In this introductory course on electronics and physical computing for the arts, each participant will build an understanding of electricity, circuit design, mechanisms, sensors, actuators, micro-controller programming, custom interface design, and integrating electronics with software.
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.
Experimentation is required to gain familiarity with creating and planning computational works. This technical and conceptual exploration will involve class critiques, readings, and discussion.
You must attend class, participate in discussions, and complete all assignments.
Grading is based on the workshop exercises, and on active participation during the class meetings and reading discussions. The work is evaluated on how well it demonstrates an understanding of the material, its originality, as well as its conceptual and aesthetic qualities. Feedback will be primarily qualitative but letter grades will be given for all work.
Participation & Attendance
Punctuality, focus, articulation of concepts, and contribution to class discussions are all part of class participation.
Classes start at 12:30 PM. If you are 15 minutes late, you will receive a tardy. 3 tardies will turn into 1 absence. Every absence equals 1 full grade down (A to B), 3 unexcused absences result in a failing grade.
If there is an emergency and you will be late or absent from the class, please email me.
- Massimo Banzi: Getting Started with Arduino, 2nd Edition. O’Reilly Media, 2011. (Available on Safari Books Online)
- Charles Platt: Make: Electronics – Learning Through Discovery. O’Reilly Media, 2009.
- Dan O'Sullivan, Tom Igoe: Physical Computing: Sensing and Controlling the Physical World with Computers. Thomson, 2004.
(Available as PDF)
- Charles Platt: Arduino Cookbook – Recipes to Begin, Expand, and Enhance Your Projects. O’Reilly Media, 2011.
(Available on Safari Books Online)
- Charles Platt: Encyclopedia of Electronic Components Volume 1. O’Reilly Media, 2009.
(Available on Safari Books Online)
- Dustyn Roberts: Making Things Move. McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics, 2010.
- Tero Karvinen, Kimmo Karvinen, Ville Valtokari: Make: Sensors. O’Reilly Media, 2014.
|1||Arduino Uno - R3 or Compatable †||24.95|
|1||Full-Sized Breadboard ‡||5.00|
|1||Wall Adapter Power Supply (9 VDC 650mA)||5.95|
|1||Trimpot 10K with Knob||0.95|
|1||Solid State Relay - 40A||9.95|
|1||LED - Assorted (20 pack)||2.95|
|1||Momentary Pushbutton Switch - 12mm Square||0.50|
|1||Actuator (Motor, servo, stepper, solenoid, etc) of your choice. (Actuators at Sparkfun)||-|
|1||Sensor of your choice. (Sensors at Sparkfun)||-|
† Options include the Arduino Leonardo, SparkFun RedBoard, Arduino Mini, Particle Photon, or Adafruit Pro Trinket
‡ Half-sized is ok too, might want to get a couple so you don't have to pull everything apart to make a new project.
|1||LED - RGB Diffused Common Cathode||1.95|
|1||USB Cable A to B - 6 Foot - if you are getting an Arduino Uno||3.95|
|1||SoftPot Membrane Potentiometer|
|1||Parts Box (You can also find nice cheap boxes at Home Depot)||5.95|