Interactive Environments. 256
UCLA Design | Media Arts
Professor Casey Reas (office hours TBD)
When and Where
Monday & Wednesday, 10:00-13:50
Kinross South 212, UCLA
This class focuses on understanding interactivity. We will look at interaction
from both a systemic and visceral perspective. We will discuss core properties
of interaction and how to manipulate them for purposes of communication
and engagement. Understanding interaction is a tacit knowledge and we
will therefore learn the most through creating many examples of interactive
artifacts and spaces.
An intimate knowledge of interactivity requires understanding the underlying
software and hardware technologies and how to manipulate them. In this
class you will develop new skills for building interactive experiences.
You will have the opportunity to construct physical analog and digital
devices and the software to bind them to both physical and virtual displays.
A series of workshops will be taught in tandem with the course to facilitate
In this class you will build many objects and interfaces, research relevant
work, and read and discuss pertinent texts. We will spend the first weeks
of the class creating four one-week exercises, and will spend the remaining
time working toward a more ambitious goal.
The final project 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 realize 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.
In addition to the prototypes, there are two research exercises. You will
be writing a short paper focusing on an artist working within the domain
of environments and you will be leading the class is a discussion of a
All work will be evaluated for it's originality, aesthetic qualities,
and depth of interaction. Feedback will be primarily qualitative but numeric
scores will also be given for all work. Problem sets will be graded based
on their state of completion on all due dates. All problem sets must be
executed to pass the course. Failure to satisfactorily complete all problem
sets will result in not passing the course.
The numeric breakdown for your grade follows:
5% Research Report
10% Participation (contribution & concentration during class)
50% Exercises 01-07
30% Exercise 08
More than two unexcused absences will result in failure (an excused absence
is one approved by the Professor before the start of class).
Dag Svanaes. Understanding
Ph.D. Thesis, NTNU Trondheim. pp 1-5, 20-101
Erkki Huhtamo. "From Cybernation to Interaction"
Digital Dialectic, edited by Peter Lunenfeld. MIT Press, 1999. pp 96-110
David Rokeby. "The
Construction of Experience: Interface as Content"
Digital Illusion: Entertaining the Future with High Technology, edited
by Clark Dodsworth, Jr.
ACM Press, 1998
Mark Weiser. "The
World is Not a Desktop"
Interactions. January 1994. pp 7-8.
Mark Weiser. "The
Computer for the Twenty-First Century"
Scientific American. September 1991. pp 94-110
Donald A. Norman. "Living
in Space: Working with the Machines of the Future"
Hal's Legacy: 2001's Computer as Dream and Reality, edited by David G.
Stork. MIT Press, 1996
Additional references will be contributed by the class