Syllabus

The Brief
Students were asked to design a pair (or series) of networked objects that illustrate digital information (bits) in a physical form. The objects were to be manipuable by specified user groups – not just ambient physical objects that only reflect and display digital data – enabling people to interact directly with data through objects.

Concepts could be of any scale (i.e. jewelry-like, hand-held devices, interactive lighting, interactive furniture, interactive environments etc.) but the final concept had to be physically interactive, contain no display or screen (LCD) and be produced as fully working electronic prototypes by the end of the course.

These concepts also needed to consider interactions, affordances, attributes and metaphors are appropriate for a specific user group. Each team was asked to define who they were designing for (their user group) and why, at the beginning of the course.

The aim was to generate solutions that show appropriate use of technology; to design beautiful and well-crafted objects which are useful, pragmatic and make sense to users – whilst being simple, delightful to use – but not a mere gimmick.

Teams
Students worked in teams of two for the duration of the the 4-week course. It
was important that teams were made up of people with complimentary skill sets. For example, those strong in programming and/or electronics were advised to work with someone who is equally strong in design and the production of physical artifacts.

Learning Expectations
Understanding of TUI history and approach
Concept ideation and development
Prototyping in foam, card, wood, metal, plastic etc.
Creating fully working electronic prototypes

Evaluation Criteria
Setting the Objective:
How good were you at setting the objective for your work?
How clear were you in defining the problem you were you trying to solve?
How clear were you in defining your user group? How articulate was your design brief?

Research:
How aware are you of work already completed in the area you are investigating?

Problem Solving:
How effective and appropriate is your solution in resolving the problem you are trying to solve and for the people you are solving it for?

Presentation:
How effective did you present and communicate your ideas throughout the
course and in the final presentation?

Prototyping:
How well does your prototype work? How robust is your prototype and can it
be understood and used by others?

Technology:
How have you rationalized your use of technology? How appropriate is your technology proposal for real-­world solutions? How much have you considered issues such as privacy of data?

Visualisation: and how good were you in presenting this documentation (photos, sketches, videos) in your final presentation?

Commitment: How much energy and effort did you invest over the course of the workshop?

Collaboration: How much effort did you invest in explaining and discussing your ideas with
others? How well did you contribute to your team effort? How much did you contribute to
the overall group learning process?