Professor Casey Reas

  Index
  Schedule
Exercises
  Syllabus

Sketches
Exercise 01. Switch
Exercise 02. Hand
Exercise 03. Body
Exercise 04. Document

Magnum Opus
Exercise 05. Propose
Exercise 06. Prototype
Exercise 07. Refine
Exercise 08. Implement

Auxiliary exercises
Research Report
Discussion





Exercise 01. Switch (Due 21 January)

Making or breaking an electrical flow. Construct a unique switch for connecting and disconnecting. Possibly turning something on and off, or not...

During the critique, everyone should have a chance to experience the interaction.

Restrictions:
The switch should be intended for the operation of an individual.
No digital electronics.
Don't endanger the members of the class.


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Exercise 02. Hand
(Due 26 January)

The mouse is a general input device used to control software projects ranging from spreadsheets to games. In contrast to the "one device fits all" strategy of interface, physically modify a mouse to more specifically match the content and interaction of a piece of software.

During the critique, everyone should have a chance to experience the interaction. For the critique assume the use of a projector displaying up to 1024x768 pixels. Have all work set up and ready to display for the beginning of class.

Notes:
You are free to use existing software or to write your own.
If you choose to create your own software, remember the possibility to extract more complex information from the mouse other than position (e.g. rhythm).
The context of games provides a fertile area to explore.

Restrictions:
The device should be intended for the operation of an individual.
No additional digital electronics, use only the mouse information.




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Exercise 03. Body
(Due 2 February)

Attaching a camera to a computer enables the unencumbered body to be used as the interface to interacting with a piece of software. Develop and implement an idea for the interaction between two people via a projection, camera, and computer. Remember that through processing the camera data, it is possible to track the body, track colors, determine direction of motion, read gestures, etc.

Recommended prototyping environments include paper/pencil, D|MA SimpleCamera, MAX/SoftVNS, and Processing.

During the critique, everyone should have a chance to experience the interaction. For the critique assume the use of a projector displaying up to 1024x768 pixels. Have all work set up and ready to display for the beginning of class.

Notes:
Keep your idea simple.
Wizard of Oz prototyping is acceptable and possibly preferable.




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Exercise 04. Document
(Due 9 February)

Excellent documentation is extremely important for submitting work to festivals, giving lectures, and securing commissions. Document the first three exercises (Switch, Hand, and Body) with thirty second movies. Create 320x240 pixel Quicktime movies, place them into the provided template, and upload them to the course website. Be sure to illustrate the interaction between the work and its performer(s).




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Exercise 05. Propose
(Due 16 February)

The final project for Interactive Environments is open for you to explore personal interests. A goal for this project is to develop skills and methodologies for realizing future works. You should take this opportunity and improve your ability to develop diverse ideas. You must build the project using a methodology where there will be a new, interactive prototype each week. Each member of the class will use your prototype and the qualities of this interaction will be the basis for a critique.

The proposal will include images, diagrams, and drawings illustrating your idea. It will be presented in class using a projector and it should be handed in as a paper document. Include a detailed schedule and technical specification. If your idea is too complex to build in five weeks, focus on building a specific part of the project.

Restrictions:
You must be the primary "artist" and "engineer" for the project. Consulting others with specialized knowledge is encouraged, but you must create the work with your own mind and hands.


Advice:
If you're not able to build a rough working prototype of your idea in one week, you need to simplify. If you will be using any technology you are unfamiliar with, begin ordering supplies and making tests immediately.





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Exercise 06. Prototype
(Due 23 February)

Develop a working prototype of your system or part of your system.




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Exercise 07. Refine
(Due 1 March)

Complete and refine your working prototype. Put simply, make significant progress toward realizing and improving the project.




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Exercise 08. Implement & Document
(Due 22 March)

Now that you have a completed a working prototype, refine and build a robust version for the 22 March Critique. In preparation, you will have individual critiques with Casey on 8 March and Sara Diamond on 10 March. Will will have a group critique on 15 March.

Document your prototype with a two minute 320x240 pixel Quicktime movie. Post your documentation to the class website.






Research Report


Develop a presentation and essay about one of the following artists:

Ann Hamilton +
Robert Wilson + +
Luc Courchesne +
James Turrell + +
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer +
Myron Kruger
Bill Viola + +
Diller & Scofidio +

If you would like to present a different artist, it may be possible.

The essay should focus on his/her contribution (or potential contribution) to the domain of interactive environments. When discussing the artist's work, I recommend focusing on one or two pieces. Essays will be linked from the course homepage. Citation and the References should follow the Chicago Manual of Style format. Your essay should follow this outline:

1 Abstract (60 - 100 words)

2 Background (300 - 400 words)
  What are the precedents of this person and their work?

3 Description (300 - 400 words)
  A factual description of the person and her/his work

4 Analysis (300 - 400 words)
  Why is/was this person important?
  What are the strengths of her/his work?
  What are the weaknesses of her/his work?


5 Conclusions (60 - 100 words)

6 References
  Minimum of three books, articles, essays about the artist

The presentation will be given within class and should last twenty minutes. The presentation should follow the same format as the essay.





Discussion


Select an article, essay, or chapter relevant the broad topic of Interactive Environments. Lead the class in a half hour discussion.

Advice:
Select a short text to maximize the potential for people to carefully read the material.