Course Information

ATLS 4519/5519: Advanced Special Topics in Creative Technology & Design: Design Studio

Dates: Session B: July 9 - August 9, 2019

Times: Tues, Wed, Thurs: 3pm - 5:30pm in ATLAS 1B25

Enrollment: This class is open to anyone. CU Boulder graduate students should enroll in ATLS 5519, undergraduate students in ATLS 4519, and non-CU Boulder students should email for instructions.

Instructors: Jean-Baptiste Labrune, Senior Lecturer, Sciences Po Paris; Daniel Leithinger, Assistant Professor, ATLAS Institute, CU Boulder

Course Description

Nature is an endless reservoir of shapes and processes that can inspire and teach us, making it a rich environment in which to make, design and experiment outside the lab.

Focusing on interdisciplinary creativity through hands-on activities, this monthlong class is suitable for anyone wanting to expand their understanding of novel design processes, build prototypes, create art and tell stories. The format combines a traditional design studio approach with 24/7 Open Studio; Zero Walk & Make sessions in nature, focused on building from what’s freely available in the environment; and lectures by invited guests. Mentored by talented instructors who share a background in the MIT Media Lab, class participants will be able to develop functional and mockup prototypes of radical user interfaces and low tech props. They will also be invited to create storytelling capsules in written and video form to describe fictional use scenarios.

Who Should Take the Class?

The course is designed for anyone with interest in art, design, fabrication, coding, electronics, filmmaking, sculpture and making of all types. Students will learn novel design processes, build prototypes, create art and tell stories. Students will have many opportunities outside class meeting times to work with faculty and other students fabricating in the outdoors and in the 24/7 open studio.


Faculty Bio: Jean-Baptiste Labrune

Jb Labrune is a designer and researcher specializing in the development and study of creative processes in the context of new programmable materials, critical design and avant-garde places mixing artists, scientists and thinkers. His research focuses on the notion of “exaptation,” the way in which users of technologies reconfigure and hack them, producing original and unexpected functions and uses. He completed his PhD at INRIA and postdoc at MIT, then became a researcher at Bell Labs and interaction design professor at ENSAD (Arts Décos School). He then joined SciencesPo University as a lecturer while launching his practice at Radical Design Studio. He has organized many “hybrid” workshops in art and sciences venues around the world, including Arts Décos, Beaux-Arts, Palais de Tokyo, Mains d’Oeuvres, Mediamatic, Interaction Design Institute Ivréa, IMAL, Hangar, Hyperwerk, Akademie Schloss Solitude and MIT Medialab.

Faculty Bio: Daniel Leithinger

Daniel Leithinger, assistant professor (ATLAS Institute & Computer Science) creates shape-changing human-computer interfaces that push digital information past the boundaries of flat displays, and into the real world. Motivated by the belief that computers must embrace the dexterity and expressiveness of the human body, his interfaces allow users to touch, grasp and deform data physically. Daniel received his PhD at the MIT Media Lab. His academic publications have been published at ACM UIST, TEI and CHI conferences, and he has received design awards from Fast Company, Red Dot and IDEA. Projects like “inFORM” have been exhibited at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, Ars Electronica Museum, and the Milan Design Week.


Course material will be documented and shared in an open-source fashion and potentially considered for publication in relevant conferences.