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T(h)inkering with hardware workshop in Chicago

via daniel arraya:

From: Vincent LaConte
To: dan@levelsixmedia.com
Sent: Wed Dec 3 17:12
Subject: Fwd: Thinkering with Hardware workshop Jan 17

As the boundaries between the design of objects, information and environments continues to blur, teams creating the interactive products and services of the future will need increasingly sophisticated methods for prototyping and exploration with hardware as well as software. Join the IIT Institute of Design on Saturday, January 17, for a day-long, hands-on workshop on interactive hardware prototyping in the age of ubiquitous computing, led by Professor Anijo Mathew.

Thinkering with Hardware:
interaction design workshop

Saturday, January 17, 2009 | 9:00am–5:00pm
IIT Institute of Design
350 North LaSalle Street | Chicago


This workshop will help interaction designers learn to “thinker” through tinkering with physical computing artifacts. The idea is to bring together talented individuals from the realm of interaction design, introduce them to new concepts/artifacts in the realm of physical computing, and allow them to put the two together. Most importantly, it will be an opportunity for interaction designers to get their hands dirty with electronics, soldering, and wiring, and learn how to interface hardware artifacts with virtual interactions. Each participant will receive a customized interactive hardware kit to work with and take home.

Registration is limited to 20 participants. The first half of the workshop will bring designers and programmers in teams which work together to solve short problems linking physical computing platforms, programming environments, and traditional interaction software such as Flash. Once the basic concepts of physical computing are covered, participants will work together to come up with the design of an interactive system based on the resources available at the workshop. Teams will then split once again into separate units that tackle independent aspects of the installation with the end goal of bringing these individual units into a cohesive whole. A possible outcome of the workshop (for example) could be an interactive game at the scale of a room which employs both physical sensory objects and virtual environments. The workshop will conclude with a demonstration and exhibition of the workshop installation at a public reception hosted by the Institute of Design.

John Seely Brown, former Chief Scientist of Xerox Corporation and Director of its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), claims the process of tinkering with physical objects is what allows us to evolve from using tools as instruments to using tools as conduits for productive inquiry. While some of this ability of ours to ‘tinker’ was lost when product design became “cognitively impenetrable,” the digital era is bringing it back…through a culture of participation that includes tinkering, building, remixing & mashing up. The ‘Thinkering Spaces’ initiative at ID, led by Dale Fahnstrom, T.J. McLeish, Heloisa Moura and Greg Prygrocki, takes this one step further: tinkering promotes more than just learning about the topic of inquiry; it promotes the development of critical thinking skills that will prepare us for more complex scenarios that may be unrelated to the current object of our tinkering. According to the Thinkering Spaces team, this process of thinking while tinkering inevitab
ly leads to “thinkering” a semantic conjunction borrowed from Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient where the term is used to “suggest collecting a thought as one tinkers with a half-completed bicycle.”

Anijo Mathew is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Design (ID) at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago. After his professional BArch from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi, he went on to complete an MDesS from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Prior to joining ID, he was a tenure track Assistant Professor at Mississippi State University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Design (CAAD) where he taught in the graduate program and led the interaction design track at the Design Research and Informatics Lab (DRIL). He is currently working on a PhD at the Open University in the UK exploring the intersection of computing and design.

Price: $625 per person; $525 for ID alumni
Includes breakfast, lunch, reception, and interactive hardware prototyping kit.
Limted to 20 participants. Register by January 12, 2009. Sorry, no refunds after January 5, 2009. Substitutions allowed.

register now:

Questions? Contact Vincent LaConte, vince@id.lit.edu

Institute of Design
Illinois Institute of Technology

350 North LaSalle Street
Chicago, Illinois 60654

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