Course Description

History 9832B is a studio course on interactive exhibit design, intended primarily for public historians and digital humanists. Preference will be given to Public History students or graduate students in the digital humanities, but open to other graduate students with the instructor’s permission.

Course Syllabus

Students will learn how to create interactive exhibits through a series of hands-on projects that teach the basics of interaction design, physical computing, and desktop fabrication. No prior experience is necessary. Attendance and participation at all class sessions is expected.

Course Materials

You should bring a laptop (Mac, PC or Linux). All other tools, equipment, materials and software will be supplied.

For some of our activities we will be using the Arduino Projects Book (freely available online and paper copies available in the lab).

Methods of Evaluation

In this course you will be graded on your documentation of the design process (25%), the project(s) that you develop (50%), and your presentations in multiple media (25%). Your final grade will reflect how much you’ve learned or accomplished in this course, rather than any overall level of technical attainment.

Course Schedule and Readings

  • Jan 09 – Kits for cultural history; Brainstorming; install Arduino software and do kit inventories
    Background reading:

  • Jan 16 – Storyboards; Makedo; simple interactive circuits with Arduino
    Reading:

    • Arduino Projects Book, Chapter 01: Get to Know Your Tools
  • Jan 23 – Design thinking, affordances and ambiguity; interfaces; seamless and seamful design; MaKey MaKey vs Arduino
    Reading:

    • Arduino Projects Book, Chapter 02: Spaceship Interface
  • Jan 30 – Minimal computing and microcontroller platforms; Arduino analog input and output and serial monitoring
    Reading:

    • Arduino Projects Book, Chapter 03: Love-o-Meter & Chapter 04: Color Mixing Lamp
  • Feb 06 – Physical computing with Arduino
    Reading:

    • Arduino Projects Book, Chapter 05: Mood Cue & Chapter 06: Light Theremin
  • Feb 13 – Sensing with Phidgets in Processing
    Roadmap:

    1. Install Processing language (downloads)
    2. Sample Processing program: Java Examples -> Topics/Motion/Linear
    3. Install Phidgets drivers for OS (Mac OS X, Windows)
    4. Set up and test Phidgets with analog input (rotation sensor) using OS
    5. Phidgets 1011 User Guide
    6. Install PhidgetsForProcessing library: Open the Processing editor, choose Sketch -> Import Library -> Add Library, type “phidgets” in the search bar, choose PhidgetsForProcessing and press “Install” below. After install is finished, exit the editor and restart it
    7. Test Phidgets in Processing with InterfaceKit_Example sketch
    8. Experiment with other analog input sensors, e.g., linear slider, infrared distance, magnetic field, light, temperature, vibration, force, etc.
  • Feb 20 – NO CLASS – READING WEEK
  • Feb 27 – Intro electronics; littleBits
  • Mar 06 – Designing in 3D; 3D printing demo; packaging and popup books
    Reading:

    • Arduino Projects Book, Chapter 09: Motorized Pinwheel
  • Mar 13 – Mechanical design; VEX and MicroRax; hi-low technology
    Reading:

    • Arduino Projects Book, Chapter 10: Zoetrope
  • Mar 20 – Work on projects
  • Mar 27 – Work on projects
  • Apr 03 – Project demonstrations

 

Additional Statements

Academic Offences: Scholastic Offences are taken seriously and students are directed to read the appropriate policy, specifically, the definition of what constitute a Scholastic Offence, at the following Web site:

http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/academic_policies/appeals/scholastic_discipline_undergrad.pdf

Accessibility Options: Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 519 661-2111 x 82147 for any specific question regarding an accommodation. Information regarding accommodation of exams is available on the Registrar’s website:

http://www.registrar.uwo.ca/examinations/accommodated_exams.html

Medical Issues: The University recognizes that a student’s ability to meet his/her academic responsibilities may, on occasion, be impaired by medical illness. Please go to:

https://studentservices.uwo.ca/secure/medical_accommodations_link_for_OOR.pdf

to read about the University’s policy on medical accommodation. This site provides links the necessary forms. In the event of illness, you should contact Academic Counselling as soon as possible. The Academic Counsellors will determine, in consultation with the student, whether or not accommodation should be requested. They will subsequently contact the instructors in the relevant courses about the accommodation. Once the instructor has made a decision about whether to grant an accommodation, the student should contact his/her instructors to determine a new due date for tests, assignments, and exams. Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation:

http://counselling.ssc.uwo.ca/procedures/medical_accommodation.html

Support Services: Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to Mental Health@Western,

http://uwo.ca/health/mental_wellbeing/

for a complete list of options about how to obtain help. Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 661-2111 x 82147 for any specific question regarding an accommodation.

If you have any further questions or concerns please contact, Heidi Van Galen, Administrative Officer, Department of History, 519-661-2111 x84963 or e-mail vangalen@uwo.ca.