Project Work from the Digital Design Build Studio (spring 01)

Digital Design Build

These pages document the ongoing work in the studio.

Week 1: Fantasy Sketches

The year: 2015 - imagine an intelligent or responsive environment - a room or a building - for children, for elderly, for family, for home, office, retail, park. What does the built environment do for the people? In what ways does it support, or augment, the human activities or the functioning of the building itself? Do not consider what is technologically possible (or impossible), and do not consider how the functions that you imagine might actually be built. Please be as imaginative, creative, and wild, in your thinking as you possibly can.

Week 2: Case Studies

Identify, research, analyze, and present buildings and projects that are responsive or aware. The goal is to develop a set of (about 20) examples that can inform and inspire us as we think about what kind of awareness and responsiveness we are going to build. Start [perhaps] with some of the projects on the studio Web page, but look beyond these.
For each project, identify:

  1. A short (100 words) text description of the project and two or three images that explain it.
  2. WHY: the goal or intent of the project (example: entertain the inhabitants, assist disabled users, etc.)
  3. HOW the project is aware or responsive (example: tracks people through the house and plays favorite music)
  4. WHAT technology is used (what sensors? what actuators? what processors? what communication?)
Present these in several media: (1) on 11x17" foam-core display boards; (2) as Web pages linked to the studio site; (3) as print pages for the studio book.
Week 3: the intelligent studio livingroom

Team project (1 week):

X10 controls line voltage appliances (lamps, fans, tvs, motors, pumps, etc.) by sending ON/OFF signals over the house wiring. A computer, connected to a controller, can issue X10 commands to these devices. In addition, a motion sensor can be used to trigger ON/OFF commands. Voice recognition software built into your computer can run scripts that issue X10 commmands. (you'll find some links to X10 sites on the Technologies link of the studio Web page.)

Using X10 hardware for controlling electric devices from a computer, augment/extend the studio living room. Inflatables, tensile structures, elevators, water, sound, light, heat - all are fair game for this project.

Your goal is to STRETCH the use of this technology - to be creative, inventive, outlandish (?) in finding ways to use this technology in a living space.

Each group presentation on FRIDAY should include:

  1. A working demonstration of the project. (Friday at 3:30)
  2. A short (50 word) description of the project and photographs/drawings of the idea.
  3. A technical explanation, including any scripts, wiring diagrams, etc.
Please employ 11x17" panels for the graphical presentation of the work.
Week 4 & 5: Kinetic/Digital/Interactive art piece

Team project (2 weeks):

Using the Berkeley "motes" (battery powered microprocessors with light and heat sensors communicating by radio with a "home base"), the X10 hardware explored in the previous exercise, and any other hardware and software you choose (for example, the Handyboard) - design and build an interactive - kinetic - responsive art piece. The art should in some way respond to the visitor and create or structure the experience of space.

Week 6 :

Team project optional