come to dominate the medical device market. Still, most products and brands are geared for Traditionals (the previous generation) whose cultural priorities and values differ significantly from the 'consumer culture' oriented and tech aware Boomers. " Through direct research and analysis, we will identify latent opportunities for disruptive design solutions, both physical and technological which will help preserve and extend societal engagement and the quality of life for the target demographic. Students will conduct various forms of field research working with individuals and organizations in our target demographic to test their assumptions and hone their solutions. They will then build prototypes which can be tested by the targeted end user. Possible organizations will include; AARP, Senior Planet, Aging 2.0, OATS (Older Adults Technology Services) "The course will require a significant amount of field research and iterative studio work. It will include: • Research: Qualitative and quantitative methodologies for collecting target information, problem identification and analysis. 'Design Research Methods and Perspectives' edited by Brenda Laurel will be used as a guide. • Iterative Exploration: Ideation, sketching, sketch modeling (on computer and real life), 3D analysis, testing for feedback • Design Development: Choosing direction, honing supporting material (research) into compelling case, prioritizing problems to address in designs, human factors, usability, refining drawings, models, detailing, materials, colors, finishes, etc. • Presentation: deliverables may include; digital graphic presentation, renderings, research, drawings, scale model/prototype, video, process book. Final presentations will be presented, by the students, to our participating organization(s) for evaluation. Syllabus DESIGNING GAMES FOR KIDS Taught by Greg Trefry Making games for kids ain’t easy, but it sure can be rewarding. Kids can be the harshest of critics and also the most appreciative of players. Designing a game entails crafting a complex and dynamic system to produce engagement. Designing games for kids demands that you do all of that and make it look super simple. No 20 page booklets of rules. No relying on the good will of the player to hold their attention. Stir in the reality that a 4-year old is radically different from a 7-year old and you’ve got a formidable, but exciting design challenge in front of you. Designing games for kids forces you to strip your games down to their essence honing your skills as an interaction designer. This class will lay out a basic framework for game design. Then we’ll use that framework to analyze and design games for different age ranges, skill levels and attention spans. We will also look at the interplay between games and education, focusing on ways to draw out learning through scaffolding. The class will focus heavily on production and playtesting. Students will make a series of games for different age ranges. They will also create curricular materials that scaffold one of their games to draw out elements of learning. Syllabus DESIGNING HEALTHCARE Taught by Chris Anthony What does it mean to design for individual patients or healthcare systems? What are common problems patients encounter as they traverse the healthcare system and what unique solutions and creative inspirations can we propose? In Designing Healthcare students will experience 4 patient case scenarios that intimately illustrate patient disease onset, initial interaction with the healthcare system, hospital stay, surgical encounters and post operative or post treatment course. Each patient case presentation will be followed by discussion of observations and identification of inspirations, problems and design opportunities. Students will then identify a single design they would like to execute as their final project. This class will take place on two Saturdays spaced 1 month apart. Final project options will be broad and might manifest as code, an interface or medical device prototype, hacking the interior design of a healthcare space, a systems design proposal or art inspired by a patient case. This is a 1 point class. Syllabus DESIGNING MEANINGFUL INTERACTIONS Taught by Katherine Dillon This class will focus on how to create interfaces that get people to take the action you intended them to take and how to make that interaction a compelling experience. We will look at a wide range of examples of interaction design and explore different approaches to solving user experience problems across a number of platforms and at a wide range of scales. The class format will include lecture, student presentations, class discussion in-class design exercises and some guest lectures. The class will be very hands-on with assignments each week that focus on a particular aspect of user experience design including research, wire-framing, rapid prototyping, critique and user testing. Tools will include pen and paper, models and digital tools. Students will be active participants in the class and all assignments will be discussed and reviewed in class. Students should come to every class with a computer and sketchbook.
DESIGNING PARTICIPATION IN THE NETWORKED ECONOMY Taught by Liz Barry, Bill Wetzel Chances are, your latest project or enterprise features ways for people to “get involved” and “take action.” But what does it mean to truly participate? This class introduces the idea that participation itself, from digital to non-digital, needs to be designed. We will explore collaboration ventures occurring in the knowledge production, transportation, housing, education, food, and finance sectors. We will analyze these models of participation for their social and economic impact, then develop our own participation spectrum and apply it toward crafting new problem statements. Throughout this course, we will explore when technology can serve as a democratizing force, while assessing the limits of virtual participation.
Keywords: collaboration, power, facilitation, decision making, community management, network economy, digital labor, platform cooperativism" "In addition to the survey across sectors, and the development and application of our own spectrum of participation, after mid-term we will spend time getting into the details of online community management and group facilitation.
The final project would be to craft a problem statement for a particular issue/sector that clearly articulates a participation design. Problem statements will be delivered to a relevant audience (via PublicLab.org, Medium, others). " Seminar with possible field trips and guest speakers.
DETOURNING THE WEB Taught by Sam Lavigne "Detournement" is the practice of "hijacking" cultural or artistic materials and reusing them to produce new works that both counter and explicate the original intent or ideology of the source material. In this class students will learn how to scrape massive quantities of material from the internet using Python, and then use that material to make satirical, critical and political projects. The class will cover a variety of web scraping techniques, encouraging students to work with text, images and video. Students will be expected to produce three projects using the Python programming language. Students will also be assigned readings that cover the history of artistic "hijackings" as well as the history of satire. Each week we will cover a different web scraping technique, with production assignments relating to text, image and video.
DEVELOPING ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES Taught by R. Luke DuBois, Anita Perr, Marianne Petit This multi-disciplinary course allows students from a variety of backgrounds to work together to learn about and develop assistive technology. Partnering with outside organizations, students will work in teams to identify a clinical need relevant to a certain clinical site or client population, and learn the process of developing an idea and following that through to the development of a prototype product.
DEVELOPMENT IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST Taught by Harlo Holmes Over the course of the semester, students will team up with people who work in in high-octane environments (journalists, human rights defenders, cop watchers, whistleblowers, and documentary filmmakers) to build technical solutions for the public interest. Students will be presented with a unique set of design challenges directly from domain experts, and respond with hardware and software solutions specially-honed to meet the client’s need. This will require a lot of listening: together, we will work hard to understand the adversaries, threat models, and operational challenges frontline workers face daily. Students will then be split into teams, and work together in a “sprint” tackling the needs of the client of their choice. First, we will get to know the field through the eyes of our client. Then, we’ll work with our client to design a solution. Finally, we’ll build. This course will be production-heavy, and incorporate two fundamental principles: Human-centered, collaborative design focus: In our design phases, students will work with people in the field. We will incorporate input and feedback from those who will ultimately use our tools. Development in the open: Students will not only be graded on the work they produce, but also their development process. Students will be expected to contribute to Stack Overflow, master Github’s pull request and issue tracker features, and learn to work with Transifex.
DIGITAL FABRICATION FOR ARCADE CABINET DESIGN Taught by Mark Kleback
In the past five years, we’ve seen a strong influx in the indie game community here in NYC. Babycastles gallery, the NYU Game Center, and the Death By Audio arcade are all showcasing games in public spaces. Many of these galleries are starting to display custom arcade cabinets that are impressive manifestations of these games. In this class, students will use Unity to create a simple multiplayer game that can run on a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer. They will learn to use scripts that will launch this game on startup, and interface with hardware like buttons and joysticks using microcontrollers. In the second half of the class, they will learn how to construct an arcade cabinet with digital fabrication tools like laser cutters, 3D printers, and CNC cutters. The class will culminate in a finished arcade cabinet that displays the game and can run uninterrupted for months in a public venue.
DIGITAL IMAGING: RESET Taught by Eric Rosenthal Digital cameras and printers are making photography more ubiquitous and more useful than ever. This course is a workshop that looks at changing the rules for capturing and printing digital imagery. By gaining a better understanding of the engineering fundamentals and limitations of digital photography, students can produce breathtaking images with all the benefits of digital media but with an image quality that rivals film. Students experiment using low cost, hands-on tips and tricks in software and hardware to capture high dynamic range, expanded color, night color, 3D, time lapse, and stop motion images using a digital camera and printer. While using mostly off-the-shelf tools, these experiments require students to dig down to see the nitty-gritty of today's and tomorrow's technologies for digitally sensing, encoding, compressing, transmitting and displaying images.
DIRECTING VIRTUAL REALITY Taught by Sarah Rothberg How does an interesting piece of technology become a tool for making art?
When the Steadicam was invented, it was revolutionary technology, because it was a way to move a camera without laying track. But when Kubrick and the cinematographer who invented it, Garret Brown, got together on The Shining, it began to have a language and a meaning all its own.
In this class, Grad Film directing and cinematography students and ITP students will look at Virtual Reality and experiment with VR storytelling techniques with the goal of a final collaborative project using a methodology of the teams choice or invention.
The difference from the last time this course was offered, is this is now more like project development studio -- we will work together in class and with exercises for the first five weeks, and once you have found a collaborator -- you will begin developing and researching for a collaborative final project. This is to keep up with the changing nature of technology and reach in the VR landscape.
- investigate what has come before -- how it has been used narratively, for museum/art installations, and in documentary
- compare and contrast the medium's affordances with those of film, and test what film style elements can be brought into VR --- 360 mise-en-scene
- look at the current delivery systems and publication platforms
- explore newest techniques used at different studios and by independent makers through site visits and guest lectures
- identify and create a vocabulary for the artistic effects created with our own experiments
- Focus on creating a shared language between storytellers and interaction designers.
Above all, this class will be experimental, focussing on the artistic possibilities of narrative or documentary VR -- an antidote to the tech industry's impulse to churn out demos for the next newest hardware.
The first half of the class will be more exercise heavy, where the latter part will focus on production. The course is 12 weeks scheduled over the course of 14 weeks-- with two weeks off (TBD) for out-of-class production. The students will form cross-departmental teams, creating several short experiments and one more developed final piece.
DIY-VR Taught by Christopher Kairalla The field of Virtual Reality is changing almost daily. New products and techniques now give us incredible control over the immersive VR experience, and the vocabulary for VR communication is now being written. Powerful game engines like Unity3D have lowered the bar for VR hobbyists and artists, and modern-day cell phones have all of the components necessary to render convincing VR in real-time. This class will focus on experimental and narrative VR projects. We will look at the history of visual storytelling and art, as well as critical analysis of media, as a starting point for conceiving our VR projects. We will continuously compare older mediums to VR in order to best understand what works well in a VR experience. We will also discuss the history of VR, and look at recent VR projects. The class will cover 3 broad conceptual themes, which will give focus to the projects. The themes are recontextualization, symbolism, and mythology. Some techniques that we will explore are 2D media in a 3D space, 3D world building, VR GUI, and external networked interfaces.
DOING GOOD IS GOOD BUSINESS Taught by Benedetta Piantella This course, in partnership with the UNICEF Office of Innovation, focuses on the two-to-five-year horizon of technology and human needs in order to evaluate emerging opportunities and investigate how public and private sectors can collaborate to create good businesses and solve pressing problems. The class will be structured around specific areas of global need and opportunity such as transport & delivery, identity and personal data, learning, lack of financial services. We will investigate how businesses and industries can be influenced and leveraged to address these growing needs. How can we provide identity to the 30% of children who don't have formal IDs? How do we create financial access for the approximately 2 billion unbanked adults? How do we work to protect the 50 million children who have been displaced because of conflict and violence? These issues can't be solved by any single technology or by any one organization but require a network of collaborations among entrepreneurs, governments and corporate entities. Interdisciplinary teams and partnerships are key for the success of any project or initiative in the social sphere. Through a speaker series and conversations students will be exposed to both private sector companies as well as current needs and will work in groups to research and investigate where those worlds converge and overlap and which future opportunities exist for collaboration. Shorter assignments will have students focused on understanding potential technologies, their current limitations and future potential in the context of a specific problem, while the final project will allow for a more thorough exploration of a concept or strategy aimed at helping UNICEF think through future approaches. The final project could take the form of a working prototype or a lo-fi prototype that explores the potential for collaboration, a proof of concept, a design proposal, a business case or other. A series of workshops will help students on this path. At the end of the semester, students will present their work at UNICEF HQ to staff and invited guests. This class is all about collaboration,structuring partnerships (interdisciplinary and cross-sector), learning from failures, research and rapid iteration, forming and rejecting ideas, feedback and presentations to a larger audience.
DRAWING ON EVERYTHING Taught by Shantell Martin The objective of this course is to explore analog and digital drawing not only as a static exercise, but also as a tool for performance installation and collaboration. The course will explore different methods for expression and capturing output. Examples include drawing under camcorders, digital projection, digital drawing software, and simple code platforms. Students will gain the skill and confidence to draw in real time using a variety of different mediums, improve their improvising skills, and learn to perform without delay.
EDUCATE THE FUTURE Taught by Greg Dorsainville The New York Times reported in the spring of 2014 that fewer High School grads have opted to attend College, halting a trend of increasing matriculation for four plus decades. What is going on? As education in the US experiences a shift from being perceived as the most obvious method of higher social mobility, the viability of Higher Education is in doubt. The product of Higher Education is ripe for upheaval with new thinking in the presence of the digital, mobile, and social media revolutions that have changed many industries this decade.
This course will ask you to observe, imagine and create the vision of Higher Education, 1 year, 5 years, 10 years into the future. How will people learn? How will teachers teach? How will you measure your academic success? How will students connect to peers and experts? Who will be able to attend this future? Will higher ed be on your wrist or in a building? Will education be gamified?
Our weekly conversation will have voices from people helping to shape and improve education today, with futurists, with designers, and with content creators. We will explore the current education landscape globally. We will restructure education in terms of experience design, with the goal of improving the experience for the learner. We will discuss how our experiences have motivated our learning. At the end we will design experiences that capture the essences of these visions.
ELECTRONIC RITUALS, ORACLES AND FORTUNE-TELLING Taught by Allison Parrish According to anthropologists Filip de Boeck and René Devisch, divination "constitutes a space in which cognitive structures are transformed and new relations are generated in and between the human body, the social body and the cosmos." In this class, students will learn the history of divination, engage in the practice of divination, and speculate on what forms divination might take in a world where the human body, the social body, and even the cosmos(!) are digitally mediated. Starting with an understanding of ritual and folk culture, we will track the history of fortune-telling from the casting of lots to computer-generated randomness to the contemporary revival of Tarot; from reading entrails to astrology to data science; from glossolalia to surrealist writing practices to the "ghost in the machine" of artificial intelligence. Weekly readings and assignments culminate in a final project
EMOTIONS IN MOTION Taught by Alon Chitayat "I was giving the demo to someone a little while ago, and I finished the demo and I said what do you think? They said 'You had me at scrolling.'". (Steve Jobs)
Motion design has become an incredibly important component in UX/UI design over the last few years.
When used as more than just a subtle design detail, animation can provide cues, guide the eye, and soften the sometimes-hard edges of digital interactions. It can improve the user experience.
Following Disney's 12 Principles of Animation, motion has the power of adding surprise and delight to functional interactions. Google's new "Material Design" language sets the ground for defining how to use motion as part of the design process.
This course is focused on basic and advanced animation techniques and principles, to further add character and expression to digital and tangible interfaces. The main tool to be used is Adobe After Effects.
ENERGY Taught by Jeff Feddersen “Energy has been called the “universal currency” (Vaclav Smil) but also “a very subtle concept… very, very difficult to get right” (Richard Feynman). Building on skills developed in physical computing, we will, through generating and measuring electricity, gain a more nuanced and quantitative understanding of energy in various forms. We will turn kinetic and solar energy into electrical energy, store that in batteries and capacitors, and use it to power small projects. Several sessions will include hands-on labs. We will develop skills useful in a variety of undertakings, from citizen science to art installations, and address a range of topics through the lens of energy. Students will build a final project using skills learned in the class.”
EVERYTHING IS SPATIAL: DATA AND DIGITAL MAPPING Taught by Mimi Onuoha Digital technologies have created new opportunities and resources for mapping, cartography, and geolocation-based visual investigation. It has also brought the need to consider issues concerning power, representation, and space. In this seven-week course, students will be introduced to GIS (geographical information system) basics and learn the practical realities of working with spatial data using digital mapping tools and technologies like mapshaper, Leaflet.js, TileMill, MapBox, and d3.js. Special attention will be paid to working with different types of data (specifically geodata) formats. Time will also be devoted to investigating the conceptual questions that inform geographic data collection/representation and strategies for counter-mapping.
Topics of discussion will include: what do maps represent as visual information artifacts? What happens when we consider claims to space as topics for art-based investigations? How is the expression of geodata a result of political processes? What does it mean for virtual creations to refer to physical realities, and in what ways do the two shape one another?
Students will work individually on weekly assignments, but will have the opportunity to collaborate on a final project that addresses the techniques and topics studied in the course.
FAIRY TALES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY Taught by Marianne Petit Throughout time, fairy tales, myths, and stories of magic have served as a way for both children and adults to make sense of the unpredictabilities of the world around them. How do these stories serve us today? How do new technologies allow us to present and reinterpret these tales so that they bring new meaning? Students will work with stories of their choosing and are free to work with the medium of their choice, however we will examine both traditional book art structures, as well as VR (Unreal Engine.) Weekly exercises, readings, final project.
FANDOM Taught by Zoe Fraade-Blanar Fandom is the study of the communities that form around popular culture, whether based on a shared love of Harley Davidson bikes, PBR Beer, Miley Cyrus, or 3D printing. In design, proper fan management can mean the life or death of a project; well-thought-out interactions can lead to hoards of adoring, evangelical users, and bad interaction can spell shame and embarrassment. From Air Jordans to World of Warcraft, this class explores the influences and motivations that separate fans from mere users. We chart the evolution of fan culture as an important social and economic force, from early 16th century religious manias to its recent rebirth as modern-day geek and nerd culture. Along the way we'll discuss fangroup commercialization, appropriation, monetization, and other techniques available to us as creators to get the most out of them.
FLYING ROBOTIC JOURNALISM Taught by Ben Moskowitz It used to be that only the wealthy and powerful could put eyes in the sky. Dramatic aerial images of riots and other uprisings–captured by guerrilla drone journalists, activists and protestors—suggest a politically transformative leveling of the playing field. Yet even the cheapest quadcopter can threaten evisceration or fatality, and unmanned flight is a legal minefield. With all this uncertainty, what are the prospects for drone journalism in the US and globally? In this class, learn about the law, technology, and practice of drone journalism. You’ll meet pioneers of the field, develop conceptual understanding by programming toy drones, and finally conceive & pilot a modest drone journalism mission. This is a 1 point class.
FOOD SYSTEMS: INTERVENTIONS + REMEDIATIONS Taught by Stefani Bardin Super storms, drought, abundant chemical and fertilizer overuse and misuse, ozone depletion, fossil fuel exploitation and a load of bad decisions have contributed to the myriad causes of Climate Change and the shifting landscape of our Food System. For example, due to erratic weather patterns our coffee bean supply is predicted to diminish by 1/3 in the next 50 years or in the worse case scenario be completely wiped out. Strawberries need a temperate climate and a ton of water to thrive, both of which are becoming more unattainable everyday. This studio + seminar looks at the impact of human behavior on the environment through the lens of the very complex, dynamic and interconnected Food System and how the collateral of our behavior is swiftly changing what we grow, how we grow it and ultimately what we eat or will be eating in the future. Focusing on such developments as GMO’s and understanding the ways in which technology should not be shunned in favor of a more nostalgic embrace of food systems that is not the golden ticket everyone is expecting. Therefore we will work on projects that examine how technology can be leveraged to address these issues by designing small scale interventions in the areas of bio-remediation, food preservation, foraging and pollination. This studio + seminar looks at the impact of human behavior on the environment through the lens of the very complex, dynamic and interconnected Food System and how the collateral of our behavior is swiftly changing what we grow, how we grow it and ultimately what we eat or will be eating in the future. Students will work on small design projects that respond to, address, perhaps even fix ruptures in our damaged agricultural ecosystem, and the many players implicated in our environmental food chain. These projects could include seed saving devices that help preserve and propagate heirloom hops; rainwater filtration systems that feed directly to crops.
FROM PROTOTYPE TO FABRICATION: PLANNING FOR MASS PRODUCTION Taught by Sarah Krasley Navigating the world of mass production can be challenging. Prototyping and making one of something for class is pretty straightforward, but what happens when other people want one? How much will it cost to make five of what I made once? How about 50? How about 5000? Where will it be manufactured and with what machines? Questions like these can feel daunting.
This class is for students who have identified a well-defined product idea and/or digital or physical prototype. Coursework will focus on increasing the student's understanding of how they would attempt to mass produce the product and how much it would cost." Classes will be a combination of lecture, hands-on work, and student presentations. Between the first and second session, students will be assigned to work through a network manufacturer to complete their BOM and RFQ. This two session class teaches an approach to planning for mass production. In the first session, we will learn what goes into a Bill of Materials (BOM) and how to structure a request for quote (RFQ). In the second session, we will review student presentations of their results working with sourcing providers and evaluate different options for production against a set of criteria (hypothetical and real).
FUTURE INTERFACES Taught by David Lobser, Kenneth Perlin Traditional user interface elements, such as buttons, sliders and drop down menus, require computer users to conform to a regime of screen-based and device-driven affordances. In this class we will envision a future where the human mind and body are unshackled by such anachronisms, and language itself extends to include intuitive gestures that can interact directly with the world around us.
Using a custom library for gesture and virtual/augmented reality developed at Ken Perlin's lab, we will examine the roots of sign languages such as ASL, of Chinese logograms, and the ways in which children naturally develop their own languages. We will imagine a future where we will share an immersive, computer augmented reality which we can manipulate and use to communicate visual ideas with each other just as naturally as we use speech and gesture today.
FUTURE MOBILITY AND INFRASTRUCTURE Taught by Mitchell Joachim A wide-ranging course concerned with the fields of design and technology that define the interrelationships of mobility and the environment. We will be exploring the totality of relations between all types of vehicles and their fundamental patterns of movement in conditions of urban density. Vehicles mediate the experience of the city; they occupy vast quantities of real estate; they create a lot of clamor and they congest the streets. Yet designers mostly take them as given, and are satisfied to plan streets and public spaces around whatever few enduring vehicle manufacturers happen to produce. Here we test and reverse this well-worn supposition. We will design vehicles to fit a new concept of the city, not the city to conform to the arbitrary specifications of gasoline driven automobiles, buses, and trucks. The technologies that make this probable are those of miniaturized electronics, advance telecommunications, low-cost distributed computation, and sophisticated control software. They empower us to purge most of the old industrial clutter that presently encumbers vehicle engines, power trains, dashboards, and steering wheels. They allow us to define a profoundly new, revolutionized architecture for mobility. The objective is to design types of conveyance and/or transfer from one place to another by taking into account the human body and its hyper saturated digital surroundings. We will endeavor to re-envision anything ranging from bicycles to buses, skateboards to airships, and parking to infrastructure to meet the ecological needs of the future. Each student will individually critique, evaluate, and design multiple project-based urban mobility concepts and subsequently prescribe new innovations. This is a 3 credit course.
FUTURE OF NEW MEDIA Taught by Art Kleiner This course explores the next few years in the development of media and related technologies, culture, and geopolitics. It uses scenario planning, a technique for making sense of complex future possibilities. The class works as a large project team, looking ahead 5-10 years. We distinguish predetermined elements from critical uncertainties, identify the underlying patterns that influence events, and come up with a few compelling, plausible stories about possible futures. We present the futures – and the strategies they suggest – to a public audience. The goal of the course is to enable you to make more robust decisions in the face of uncertainty. This is valuable for dealing with technological change, starting a business, plotting a career or making major life decisions. This class has developed a longstanding following at ITP because it helps make sense of the complex world that shapes (and is shaped by) new media.
HACKING CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL RHETORIC Taught by Ben Moskowitz We have come a long way from VHS tape decks. Today’s media hackers have access to terabytes of captioned video, speech recognition, open data APIs, WebGL compositing, and HTML5 video in the browser—all hyper-linkable. In this class, set against the backdrop of Election 2016, we will create new technologies and methods for remixing political video. We will creatively engage with the weirdest election in modern history, gain experience as media literacy educators, and develop historical and contemporary perspectives on how the media shapes elections. We’ll design new and better ways for people to understand and shape political discourse, building on and learning from tools developed by the ITP community—including Videogrep, Popcorn.js and Popcorn Maker, Hyperaud.io, and the Internet Archive’s TV News Archive. Super News Time As part of this class, we’ll all be co-producers of “Super News Time,” an open online event for the extended NYU community to learn about, collaboratively document, and make sense of the 2016 American presidential election using video. Super News Time will feature guest talks by journalists, historians, artists and others. Each student enrolled in the graduate course will serve as a “section leader” for Super News Time, responsible for leading asynchronous discussion in 18 - 24 person groups, critiquing and elevating the best work.
HACKING HIGHER ED Taught by Daniel O'Sullivan, Clay Shirky New communications tools offer the opportunity to improve the accessibility, measurability, convenience, and cost of higher education. Doing so, however, means deciding which goals to design for -- Skills transfer? Experiential learning? Personal re-invention? Networking? Certification? -- and how those competing goals should be bundled or unbundled. This class will ask students to look at ways to reinvent higher education to increase its accessibility and exceed the current quality of the experience. Students will survey current experiments such as University of the People, Khan Academy, Codecademy, Meetups, TED Talks, General Assembly, and hackerspaces. Guest speakers working in this space will join the class discussions. Students will work individually and in groups to imagine re-designed lectures, discussions, student collaboration, assessment, and certification. The final project will be an education module, of the student's own design and construction, launched to the public for feedback.
HACKING STORY FRAMEWORKS: FOR SOCIAL IMPACT/SOCIAL ISSUES Taught by Yasmin Elayat There is a new storytelling landscape evolving across journalism, film, media and art driven by emerging technologies, cultural trends, and a new breed of audience that are themselves content creators. This class explores how technology can be leveraged to tell stories in new ways for social issues by hacking narrative frameworks, pushing mediums forward, and engaging audiences in the storytelling experience by inviting them as collaborators or immersing them on a deeper level. We will explore how technology can be transformative in creating empathy and promoting understanding. We will work on projects that raise awareness, transform perceptions or inspire change around a social justice issue, story or community. Because we are building richer, more immersive experiences, new media storytelling has become a design exercise. We are no longer bound by frameworks or constructs, in fact, technology has opened up a new world of more social, communal experiences. We need to better understand and design for our audiences and in this class we will learn experience design principles in addition to social impact strategy and learn how to build strong narrative worlds. This class is technology agnostic, which means we will explore different mediums and technology in service of our stories; i.e. story first, tech second. Objectives The objectives of this course are for students to gain a deep understanding of this new emergent storytelling space, learn how different industry players are influencing various mediums, and to deliver a social impact project around a topic of their choosing. The focus of the first half of the semester is building the skill set to become better story designers, while the second half of the semester we learn to use these tools and apply them to the final project from concept to production, testing along the way via workshops, prototypes and user tests. This class embraces experimentation as part of the design process. Students will learn how to: Build strong narrative experiences, Story Design and use experience design principles, Prototype and user test, Use emergent tools, platforms and technologies (VR/AR/MR, multisensory, web), Develop projects from concept to production, Deliverables, One individual midterm project, One group final project, Class presentations and peer reviews, Weekly readings or assignments
HARDWIRED FOR STORIES OUT LOUD: WHY STORIES MATTER Taught by Adaora Udoji Storytelling may be the "new" thing in technology, but it's way more than a buzzword. It's so central to how we learn, communicate, think and invent that we may indeed be hardwired for storytelling. It may also be one of the most important skill you can learn for your career. It is the ability to to communicate your ideas effectively, and be the best spokesperson for those ideas. If you want to be ready and more confident in your presentation skills for Thesis..and the rest of your life…this course is for you. This course is part seminar and part training in the art of how to present your ideas well. In this course, you will: 1. explore what a story is, why stories work 2. design and build a framework based on the cross discipline principles (you tell stories all the time, and have the power to do it well. 3. apply it to the work you are doing-- whether representing yourself, your ideas, the things you build or want to build.
HOMEMADE HARDWARE Taught by Andrew Sigler Hardware is not hard, and rapidly prototyping circuit boards is easier than ever with new tools available at ITP. Students will learn how to grow from a breadboard to a custom surface mount board, all without leaving the floor. This class is about artists and designers taking control of their hardware, and exploring the potential of embedding their projects into the world around them.
Students will learn the multitude of tools and processes required to make a DIY circuit board. These include Eagle CAD, micro-milling machines, drawing schematics, ordering parts, surface-mount components, acid etching, solder paste and stenciling, reflow, pick-and-place, and others. In-class demonstrations will be done for each of the above, and students will complete assignments using online reference notes and videos. Two smaller projects and one final project will be assigned (3 total), each a circuit of the student's’ choosing. These three assignments will be designed to work off the most recently taught subjects, and to get the students to fail early. It’s a lot of new material to be learning across multiple domains, so the students will need the entire semester to iterate
IMMERSIVE LISTENING: DESIGNING SOUND FOR VR Taught by TK Broderick Until recently 3D sound was a novelty reserved for special uses and reaching a limited audience, no medium in popular culture has been as inherently dependent upon spatial audio as virtual reality. The widespread and standardized implementation of surround sound in film brought cinema to a new level of immersion, but is limited to theatrical exhibition and home theater systems. Today a considerable amount of content is consumed on mobile devices and laptops which excludes the cinematic experience of spatial sound. With the current rise of cinematic VR and the blurring line between gaming and experiential VR, spatial audio is no longer just an added bonus, but rather a necessity in designing immersive VR experiences. In this course we will explore the emerging field of 3D sound design and for both 360 video and game engine-built VR using a digital audio workstation, Unity, and 3D audio plugins.
IN SHORT: RECURRING CONCEPTS IN ART Taught by Georgia Krantz What is the relationship between new media art and the art that preceded it? Has the revolutionary impact of digital media produced entirely independent spaces of art making and creativity? While observing how digital technologies produce new arenas for artistic expression and interpretation, we will examine how 20th-century artists working before the digital boom utilized other media, techniques and approaches to effect comparable formal, conceptual and experiential dynamics. This course will include reading, dialogue and short projects.
IN THEIR SHOES Taught by Gabriel Barcia-Colombo “If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” — To Kill a Mockingbird In Their Shoes is a 7 week production class focused on creating short 360 degree documentary and immersive videos with the goal of creating empathy through virtual reality filmmaking. How does virtual reality allow us to experience unique perspectives on social issues? What are the strengths and weaknesses of this new and provocative technology? How does virtual reality filmmaking change or enhance the traditional documentary format? Is it possible to create compelling stories or points of view in the round? This course will focus on the creation of 360 degree video not for the purposes of amusement and spectacle but rather to inspire compassion and social change. Technically the course will investigate new techniques for 360 degree video and sound recording for portable virtual reality headsets such as the google cardboard and samsung gear vr. Students will work in small groups to create a fully realized project within the 7 week class period. This two-credit course will meet the last seven weeks of the semester.
INTEGRATED DATA THINKING 101 Taught by Tricia Wang This course will teach students a research process that is designed for data-rich environments. Students will learn Dataframing©, a framework that unifies discovery and optimization research and integrates big data and thick data methodologies. We will introduce the fundamentals of running Data Sprints©, a rapid and iterative process for learning about users. Students will walk away with a common language for working with quantitative and qualitative, a set of techniques on how to ask the right questions, and a foundation for gathering insights for their projects.
INTERACTION DESIGN STUDIO Taught by Luke Dubois The Interaction Design Studio is a graduate production course that looks at the ways in which we can build compelling interactions through a combination of software engineering and best practices in HCI. For this course, students will investigate standard (keyboards, mice), expanded (controllers, cameras) and bespoke (custom-built) physical interfaces for sensing user input and look at ways in which these inputs can be mapped in software to develop successful experiences. Students will be assigned regular case studies and design sketches exploring the pros and cons of different interfaces; they will also develop and user-test a semester-length design project using a physical interface in a novel way to create a tool, a performance, an installation, or something in between. The course will be hardware and software agnostic but will be taught primarily in Max/MSP/Jitter, a visual development environment for real-time media.
Students in this course will: • familiarize themselves with best practices in HCI through a series of case studies, informed by readings in cognitive analysis. • apply these best practices to a variety of interface tasks using software. • learn standard computer interface protocols (serial interfaces, network interfaces) to understand design from a standpoint of maximum interoperability and flexibility. • experiment with different techniques for mapping a user input under a variety of situations. • propose and develop a complete experience as a final project.
INTERACTIVE MUSIC Taught by Yotam Mann Sound and music play an integral part in an interactive experience. What about the reverse: how can interaction can play a crucial role in a musical experience? Responsive, adaptive, and interactive audio have the ability to develop a mood, create a sense of space and material, cue and foreshadow events, and allow people to participate in significant ways in sound-making processes. This class will focus on the relationship between interaction and sound, creating sonically-driven experiences, interfaces and environments in which music is realized as a collaboration between the composer and listener. This class takes a broad view of music as “organized sound”.
Prerequisites: willingness to listen critically, some programming experience (p5.js / js). No formal music training required.
INTRO TO PCB FAB Taught by Andrew Sigler This is 7-week skill building course for students to learn how to grow from a breadboard to a custom surface mount board, without leaving the floor. Prototyping circuitry is getting easier and cheaper, and the tools and processes available at ITP allow students to cheaply make their circuits any shape and aesthetic they want, while increasing robustness and reproducibility. Students will learn a new tool or process each week, and using using those new skills to build a final project. They will learn such as how to work with surface mount parts, etch a board design, read a schematic, design a circuit, and use a micro-milling machine. Other areas that may be covered include acid etching, schematics, designing circuits in illustrator and Eagle, and using the OtherMill. Students will present a final project of their choosing during the final class.
INTRO TO 3D FOR PRINTING Taught by Xuedi Chen 3D environments and objects are powerful prototyping tools. This class will introduce the basics of 3D modeling techniques in Rhino and students will learn to create assets for prototyping and 3D printing. The class will take an industrial design approach to design and build with specifications and materials in mind. Students will learn to think, plan, design, and produce well thought out objects to fit their specific needs. (examples: motor mounts, enclosures, wearables etc.)
INTRODUCTION TO FABRICATION Taught by Ben Light Time to get your hands dirty. Prototypes need to be created, motors have to be mounted, enclosures must be built. Understanding how things are fabricated makes you a better maker.
But hardware is hard. You can’t simply copy and paste an object or working device (not yet anyway), fabrication skills and techniques need to be developed and practiced in order to create quality work. You learn to make by doing.
In this class you will become familiar and comfortable with all the ITP shop has to offer. We will cover everything from basic hand tools to the beginnings of digital fabrication. You will learn to use the right tool for the job.
There will be weekly assignments created to develop your fabrication techniques. There will be in class lectures, demos, and building assignments. Emphasis will be put on good design practices, material choice, and craftsmanship.
LEAN LAUNCHPAD Taught by Jennifer van der Meer, Joshua Knowles Lean Launchpad, the experiential course in entrepreneurship, will be offered for credit this Spring at NYU ITP. Based on the Steve Blank’s Lean Launchpad and the NYU Summer Launchpad Accelerator, we are applying the curriculum developed at Stanford and Berkeley for the NYU community. This course has been developed with support from the NYU Entrepreneurship Initiative, and aims at mixing the best of the methods from the Lean Launchpad methodology with the best of ITP's methods.Over the spring semester, student teams participate in an iterative approach to startup development, a combination of business model design + customer development + agile development. Participants from the New York Venture Capital community and leading successful startup entrepreneurs will serve as mentors and advisors to selected teams.Who can apply: Students apply in teams, 3-4 people, with an initial concept that can be fully developed into a working prototype over the course of the semester (web, mobile, or physical product).
LEARNING MACHINES Taught by Patrick Hebron Over the last decade, machine learning has undergone a philosophical Renaissance through the innovation of a set of computational models and algorithms often referred to as Deep Learning. These ideas have led to concrete advancements in long-standing applied domains such as classification and time-series prediction. But the real excitement over Deep Learning lies in its yet untapped potential.
This course will introduce some of the core technical concepts within Deep Learning and explore how these emerging capabilities will transform the next generation of computing interfaces such as search engines, intelligent assistants, connected homes and open-world video games. Students will be asked to complete weekly incremental programming exercises, culminating in an applied project that relates the techniques studied in this course to any field of human-computer interaction.
We will also explore some of the more abstract insights offered by Deep Learning into vexing phenomenological questions like: • Why do we replay and reconfigure memories in our dreams? • Why do we use only a small portion of our brains at any given time? • Why can we catch a baseball without being able to recite Newton’s equations? And most importantly, what defines learning as a phenomenon?
Anderson, Britt. Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Modelling: A Student's Introduction to Methods and Procedures. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2014.
This course will be taught in Python and will expose students to scientific computing and visualization libraries including SciPy and Matplotlib.
LIGHT AND INTERACTIVITY Taught by Tom Igoe We use light in all aspects of our lives, yet we seldom notice it. Most of the time, that’s no accident. Lighting in everyday life, well-designed, doesn’t call attention to itself. Instead it draws focus to the subjects and activities which it supports. In this class, you’ll learn how lighting design is used for utilitarian, expressive, and informational purposes. We’ll consider the intersection of lighting design and interaction design, paying attention to how people interact with light. We’ll practice both analyzing lighting and describing its effects, in order to use it more effectively.
On the technical side, you’ll learn the basics of the physics of light, its transmission and perception. We’ll talk about sources of light, both current and historical. We’ll work with computerized control systems for lighting and modern light sources, and we’ll create a number of lighting designs for different purposes.
Projects in this class will range from indicator lighting on devices to task lighting to stage and environmental lighting. We won’t spend time on projection, but will look at lighting people, objects, and spaces instead.
This class will be production-intensive throughout the course of the spring semester. As a result, it is not recommended for second-year students who are focusing on their thesis.
LIGHTING WITHOUT THE BOARD Taught by Monty Taylor This course builds upon ITP’s expertise of lighting LED’s to explore how we can make artistic choices for both how to light an event, our own work, or even make lighting based sculptures. Traditionally this work was limited to those with access to large DMX boards; however, we will look at how to use the DMX protocol to power large scale lighting rigs with either code or open source software that emulates the traditional board approach. We will also explore the artistic side of lighting to enable you to make more creative choices about angle, color, and which instruments to use. Assignments will include: • Lighting a still moment • Exercises in how to enhance a narrative with lighting • Lighting a small event • A final project: Applying all of the skills from the course
LIVE IMAGE PROCESSING AND PERFORMANCE Taught by Luke DuBois This course teaches the ins and outs of using imagery in real-time, whether in a performance or installation context. The class will use a variety of software manipulate visual media (time-based, still, vector, and rendered) in real-time to allow students to develop interesting real-time systems. While the focus of this class is on using imagery for visual work (mainly a software package called Jitter), it also looks at how to integrate interactive elements (sound, physical interfaces, etc.) into an integrated practice. Class time is spent on interface design and software development issues as well. The class explores some interesting capabilities of the software in terms of real-time computer vision, projection mapping, generative graphics systems, and media transcoding. Throughout the class students develop and share ideas on live performance and interactive installation as a medium for visual expression, and learn the software tools necessary to put these ideas into practice in the form of idiosyncratic performance systems. A final presentation in the form of a group performance will be arranged. Students should have some working knowledge of Max/MSP before taking this class, although class projects can be executed on a variety of platforms.
LOOKING FORWARD Taught by Claire Kearney-Volpe This course surveys assistive technologies and access for people with low vision and blindness. Historical, contemporary and forward thinking perspectives will be explored and guest lectures from leaders in the field and people with lived experience will be included. Students will learn about low-vision and blindness access and technologies across several domains (web, wayfinding, literacy, socialization, etc.) and will develop the skills to transform and advance them. In partnership with each other and community members that have experience with low-vision and blindness, students will develop their own projects in the second half of the class.
MACHINE LEARNING FOR ARTISTS Taught by Gene Kogan This course will introduce machine learning for artistic practice. Machine learning is the technique of teaching computers to learn by example, enabling us to build interactive systems that intelligently respond to a variety of real-time inputs. Example applications include building new musical instruments, interactive installations, and video games whose behaviors are dynamically controlled by nontraditional inputs, such as a Kinect sensor, webcam, or internet data stream. This course will not cover, nor assumes knowledge of, the technical or mathematical details of machine learning, instead focusing on how to integrate available tools into existing interactive applications, although resources for learning the technical aspects will be provided. The tools we use will be platform-agnostic, making it easier to add machine learning into existing applications. Programming ability will be helpful in customizing the provided tools, but is not required. We will build interactive systems which use classification — the ability of machines to assign categories, such as recognizing hand gestures — as well as regression — the ability of machines to predict values, such as how happy or sad a facial expression is. We will show how to transmit these values in real-time into environments such as Processing, openFrameworks, Max/MSP, Ableton Live, and others. The course will also briefly touch upon the current frontiers of machine learning, including data organization, clustering, and visualization, as well as style emulation — the ability of machines to generate images, audio, and text which imitate particular styles.
MAGIC WINDOWS AND MIXED-UP REALITIES Taught by Rui Pereira Magic windows that allow us to peek into different realities without leaving our physical space, lenses that reveal hidden layers of objects or navigating new universes within the same room. More than ever, mobile/wearable devices are getting a human-scale understanding of space and motion allowing us to create more intimate interactions with our surrounding spaces, leveraging them as a canvas to experience other realities. We now have the potential to give life to inanimate objects, tell stories through space, customizing private views of public spaces and recognize places we’ve never been.
We’ll question what it means and how can we blend reality exploring themes such as: augmented space and new paradigms in social interaction, public space and privacy; storytelling and navigating the physical space like turning pages in a book; tangible interfaces, mixed objects and animism; Magic windows, x-ray vision, time-machines and impossible universes; Far away so close: telepresence and remote collaboration.
The course will survey the past, current and up and coming technologies and experiences in Mixed Reality including environmental augmented reality and interactive projection mapping, handheld devices and head mounted displays fostering a strong user experience perspective on the affordances and constraints of each. We’ll research and discuss the design principles and guidelines for creating mixed reality experiences focusing on the links between real and virtual objects, interaction space and asymmetries between physical and digital worlds, environmental semantics and multimodal and tangible interaction.
Technologies explored will include and are not exclusive to Unity3D, Vuforia, Microsoft Hololens, Google Project Tango, volumetric video, SLAM, image and object recognition, depth sensing, projection mapping.
Students should have previous working knowledge of Unity3D and feel comfortable with independently developing using this platform. Code samples will be provided for each technology/platform taught. A working knowledge of Unity3D may be gained by going through the Unity 5 3D Essential Training Lynda Course prior to the course (log in to Lynda for free via https://www.nyu.edu/lynda). Students should feel free and are invited to use any other technologies they might find suitable to develop their ideas.
MAKING POP-UP BOOKS AND PAPER ENGINEERING Taught by Sam ita This two-point workshop covers the basics of paper engineering techniques (including folds, layers, dials and pull-tabs) to make movable designs that can be incorporated into your work. Weekly assignments and a final project.
MAPPING SYSTEMIC RELATIONSHIPS Taught by Howard Silverman Systems thinking is relational thinking, and the best way to understand systemic relationships is to map them out. In this class we will develop, discuss, and compare a range of mapping (i.e., diagramming) techniques, such as: social ecosystem mapping, analog mapping, concept mapping, causal mapping, influence mapping, and scenario mapping. We will use these mapping techniques to examine social and environmental issues, and the resulting maps will inform our conversations as we consider and critique strategies for effective engagement. No explicit familiarity with systems thinking is required; this class will serve as both introduction for newcomers and augmentation for old hands. Students will work individually and collectively to apply mapping techniques to case studies (provided as text, audio, video) of social and environmental issues. These mappings will challenge students to articulate and clarify both their understandings of complex situations and their hypotheses about affecting change in areas of concern or opportunity. Throughout the course, hands-on exercises will be woven together with introductions to relevant systems theory and discussions of mapping insights.
MECHANISM: IF IT MOVES IT BREAKS Taught by Stephan von Muehlen We will introduce the delightful possibilities of simple machines and fundamental mechanical concepts–such as levers, gears, and linkages–through examples from the history of kinetic sculpture, interactive art, and manufacturing. Look to Alexander Calder's Circus and Theo Jansen's Strandbeestas examples.
This class will teach the students the joy of making things that move, the pain of watching them fail, and the knowledge they will need to ensure that what they design won’t fail when it’s most important. Students will quickly engage these concepts with their own initial projects. We will share the challenges professional engineers and artists face when making something move and begin to identify and address those challenges. Discussions will focus on best practices in designing mechanical systems, determining requirements, simple prototyping, specifying, resourcing and manufacturing components, and testing. The students will find examples of things that work, and things that have failed. Site visits to shops where things are made will put these concepts into a real-world context. Students will also be required to design and build a final project that meets a basic set of requirements (e.g. includes at least 2 “simple machines,” is resettable, works, and looks good).
MUSCLE: EXPANDED INTERACTION FOR BODIES AND TECHNOLOGY Taught by Nancy Nowacek MUSCLE is a class exploring the body as technology through readings, sketches, performance, dirty prototypes and conceptual proposals.
For the past 79,850 years of evolution, the body has been the primary tool for transforming the world. Over the past 150 years, the body's capacities and capabilities have been increasingly outsourced to machinery, appliances, and devices, and essentialized to eyes, ears, and fingertips.
We will study the gap between what the body wants and what technology currently asks of it with the goal of bringing the body back into modern life. Students interested in digital performance, physical computing, computer vision and motion tracking will leave the class with a broad foundation in movement and conceptual methods and development for future projects and applications.
The course will survey a range of movement languages and practices — from sign language to crossfit, martial arts, and contemporary cultural forms like dance and slang —and examine the history of movement in industrial design and the physical choreography of tools, and the history of gesture in hardware and software. We will engage with ideas of interface, affordance, prosthetic, and avatar to marry movement, meaning, and device in new and experimental ways.
The course is conceptually focused, but we will perform research-in-practice through small, weekly experiments that take the form of sketches, diagrams, videos, and prototypes. Classes may involve moving.
NETWORKED MEDIA Taught by Shawn Van Every The network has become a fundamental medium for interactivity. It makes possible our interaction with machines, data, and, most importantly, other people. Though the base interaction it supports is simple, a client sends a request to a server, which replies; an incredible variety of systems can be and have been built on top of it. An equally impressive body of media theory has also arisen around it's use.
In short, this course will be about developing full-stack web applications (such as anything from the beginnings of Google, YouTube, and Twitter to class registration systems and other purpose built system) as well as thinking, reading, and discussing the implications with a culture and media theory perspective.
NEUROMACHINA Taught by Conor Russomano This course will be focused on the convergence of man and machine. We will explore a variety of biosensing technologies, including but not limited to: brain sensors, muscle sensors, heart rate monitors, galvanic skin response devices, respiration sensors, neurostimulators, and eye trackers. The objective of this course is to explore what exists with regards to human-computer interface (HCI) devices, and to also push the field of HCI forward. The collision of design and technology is integral to the progression of the relationship between humans and computing technologies. We cannot simply engineer solutions to humanity's biggest challenges; we must also design intuitive, ergonomic, and socially responsible systems that improve the human experience. The human body is an ocean of electricity and data that we can both listen to and influence. This cybernetic dynamic—of input and output—will undoubtedly influence the evolution of our species. What will students do? Students will: • Learn about a variety of different biosensing tools and approaches • Learn about and discuss the ethics of introducing such tools into society • Create projects that implement the tools studied in the course • Go on occasional field trips to local NYC-based groups and institutions that are paving the way in the domain of HCI • Be encouraged to work collaboratively (both inside and outside of ITP) • How will the course be structured? • The first half of the course will be primarily learning, through a series of in-class workshops where students will be learning how to implement a variety of different devices (EMG, ECG, EEG, GSR, eye-tracking, etc). The second half of the course will be implementation and creation. Students will work individually or in groups to creatively implement the technology studied in the first half of the course. This is a 2 point course
NEUROSCIENCE AND ART Taught by Sonja Blum This course will explore bridges/ links between neuroscience and art. After covering basic concepts related to structure and function of the nervous system, we will focus on how the properties of our nervous system affect art making and viewing. We will particularly focus on the vision system, memory and attention.
Ideas/ concepts covered will include: 1.) basic architecture of the central nervous system and its known properties/ functions, including neuronal architecture axons/ dentrites / synapses and basic molecular concepts (what is a neurotransmitter / synaptic junction)], 2.) localization of brain functions (from focal lesions to cells and molecules to brain wide networks and back), 3.) basic structural and functional components of the sensory system with particular focus on the visual system, 4.) the relationship between sensory system and perception / approximations and predictions made by the nervous system to interpret incoming sensory stimuli (ex. blind spot filled in, etc), 5.) common abnormalities in perception (benign hallucinations/ Charles Bonnet syndrome, etc.), 6.) case studies of famous artists and writers whose work was possibly affected by neurological disorder (Kant, Van Gogh, Caspar David Friedrich, Edgar Allan Poe, Nietzche). This is a 1 point class.
NEW INTERFACES FOR MUSICAL EXPRESSION Taught by Greg Shakar The course focus is on the design and creation of digital musical instruments. Music in performance is the primary subject of this class. We approach questions such as “What is performance?” “What makes a musical interface intuitive and emotionally immediate?” and “How do we create meaningful correlations between performance gestures and their musical consequences?” Over the semester, we look at many examples of current work by creators of musical interfaces, and discuss a wide range of issues facing technology-enabled performance – such as novice versus virtuoso performers, discrete versus continuous data control, the importance of haptic responsiveness as well as the relationship between musical performance and visual display. Extensive readings and case studies provide background for class discussions on the theory and practice of designing gestural controllers for musical performance. Students design and prototype a musical instrument – a complete system encompassing musical controller, algorithm for mapping input to sound, and the sound output itself. A technical framework for prototyping performance controllers is made available. Students focus on musical composition and improvisation techniques as they prepare their prototypes for live performance. The class culminates in a musical performance where students (or invited musicians) will demonstrate their instruments. Prerequisites: ITPG-GT.2233 (Introduction to Computational Media) and ITPG-GT.2301 (Physical Computing).
NOTHING: CREATING ILLUSIONS Taught by Andrew Lazarow How do we make something from nothing, and nothing from something? The idea of nothing, and optical illusions have been linked since the western discovery of zero lead to the beginning of linear perspective. In this course we will explore an array of optical illusions, ranging from traditional approaches to new technologies. Structured as primarily a studio course, we will work directly with Pepper’s Ghost, disappearing acts, making solid objects appear transparent, invisibility, false sense of depth, and approaches to designing negative space. Assignments will include: • Readings and blog post responses. • Creating small-scale illusions with and without the aid of new technologies • Exercises in camera analysis and projection mapping • Calibrating camera values with projector values • Making user interactions invisible, and then transmittable • A Midterm: Creating a small scale prototype with controlled interactions • A Final: Designing a full scale prototype accounting for user interactions
ONE STORY, SEVEN WAYS Taught by Elena Parker Course Title – One Story, Six Ways – 7 Weeks “A work of art is realized when form and content are indistinguishable. When they are in synthesis. In other words, when they fuse.” – Paul Rand Storytelling – the rehearsal of a narrative in a structured and meaningful way – can take many forms. This class asks how each form in which you tell a single story changes the way that the audience receives that narrative. You will choose a public domain short story and iterate upon it in seven different media. We will examine how to leverage the unique tools of each medium to best communicate a narrative. How do you articulate a character differently in audio versus performance? What part of your narrative is better suited to physical expression? Are there aspects of storytelling that a image or game just do better? After choosing your short story, you will adapt it to performance, audio, image sequence, physical/installation and as a system or game. Along the way, we will look at outstanding examples of storytelling in each medium and examine how the authors fused form and content.
OPEN SOURCE CINEMA Taught by Dan O'Sullivan Have you you ever seen a movie set take over several city blocks with trucks and trailers, tents and an an army of crew members? Even in movies that rely more on special effects than location shooting you can see thousands of names roll by in the credits. Who can afford to tell stories that way? How can you interact with stories made that way? Stories told with motion pictures are the strongest tool for change in our culture and need to be in the hands of more people.
Tools like panoramic video might save the need to shoot on location by allowing directors to later change their shot angles. We will look at how depth cameras like the kinect can separate foreground elements like people and props from a scene so they can be rearranged or substituted. New scanning technology has made it easier creating 3D models instead of more immutable images and new abilities to realtime render those models is finding its way into small inexpensive devices. We will look at how story plots and sequences might be templated into reusable formulas for no experts to find dramatic arcs. Most importantly we will look at how these new elements are usefully addressable to be shared and compared in a way that pixels are not. You could find exactly how your story overlaps and intersects with other in a shared “space” of stories. Once filmmaking becomes a process of arranging shared elements within the frame instead of just sequencing clips, it could produce cultural advancements like what followed the analogous innovation of movable type in the printing press.
This class used to be called "Prototyping Movies". This is a 2 credit course.
PERFORMING PARTICIPATION Taught by Taeyoon Choi Is there a script behind our participation in everyday events? What are the factors that are engineered into human experience? This class will explore the codes of participation embedded in technological spectacle of daily life by staging experimental happenings. Happening, a term coined by a performance artist Allan Kapprow in the 50s, transforms space as an interface for unconventional situations to occur and a site of confrontation and stimulation. Contemporary performance artists create work outside the division of staged and timed events, toward art work that seeks to establish sense of affect and presence. This class will explore participation as an artistic medium to create an unconventional performance art piece. The classes will be split between 40% lecture and 60% student participation through physical activities.
Become confident improvising in unexpected situation. Create series of happenings with instruction and documentation.
Interpret the meaning of participation we perform in daily life, consumption and communication.
Perform participation in the public sphere, using technology to build commons between individuals.
PERFORMING USER Taught by Lauren McCarthy How do the technologies we use on a daily basis choreograph our actions, cause us to perform, and open spaces for improvisation? What are the ways we perform for each other, and how do the internet, mobile phones, and other networked technologies create new performance sites and possibilities? The course will be structured around four performance assignments, requiring students to perform with physical hardware, on the internet, via telepresence, and in collaboration with a crowd. An important part of the course will be learning to critique each other’s work constructively—experiencing with an open mind, and thoughtfully and articulately responding. The performance activities will be supplemented with study of prior performance art engaging technology, short readings, and technical workshops. The workshops will introduce technical tools the students may choose to incorporate into their work, such as IFTTT, Twitter bots, WebRTC, and Mechanical Turk. However, the focus will be on considering the context, function, and meaning of these technologies and translating this into novel ways of performing with them. No technical experience is required, though students may incorporate existing skills into their work. A desire to take risks and step outside of one’s comfort zone is necessary.
PERSUASIVE DESIGN Taught by Katherine Dillon In subtle and not-so-subtle ways technology is influencing our behavior – from buying more books on Amazon than we intended to, to helping us change bad personal habits to leveraging the voices of many– technology presents an opportunity to be an agent of change. This 4pt class will explore how technology can be used to influence behavior. We will look at a number of behavioral theories including incentive–based design, gamification and social influence. We will review case studies on how these techniques have been used to effectively motivate behavior change. After researching theories on behavior motivation, working in pairs, students will identify a problem or issue that they hope to influence. Students will document the problem, develop a concept to influence the behavior associated with that problem and prototype (or build) their solution. They will test their solution and draw conclusions from the experiment. Projects can attempt to influence social change at a large, social scale or at a personal level. The unifying theme behind the projects will be that they intend to inspire positive change. The goal of the course is to provide students with a sold understanding of the potential technology provides to motivate and affect change in behavior. Students will develop projects that aim to influence behavior.
PIECING IT TOGETHER Taught by Eric Hagan Designing and building physical objects can feel like putting together a puzzle without the box top. Even if you have all the pieces, an extra challenge lies in figuring out how they fit together. Digital fabrication tools make it possible to newly imagine and produce pieces that allow us to recreate or modify the “puzzle” as we see fit. Utilizing historic mechanical equipment (e.g. windmills, clocks, speed governors) as design inspiration, we will explore the possibilities of digital fabrication tools to solve issues of fastening, synchronicity, replaceable parts, repeatability, and modification of existing designs. A central goal of this class is to come to terms, and work productively, with the limitations of these otherwise revolutionary digital fabrication tools—particularly in regards to materials, scale, and aesthetics. By the end of the semester, students will be familiar with Adobe Illustrator, 2D and 3D CAD software, laser cutting, CNC routing, and 3D printing. No prior fabrication or design background is required for this course.
PLAYFUL COMMUNICATION OF SERIOUS RESEARCH Taught by Lillian Preston Exhibition design is the art of marrying experience and information. The best do so seamlessly; the very best surprise and delight you along the way. In this class you will explore the craft of interactive exhibition design through practice. Working in small groups, you will select an NYU researcher whose work is of interest to you and create an interactive experience that presents this research to a broader, public audience. In the process, you will learn to interrogate content and form, audience and environment, medium and message to create a meaningful and playful exhibit experience.
This class is taught by Lillian Preston, Executive Producer at Bluecadet Interactive
POP UP WINDOW DISPLAYS Taught by Gabe Barcia-Colombo In New York City, every storefront window has the possibility to tell a story, spark a conversation or inspire an interaction. This workshop will focus on creating innovative interactive pop up installations designed for public window displays. A successful window is one that clearly delivers a message directly to the public. How do we create interactive displays that engage the public with a distinctive voice or style? Over seven weeks, students will concept, prototype and build an interactive experience meant to be installed in a storefront or commercial display. This course will explore lighting, design, and budgeting of durable interactive window installations. Previous fabrication or programming experience is encouraged.
PRINTING CODE Taught by Rune Madsen In this course students explore the use of computational techniques to produce physical prints, focusing on the intersection between graphic design and creative coding. Class time will be divided between exploring design topics like colors, grids and typefaces, and applying these towards computational topics like randomization, repetition and generative form.
Weekly readings include relevant writings from the history of graphic design (Josef Muller-Brockmann, Paul Rand), articles from the history of computation (Vannevar Bush, Douglas Englebart, Martin Krampen) and everything in between (Sol Lewitt, Edward Tufte, etc).
Weekly homework can be produced using the digital printers at NYU’s Advanced Media Studio, however students are encouraged to utilize whatever physical printing techniques they prefer, that being stencils, letter press, silk screen, weaving or home-made printers.
The class aims not only to teach the students how to create physical prints via code, but also to have something interesting to say about it.
The class requires ICM or similar programming background.
PRODUCT AUTOPSY Taught by Leonardo Bonanni Where do things come from? What are they made of? How do they impact society and the environment? That is what this class is about. Product Autopsy is the process of revealing the hidden life of things: the people, the places, and the ideas that made them possible. Over the course of this half-semester class, students will select personally relevant products or services and disassemble them to reveal their impact. Along the way we will become familiar with the state of the art in impact assessment, including environmental footprinting / Life-Cycle Assessment, social impact assessment, cultural sustainability and operational risk and resilience. Over the course of seven sessions students will prepare a detailed autopsy of their selected products using the most relevant impact metrics and present the results in a mid-term exhibit/review. Projects will be evaluated with an eye toward finding opportunities for radically sustainable alternatives to the way things are made today.
PROGRAMMING DESIGN SYSTEMS Taught by Rune Madsen Until recently, the term Graphic Designer was used to describe artists firmly rooted in the fine arts. However, as design products are becoming increasingly dynamic, the field of design is changing too. In this course students explore the field of graphic design through code. Class time will be divided between exploring design topics like colors, grids and typefaces, and applying these towards computational topics like randomization, repetition and generative form. A significant part of the class will be devoted to understanding systems as an important part of our design history. Weekly readings include relevant writings from the history of graphic design (Josef Muller-Brockmann, Paul Rand), articles from the history of computation (Vannevar Bush, Douglas Englebart, Martin Krampen) and everything in between (Sol Lewitt, Edward Tufte, etc). The class aims not only to teach the students how to create design systems in code, but also to have something interesting to say about it. The class requires ICM or similar programming background. This class is built on the class “Printing Code”, and students who took that class should not take “Programming Design Systems”
PROJECT DEVELOPMENT STUDIO Taught by Stefani Bardin, Daniel Rozin This is an environment for students to work on their existing project ideas that may fall outside the topic areas of existing classes. It is basically like an independent study with more structure and the opportunity for peer learning. This particular studio is appropriate for projects in the area of interactive art, programing, physical computing and digital fabrication. There are required weekly meetings to share project development and obtain critique. Students must devise and then complete their own weekly assignments updating the class wiki regularly. They also must present to the class every few weeks. When topics of general interest emerge, a member of the class or the instructor takes class time to cover them in depth. The rest of the meeting time is spent in breakout sessions with students working individually or in groups of students working on related projects.
PROTOTYPING ELECTRONIC DEVICES Taught by Deqing Sun, Peiqi Su The most difficult part of prototyping is not the building process, but the process of deciding how to build. If we choose proper technology for prototypes, we can improve their robustness and simplicity. This course will cover available and affordable technologies for ITP students to build prototypes. The course will start from soldering, wiring and LED basics. Then it extends to multitasking, signal processing, communication and advanced skills beyond PCom class. Each session will have lectures followed by in class practice with guidance. Workshop sessions during midterm and final period allow students to work on their own project with help from instructors. No required assignment. Students will listen to lectures and do hand-on practice in class. There will be workshops for students to work on their midterm and final project for other classes.
RADIO GA GA Taught by Surya Mattu
Radio waves have been harnessed for communication for over a century. From simple morse code signals to high definition video, this medium has played a critical role in enabling how we, and our devices interact with each other. Thanks to increasingly accessible hardware platforms, the barrier of entry has been lowered for harnessing this medium. Making a project that uses wireless has become cheaper and easier than ever before, however, the protocols used (Wi-Fi, BLE, Zigbee) are still a small part of the entire Radio Frequency (RF) spectrum. This class will start by diving into Wi-Fi as a way of better understanding some RF fundamentals that a lot of wireless infrastructure relies on. We will then dive deeper and look at Software defined Radios and listen to other parts of the spectrum that were previously off limits for creative exploration. These include air traffic control, weather satellites, GSM, and many more! This class hopes to make radios exciting for the uninitiated with an explanation of the technical fundamentals they are based on along with the social and political impact they have in our current digital landscape. We will use the FCC allocated radio spectrum as our playground and explore the waves!
READING AND WRITING ELECTRONIC TEXT Taught by Allison Parrish This course introduces the Python programming language as a tool for reading and writing digital text. This course is specifically geared to serve as a general-purpose introduction to programming in Python, but will be of special interest to students interested in poetics, language, creative writing and text analysis. Weekly programming exercises work toward a midterm project and culminate in a final project. Poetics/text analysis topics covered include: character encodings (and other technical issues); cut-up and appropriated text; the algorithmic nature of poetic form (proposing poetic forms, generating text that conforms to poetic forms); transcoding/transcription (from/to text); n-gram analysis and Markov chain generation; performing digital writing. Programming topics covered include: data structures (lists, sets, dictionaries); strategies for making code reusable (functions and modules); functional programming (list comprehensions, recursion); getting data from the web; simple web applications; and parsing data formats (e.g., markup languages). Prerequisites: Introduction to Computational Media or equivalent programming experience.
READYMADES Taught by Gabe Barcia-Colombo This course is about taking old things and making them new. Loosely based on the tradition of Marcel Duchamp’s “Readymades,” students will re-imagine old technological devices and antiques as new media installations or art objects in the form of scientific, ethnographic, artistic and historic relics. By embedding new technology (sensors, micro-controllers and small projectors) into found objects, students will explore a combination of anthropology and new-media storytelling. Can we create interactive art devices that tell a human story? How do we maintain artistic control while building artwork that requires human interaction? How can we re-appropriate found objects in a meaningful way to create new-media installations? This is a production heavy four credit course taught in Max/Msp/Jitter and focused on making museum ready interactive durable installations. Possible projects include: time traveling typewriters, boomboxes from mars, ghost phones and musical bicycles. Pre-requisites include a flair for the absurd…and soldering.
REINVENTING THE WHEEL Taught by Ben Light The class will dive deep into one of the simplest machines. The humble wheel has been with us for millennium, but is ripe for reinvention. We will investigate and create wheeled mechanisms, toys, kinetic sculptures, and robots. Our objects will roll, spin, and slide. We will cover fabrication, mechatronics, design, and engineering techniques. This class will be prototype and fabrication heavy with multiple projects and a final.
REST OF YOU Taught by Daniel O'Sullivan We build computers around an illusory image of ourselves. In particular, the illusion that our consciousness is the full extent of our experience limits how we might use computers to give fuller expression of our lives. This class looks at how you can use computational media to connect with the rest of your existence.
The class begins by looking at simple optical illusions but quickly moves on to illusions of time, agency, and economic and moral rationality. Then by analogy just as camera technology allows us to revisit the evolutionary tradeoffs of our visual system, computation might bring tireless, statistically valid processing and memory as a prosthesis to our quick and dirty systems for judging the world.
At a practical level the class looks at interfaces for capturing the less consciously controlled parts of your body. It then moves on to trying to find meaning in the mounds of already digitized expression your produce everyday by using electronic devices. Finally the class looks at how this approach of more fully exposing and giving expression to the rest of us, might help groups get along better. Exercises will include the use of bio-sensors, cameras, data logging, analysis and visualization. This class will use skills from Physical Computing and ICM.
RETHINKING PRODUCTION TOOLS Taught by Rune Madsen / Patrick Hebron In recent years, we have seen a proliferation of new technologies and techniques in the media industry. This has had a profound impact on most content creators: Film directors are now challenged to think in more dimensions, sculptors need thorough knowledge about 3D scanning and printing, and designers are increasingly taking advantage of machine learning to design for complex systems. However, the tools we use to produce these new types of content are still modeled on manual processes that existed before the computer.
This is a class dedicated to researching and developing new production tools for digital media. Over the course of the semester, students will work in groups to identify an aspect of this theme to work on, lay out a plan for execution, and follow this plan to success. Students are expected to create roles within their group, come up with user stories, develop feature sets, perform user testing to validate their assumptions, and create documentation that explains how to use their tools. Class time will be dedicated to group demos and feature discussions, as students develop their ideas from simple prototypes to fully functional applications.
SENSE ME, MOVE ME Taught by Mimi Yin A re-working of Choreographic Interventions (Spring 2016), this class is intended for anyone interested in using sensing technologies and movement to create interactive experiences.
We are surrounded by interfaces where swipes and taps control elements on a screen. Less familiar are systems designed to compel us to move in new and unexpected ways. How do you make someone feel soft inside? How do you shake an entire room? How do you orchestrate duets between strangers?
Every class, we will move in order to push the boundaries of how you think you’re capable of moving while experimenting with computational methods for building interactions that excite our curiosity, engage our whole body and provide an outlet for expression through movement.
We will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the various motion-tracking technologies, from “traditional computer vision” (blobs, contours, faces) to “new CV” (Kinect skeletons and 3D depth maps) to motion capture suits. What is the gap between what we can see and feel in our bodies as we move (strength, softness, contortion) and what a computer can sense and interpret (locations, contours, skeletons, velocity, acceleration)?
Pre-requisites: Introduction to Computational Media or its equivalent.
SENSORY DRIVEN STORYTELLING Taught by Stacey Mulcahy Narratives are often linear, with a start and an end, and sometimes even formulaic. How can we create new stories, reactive or even dynamic ones using sensory input to help direct or even define the direction of the narrative? We will explore narrative driven games or environments in either 2d or 3d focusing on how sensory input can contribute to play and or performance. Technologies and software to be covered will be Unity3d, communication protocols such as Web Sockets and OSC within the context of Unity3d to capture and share data, and the Kinect. Other hardware input will be addressed as needed through lab times.
SHADER STUDIO Taught by Patricio Gonzalez Vivo This 1 point studio course will focus on advanced graphics programming skills using OpenGL/WebGL Shading Language to modify the rendering pipeline. This course will only cover GLSL version 1.0 and will focus on fragment shaders, using glslEditor online tool (https://editor.thebookofshaders.com/) or its native counterpart glslViewer (https://github.com/patriciogonzalezvivo/glslViewer). Because this language is compatible with OpenGL ES and WebGL, later students will be able to apply the knowledge to other tools, libraries and frameworks such as: Processing, p5.js, openFrameworks, Cinder, Three.js, Shadertoy and more. Due to the complex mathematics required for shader programming, this course will ask you to stretch your comfort zone. This is a 1 point class.
SOCIAL HACKING: APPROPRIATING INTERACTION TECHNOLOGIES Taught by Lauren McCarthy This course explores the structures and systems of social interactions, identity, and representation as mediated by technology. We will investigate ways that technology can be used to augment, subvert, alter, mediate, and ultimately deepen interaction in a lasting way. How do the things we build and use limit and expand the way we understand and relate to each other? We’ll explore this question by building new tools and creating new situations for breaking us out of existing patterns, and discussing contextual examples from media art, performance art, psychology and pop culture. Technologies explored will include computer vision (face/body/eye tracking with openFrameworks), data representation and glitch, browser extensionsand plugins (in Chrome), computer security, mobile platforms, and social automation and APIs (Facebook, Twitter, Mechanical Turk). Students will develop projects that alter or disrupt social space in an attempt to reveal existing patterns or truths about our experiences and technologies, and possibilities for richer interactions. Different tactics for intervention and performance will be explored, first through a set of short prompts or experiments, and then through a larger, more thorough intervention. Technical requirements: A conviction that creative people can derail society for the best, a deep love for code, and a willingness to explore uncomfortable situations. You should at least have taken Introduction to Computational Media or have similar experience with programming.
SOFT ROBOTS AND OTHER ENGINEERED SOFTNESS Emergent technologies increasingly leverage the advantage of soft and flexible materials. Integrated soft systems, particularly soft actuators, apply to health and assistive tech, human-object integration, space and deep sea exploration, and more. This course covers concepts from soft innovation history, current state-of-the-art, sister disciplines of bio-inspired and hybrid (soft/hard) robotics paired with hands-on fabrication techniques (silicone casting in 3D printed molds, heat-sealed films, flexing Students start with a short exploration of historical context and current state-of-the art to prevent reinvention of the wheel. Additional domains will be introduced by pairing of high-level concepts to grow-on combined with achievable hands-on fabrication and evaluation techniques: Cable controlled force/Flex and bend cabled structures Pneumatics and inflatables/heat-sealed flat patterned prototypes Embodied complexity/silicone casting in 3D printed molds, Hybrid robotics/Mini Tensegrity structures, Materials suitability/Swatching and collaborative or destructive testing. Final projects can be a soft/flexible/hybrid design concept presented with context, materials swatches with justifications for choices, and physical or modeled proof-of-concept. This is a 2 credit course.
SPECULATION AS PROCESS Taught by Chris Woebken The Speculation as Process course is built around ongoing research on futuring methods at The Extrapolation Factory. Over the course of the class, we will develop imagination devices and futuring process followed by an iterative series of rapid investigations, incorporating design-fiction prototyping and re-contextualization of the ideas generated. The class will research new tools and methods for generating speculative concepts with the intention to suggest develop new interactions and tools around emerging scientific research in the area of to be re-contextualized back into New York City (ie. Finance world, Psychic Reading Salon or Office of Emergency Management). The multiplicity of speculative prototypes aims to develop a new language for engaging with these emerging scientific and technological developments in the efforts for providing a system for situating near-term efforts with future guideposts, shape design discussions and ultimately evaluate those developments and influence our collective futures.
STORYTELLING WITH NON-LINEAR VIDEO Taught by Alon Benari Throughout history, as new storytelling mediums have emerged, content has adapted to fit the developing form. From oral narratives to theater, cinema, and television, storytelling will always evolve to fit the possibilities enabled by the platform. Yet, despite being interactive by nature, digital storytelling has not fully adapted to the medium. So - how is non-linear video shaping the future of digital storytelling?
This 6-week workshop will combine filmmaking and classic storytelling with gaming mechanics and interface design. The class will introduce the depths of non-linear video and allow students to create their own interactive experience. The focus is on what makes a good story in an interactive narrative environment. Students will have access to the Interlude platform - the industry leader in interactive video (behind videos such as Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”). In addition they will be given "backdoor" access to further customize the software for their own projects.
SUBTRACTION Taught by Ben Light Subtractive fabrication is a common manufacturing process that produces durable and functional objects. This class will cover multiple techniques on machining and milling raw material into custom parts. We will focus on both traditional and digital fabrication tools: lathe, CNC router, 4 axis mill, etc. We will cover CAD, CAM, and machine setups as well as research affordable desktop milling solutions for personal shops. The class will be hands on and fabrication heavy, paying close attention to precision, accuracy, and craftsmanship. There will be weekly fabrication exercises, a midterm, and a final project. It’s mill-er time.
SURVEILLANCE SOCIETY: MAKING SENSE OF THE DATA TRAILS WE LEAVE BEHIND Taught by danah boyd / Gilad Lotan Data are created and collected all around us, trails left from interactions in social media, accessible through streams, feeds, APIs, and data-stores. These data are used to power a growing number of services, modeled not only off our own interactions but also interactions of our friends and larger network of connections. Even if well intended, the growing range of uses of systems that algorithmically ingest our data means there are a growing number of unintended consequences and inherent biases. In order to untangle some of these issues, we’ll dive into the literature, while running our own data analyses on captured surveillance data, from system logs, and NYPD datasets to mobile phone logs.
This is an advanced technical class. There will be a mandatory tutorial session beforehand. You are expected to be proficient in the Python programming language before the start of the class. We will hit the ground running, and move aggressively fast. We will use the iPython notebook environment, and get to know libraries such as: Pandas for time series analysis, NLTK for Natural Language Processing, and Scikit-learn for some Machine Learning. We’ll also learn to leverage existing API’s to enhance our datasets and models. There will be both reading and coding assignments every week. Your final projects will be group based.
TANGIBLE INTERACTION WORKSHOP Taught by Tom Igoe Tangible interfaces are interfaces that you touch. You control them with your hands, feet, and other body parts. Their shape, feel, and arrangement provide feedback. In this seven-week class, you'll build devices with tangible controls in order to better understand how we learn about and manipulate the world through our sense of touch.
We'll discuss physical interaction concepts such as expressive interfaces and utilitarian ones, real-time control vs. delayed control, and implicit vs. explicit interactions. We'll discuss programming and electronic techniques to sense state change, thresholds, peaks, and other signs of user action. The primary tools will be the microcontroller and common tangible controls: pushbuttons, switches, rotary encoders, rotary and slide potentiometers, force sensors, touch sensors and others. The class will also cover on-device feedback through LEDs, speakers, and force-feedback actuators.
Weekly projects will be designed (and parts specified) in pairs in in-class design sessions, and executed as homework. Projects will be mostly microcontroller-driven, and will build on the programming and sensor-interfacing skills learned in Intro to Physical Computing.
Prerequisites: Intro to Physical Computing and Intro to Computational Media, or a working knowledge of microcontroller programming in Arduino; Intro to Fabrication or basic knowledge of laser cutter. This is a 2 credit course.
TEACHING AS ART Taught by Taeyoon Choi This class is for artists and creative practitioners who want to teach. Good teachers are also good students themselves. They transform their curiosity into knowledge and share their learning process with others. One can learn to become a better teacher by staying fearless about ‘not knowing’ something, embracing radically open ideas and connecting various expertise and knowledge. Teaching can be a form of artistic and creative practice in collaboration with a diverse community. Teachers can invent new forms of learning spaces such as Artist-run schools, Hackerspaces and Museums.
Learning objective: In this class, students will learn about applying artistic processes to teaching. Students will read about the history of artists in and out of academic institutions, Black Mountain College as well as more recent experiments. Students are expected to engage in a critical discussion about the topic.
Learning Outcome: Students will become knowledgeable about various ways of teaching. Students will create a lesson plan for a workshop. This is a 2 credit course.
TEMPORARY EXPERT: DESIGN + SCIENCE IN THE ANTHROPOCENE Taught by Stefani Bardin / Marina Zurkow This class provides foundational understanding of the scientific and social issues related to the design of resilient urban futures. It provides ways of understanding our shifting ecological landscapes and the need to engage in design that addresses the conditions of the time we are living in now = the Anthropocene = the epoch when human beings began to problematically impact global climate and ecosystems. Following the methodology of “The Temporary Expert,” students will combine traditional research and analysis with hands-on experimental project development. We will use the scientific method as an investigative and evaluative tool for these design interventions by learning to test and measure a variety of different kinds of data and then creating projects to evaluate, share and even perform this information. Students will learn to pinpoint and begin to understand the increasingly mercurial geological conditions of our planet supplemented by field trips to bio-labs, workshops with scientists and visits from artists working within the scientific world. Weekly work consists of readings, interviews, writing, daily artistic practice and systems thinking exercises.
TEMPORARY EXPERT: RESEARCH-BASED ART AND DESIGN PRACTICE Taught by Marina Zurkow Cultivating a “Research-based Practice” requires an artist/designer to be a pioneer, a detective and a mystic all in one. What does it look like to make work in, through and as research? How do you follow a hunch? Engage experts and passersby to explore both legitimate AND preposterous leads? Be expansive? How do you leave your own trail of documentation that can contribute to a body of knowledge beyond the products of your own art? These forms of research may mix a variety of scientific and intuitive methods. The artist/designer is free to employ speculation, open-endedness, and irony; to use design as a way to probe or even provoke the chosen fields of inquiry. The class is devoted to the question of how to initiate and investigate research and incorporate it intelligently and sensitively into your work. This class is about developing your own idiosyncratic and well-documented means of pulling threads, following leads, and becoming fearless about asking for help and others’ expertise. You become a temporary expert. Through hands-on practice, case studies, guest speakers from both art and science, and readings on ethnography, research, and the idea of a public, we will explore method, documentation and presentation of your research, and the merits of both success and failure.
TESTING TOMORROW: SPECULATION AS PROCESS Taught by Chris Woebken / Richard The The image of the city of New York is significantly defined by technologies. From Edison’s electricity grid enabling artificial light at night, to elevators enabling skyscrapers, to Uber drivers enabled by smartphones to navigate the city without knowing the streets by heart. How might we guide developments of future systems and technologies to influence how we experience New York in the future?
The class will start with an introduction to speculative design methods and a rapid prototyping sprint based on students’ own observations in the city. This introduction is followed by a workshop with experts touching on societal, economic, environmental and ecological issues relevant to NYC today. Using this research as a basis for extrapolation, students develop speculative prototypes of potential future technologies addressing these issues. The speculative prototypes investigate possible tomorrows from a conceptual, critical and aesthetic point of view. These speculative concepts will be “tested” by placing them in real world situations in the city today to create a forum for discourse and debate.
The process will be informed by a field trip and lectures by relevant research organizations, a crit with external designers, short workshops, weekly readings and a final exhibition.
THE FUNGUS AMONG US Taught by Marina Zurkow We live among the vast and relatively unknown Kingdom of Fungi. Mycelial networks have been likened to social and communications networks. What do we have in common with mushrooms? What can we learn from them? Fungi communicate, remediate, and decompose. Fungi are closer to Animals than to Plants, and only a small percentage of Fungi have been classified.
They are used as food, medicine, spiritual guides, remediation partners, and more recently, material building blocks.
The material output of this class focuses on fabricating materials with mycelium. Students will learn how to combine mycelium and agricultural byproducts, to create Styrofoam-like materials. In the first class you will learn basic techniques, with a mind towards prototyping a project that explores both physical and conceptual concerns. In addition, students will also explore fungi through readings, media and your own written responses. Texts spanning the biological, theoretical, social and creative will include Paul Stamets, Dale Pendell, Anna Tsing, and Peter McCoy.
Please bring a flexible casting mold or plastic container to the first class. This is a 1 point class.
THE STRATOSPHERE OF SURVEILLANCE Taught by Adam Harvey Mass surveillance is a vast yet largely invisible infrastructure that enmeshes our cities, workplaces, homes, borders, and even our social interactions. From the databases that store our most personal media to the satellites that peer down from space, this class explores the stratosphere of surveillance technologies that are reshaping the world order.
This class begins by inverting Bentham's architecture of the Panopticon and placing the individual at the center. From here we will look outward at the myriad ways of being seen, analyzed, and tracked through real world examples and demonstrations of both lo-fi and advanced surveillance techniques. Technologies covered include biometrics (face, iris, fingerprint, and gait); online tracking (cookies, browser fingerprinting, network analysis, and packet sniffing); advanced imaging (thermal, IR, aerial, computer vision, and capturing "media in the wild"); and hacking (using examples from Kali/PwnPi). Selected texts will accompany each set of technologies and we will discuss their implications in class.
After developing an understanding of the diversity of surveillance technologies, students will work collaboratively to develop a well researched response to subvert, critique, improve or adapt to the type of surveillance they find most relevant.
Through topics covered in this class students will gain a technical understanding of surveillance, security, and privacy enhancing technologies; be able to communicate securely using encryption; and learn how to better navigate the emerging landscape of mass surveillance. A working proficiency with the command line and basic programming techniques is recommended.
THE USER OF ASSISTIVE TECH: ENGAGING WITH PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES Taught by Georgia Krantz Creating useful assistive technology means truly understanding the user. Misconceptions about a user’s abilities, needs or desires can quickly disrupt the best ideas and intentions. User research and testing is a must for all assistive tech projects, yet many people do not feel comfortable interacting with people with disabilities. This course aims to build an understanding of the importance of user input in assistive tech projects, and best practices for interacting with people with disabilities. This is a 1 point class.
THE WORLD-PIXEL BY PIXEL Taught by Daniel Rozin This class focuses on the art of computer graphics and image processing. We explore the concepts of pixilation, image representation and granularity and the tension between reality and image. Students are introduced to the tools and techniques of creating dynamic and interactive computer images from scratch, manipulating and processing existing images and videos, compositing and transitioning multiple images, tracking and masking live video, compositing and manipulating live video as well as manipulating depth information from Kinect. The class uses Processing.
THESIS Taught by Nancy Hechinger, Robin Reid, Kathy Wilson, Katherine Dillon, Gabe Barcia-Colombo, Andrew Lazarow This course is designed to help students define and execute their final thesis project in a setting that is both collegial and critical. It is structured as a series of critique and presentation sessions in which various aspects of individual projects are discussed: the project concept, the elaboration, the presentation, the process and time-table, the resources needed to accomplish it, and the documentation. Critique sessions are e a combination of internal sessions (i.e., the class only) and reviews by external guest critics. Students are expected to complete a fully articulated thesis project description and related documentation. Final project prototypes are displayed both on the web and in a public showcase either in May or the following semester
TIMES SQUARE ELECTRONIC GARDEN Taught by Mitchell Joachim This full-scale design-build course will engage a new conception of public space from a point of departure that is both technological and ecological. The aim is to examine the wide-ranging possibilities of sensors, digital fabrication, living vegetation, and public architecture located in the heart of Times Square. The students will be freely supplied with most working materials by the renowned Material Connexion library and sponsored at the citywide NYCXDesign celebration. A final student driven life-sized group project will be installed outdoors for public display throughout the entirety of the NYCXDesign festival in May 2016. Today’s scarcity of public spaces due to rampant privatization leaves little room for truly enjoyable outdoor respites. In order to produce a unique interpretation of future public space, students will be challenged to explore the dynamic networked relationships between living and non-living elements. While there have been many points of confluence traditionally between the media-based digital realm and the architecture of open space, the specificity of these relationships and how they are embedded in the urban tapestry often remains unrecognized within the discourses of both disciplines. This course will attempt to fuse that relationship and produce an integrated life-sized artifact. Students will be introduced to a series of place making exercises proposed in Times Square to tease out the most exciting and buildable scheme. A sequence of group discussions around heterogeneous approaches will be reviewed and tested in digital mock-up form. Students are encouraged to present their own ideas as big-picture concepts or discreet fragments to be combined into a larger narrative. An introduction to the skills and resources for designing, growing, and fabricating with ecological materials, including CAD/CAM/CAE; NC machining, 3-D printing, sketching, laser cutting, thermoforming, mold making/ casting with composite materials and carbon fibre, nonferrous/ sheet metal work and DIY garden sensors. This course also puts an emphasis on learning about open spaces, urban farms, and public installations.
TOWERS OF POWER Taught by Edwin Reed-Sanchez In NYC we take our cellphone and wifi signals for granted. Its always on and we are always connected. This not the case for 2 billion people who lack affordable communication and 700 Million people who have no coverage at all. New technologies are democratizing communications infrastructure; Software defined radios, lowered hardware pricing and open source solutions have made it possible to install low cost infrastructure that can be controlled by communities instead of multinational corporations.
In this class you learn how to create your own communications networks. We will cover the software, and hardware used today in community based cellular networks in Mexico and Nicaragua. We will also delve into the business of international development through guest speakers working in the development or telecommunications fields. This is a 2 credit course.
TRANSFORMATIONAL DESIGN: MINDFULNESS AND PHYSICAL COMPUTING FOR EXPERIENCE-DRIVEN DESIGN Taught by Daniel Rosenberg This class brings together Mindfulness and Physical Computing through hands-on, playful, and collaborative exercises. You will learn how to become mindful in design, that is, how to direct your awareness towards the experience of the products you are putting together. And you will learn how to use what you experience directly as a means to talk and think about the experience of the people you are designing for. Our tools will be Arduinos, sensors and effectors that we will learn and explore from the point of view of our bodies and minds—meditating by paying attention to what we do and feel with these materials in the moment, as we are putting them together and trying things out. As a result, we will learn how to create interactive objects/spaces never experienced before, and how to design for others without trying to prescribe their experiences.
UNDERSTANDING NETWORKS Taught by Tom Igoe Interactive technologies seldom stand alone. They exist in networks, and they facilitate networked connections between people. Designing technologies for communications requires an understanding of networks. This course is a foundation in how networks work. Through weekly readings and class discussions and a series of short hands-on projects, students gain an understanding of network topologies, how the elements of a network are connected and addressed, what protocols hold them together, and what dynamics arise in networked environments. This class is intended to supplement the many network-centric classes at ITP. It is broad survey, both of contemporary thinking about networks, and of current technologies and methods used in creating them. Prerequisites: Students should have an understanding of basic programming (Intro to Computational Media or equivalent). Familiarity with physical computing (Intro to Physical Computing or equivalent) is helpful, but not essential. Some, though not all, production work in the class requires programming and possibly physical and electronic construction. There is a significant reading component to this class as well.
VISUAL LISTENING Taught by Jonny Goldstein In this mini-course, we will explore the art and craft of drawing to support listening and understanding. The class will meet for three weekly sessions of three hours each. We will practice using an iconic drawing and diagramming style to capture the who, what, where, when, how much, and how of what someone is saying. We will also look at and practice using visual metaphors and visual templates to capture information from people who are speaking. As homework, we will conduct visual interviews of people, and share our experiences in class. In the final class session, we will have a question and answer session with 1 or more guest professional visual listeners, and discuss applications of, and further avenues for exploration of visual listening. All drawing abilities are welcome. Expect to listen, draw, write, and diagram extensively and in quick succession. This class will be conducted in English and will involve listening carefully to spoken English and drawing representations of that speech in real time. Non native English speakers are welcome, but prepare to have the extra challenge of turning spoken words into pictures in real time in a language that is not your mother tongue. If you are ready for that challenge, you will get a lot out of the class.” Students will learn and practice using different visual frameworks to elicit and capture information from other people. Mini course: 3 sessions: Session 1: Introduction to fundamental visual frameworks. Practice using them to capture information from other people with the help of markers and whiteboard. Homework: conduct visual interview with someone and visually document. Session 2: Introduction to visual metaphors as a catalyst for conversation. Introduction to using visual templates to guide an interview for specific ends. Homework: use a visual template to conduct a visual interview and visually document. Session 3: Practice visually capturing conversation in a group context. Presentations by and Q & A with one or more professionals who use visual listening in their work. Meanwhile students will practice visually capturing this Q & A. This is a 1 point class
VISUALIZING THE UNIVERSE Taught by Carter Emmart Today, astronomers have charted the universe and astrophysicists make dynamic simulations of it to better understand how it all works. The Hayden Planetarium’s millennium rebuild produced new ways to view all of this and share it with the world. This course offers a quick overview that covers the concept of visualizing the universe within theater based immersive data visualization. A look at how data across the largest measurable scales can be presented continuously within proper context and displayed through techniques of immersive graphics, interactive presentation and production to tell the most fundamental stories we can ever hope to resolve.
WEARABLE TECH DESIGN Taught by Despina Papadopoulos Twenty odd years trending and still we have few (if any) examples of truly integrated wearable technology examples that have reached market scalability. Most examples of wearable technology are akin to a “cottage-industry”– handmade, bespoke and expressive, more couture than ready-to-wear, reminiscent of the pre-industrial revolution methods of production for textiles and clothing. The challenges we had 20 years ago remain largely the same despite growing market interest in the area. But with new developments in rapid prototyping and e-textiles we are in a much better place today to address some of the major roadblocks in taking wearable technologies to scale and disrupting the current manufacturing infrastructure. In this class we will emulate a concept and design to go-to-market process and break the semester in 4 stages:
- Develop compelling use-cases and gathering requirements – identify applications, services and wearable environments that address human needs and an engagement model that goes beyond the much quoted 6-month drop-off rate for most existing wearable devices. How do we activate behavioural change, a need for delight and magic, or look at the needs of emergency responders, nurses, and chronically ill patients? Whether we design a wearable environment for dance performers, first responders or expectant mothers, our focus will be in designing a compelling system that addresses the needs of said user’s and environment and goes beyond single use scenarios.
- Turn requirements to design and technology specifications – having identified a target audience and their needs, we will work to select existing technologies and solutions and specify how our wearable solutions addresses each requirement, making sure that intention, design and creative vision are retained in specifications.
- Experiment with solutions with an eye to manufacturability and scale – we will look at existing manufacturing processes and come up with solutions that can be adapted to manufacturing or create solutions that do not yet exist. Experimentation and rapid prototyping will be the focus of this phase while we develop design guidelines and development specs.
- Develop a final prototype and production plan – at this stage we will build a robust prototype that addresses production needs and outlines how we will source and take prototypes to scalable products. We will do these with an eye to integration and scalability and with placing special emphasis on design and rapid, iterative prototyping. Visiting guests will provide context on processes in the apparel and footwear industry as well as updates on emerging solutions in e-textiles and conductive yarn developments.
WHO OWNS DIGITAL SOCIAL MEMORY? WEB ARCHIVING AND ITS DISCONTENTS Taught by Michael Connor This mixed studio/seminar will focus on ethics, aesthetics, and strategies for creating and reperforming narrative digital archives.
In this mixed studio/seminar, we will create and critique digital archives. We will consider the role of web archives as a site for the elaboration of social memory, and as a tool of state control. We will explore case studies such as UbuWeb, Documenting the Now, Wikileaks, and the GeoCities archive, as well as projects by artists who compile, narrate, and/or interrogate the archive, including Guadalupe Rosales, Dragan Espenschied and Olia Lialina, and Walid Raad.
What will students do? The students will do readings on the subject of social memory; make use of digital archiving tools including curl and wget, webrecorder and web archive player, and various emulation tools; conduct case studies of digital archives for in-class presentation; and create their own archival projects.
How will the course be structured? Each class will include discussion of the week's reading, presentation and discussion of case studies led by one or more students, and a focus on a particular practical topic within web archiving. There will be one final project. This is a 2 credit course.
WORLDS ON A WIRE: NARRATIVE STORYTELLING IN VR Taught by Todd Bryant With the release of consumer head mounted displays the current wave of virtual reality is in full swing. It seems that everyone is making software and hardware for VR or is in the distribution game. One issue still remains and could be the biggest challenge for virtual reality to be embraced by the masses - there isn’t that much good content yet. Worlds on a Wire will explore the history, current status, and future of head mounted displays for use in virtual, augmented, and mixed reality and teach the necessary tools for creating meaningful experiences and narratives that transcend the hardware and the hype. Students will work to produce a head mounted display experience using the Unreal Engine with strong physical computing and fabrication components.
Course Prerequisites: Introductory level coding skills and familiarity with 3D computer graphics workflow. Previous experience using 3D content creation tools and game engines is a plus.
XYZ Taught by Ben Light In this class we will be creating robots that travel along the XYZ axes. Our bots will draw, push, plant, and cut. You will gain an understanding of both the best practices of design and the anatomy of our machines by assembling existing CNC kits. We will exploit robust off-the-shelf solutions for the X and Y, and reinvent the Z. There will be heavy focus on concept, mechatronics, and fabrication. This is a 2 credit course.
100 DAYS OF MAKING Taught by Katherine Dillon Iteration and its impact on the creative process is the theme of this class. Students will identify a theme, idea or topic they would like to explore over the course of 100 days and commit to making or producing a variation on that idea every day for 100 days. Students who enroll must commit to producing and documenting physical evidence of their efforts. Projejcts can focus on building, writing, drawing, programming, photographing,designing, composing or any creative outlet. In parallel to the making, in-class lectures will examine the work of artists who’s work has been defined by iteration and discuss the role of discipline and routine in the creative process. Toward the end of the class we will focus on documentation and reflection on the experience and each student will produce a compilation of their 100 day efforts.