A COURSE ON MAKING ENGAGING AND BEAUTIFUL INTERACTIVE SPACES
Course Code BK-Mi-124-12
Course Title Interactive Environments
Course Coordinator Chris Kievid (A), Aadjan van der Helm (ID)
Course Tutors Tomasz Jaskiewicz (A), Chris Kievid (A), Walter Aprile (ID), Aadjan van der Helm (ID), Stefan Dulman (EEMCS)
Credit Points 30
Location Science Centre Delft
Minor Interactive Environments 2012-2013
The Interactive Environments minor is a shared initiative by the faculties of Architecture, Industrial Design, and Computer Science, involving the research groups Hyperbody (A), ID-StudioLab (ID), and Embedded Software group (EEMCS). The Science Centre of the TU Delft hosts the minor in a dedicated laboratory space.
- To get an impression of the installations that were developed in the three previous years, please select the student projects from the navigation menu.
- The Minor will be offered to TU Delft BSc students from all faculties
- An anonymous survey was recently conducted by the TU among our former students. The Minor was evaluated on several criteria and we received a rating of 8.3 on a 10-point scale.
The Interactive Environments minor offers an exciting five-month ride through interactive architecture: students learn new technologies at every scale, interact with inspiring guest speakers and take part in a visionary and challenging course-length project. Students will be full-time engaged in exploring the possibilities of multimodal, whole body interaction, working with new design methods, input devices, dynamic actuators, high-tech materials and rapid prototyping tools. Students apply their knowledge and skills in a real-life project, from the development of a concept to the creation of a full-scale experiential prototype.
The course structure of the Interactive Environments Minor is built around a group project assignment of an interactive social space, built up from autonomously operating smart building components. Groups of 5 students are assigned to design, fabricate and build a fully operational complex spatial interactive installation. All courses within the minor are geared towards supporting this goal in a variety of ways. The design assignment includes the design of interaction scenarios, and the integration of its embedded computing technologies.
IF YOU’RE READY TO TAKE UP THE CHALLENGE, JOIN THE INTERACTIVE ENVIRONMENTS MINOR!
Students work in groups on a design assignment throughout the semester. The semester is split into three phases. First is the conceptualization phase including the learning of required skills to develop concepts for interactive environments, in the second phase the prototype will be built and in the final phase the prototype and it’s behavior will be evaluated and fine-tuned.
Students will employ a highly iterative design process in which design ideas are verified by making prototypes and testing these. In this way design ideas mature into a meaningful concept. Students will also be working with Computer Aided Manufacturing techniques eg. a file-to-factory design process where the final concept will be 3D-modeled parametrically, which will serve as the input for the production drawings for the CNC machines. In addition, to construct the final prototype the design will be made up of multiple components in which interactive systems and wiring should be integrated.
The Science Centre (SC) of the TU Delft hosts the minor and gives the students access to its facilities for the duration of the master. Among these: a unique design studio, workshop and brainstorm room. In return the students expose their process and (intermediate) results to the public of the SC by means of verbal explanations, demonstrations and through exhibiting presentation material and intermediate prototypes.
The kickoff event for the minor is a visit to the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz Austria. The interactive art festival is organized in the beginning of September so in coincides with the start of the semester. The festival is the main European event on interactive media art with interactive installations, performances and events relevant to the minor. In addition, during the visit staff and students have the chance to get to know each other.
- Course description: Design strategies (3 ECTS): The design strategies course is a lecture series that aims to identify theory, method or practice relevant to the minor design assignment. Topics span the fields of architecture, interaction design and affective computing. The lectures will provide references to reading material about the topics and students are expected to research the topic beyond the material presented in the lecture. Examples of topics are: experience design, interactive architecture, introduction to Arduino, Design and Emotion. Assessment is based on an individual essay (2xA4), about the application of one of the topics in the final concept. Students receive an individual grade. The course runs throughout the semester the essay is due as a deliverable at the end of the semester.
- Course description: Interaction studies (3 ECTS): This course runs in the first two weeks of the minor. Interaction studies is a series of examinations of existing interactive projects. Students work in groups on a critical analysis of a relevant interactive project and present their observations. A presentation is constructed from at least a desktop analysis but ideally also from actually visiting (observation and interacting) with the installation, maybe even interviewing people involved with the project. This course aims to create awareness of existing work in the field as well as some insight into the development process of interactive installations. There are many aspects of such a process that can be investigated eg. aesthetics, use of technology, finances, project organization, research motivation, interaction design. Assessment is based on the quality of the analysis and presentation. Students work in groups, presenting in turn and receive a group grade.
- Course description: Technical Studies (6 ECTS): The technical studies course aims to introduce the required skills for making interactive environments, such as: working with embedded microcontrollers, electronics, programming, parametric modeling and affective computing. Students work in small groups on practical assignments that are introduced and elaborated with lectures. Assessment is based on the quality of the delivered work: an interactive prototype, a 3D model, etc.
- Course description: Embedded Networked Systems for Spatial Interactions (6 ECTS): This course addresses the concepts of embedded systems and large-scale networks in the context of spatial interactions. After successfully completing this course, the student will understand the concepts of large-scale embedded networks, spatial computing and distributed interaction. This course employs the following teaching methods: Lectures and practicum, and Literature and Study Materials. Assessment is based on the ability to design and use large networks of embedded devices for creating interactive systems.
- Course description: Workshops (3 ECTS): The course workshops and lectures provide both hands-on and theoretical inspiration to feed the main design assignment. Assessment of this course is a group grade combined with the assessment of the course design and prototyping studio (see below). The course runs during the full semester.
- Course description: Design and prototyping studio (9 ECTS): The course design and prototyping studio is the main design track in the minor. Students work in groups on the main design assignment. Assessment is based on the quality of the concept, quality of the prototype and presentation. The course runs during the full semester.
Minor Learning objectives
- The student can employ a design-by-making approach to the development of concepts interactive products/environments
- The student can apply innovative and creative design thinking and build processes using computational design techniques
- The student can validate design outcomes through strategies of parametric design and methods of digital fabrication
- The student can demonstrate design outcomes to the general public
- The student can identify appropriate interactive technologies and implement a prototype with interactive behavior.
- The student will understand the concepts of large-scale embedded networks, spatial computing and distributed interaction.