Working with electronics opens new ways to connect the virtual and physical—from ephemeral representations on screens and networks to bodies in space and time. Through workshops, readings, lectures, critiques, and discussions, we will reevaluate the role desktop computers (and their mice, trackpads, keyboards, screens, and gamepads) play in forming our understanding of what is technically possible, sensible, logical, foolish, magical, and intuitive.
In this course, each participant will build an understanding of electricity, circuit design, mechanisms, sensors, actuators, micro-controller programming, custom interface design, and integrating electronics with software. For the first half of the quarter, we will focus on building our familiarity with these new tools through a series of short weekly and in-class assignments and workshops. The second half of the term will require developing, presenting, designing, and executing a large individual (or small-group) project.
All assignments need to be documented and archived. Students must keep prints and objects from the assignments to demonstrate progress. Class time is used to learn skills, fabricate objects, and discuss student work.
80% – Projects
20% – Engagement throughout the course (active participation and substantive contribution to the weekly critiques and discussions)
Points are deducted if you turn in an assignment late. You will lose all points if the assignment is more than one week late.
In addition to being presented in class for critique, all projects must be thoroughly documented before being given a grade. Documentation must include photos and video where necessary, a title, and description of the work. We will reserve the shootroom for documentation twice during the quarter to help make it easier to document your work.
Participation & Attendance
Punctuality, focus, articulation of concepts, and contribution to class discussions are all part of class participation.
More than 1 unexcused absence will lower your final grade as follows:
- 2 unexcused absences lower your final grade by a fraction (B becomes B-).
- 3 unexcused absences lower your final grade by a full letter (B becomes C).
- 4 unexcused absences lower your final grade by two full letters (B becomes D).
- 5 or more unexcused absences is an F.
Classes start at 9:00 AM. If you arrive after 9:15 but before 10:00 am, you will receive a tardy. Two tardies will be marked as an absence. You will be marked absent if you arrive after 10am without prior approval.
If there is an emergency and you will be late or absent from the class, please email me and the TA.
The Tangible Media is a 5 unit studio class, you are expected to work 6 hours a week in class and 9 hours a week outside of class. Every week we expect to see progress that reflects the 15 hours of weekly work for the class.
While all projects can be successfully realized using the parts in your kit, be aware that some ideas may require components not available in the FabLab. The instructor will be able to guide you to find the correct parts on a project-by-project basis.
Commitment to Equity and Diversity
We understand the classroom as a space for practicing freedom; where one may challenge psychic, social, and cultural borders and create meaningful artistic expressions. To do so we must acknowledge and embrace the different identities and backgrounds we inhabit. A collaborative effort between the students and the teacher is needed for creating a supportive learning environment.
While everyone should feel free to experiment creatively and conceptually, if a class member points out that something you have said or shared with the group is offensive, avoid being defensive; instead approach the discussion as an opportunity for everyone to grow and learn from one another. All class members are encouraged to discuss such instances with the instructor so they can be addressed with greater care in the future.
Students with Special Needs
Students with a disability or health-related issue who need a class accommodation should make an appointment to speak with the instructor as soon as possible. It is University policy that students with documented disabilities receive reasonable accommodations through access to classroom information. If you have a physical, psychological/psychiatric or medical condition, or a learning disability that will make it difficult for you to carry out the work outlined in the syllabus, or that will require additional time for taking exams and completing assignments, please notify your faculty for this class and visit the UCLA Center for Accessible Education in the first two weeks of the quarter so that we may make appropriate arrangements. All information and documentation is confidential.