Interaction Design
Professor Terry Towery

Description: To encourage a hacker DIY low tech approach and aesthetic. As critical Art Ensemble put it I will "Value amateur practice" I do not expect you to become electrical engineers overnight. the goal is to encourage an experimental hacker attitude. Reverse engineer existing objects, break things apart and see how they work.

The physical and the digital are often thought of as distinct and disparate. This class will be an investigation into notions of physicality and interface with respect to the computer, and an exploration of related analog and digital technology. Students will complete a series of exercises that will encourage inquiry into these various technologies and the implications of a connection between or joining of physical and digital worlds. The Parallax Stamp II/Board of Education and various sensor mechanisms will be used in conjunction with programming languages such as PBasic, Lingo and/or Java. Related creative uses of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) and custom interactive audiovisual authoring platforms will also be discussed. Students joining this class should be comfortable with code in general, have experience with one programming language or another, and be prepared to solder.

Structure The course will be divided into four highly interrelated segments:
1. Input
2. Connections to the computer
3. Edit Microprocessors
4. output

Evaluation criteria
15% Digital Diary should be continued
30% Midterm Project -
35% Semester long project to create a peripheral for a computer or an interactive art piece.
20% Term long Research paper on topic related inteactive design 10+ pages

Text Books - Being Digital Nicholas Negroponte
Information Arts
MIT Press; ISBN: 026223209X by Stephen Wilson
Suggested Reading The Art of Electronics and The Way Things Work ISBN: 0395938473




Introduction to course Bring at least two examples of sensors to class next week. Radio Shack is a great source  Making the physical Environment interactive and Ubiquitous computing and look over NYU's Physical computing site

Commercially available options for Physical projects


Pick a mit research group and do 5 minute presentation on their research next week

Information Arts Chapter 5 Robotics and Kinetics
Physical computing
Ken Goldberg's Telegarden


Hacking and reverse engineering

Forming a Research Group?

Deconstruct an electonic product. Map its parts and bring to class. and Furby autopsy
hack furby
Information Arts Chapter 7
9/26 Microprocessors eg STAMP, embedded, Handyboard,  Choose a tachnolgy to work with for the term and order your parts Critical Art Ensemble Tactical projects intro to Digital Resistance Dan Osullivan's Choosing a microcontroller
10/3 Making connections to the computer. What is Bluetooth? Other connectivity options e.g. serial, usb, firewire, airport...  Bring your parts to class next week Blue Tooth and Apple's Bluetooth page and macworld article on bluetooth
How stuff works
and how transistors work
10/10  Soldering lab  Pitch your project to the group next week  Alan Rath interview
10/17  midterm In process crit
   Futurist manifestos
 Programming options: Midi, lingo, java, various strains of C,    Computing Machinery and Intelligence AKA The  MIT AI lab
Information Arts Chapter 4
 10/31  Artificial intelligence  OS X comes with the simulated therapy program, Eliza. In the terminal type emacs and hit enter. When the editor has loaded, hold shift and hit the escape key. Then type xdoctor and hit return. Answer the first question and proceed from there. When you're done, control-X control-C will quit the editor. Turing test
 11/7      Creating a great game design document
     MIT Concepts video magazine
11/21      Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
11/28 No Class Thanksgiving recess
12/5 Open lab session    
12/12 Final Meeting and Critique  All work due at beginning of class  


University labs:
MITs Media Lab and Nylon
Carnegie Mellon robotics lab 

NYU's ITP program Dan OSullivan's Physical Computing site and Tom Igoe's syllabus and the annual exhibition featuring physical computing projects
University of Maryland Human Computer interaction lab
Stanford Human Computer interaction lab
Artists and projects:
Alan Rath interview

Troika Ranch
Simon Penny
Critical Art Ensemble especially see the books section for free downloads of their writings.
Douglas Engelbart Inventor of the mouse
Ken Goldberg's Telegarden
Alice Bots
SRL Survival Research Lab espcially the barbie liberation front
etoy and an RTmark article documenting some of tha actions
Next five minutes 5
Paul Pfeifer
Rodney Brooks - control of spotlights in a public square over the net.
Amorphic Robot Works -
Dot Matrix Printer Symphony
Ken Feingold -
Arthur Ganson kinetic sculptures
Kelly Heaton -
Perry Hoberman has done a number of interesting projects turning the computer and user interface around to make the user part of the system instead of conteoller of it.
Toshio Iwai
Natalie Jeremijenko asks hard questions.
ScratchRobot - a robot that converts emails into sound
The Thimbletron - Thimble-based hand MIDI controller.

Steim especially some of their software products

Handy Board
theremin virtual theremin
Lego Mindstorms
ADBIO archive
Human-Computer Interaction resources
Phidgets Examples of physical widgets
Useit Jakob Nielsens site
ACM The association for Computing Machinery
Human Computer Interaction network Includes a jobs listing
Recommended readings from the interface hall of shame
Google directory of HCI In search of the post PC interface
ARG Art and robotics group
Sources for parts:
Robot Store check out their muscle wire
Stamps in class
Parallax sells stamps Electroincs components
Digikey electronic components
Edmunds scientific lazer pointers etc...
Anchor optical for those prisms and mirrors
Markertek Video supplies
DGH Data Acquisition
Marlin P Jones parts
Waytek Inc. wiring supplies
Automation Direct sensors,controllers,operator interface
B&B electronics computer communication tool manufacturer

Max midi software
TrackthemColors Xtra for Director and understanding it
Physical bits Xtras fror Director

Direct communications XTra provides communications to serial port

NASA telerobotics and the cool robot of the week
Robots of the Victorian era
Medical sensors
Wearable computing
Waking Life Movie worth seeing
A history of Net art from art forum warning this is a large (7.5MB) pdf file
Apple Human computer interaction guidelines