Making Spaces: LIGHT STRUCTURES FOR INTERACTION


Prerequisites: The course brings together graduate and undergraduate students from different backgrounds, including architecture, the arts, engineering, education and management, to develop their skills. No particular skills are required, but 3D modeling is preferred. 

Load: 9 A.M. - 4 P.M. on Jan. 9 -13; 9 A.M. - 1 P.M. on Jan. 17- 20 (5 full day sessions in Week 2 plus 4 half-day sessions in Week 3)

Time Outside Class: Several hours outside class during Week 3 on group projects.


Making is a process of creating artifacts, spaces, buildings and experiences, in which there is a continuous flow between shape and material. How then do we learn to make something? What can we learn by making? What are the potential roles of computational tools, theories, and practices in making?

In Making Spaces: Light structures for Interactions, students will build light simple structures that can accommodate 2-4 people. These structures will have the aspect of interaction by adding some sensors and lighting to them. Space users will be able to interact with the structure. The class introduces a new, embodied process of making and learning called I3. This process consists of Imitation, Iteration and Improvisation. The course studies this new making process in human-machine interaction, and its application and implications in learning to create spaces. However, the course is not just about learning how to make prototypes, it is about building the learner’s sensory experience and spatial skills by teaching him/her a new process of human-machine making. With I3, machines are companions for makers to generate and materialize ideas instead of the means for materializing a prototype for an already designed and planned digital model. Students will be able to apply this process to make almost anything with digital fabrication machines as well as without them. They will make both tangibles, such as light structures, and intangibles, such as experience, and small interactive installations such as light.

For the first half of the course, students will learn how to use rules to describe and make, design and build light structures such as pavilions on a small scale. Shape and material will be thoroughly examined and tested. Students will be working in groups for most of the time. For the remainder of the course, students will choose two or three structures to develop their scaled structures further and build 1:1 scale structures that can host four people. They will also add some interactive electronic components to their structures using Arduinos and sensors. Students will also be required to deliver a documented process of their work.