In these cross-disciplinary studios we explore the different materials, advanced topics, and domains that Interaction Design might involve. To the different disciplines we bring a method of application and the material of time design and the memory and interactivity of technology. Courses in this studio can be fulfilled by a variety of options including cross-listed courses with other departments, Engage studios, or an emerging topic defined by a faculty member, sponsored studio or other elective submitted by the student and approved by the program chair.
In Wearable and Soft Computing students get an overlook of the history of wearables and will develop an understanding of the socio-cultural-political context of wearables as interactive pieces. The class will explore the relationship between technology, fashion and aesthetics. Theories concerning materials that adorn, protect, extend and reveal the body will be discussed. Technology embedded within materials that bend and move can harness energy, control light displays, compose music and create remote intimacy between persons. The inverse is also true, using peripherals and sensors to effect wearable and soft displays. Students will produce prototypes using conductive and resistive fabrics, threads, yarns and will learn how to research and use alternative materials to create fashionable and flexible works. Sewable microcontrollers, sensors and components will be introduced, such as the Flora and LilyPad. Some topics offered will be modularity, power supply management, wireless communication and garment hacking skills. A final project will be developed through a series of interactive projects, skill sharing and readings.