Overview

Course dates: May 19th ­-30th

Faculty: Massimo Banzi, Giorgio Olivero, Federico Vanzati (+ special guest Dario Buzzini)

Introduction
The Internet of Things is now a central topic of exploration and work for Interaction Designers. Unfortunately today’s tools for rapid prototyping IOT devices are still either rudimentary and cumbersome or mainly aimed at experienced technologists.

In this class the students were introduced to a novel and accessible prototyping framework to quickly assemble connected devices.. This is is an early prototype of an Arduino based modular ‘construction set’ for connected interactions that will reduce the technical challenges.

By leveraging concepts like openness, customisability and connectedness we can access information, share over the internet, build, modify and program interactive objects. With this approach in mind, the course focused on developing a family of connected entities (aka boxes) to create a microcosm for learning and understanding different relationships between objects as well as the environment properties where these products sit.

In this context, the course proposes a series of approaches leading to the design of open artifacts:

1) customisable components / hardware, software, physical bodies;

2) customisable interactive behaviours and information;

3) the possibility of influencing and be influenced by the environments these artifacts live in;

4) fluid network interoperability between these artifacts.

 

Objectives

Goal of the course was to design and implement interactive objects that are open and connected, whose design and behaviour can be used to sense, read and affect the comfort variables of a home or other shared environments. An important feature of these objects should be the capacity of communicating and interacting with each other through the use of both Graphical User Interfaces and Tangible User Interfaces (via buttons, potentiometers, etc.). The course ended with a final presentation and demo of the working prototypes.