Fall 2014

COMPUTATIONAL CRAFT :: Link to Course Blog
The rise of DIY, open source, and Maker culture has contributed to a growing design field that we will call computational craft: the combination of crafting techniques with alternative and traditional materials to produce computationally infused or inspired objects, usually exhibiting a distinctly DIY aesthetic. Over the course of the semester, we will spend much time unpacking and revising this definition, and examining the role of this field at the intersection of design, technology, and contemporary culture. New materials give us the opportunity to explore new interactions between people and technology. The unexpected is our currency.

We will begin by examining how traditional crafting techniques can be interwoven with new materials such as conductive ink, thread, fabric, and more to generate “soft” interfaces. During the second part of the course, we will explore actuators such as thermochromic ink, soft speakers, and shape memory alloys. Throughout the course, we will think critically about how utilizing these materials shapes our interactions with technology (e.g. why is a paper piano more whimsical than a knobbed midi interface or a traditional piano?) and the problem solving involved in customized sensor design.

If you would like to escape the screen for the hand, this is a great opportunity.


Fall 2013

COMPUTATIONAL CRAFT :: Link to Course Blog
This course examines the relationship between materials and technology, tangibility and technology, and craft and technology. This course explores the integration of new, alternative materials and electronics into paper and textile based interfaces. We will craft a variety of paper and textile-based sensors, program ATtinies, and examine various forms of output including paper speakers, muscle wire, and thermochromic ink. The class emphasizes craftsmanship, usability, aesthetic value, and provide basic physical computing insight through material exploration.

Link to Syllabus
Link to Slides

Spring 2013

FASHIONING TECHNOLOGY :: Link to Course Blog
The framework and focus of the spring course is computational craft. We will focus on the role of materials as it relates to objects (specifically interfaces) and environments. A main question the course will continually ask is how much do the materials we use determine our interactions and relationship with technology?

We will begin by examining how traditional crafting techniques can be interwoven with new materials and technologies to generate new behaviors and interactions. The second part of the course will focus on translating these ideas of interface and material to an architectural scale, exploring how computationally enhanced materials can define a space. Throughout the course there will be emphasis on technical construction and aesthetic creation.

We will play with everything from conductive fabrics and thead to copper tape to thermochromic ink to nitinol (muscle memory alloy) to ATtinys to creating your own conductive/resistive concoctions.


Fall 2012

CREATIVITY & COMPUTATION :: Link to Course Blog
There are a variety of different tools that you can use to realize the concepts and projects you will create in MFA D+T. This course will give you a basic introduction to three toolsets (Processing, Arduino, and openFrameworks) with the objective of giving you a firm foundation in the basics of computation. By the end of this course, you will be fluent enough in the fundamentals of code to start speaking other programming languages with relative ease.

Imagination is at once the source of all hope and inspiration but also of frustration. To forget this is to court despair.
//W.I.B. Beveridge, The Art of Scientific Investigation

FASHION TECH: SOFT CIRCUITS :: Link to Course Blog
The goal of the class is to explore the integration of new materials and electronics into paper and textile based interfaces. The class will expose students to a series of tools and methodologies utilized to handcraft a suite of sensors and paper-textile based circuits. Students will also experiment with electronic activated inks such as electroluminescent and thermochromic inks to generate displays that are both decorative and functional. The class will emphasize craftsmanship, usability, aesthetic value, and provide basic physical computing insight through material exploration. For the final project, students collaborate to create a group or individual project.