COURSE OUTLINE

CART 360 TANGIBLE MEDIA & PHYSICAL COMPUTING – AUTUMN 2018

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
Email: sensor.lab@concordia.ca
Office Hours:By Appointment
Location:Sensor Lab @ EV 7.765
Time: Friday 13:30pm – 17:30pm

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: two assignments (This & Then), in-class quizzes (2), etudes (5) and critical reflections (4). 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 & Evaluation Discussion
  • Setup Github Accounts & CART 360 Classwork Repository

READINGS

Refer to Reference Books

Due: TBA

HOMEWORK ASSIGNED

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

Due: 14th September

ETUDES

Weekly: 14th September to 9th November

Check Slack Channel
#cart-three-sixty-etds

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
  • Essential Arduino ( WEEK 3 )
    • The Hardware
    • Arduino IDE
    • Language & Data Types
    • Analog & Digital Input/ Output
    • Basic Communication & Debugging

STUDIO

  • Essential Electronics ( Week 2 )
    • Power
    • Breadboards & Jumper Wire
    • Digital Multi-Meters
    • Series & Parallel Circuits (Buttons, LEDs, Resistors, Capacitors)
    • Integrated Circuits
  • Essential Arduino ( WEEK 3 )
    • “Hello World”
    • Arduino IDE & Arduino API
    • General I/O ( Analog / Digital )
    • RGB LEDs (Optical Colour Mixing)
    • Sound Generation
    • I/O Expansion (Multiplexing | Shift Register)

READINGS

Refer to Reference Books

Due: TBA

HOMEWORK DUE

  • ATTENDED: Sensor Lab Orientation
  • PAYMENT: Arduino & Electronic Kit Funds

14th September

MODULE: ANIMATE

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

OVERVIEW

  • YMA – Yet More Arduino ( WEEK 4 )
    • Review from Last Week
    • Algorithmic Approaches
    • Delay vs Timers
    • External Libraries
  • RESCHEDULED: Why We Prototype ( WEEK 4 WEEK 8 )
    • Storyboards & Scenarios
    • Materials & Electronics
  • Yet More Essential Arduino – Driving Loads ( WEEK 5 )
    • Delay vs Timers
    • External Libraries
    • DC: Servo Motors, Stepper Motors, DC Motors
    • AC: SSR (Solid State Relays), Mechanical Relays

STUDIO

  • RESCHEDULED: Why We Prototype Workshop ( WEEK 4 WEEK 8 )
  • Yet More Essential Arduino – Driving Loads ( WEEK 5 )
    • Delay vs Timers
    • DC: Servo Motors, Stepper Motors, DC Motors
    • AC: SSR (Solid State Relays), Mechanical Relays

READINGS

Refer to Reference Books

Due: TBA

HOMEWORK ASSIGNED

ASSIGNMENT “THIS”

Due: 19th October

QUIZ

QUIZ 1

12th October

MODULE: SENSE

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

OVERVIEW

  • Yet More Essential Arduino – Sensorial Sensors ( WEEK 6 )
    • Analog vs Digital
    • Delay vs Timers
    • External Libraries
    • Algorithmic Approaches to Sensor Data
  • ASSIGNMENT “THIS” CRIT SESSION ( WEEK 7 )

STUDIO

  • Yet More Essential Arduino – Sensorial Sensors ( WEEK 6 )
    • Accelerometers (Inclination, Drop, Rotation)
    • Ultrasonic Range Finders (Distance Detection)
  • ASSIGNMENT “THIS” CRIT SESSION ( WEEK 7 )

READINGS

Refer to Reference Books

Due: TBA

HOMEWORK DUE

ASSIGNMENT “THIS”

19th October

MODULE: COMMUNICATE

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

OVERVIEW

  • Why We Prototype ( WEEK 8 )
    • Storyboards & Scenarios
    • Materials & Electronics
  • Introduction to Serial Communication & Serial Devices ( WEEK 9 – WEEK 10 )
    • GPS, Bluetooth and XBee
    • Serial Communication Protocols (UART, I2C, SPI)

STUDIO

  • Serial Communication Exercises ( WEEK 9 – WEEK 10 )
    • Serial Communication to Processing, MAX/MSP
    • Serial Communication – 1:1, 1:N, N:M

READINGS

Refer to Reference Books

Due: TBA

HOMEWORK ASSIGNED

ASSIGNMENT “THEN”

Due: 30th November

HOMEWORK DUE

ASSIGNMENT “THEN” PROPOSAL

2nd November

QUIZ

QUIZ 2

CANCELLED

MODULE: SYNTHESISE

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

OVERVIEW

  • Special Topics: ( WEEK 11 – WEEK 12 )
    • Beyond Arduino
    • RF Networking Theory

STUDIO

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

READINGS

Refer to Reference Books

Due: TBA

HOMEWORK DUE

ASSIGNMENT “THEN” PROTOTYPE

16th November

ASSIGNMENT “THEN” FINAL

30th November

CRITICAL REFLECTIONS

Refer to Critical Reflections

DUE: 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 6 – 10 hours outside of class every week, in order to complete the in-class assigned readings, etudes, assignment and final project.

CRITICAL REFLECTIONS

Over the course of the semester students are expected to write three ( 3 ) Critical Reflections selected from the assigned Critical Reflections reading list. Students can choose, from the reading list, any two ( 2 ) readings, but the first reading and subsequent Critical Reflection will be preselected (non negotiable) by the beginning of the semester.

What is a Critical Reflection?
A Critical Reflection (interpretive essay) has two missions: to summarize a source’s main idea and to respond to the source’s main ideas with reactions based on your synthesis. Source: How to Write a Critical Response, How to Approach Critical Thinking

Evaluation Criteria for each Critical Reflection:

  • Critical Thinking – analysis of original text and development of a thoughtful and coherent argument
  • Bibliography. It must include three (3) external references beyond those provided in the original text, these external references should support your thesis (argument).
  • Correct and appropriate use of Language, Grammar and Spelling
  • Document formatted with appropriate sections and styled – 11pt Type Size and 1.5 Line Spacing.

General Guidelines: Each Critical Reflection should not exceed two pages (excluding images, bibliography etc.). These Critical Reflections must be uploaded, in PDF Format, to your Github CART 360 Repository by December 7th 2018.

Critical Reflections submitted after the 7th December will NOT BE ACCEPTED.

GRADE DISTRIBUTION

SEMESTER BREAKDOWN

ASSIGNMENT – THIS

Due Date: 19th October – Presentation

15%

ASSIGNMENT – THEN

Due Date: 2nd November – Proposal
Due Date: 16th November – Prototype
Due Date: 30th November – Presentation

35%

ETUDES ( 4 )

Weekly: 14th September to 9th November

20%

QUIZZES ( 2 )

Quiz 1: 12th October
Quiz 2: CANCELLED

6%

CRITICAL REFLECTIONS ( 3 )

7th December

12%

PARTICIPATION

( DISCOURSE )
( ATTENDANCE )

6%
6%

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
ETUDES
Over the course of the first nine weeks of the semester (Week 1 to Week 9), you will be assigned a weekly etude (exercise) via the CART360 Slack Channel – #cart-three-sixty-etds. These etudes (exercises) will cover topics discussed in class and must to be completed for the following week, ideally each etude should not take longer than four (4) hours. Instructions for submitting the completed etude will be provided in the etude itself.

ASSIGNMENT – “THIS”
The assignment grade (ASSIGNMENT THIS) will be composed from the evaluation of required deliverables: presentation, documentation, final artifact or experience and the technical progress you have made during the term and your proficiency with the tools. Your assignment must be complete by the beginning of class on the day of presentation.

ASSIGNMENT – “THEN”
The assignment grade (ASSIGNMENT THEN) will be composed from the evaluation of required deliverables: proposal, prototype, presentation, documentation, final artifact or experience and the technical progress you have made during the term and your proficiency with the tools. Your assignment must be complete 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 before 13H45 on the day of class.

PERSONAL GITHUB REPOSITORY
Your Github CART360 Repository must be accessible online at github.com. The Github Repository has to be regularly maintained and has to include complete documentation for etudes (1 to 5), critical reflections (4) and assignments (THIS & THEN). The Documentation must include all versioned code, circuitboard diagrams, storyboards and all other pertinent media (photographs, video).

N.B. GitHub enforces a file size limitation of 100MB – Ensure that all your Documentation Media (Video, PDF) do not exceed 100MB!

PARTICIPATION
You will lose 1.5 grades for each time you are late (>= 15 Minutes). 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.

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, in whatever form, as one’s own or without proper acknowledgement” (Article 19a).
Source: The Academic Integrity Website

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 computer code (JAVASCRIPT/ HTML /CSS, C /C++ /C# /JAVA /PYTHON /RUST /SWIFT, ARDUINO, PROCESSING /P5, MAX/MSP etc.), 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!