CART 451: Interactive Multimedia:

Architecture of Responsive Spaces

Prof. Sha Xin Wei

Mondays 1:30 - 5:30

Classroom EV 5.615

Discussion and Project Studio

In this course we study the design of responsive environments: spaces augmented by computational media, mechatronics, and elements of animated, architecture in the built environment that respond to inhabitant activity.

We survey technologically mediated spaces, ranging from Situationist and other early modern experiments in public spaces, and theories of everyday life such as Debord, Alexander, Seamon. In particular, we critically survey computationally augmented built environments. Students may discuss topics from areas of current research in sensor-based systems, active materials, living systems, or related emerging technologies, with particular relevance to experimental architecture and urban design.

The technical focus is interventions in public spaces using real-time computational video and sound, sensors, active materials, particularly using the Max/MSP/Jitter compositional environment. Students will have an opportunity to build responsive installations combining physical computing and realtime media synthesis with material and plastic arts. Students will learn to develop a conceptually meaningul creative project, manage a team project, and realize a prototype that could be demonstrated in a public setting.


A prerequisite for this course is some technical facility with programming real-time systems, mechatronics or an interactive or realtime media authoring system (Max/MSP/Jitter), or working familiarity with materials: paper, print-making, metals, fabrics, etc. Students without such background may contact the instructor.


This class will be run as a combination of a theory seminar in which students will discuss their responses to the readings or artifacts and as a studio in which students will build and critique prototypes of responsive media environments.

Students will construct responses as short written texts, and as in-class presentations. The term project will be a working prototype of responsive media installation or artifact, to be designed and built in small teams.

You"ll be evaluated on the basis of your seminar participation and on your final project.

(Masters or doctoral graduate students should register for SPEC 620B/2 or SPEC 820W/2 course, respectively, with SIP <> )





Calendar of Topics & Readings

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Sostre de Flors, Casa Girbal, Girona, by 10x15 Col•lectiu; Jaume Blancafort | Ingrid Valero, 1997.