History 9832B is a studio course on interactive exhibit design for public historians. 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, but History 9808A: Digital History might be useful if you don’t have much experience with computers. Preference will be given to students in the public history MA program, but other graduate students may take it with my permission. Contact me at wturkel@uwo.ca for more information.




In this course you will be graded on your documentation of the design process (25%), the project(s) that you develop (40%), your presentation of the project(s) in multiple media (25%), and reflective blogging (10%). As with History 9808A, your final grade will reflect how much you’ve learned or accomplished in this course, rather than any overall level of technical attainment.


We have two spaces where you will be able to work on your projects.  Lawson Hall 2270C, where the course meets, will have a number of desktop computers, an LCD projector, printers, scanners, a computer-controlled paper cutter, a vinyl sign cutter, and a Wacom Cintiq pen display.  You will be allowed to use the room when it is not scheduled for other courses.  Contact Morgan Sheriff in the History office to reserve time in the room for working on course projects.  Her e-mail is <msherif5@uwo.ca> and her extension is 84999.  LH 2270C is appropriate for digital work; photography, videography and audio production; light construction tasks such as sewing, or working with paper, plastic, foamcore or cardboard; and for solderless electronics.  Unfortunately, you won’t be able to store things in the room.  Contact me if you need to store work-in-process and we’ll figure something out.  You can also contact me to borrow cameras, tripods, lighting kits, digital audio recorders, a green screen, and other equipment that is usually locked up.

I also have a very small laboratory on the 9th floor of the Social Science Centre (9331).  You are welcome to work in the laboratory when I am there, which will be on Wednesdays and one other day each week (usually Mondays).  Unfortunately, the lab only holds about 3 or 4 people, so you will have to contact me in advance and schedule a time when you want to use it.  The lab has facilities for 3D printing, 3D scanning, light CNC milling, very light woodwork, moldmaking and casting, soldering, and advanced electronics (there is an oscilloscope, circuit design lab and very large supply of active and passive components).  You might also occasionally arrange to use the lab when Devon Elliott is going to be working there, although you will not be able to engage in the full range of activities if I am not present (for safety reasons).

Online Resources

Don’t worry about trying to master all of this material at once.  These links are here to serve as reference material for the whole course.  Of course, if you already have a method for managing digital information, you can incorporate these sources and others into your system right away.

Interaction Design and Visualization

Making and Hacking



Physical Computing


Desktop Fabrication

Digital Representations

3D Photography, Scanning and Visualization

3D Printing


Winter 2010 Projects

Winter 2009 Projects