Prototyping for Connected Spaces


Workshop Dates: July 11th – 15th, 2016

Keywords: prototyping & fabrication techniques, interactive space, design thinking, concept generation, storytelling, user-centered design, scenario building

Today we live in a world surrounded by digital technology. We live, breathe and exchange data. More and more, the idea of the interface is rapidly changing – from screens, to wearables, to headsets to walls. Technology is only becoming more ubiquitous, moving from the classic devices we know into the larger scale of space and architecture.

We live in an amazing time where digital technology has taken many different physical forms, with a rise in new interactions and sensorial experiences. But how will these new connected physical-digital spaces impact our lives? What do we expect out of space as we do with the rest of our digital artifacts? How can space, which is inherently static and natural, accommodate and meet our very digital behaviour? How can we make these spaces truly meaningful in our lives?

“Technology is the answer, but what was the question?”
Cedric Price

In this course we will explore how to craft meaningful connected spaces through practical, hands-on prototyping and scenario building. Through a series of mini exercises, we will practice the art of “just enough” and concept development to push design thinking for what a connected space might be.

With the learned knowledge of fabrication techniques, affordances, physical materials and digital tools, participants will build a working physical prototype to communicate their final idea.  They will learn how to use immersive storytelling rather than a screen-based presentations to demonstrate the experiences.

Learning expectations:

  • Using your hands – learning to make physical prototypes of all scales, starting at the analogue level, and working up to integrating digital components
  • How to use analogue and digital tools to create interactive experiences
  • Prototyping communication skills – learning how to create and use prototypes, and when (fidelity vs. content, contextual use)
  • How to communicate the idea effectively with “just enough”
  • Understanding form & function relate to human behavior, and vice versa
  • How to create & use physical affordances, and how to design for action
  • Learning basic methodology to create an experience through user journeys, research, prototyping, user testing, body/brainstorming, workshopping, etc
  • Learn practical idea generation and critical thinking methods
  • Understand the role of context and other factors as it pertains to developing design solutions

Prerequisites: None

Peter Otto Kuhberg (CIID)
Jane Wong (R/GA)