Week 5 Assignment

I had a great discussion with a few of you after class about pacing and process that I wanted to share with everyone. I mentioned this at the beginning of the course, but my motivation is to inundate you with as many tools as possible so you (1) know what’s available and (2) have a basic idea of how to implement it. As a class we will spend three weeks on developing midterm concepts and projects (we will start talking about this next week) and four weeks on your final. Your goal until then should be to explore materials, develop technical/building skills, and identify and iterate on a process that works for you (this includes cultivating an ability to define your own constraints and problem space – see below).

That being said, I am instituting a change I used last semester that worked well. Henceforth, you have the option to create your own homework assignment.

I am more interested in facilitating your self-guided learning than dictating norms, so if you have an idea you want to work on for that week instead of the one I propose, just shoot me an email explaining what it is and why – doesn’t have to be long at all. It should build upon the activity/class lesson from that week.

ASSIGNMENT
Make:
Explore light as a means to change or imitate an emotion (calm) or range of emotions (confused to mad).
2 states (opposing or intensity)
2 or more LEDs

Write:
Give a brief description. Include any problems or successes you had AND any constraints you gave yourself.

Read:
Redström, Johan, and Lars Hallnäs. 2002. “From Use to Presence: On the Expressions and Aesthetics of Everyday Computational Things.” In Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 9(2):106-124. doi:10.1145/543434.543441. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=543441.

Note: It is 19 pages (zOMG so long), but I think all of you will find this incredibly interesting and aligned to our goals as a class. Please read it.

A few other things to think about/help you focus
Define the problem space you will work in.
While this is about technical construction, you should always push yourself as a designer to think about possible use scenarios, be it functional, critical, imaginary, absurdist, whatever. Here are some ideas to play with:
Write a story or scenario to design for. (Do an exquisite corpse with your friend)
Take two disparate ideas and mash them together.
Create a (crazy) character and design something for them.
Take an everyday object and design another use for it.
Take the function of an everyday object and define another form for it.

Context: Practice developing narratives
While this is about technical construction, you should always push yourself as a designer to think about possible use scenarios, be it functional, critical, imaginary, absurdist, whatever.

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