Responsive Environments

Advances in current embedded sensing and actuating technologies combined with media is creating an unprecedented opportunities in blurring the boundaries between the digital and the built environment. Responsive Environments takes the notion of thinking about the digital and the physical world as an indivisible whole. The course gives the theoretical and practical background through lectures, looking at current and past case studies, readings and hands-on workshops to conceive and design working prototypes and speculative proposals of digitally driven and augmented everyday environments.

The course places an important emphasis on what makes the design of these reactive and responsive environments perceptually valid, the readings and the case studies focus on defining and understanding the cognitive models we need to evaluate and create digitally driven experiences in the built environment. Topics include digital/physical inversion, body-centric interaction, the perceptual logic of cause and effect, digital longevity, the distinction of real and fake, the natural and the synthetic. The course also covers the technical skills required to design and prototype digitally driven experiences in the built environment through series of workshops in software/hardware: Rhinocerous, Grasshopper, Firefly, Processing, Arduino, and various sensors, servos, etc.

The course will be divided into two parts the first part leading to the mid-term will have two assignments and the second part of the course will focus on the final project that will be site specific and will culminate in an exhibition.