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  • Usable Witchery – IUAV / Venice

    Wiring robotic arm
    By mixing design, technology and cognitive-science, combined with studies and observations of user-experience and experiential usability. The following course attempts to address the way designers and artists, engineers and technologists, work together, and to propose a unified “creation” unit, as we reevaluate design flaws, towards making products less a result of technical thinking, and more “humanized”, natural and intuitive; Università IUAV di Venezia.
    In this short session students learned to write short Wiring code, mostly by hacking existing code. the students where surprised to see that they actually know how to program in Wiring as a result of a processing workshop they had last semester. [ Workshop website ]

    touchdown

    touchdown
    If you spent countless hours playing videogames you know what we are talking about. Works of wonder forced into interaction clichés: pressing buttons, shaking mice, holding joysticks and gamepads, tiny obsessive movements of fingers.
    All this is old school. Now we invite you to advance to something new: Touchdown! is an intensive workshop to re-think and expand the language of physical interaction for gaming. We are not interested in the design of new hi-tech products but rather in the misuse and repurpose of existing technologies in order to hack them into meaningful gaming experiences through interaction design.
    You’ll learn some basic Electronics to hack and to tinker with keyboards, mice and all sorts of USB input devices.
    The best project to come out of the workshop will gain public attention by interacting with the Elettrowave/BIP crowd in Florence at the Stazione Leopolda during the night of july 20. There is no greater satisfaction than having your videogame controller used by a massive crowd… [ website link ]

    Let there be light part II

    let there be light - part II
    Bezalel school of art and design / Jerusalem
    “Let there be light, part two”, approaches Interaction Design by positioning “man” at its focal point. Correlating real world environments and the human sensory perception, this course approaches both theory and application of interfacing. As technical innovation and contemporary art intersect, and merge into a symbiotic duality, this course disperses the dichotomy by illustrating, in essence and practice, how these two terms are co-dependent. By planning and designing lighting fixtures, the “learning by making” hands-on discipline is well implemented in the process of phasing together industrial production procedures and the language of design. Through a dialogue between traditional crafts and cutting edge technological advancements, students gain the experience of developing and producing interactive Projects, all while familiarizing themselves with digital programming and electronic prototyping. The key goal is grasping the connection both virtual and physical worlds share, by understand the relationship between conceptual and actual. It is an introduction to basic proficiency in computer science and coding, as well as an encouraging journey to discover an independent style for creating interfaces. Instructors update the course’s internet site during the entire semester so as to continuously communicate with all students and other interested parties as quickly as possible, providing immediate response to all participants. [ website link ]

    homebrew wiiI – UAV / Venice

    Instantsoup
    During one intensive week students built their own Wii remote (Wiimote) and designed original Wii mini-games, learning a bit of electronics, rapid prototyping and game interaction design in the process. See how they did it and build your own! The workshop was held at Interaction Design Venice, a department of IUAV, where Yaniv Steiner joined Philip Tabor and Gillian Crampton Smith, who run the department. Together, continuing the IDII heritage, they utilized their Learning by Making approach and the instantSOUP methodology. During this one intensive week, design students who had only a limited technical background learned how to prototype a fully functional Wii remote using simple, available technologies (a PC keyboard, tilt sensors), and design a unique mini-game interaction specifically for the Wii. Benefiting from having a working prototype, students were able to quickly design and experience a Wii mini-game on the PC, using Flash and Processing, bypassing the learning curve of programming for the Wii, and having a lot of fun in the process.
    Most importantly, students gained confidence in their abilities to generalize, design and build for here and now, using affordable technologies. [ website link ]

    Strangely Familiar

    strangely familiar
    Strangely Familiar – Unusual Objects for Everyday Life. Taking cue from either a telephone, radio, answering machine or alarm clock, the students at Interaction-Ivrea have created a series of electronic interactive prototypes that amplify the lost qualities of the physical and tangible world. From a radio which can only be tuned by moving it across a flat surface, to an audio channel system which is always switched on just like a physical chat room, to an alarm clock that turns itself off by squeezing a teddy bear, the variations upon the theme are several. As always, each project has been conceived, developed and prototyped as a fully functioning device. [ Website ]

    2005 Mattel Design Summit

    mattel

    “Play is a critical and healthy part of growing up and remaining balanced during adulthood. But there are many changes in play today that provoke thinking about the next generation of play in a different way. Changes like the prevalence of technology based play through computers, game consoles and cell phones. Changes like the time compression most kids and families are dealing with in the developed world and the way kids seem to be growing up faster. Changes like the degree that parents and kids being bombarded with adverts and rich visual media. With these and other issues the nature of the next generation of play and of how to attract the attention of adults and children is already changing fast.” Visit website