COURSE OUTLINE

CART 360 TANGIBLE MEDIA & PHYSICAL COMPUTING – AUTUMN 2017

Concordia University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Design & Computation Arts

GENERAL INFORMATION

Course Number:CART 360 /2 AA
Course Website:slab.concordia.ca/sensor-lab-cart-360/
Instructor(s):Elio Bidinost and Sabine Rosenberg
Email: sensor.lab@concordia.ca
Office Hours:By Appointment
Location:Sensor Lab @ EV 7.765
Time: Thursday 6:30pm – 10:30pm

In the event of extraordinary circumstances beyond the University’s control, the content and/or evaluation scheme in this course is subject to change.

DESCRIPTION

This course is a creative and conceptual exploration of Tangible Media and Physical Computing, which encompasses the practice of Interaction Design, UX (User Experience) Design, Ubiquitous Computing (IoT) and Electronics. As such, Physical Computing refers to the design and construction of physical systems that use a mix of software and hardware to sense and respond to the surrounding world. These systems blend digital and physical processes into smart-objects, kinetic sculptures and robotics, intelligent environments, locative games, interactive wearables – Tangible Media.

This is a project-based course that deals with all aspects of conceiving, designing and developing projects with physical computation: the application, the artifact, the computer-aided design environment, and the physical prototyping facilities. The course is organized around a series of practical hands-on exercises which introduce the fundamentals of circuits, embedded programming, sensor signal processing, simple mechanisms, actuation and time-based behaviour.

OBJECTIVE

In this course, students will read, think, sketch, design, code, solder and build. We will focus on conceptual development, prototyping and implementation of Tangible Media and Physical Computing artifacts from the perspective of technical proficiency, functionality, aesthetics, creativity, criticality and meaning (personal | social). Students taking this course will acquire practical expertise within these applied domains, and utilise their acquired skills for the conceptualisation of original, innovative and artful ways to reinterpret and enhance the social, cultural and physical interplay among people, objects and their environments.

The key objective is to gain an intuitive understanding of how information and energy move between the physical, electronic and computational domains to create a desired behaviour. The exercises, along with assignments and a final project, provide building blocks for current and future collaborative projects, which challenge students to not only consider how to make things, but also for whom we design, and why the making is worthwhile.

Some of the course material and outline is based on the work of Vincent Leclerc and Gokce Kinayoglu who have taught the course in the past years.

COURSE OUTLINE

The curriculum for CART 360 will consist of six graded components: three assignments, one in-class presentation, in-class quizzes (3) and one final project. In-semester assignments will be demonstrated in class and the final project will be showcased as part of an end-of-the-semester exhibition open to guest reviewers.

The course material will be experienced through five (5) interrelated conceptual modules: SWITCH (2 Weeks), ANIMATE (2 Weeks), SENSE (2 Weeks), COMMUNICATE (3 Weeks) and SYNTHESISE (3 Weeks). These modules are intended to provide the students with essential theory and practical knowledge required to approach and complete the module associated assignment.

MODULE: ORIENTATION

7th September ( WEEK  1 )

OVERVIEW

  • Introductions & Course Administration
    • Course Outline
    • Arduino Kit & Electronic Components Kit
    • Department Fees
    • Resources: Woodshop, Metalshop, Maquette & Rapid Prototyping Labs
    • Health & Safety Overview (Sensor Lab)

STUDIO

  • Self-Assessment Test + Evaluation Discussion
  • Setup Github Accounts & CART 360 Classwork Repository

READINGS

Prototyping for Physical and Digital Products

Due: 21st September

HOMEWORK ASSIGNED

  • ATTEND: Sensor Lab Orientation (During Sensor Lab Open Hours)
  • DECIDE: Arduino & Electronic Kit Requirements (Bring Payment)

Due: 14th September

MODULE: SWITCH

14th – 21st September ( WEEK  2 – WEEK  3 )

OVERVIEW

  • Essential Electronics ( WEEK 2 )
    • What is Electricity
    • Ohms Law (Voltage, Resistance, Current, Power)
    • Power
    • Series & Parallel Circuits
    • Polarity
    • Breadboards
    • Digital Multi-Meters
  • Why We Prototype ( WEEK 3 )
    • What is a Prototype?
    • Why do we Prototype?
    • Prototype for Physical and Digital Experiences

STUDIO

  • Introduction to Essential Tools ( Week 2 )
    • Power
    • Breadboards & Jumper Wire
    • Digital Multi-Meters
    • Series & Parallel Circuits (Buttons, LEDs, Resistors, Capacitors)
    • Integrated Circuits
  • Why We Prototype Exercise ( Week 3 )
    • Storyboards & Scenarios
    • Materials & Electronics

READINGS

Refer to Reading Schedule

Due: TBA

HOMEWORK ASSIGNED

Assignment 1 – “IF”

Due: 28th September

HOMEWORK DUE

  • ATTENDED: Sensor Lab Orientation (During Sensor Lab Open Hours)
  • PAYMENT: Arduino & Electronic Kit Funds

14th September

MODULE: ANIMATE

28th September – 5th October ( WEEK  4 – WEEK  5 )

OVERVIEW

  • Introduction to Arduino ( WEEK 4 )
    • The Hardware
    • Arduino IDE
    • Language & Data Types
    • Analog & Digital Input/ Output
    • Basic Communication & Debugging
  • YMA – Yet More Arduino ( WEEK 5 )
    • Analog vs Digital
    • Voltage Dividers
    • Pull-Up Resistors
    • Delay vs Timers
    • External Libraries

STUDIO

  • ASSIGNMENT 1 – “IF” CRIT SESSION ( WEEK 4 )
  • Introduction to Arduino ( WEEK 4 – WEEK 5 )
    • “Hello World”
    • RGB LEDs (Optical Colour Mixing)
    • Sound Generation
    • Multiplexers
    • Shift Registers

READINGS

Refer to Reading Schedule

Due: TBA

HOMEWORK ASSIGNED

Assignment 2 – “THIS”

Due: 19th October

HOMEWORK DUE

Assignment 1 – “IF”

28th September

QUIZ

QUIZ 1

5th October

MODULE: SENSE

12th October – 19th October ( WEEK  6 – WEEK  7 )

OVERVIEW

  • Sensors: Touch, Inclination, Rotation, Vibration, Distance ( WEEK 6 )
    • Capacitive Sensing
    • Ultrasonic Rangefinders
    • RFID / NFC
    • Accelerometers
  • Driving Loads ( WEEK 7 )
    • DC: Servo Motors, Stepper Motors, DC Motors
    • AC: SSR (Solid State Relays), Mechanical Relays

STUDIO

  • Sensors & Motors ( WEEK 6 – WEEK 7 )
    • Accelerometers (Inclination, Drop, Rotation)
    • Ultrasonic Range Finders (Distance Detection)
    • DC: Servo Motors, Stepper Motors, DC Motors
    • AC: SSR (Solid State Relays), Mechanical Relays
  • ASSIGNMENT 2 – “THIS” CRIT SESSION ( WEEK 7 )

READINGS

Refer to Reading Schedule

Due: TBA

HOMEWORK DUE

Assignment 2 – “THIS”

19th October

MODULE: COMMUNICATE

26th October – 9th November ( WEEK  8 – WEEK  10 )

OVERVIEW

  • Introduction to Serial Communication & Serial Devices ( WEEK 8 – WEEK 9 )
    • GPS, Bluetooth and XBee
    • Serial Communication Protocols (UART, I2C, SPI)
  • Introduction to Networking Theory ( WEEK 10 )
    • Network Communication Protocols (TCP/IP)

STUDIO

  • Serial Communication Exercises ( WEEK 8 – WEEK 9 )
    • Serial Communication to Processing, MAX/MSP & Unity
    • Serial Communication – 1:1, 1:N, N:M
  • OPEN STUDIO SESSIONS ( WEEK 10 )

READINGS

Refer to Reading Schedule

Due: TBA

HOMEWORK ASSIGNED

Final Assignment – “THEN”

Due: 30th November

HOMEWORK DUE

Final Assignment – “THEN” Proposal

2nd November

QUIZ

QUIZ 2

9th November

MODULE: SYNTHESISE

16th November – 30th November ( WEEK  11 – WEEK  13 )

OVERVIEW

  • Special Topics: ( WEEK 11 – WEEK 12 )
    • Beyond Arduino
    • Soft Circuit Design & Wearable Computing

STUDIO

  • OPEN STUDIO SESSIONS ( WEEK 11 – WEEK 12 )
  • FINAL ASSIGNMENT – “THEN” CRIT SESSION ( WEEK 13 )

READINGS

Refer to Reading Schedule

Due: TBA

HOMEWORK DUE

Final Assignment – “THEN” PROTOTYPE

Due: 16th November

Final Assignment – “THEN”

Due: 30th November

REFLECTIONS (SUMMARIES) DUE

Refer to Reading Schedule

7th December

Students are required to purchase an Arduino Uno Kit and an Electronic Components Kit, in order to follow the in-class tutorials and carry out most of the assignments.

NB: Please refer to the website for the LATEST SCHEDULE and the most up-to-date information on assignments, deadlines and readings.

STRUCTURE

Class periods will be structured and organised over three specific activities: a) theory presentations and reading discussion/ presentations, b) technical workshops allowing for “hands-on” experience and practice of theory, prototyping with Arduino, Processing and Max/MSP and introductions to other Creative Computing platforms and software and c) sessions dedicated to provide students assistance and guidance with presentations, assignments and projects.

The core technical infrastructure of the course will be built around workshops and assignments which will, at a minimum, require the use of Arduino, along with Processing and Max/MSP environments or any other chosen Creative Computing platform. Furthermore, additional workshops may be scheduled throughout the semester based on the students’ needs and the availability of resources.

Students are expected to spend around 4 – 8 hours outside of class every week, in order to complete the in-class assigned reading, assignment and final project.

REFLECTIONS (READINGS SUMMARIES)

Over the course of the semester students are expected to write four (4) reflections (summaries) selected from the assigned reading list. Students can choose, from the reading list, any three (3) readings, but the fourth reading will be preselected (non negotiable) by the beginning of the semester – Refer to Reading Schedule.

Each reflection (summary) must be a minimum of, ( 384 = pow( 2 , 9 ) – 128 ), 384 words.These summaries must uploaded to their Github CART 360 Repository. The 4 summaries are due on December 7th 2017. Summaries submitted after the 7th December will NOT BE ACCEPTED.

GRADE DISTRIBUTION

SEMESTER BREAKDOWN

ASSIGNMENT 1

“IF”

10%

ASSIGNMENT 2

“THIS”

10%

ASSIGNMENT 3

“THEN”

10%

FINAL ASSIGNMENT

“THAT”

35%

PRESENTATION

10%

PARTICIPATION

10%

QUIZZES ( 2 )

10%

READINGS

5%

GRADING

Specific conceptual, technical and aesthetic objectives associated with each individual assignment and exercise will be clearly identified and evaluated by the following criteria:
Concept and Originality
Use of Technology
Aesthetics and Form
Critical Thinking
Proper Grammar and Correct Spelling

MORE ABOUT GRADING
ASSIGNMENTS
This grade will be divided between documentation, final artifact and presentation. Your assignment must be completed by the beginning of class on the day of presentation. For the documentation, sometimes we will ask for a printout, sometimes we will ask for it to be online. If it’s online, we will check prior to the beginning of class. If it’s a printout, it will be considered late if we don’t have it after 18h45 the day of class.

FINAL ASSIGNMENT
This grade will be divided between proposal, documentation, final artifact and presentation. We will also look at the technical progress you’ve made during the term and your proficiency with the tools.

PERSONAL WEBSITE
Basically, the website has to be maintained weekly, has to be FUNCTIONAL and has to include the following: links to assignments and documentation of the development process for assignments – this includes sketches and ideas that you might have had and decided not to pursue.

PARTICIPATION
You will lose 1.5 grades for each time you are late. You will also lose grades if we feel you do not participate in class. Participation can be demonstrated by (1) doing assignments, (2) being on time, (3) voicing interesting opinions in class and (4) helping each other.

PRESENTATION (Team-of-Two 20 Minute Presentation)
Based on your ASSIGNED READING, research an artist/ designer / agency whose work you find inspiring, that you would like to share with us and whose work correlates / supports / extends your ASSIGNED READING observations – critically address these observations in your presentation. The presentation will be followed by a brief discussion session.

Additionally, your presentation will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
The Visual Presentation (web page, pdf, slides) – just having a bunch of web links does not constitute a visual presentation.
Depth of Research
Oral Presentation

PROCRASTINATION

Late projects are penalized 15% for each week they are late, unless an extension is requested at least 24 hours before deadline. An Extension will only be given for a reasonable reason – such as Illness with a Medical Note.

ABSENCE | TARDINESS ( View DCART SYLLABUS PG. 3 )

Students will be marked as Absent, if he / she is more than 15 minutes late to class. Additionally, absence from 3 or more classes will result in FAILING the course. As per the Department of Design and Computation Arts Policy, you will receive a written WARNING following the 2nd (second) absence – in order to prevent any misunderstandings.

GRADING SCALE ( View DCART SYLLABUS PG. 5 )

A = Outstanding
B = Very Good
C = Satisfactory
D = Marginal Pass
F,FNS = Poor – Failure
R = Very Poor – Failure
NR = Grade Not Reported

RIGHT & RESPONSIBILITIES

The most common offense under the Academic Code of Conduct is plagiarism which the Code defines as “the presentation of the work of another person as one’s own or without proper acknowledgement”.

This could be material copied word for word from books, journals, internet sites, professor’s course notes, etc. It could be material that is paraphrased but closely resembles the original source. It could be the work of a fellow student, for example, an answer on a quiz, data for a lab report, a paper or assignment completed by another student. It might be a paper purchased through one of the many available sources. Plagiarism does not refer to words alone – it can also refer to copying images, graphs, tables, and ideas. “Presentation” is not limited to written work. It also includes oral presentations, computer assignments and artistic works. Finally, if you translate the work of another person into French or English and do not cite the source, this is also plagiarism.

In Simple Words:
DO NOT COPY, PARAPHRASE OR TRANSLATE ANYTHING FROM ANYWHERE WITHOUT SAYING FROM WHERE YOU OBTAINED IT!

(Source: The Academic Integrity Website)