Focus on product design and development in the Creative Industries track of the ATLAS Institute master's program in creative technology and design.
Selected Interactive Product Design and Development Electives
Introduces the fundamentals of physical computing. Students will design projects that interact with humans and the physical world and will learn to integrate sensors, motors, and simple electronics into creative projects. Projects will include interactive installations, art projects, games, and audio controllers.
Physical computing, in the broadest sense, means building interactive physical systems that can sense and respond to the analog world. This class is an exploration of computing that starts from the perspective that humans are fundamentally physical beings.
Through lectures, hands-on labs and project development, this course serves as an introduction to physical computing. Students will learn how a computer converts the changes in energy given off by our bodies (in the form of sound, light, motion, touch, and other forms) into changing electronic signals that can be read and interpreted. The course focuses on ways to integrate sensors, motors, and simple electronics into interactive objects.
Teaches the fundamentals of 3D modeling, 3D animation and 3D printing / rapid prototyping from a conceptual and sculptural perspective. Through topical lectures, technical demonstrations and creative projects the course will introduce students to the potentials of thinking and working within 3-dimensional spaces.
So you’ve got a great idea, an idea that is going to change the world. You’ve got a great prototype, maybe not much more than that. What do you do next? In this studio, we’ll look at what it really takes to move that idea into production.
This is a practically oriented studio where students will learn by doing; we will focus on the practical complexities of preparing a software product for launch and bringing it into the world for the first time. We’ll do that from the perspective of “Product Management”, one of the most valuable but poorly understood roles on a software development team. On a software product team, the Product Manager is an important role but also among the most complex to learn how to do effectively. Product Managers are often referred to as the “CEO of the product”, responsible for determining what the product is, who it is for, how it should work, how to get it successfully to market and how to keep it growing and developing over time. We will explore the role and function of product management with a practical, studio-oriented method. In other words, you’ll build a real product and get it to market over the course of the semester. There’s no better way to learn than by actually doing. The studio will be led by John Bacus, Director of Product Management for the Architecture & Design division of Trimble, Inc. and long-time leader of the SketchUp product management team. Over the last fifteen years, he has built a half dozen successful software products, including SketchUp— the most widely used 3D modeling program in the world. As a member of SketchUp’s Boulder local startup company (@Last Software), John has seen startup cultures, grown with those to a sale and six-year career at Google followed by an unusual divestiture from there to Trimble- where he and the SketchUp team still work today.
MATERIAL is a survey of the physical materials available for creative work, explored through hands-on projects involving woodworking, metalworking, plastic fabrication, masonry and experimental materials. Practical material skills will be paired with in-depth exploration into the sourcing, chemistry, and socio-cultural significance of these materials.
The course uses focused modules to introduce students to the characteristics of different material groups. Students will explore 5 areas: Wood, Plastic, Minerals, Metal and Fiber. Students will complete a hands-on fabrication project that explores the physical characteristics and working properties of a material in each group. Students will also choose specific materials in each module to research in depth, reporting on that material from multiple angles: physical characteristics, chemical properties, cultural significance and environmental impact.
This course will introduce students to the design and creation of soft interactive objects. Specifically, students will learn the state of the art of integrating electronics into soft/deformable textiles structures. With applications from sports, medicine, fashion, architecture, and soft robotics, smart/interactive textiles require a unique set of understandings and design considerations. Students will learn about textile construction, material sourcing, and electronics integration through project-based assignments. Design exercises will focus on specific contexts where soft materials are particularly robust.
The combination of low cost sensing, light and long-lasting batteries, and actuated materials with programmable properties opens the door to creative combinations of computing and craft. In this project based studio class students design, develop, debug, demonstrate and document wearable technologies: clothing, jewelry, and other adornments that embed and embody computational media for various and sundry purposes—from fun and fashion to health and well-being.
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