Arch Robotics coverMy book. MIT Press, 2016



Required: attendance, timely arrival to class, participation, and the uploading of all documents
to the course Box or Google Drive folder strictly adhering to all formatting requirement and specifications detailed here, on the course webpage, and in the ACM conference website(s). Failure to fulfill these requirements will reduce your grade up to 10% of the total grade at the discretion of the instructors. Attendance at the start of class will be taken for some class sessions without advanced notice. For each absence or late arrival, email the professor and TA with an explanation, attaching supporting documentation (e.g. doctor’s note); these will be considered as a valid excuse (hardship, medical appointment) without penalty, or not. It is your education, so you should take responsibility for yourself in attending all class sessions on time. 

If you need help with advising or mental health, please make use of the resources available on campus, found here: Cornell Mental Health Resources Guide.

Late submissions will NOT be accepted, except with a doctor’s note or other proof of personal crisis or hardship. Failure to submit the printed documents and digital files on-time will reduce your final assignment grade 10 points.

Grading for this course is carefully determined by the professor (and TA, if any) with thoughtful consideration of student grading by your peers. If you believe the grade for any component of this class including the final grade is incorrect, you may submit a written argument along with the component-in-question for reassessment. The written argument must reference a specific issue with the graded component of the course and must be thoroughly substantiated. The professor (and TA, if any) will together consider the request, potentially with the assistance of other faculty with expertise in the area. The reassessment will result in any of the following outcomes: no change of grade, a change of grade for the better, or a change of grade for the worse. You understand that the grade for work submitted for reassessment may result in a grade lower than originally assigned.

To prepare the requirements for this course, enrolled students may conduct peer-to-peer participant studies using their peers as participants. Methods may include interviews, observations, surveys, co-design activity, heuristic evaluations, and think-alouds. As part of this design research activity, students conducting these studies may take written notes, photographs, and/or video as a means of documentation. This documentation may appear in papers, videos, and conferences for academic audiences. Student will not be identified by name, and no aspect of these studies should cause discomfort or risk to participants. Should any student in the class choose not to participate in any aspect of the study, or have questions about her/his participation, please make this known to the instructor. Additionally, for any work of the course submitted for publication, student authors will be identified as first authors of the submission, and the instructor will follow in the list of authors of such work in recognition of their efforts in cultivating this work. If these term are not acceptable to you, please indicate so to the instructor. Non-participation will not impact your grade for this course in any way.

I x D A ,   S I G C H I ,  &   D R N  
The IxDA (Interaction Design Association) lists on its webpages hundreds of internships and jobs related to the skills and knowledge covered in this course. Students are encouraged to join (at no charge) email postings (listservs) for ACM SIGCHI ANNOUNCEMENTS and DESIGN RESEARCH NEWS (both of these for design opportunities) and also ACM SIGCHI JOBS (in design). Students are also encouraged to become a student member of SIGCHI which brings you a 1-year subscription to interactions magazine [print] and discounts on ACM conferences. Directions for joining all these. Finally, Zintern.io is a site that reportedly helps students in design, information science, and engineering find jobs in the tech area.

D E A    S T A T E M E N T
DEA is dedicated to fostering a respectful and accepting learning community in which individuals from various backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives can embrace and respect diversity. Everyone in this community is empowered to participate in meaningful learning and discussion, regardless of an individual’s self-identified gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, or political ideology. We encourage students to share their uniqueness; be open to the views of others; honor and learn from their colleagues; communicate in a respectful manner; and create an inclusive environment.

G R O V E   V E N D E R S ,  I F
O U T S I D E   U S
If you are ordering Grove products from outside the USA, you might find the lowest price (factoring in shipping costs) from:

China Taobao
Korea Mouser
Singapore LT
Japan  Akizukidenshi
Netherlands Kiwi Electronics(
Thailand GJ Tech Co
Portugal  Robert Mauser
Other Europe Distrelec

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• box inspiring wonder

interactive journey [video] [doc]

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• box inspiring wonder

george [video] [doc]

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• box inspiring wonder

hexagonal cube [video] [doc]

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• box inspiring wonder

invisible stations [video] [doc]

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• box inspiring wonder

infinity wonder box [video] [doc]

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• assignment-1: stools for ...

Helping Hand
Voyager [video] [doc]

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• assignment-1: stools for ...

Helping Hand
Seat of Wonder [video] [doc]

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• assignment-1: stools for ...

Helping Hand
Sit! [video] [doc]

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• assignment-1: stools for ...

Helping Hand
MS Shadow [video] [doc]

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• assignment-2 "Stellavista"

Helping Hand
Fay, in the yard [video] [pub]

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• robotic furniture for seniors

Haptic Desk Interface for Austism
robotic furnishings
[video] [pub]

S T U D E N T   E X A M P L E
• learning tools for children

Haptic Desk Interface for Austism
[video] [pub]


Architectural Robotics  
Keith Evan Green, Ph.D.
Mon and Wed, 9:40 - 10:55am in HEB 2L32

C O U R S E   D E S C R I P T I O N   |   D E A   6 2 1 0
Embedding robotics into the fabric of architecture fosters a more interactive and potentially more intimate relationship between the built environment and us, and represents a new frontier for design, computing, and psychology. Part-seminar, part-lab, this course considers the design, technical, social, ecological, and ethical challenges and opportunities of architectural robotics.

P R E R E Q U I S I T E S   |   E N R O L L M E N T   |   Cap of 12 students
All students require professor's permission.
Preference is given to student-majors in HCD, IS, and MAE, and students enrolled in the Robotics Minor. Students from other majors are welcomed as space permits.
• Enrollment is limited to twelve students to make full use of the D2FS, the digital and manual fabrication shop and staff located across the corridor from our teaching space.

• This course is for 3 credits, for letter grade only. There is no final exam.

S Y L L A B U S    |    S E E   A L S O   M Y   D E A  5 2 1 0    &   D E A   2 7 3 0

L E A R N I N G    O U T C O M E S - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"Architectural Robotics" aims to cultivate new vocabularies of design and new, complex realms of understanding towards realizing artifacts and systems responsive to people and the planet. Four learning outcomes are expected of this course.

Outcome 1: To understand the design, technical, social, ecological, and ethical challenges and opportunities of architectural robotics, and demonstrate this understanding in written form and presentations.

Outcome 2: To conceptualize and evaluate design alternatives responsive to the challenges and opportunities of an ecosystem that is biological, artificial, and increasingly digital, using a variety of design strategies.

Outcome 3: To demonstrate an ability to iterate, in a working prototype, an architectural robotic artifact at a scale of the Internet of Things, or furniture, or the room or building, or the  metropolis.

Outcome 4: To demonstrate the ability to communicate the motivations for, iterative development of, and expected use of the Architectural Robotic artifact that was prototyped, as well as assessing its shortcomings (through the vehicle of a video).

H I S T O R Y   O F   T H I S   C O U R S E - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

This course is the “next chapter” of a course that I taught for many years that was cross-listed in Architecture and Electrical & Computer Engineering under the same title. The course pedagogy has been the subject of a paper presented at ICRA (the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation), and a paper published in RAM (IEEE Robotics and Automation, Rethinking the Machines in Which We Live.. I also co-authored with Mark Gross an overview of Architectural Robotics for ACM interactions.

I N T R O D U C T I O N - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In the act of designing, designers typically anticipate, in the form and function of their artifacts, how people will use them and how these artifacts will respond to a range of possible, local conditions. In designing architectural robotics, however, there is a fundamental difference: investigators are engineering a responsive system that actively engages and interacts with inhabitants and local conditions in real time. Unlike a conventional building that has a limited range of responses to dynamic, changing conditions, architectural robotic artifacts are intimately bound together with their users and local conditions in a designed performance.

Architectural Robotics is defined by the movement of physical mass and by their interactivity with and adaptivity to things outside them (e.g. people, other life forms, objects, information). The prospect of this kind of environment was anticipated some forty years ago by MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte in his vision of “a man-made environment that responds to and is ‘meaningful’ for him or her” [5]. Wired editor Kevin Kelly later imagined a “world of mutating buildings” and “rooms stuffed with co-evolutionary furniture” [3]. And while Bill Gates envisions “a robot in every home” [2], William Mitchell, the late Dean of MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning and director of its Media Lab, envisioned homes “as robots for living in” [4].

Architectural Robotics meanwhile raises such critical questions as:

  • How will we program the built environment, from furniture to cities?
  • How will architectural robotics recognize activities taking place inside and surrounding them?
  • How will designers (which may include end-users) associate particular human and ecological conditions with desired built environment configurations?
  • How to design cross-operability and collective interactivity/intelligence of multiple architectural robotic artifacts (furnishings, furniture, rooms, buildings, cities) operating together as cyber-physical “ecosystems”?
  • What are the safety, security and privacy issues related to architectural robotics, and how do designers design architectural robotics to protect property and living things from hackers, operating failures, and other harmful impacts?

Architectural Robotics must go beyond simplistic formal achievements; they must instead explore ways for improving life, enhancing existing places, and supporting human interaction. This is no Utopian dream in which technology or design transforms completely our everyday reality. Instead, design and technology, together – a cyber-physical hybrid – supports human activity, responds naturally, and performs according to our needs and wants. Architectural Robotics, when employed, must complement and redefine our living patterns. Answers to life problems and opportunities will come not from computational or design solutions alone, but through the way computation, embedded in the physical, built environment, helps support and enhance the interactions across people and their surroundings to create places of social and psychological significance.

For philosopher Andrew Feenberg, “technology is not simply a means but has become an environment, a way of life” [1]. Architectural Robotics is more than an aesthetic search, a stylistic possibility, or a technological quest; it is, instead, a way to develop new spatial patterns in support of human activities.

[1] Feenberg, A. Transforming Technology, (Oxford University Press, 2002), 8.
[2] Gates, B. “A Robot in Every Home,” Scientific American, December 16, 2006.
[3] Kelly, K. Out of Control. (Cambridge, MA: Perseus, 1994), 472.
[4] Mitchell, W. J. e-topia ( Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000), 59.
[5] Negroponte, N. Soft Architecture Machine (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1975).

M A T E R I A L S   N E E D E D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Material costs are expected to be approximately $150 per student. This includes the purchase, by each student, of:

  • 1 sketchbook like this one or a comparable one found in our bookstore.

  • 1 Grove Beginner Kit for Arduino (intro video) and additional Grove Components. Mouser eletronics offers Grove kits and components with competitive pricing and quick shipping. Grove products are also available from Amazon (often at a much higher price), from DigiKey, from other vendors listed on this page, below, and directly from Seeed Studio, the manufacturer, which now ships from its US warehouse. For assignment-1, you will need:
    - 1
    Grove Beginner Kit for Arduino ($23.88 from Mouser).
    - 1 Grove Servo ($5.90).
    - 1 Grove Ultrasonic Sensor
    1 Grove Gesture sensor ($10.99).
    Brighter LEDs of various colors will be provided you in class.

  • Richard McGuire. Here. Pantheon Press, 2014.

  • Aluminum foil - 1 roll, any brand, as used in your kitchen (example).

  • 1 9V battery -or- 1 portable (phone) charger with USB port (here's one).

  • Your laptop (You will need your laptop in class, every class session.)

  • Fabrication materials for early, rapid prototyping. These include: cardboard from shipping boxes, plastic from fruit and vegetable containers, and craft materials needed to construct your prototypes. Many of these materials you have already, at no-cost; other materials are avaiable from the Cornell Bookstore, Michael's at the Ithaca Mall, and online at Utrecht, Blick, and Amazon.
  • Fabrication materials (as needed) for high-fidelity prototyping
    • Some fabrication materials are available to you at no cost from our D2FS.
    Coroplast corrugated plastic is easy to work with and low-cost. I like the colorless, translucent finish; small quantities can be found on eBay via Duco Plastics (your best vendor), on Amazon from various vendors, and from Home Depot (white in large, single sheets; clear by case of 10).
    Honeycomb cardboard is inexpensive and rigid enough to build furniture from it.
    • Acrylic sheets and other plastics are available online from TAP Plastics (cut to your size with reasonable precision) and from ePlastics (cut to size, less expensive than TAP, but less control over cutting dimensions and multiple cuts).
    Cut2Size Metals.
    Aluminum Composite Material (ACM) as in the red entry of HEB as well as my LIT ROOM project; available locally (in Syracuse) from Polymershapes, contact Kevin Passerell.

  • Optional: an inexpensive book on human-centered design methods, The Pocket Universal Methods of Design: 100 Ways to Research Complex Problems,... Available for about $13 from the Cornell Bookstore and from Amazon. This inexpensive book may be useful to those who are new to human-centered design: Do not purchase the similarly titled, The Pocket Universal Principles of Design: 150 Essential.....

  • Tip: If you don't have access to video editing software (e.g., iMovie from Apple), try Open Shop, a free video editing app for windows https://www.openshot.org/. And if you don't have Adobe suite, try Canva (free 30-day trial) and Paint.net.

R E Q U I R E D    R E A D I N G S - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Readings for each class meeting are listed in the CLASS SCHEDULE (below). Please read the readings ahead of their assigned class session.

All readings are downloadable from this page except for those from my book, Architectural Robotics: Ecosystems of Bits, Bytes, and Biology (MIT Press), which is available via the link (in hardcover or eBook) or from the Cornell bookstore. Additionally, references for programming robotic and interactive systems are found on our password protected page, D O C U M E N T S.

The Delft Design Guide Wiki is a terrific resource on design methods useful to this class. This Wiki is part of a larger TU Delft Industrial Design Engineering Wiki on design methods, design tutorials (e.g. for Rhino), design conferences and journals, design definitions, design components, ....

C L A S S   O R G A N I Z A T I O N - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

1. I will present the case study of the day.

2. We will consider an assigned reading.
Every student will read the reading listed for each class ahead of that class meeting.
Every student will upload to our shared Google or Box folder, ahead of that class meeting, a review of the assigned reading. This review is a one-page Word document that includes the following:

  • 5 bullet points that you draw from the reading that capture the content and significance of the reading for Architectural Robotics and your design assignment.
  • Two questions related to the reading that you would like us to consider in class.

One student will be assigned one reading for a given class meeting, and will present this reading in class. Here is a good example of slides prepared tor a presentation for this course. This presentation should conclude with the presenter sharing with us in class the most compelling questions posited by student peers in their reviews found in the shared folder.

3. Every student will present status reports and demos on their design activities, as per the weekly schedule (below) under the heading, "In class." Your status report can be a physical model, a powerpoint slide, a digital image (e.g. a 3D model), a Word document, or any other document that communicates the status of design development. For demos, you simply share your current physical prototype; or, you can take a smartphone video of your working prototype, upload the video (or a URL to it) to our shared folder, and share the video with us. (Sharing the video is a good approach, as robotics demos often fail!) Reports are uploaded to the shared class folder ahead of class presentations.

Students will also...

  • Benefit from informal exchanges with peers.
  • Deliver formal presentations at designated milestones throughout the semester.
  • Work with shop staff in the D2FS on fabricating your project.

S C H E D U L E   B Y   W E E K - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NOTE: During the second and third class meetings, we will also do D2FS shop training to learn how to use the basic power tools safely. Please come to class with close-toe shoes (no sandals).

Week 01 | 08.22 ELASTIC SPACE
Case Study:
Rietveld Schröderhuis [@1:31]; Gianni Colombo: Spazio Elastico: L'ultimo ambiente
W Gruppo T: Gli ambienti: le origini dell'arte interattiva
Readings (hereon presented by assigned student, one student per session)
M Gianni Colombo

W Gruppo T
In class:
M Review syllabus with focus on assignment-1.
Rapid prototyping: make 3 prototypes with foil, paper, cardboard, ... in the box.
Purchase: Aluminum foil, the book, and Grove kit & modules as per "Materials"

P A R T - 1   |   C O N C E P T S   - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Week 02 | 08.29 TYPES
Case Study:
M Ori Living
The Shed
M Architectural Robotics: ch. 1 (link to this if you can't get the book in time).

W Negroponte, N. “Intelligent Environments” in Soft Architecture Machines, MIT, 1975.
In class

M Student progress reports and design development.
W Student progress reports and design development.

Week 03 | 09.05 (ASSIGNMENT 1: EARLY IDEAS & DEMO) (*No class Monday)
In class:
W Paper•Mech & Mechanisms; Student progress reports on design development.
W Green, K. E. 2022. Robots in the Room, Robots are the Room. In Ecological Design Thinking. Rutledge.

Week 04 | 09.12 PATTERNS
Case Study:
Hyperbody/TU Delft. Pop-Up Apartment
eva/TODO/Blackboard, Kinetic Wall; Reconfigurable facades
M Architectural Robotics: ch. 2.

W Alexander, C., et al. A Pattern Language,"Using this Book" to the end of p. xliv and patterns 45, 69, 124 on PDF pages 93, 115, 178.); Wang, Y. and Green, K. E. 2019. A Pattern-Based, Design Framework for Designing Collaborative Environments,TEI 2019.
In class:
M Student progress reports and design development; write a scenario for assign.1.

W Physical computing; WOz (e.g. Nest); Marvel app; Student progress reports.

Week 05 | 09.19 INTERACTIONS
Case Study:
W. Ju. Mechanical Ottoman; Aarhus Univ., coMotion
W M. Goulthorpe/dECOi/MIT, HypoSurface
M Architectural Robotics: ch. 3.
W Pask, G. 1969. The Architectural Relevance of Cybernetics. Architectural Design.
In class:
M Student progress reports and design development.
A walk through Parc Güell; Student progress reports and design development;.

Week 06 | 09.26 (ASSIGNMENT-1 DEMOS)
In class:
M Demo Day-1: Assignment 1
W Demo Day-2: Assignment 1; Intro to Assignment 2; GIFs 1 & 2; ex.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Week 06 | 10.03 BODY BUILDING (M: Assignment 1 deliverables due.)
• Case Study:
N55 Walking House
W Holger Schnädelbach. ExoBuilding
M Architectural Robotics: ch.s 5, 8, 11.
W McHale, J. 1969. Man Plus;
In class, view together 2001 and The Weather Project.
In class:
M Screen final videos and do final demos, Assigment 1.
W Present your GIFs; form teams based on GIFs; for next class: 1 new GIF from team.

P A R T - 2   |   S C A L E S   &   I M P A C T S  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Week 08 | 10.10 HABIT-ATIONS (No class Monday - Fall Break)
Case Study:
TU Delft's InteractiveWall; ARL's Space-Making Robot Surface
W Dourish, P. 2001. Embodied Interaction. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA (paper).
In class:
W GUEST: Henriette Bier, TUD; Review GIFs from each team.

Week 09 | 10.17 WORKSTATIONS
Case Study:
AWE in AR; AWE in ACM interactions C. Ratti's Digital Water Pavillion
ARUP's Smart Desks/Workplaces; Roomware
• Readings:
M Architectural Robotics: ch. 4.
Houayek, H, Green, K. E., et al. 2014. AWE. Jrnl. of Personal and Ubiquitous Comp.
In class:
M Write a scenario as if part of the short story, more scenarios; scenario-based design.
W Review scenarios; a revised GIF from each team for next class based on a scenario.

Case Study:
ARL's ART and its pneumatic surface
Aarhus University's, Kirigami Table; Bill Gaver's Drift Table: pdf and video
M Architectural Robotics: ch. 6.
W Architectural Robotics: ch. 7.
In class:
M Intro to morphological charts; ex.s 1, 2, and one from class; review revised GIFs.
W Progress reports on design development.

Week 11 | 10.31 LIVING ROOMS
Case Study:
bumblebee spaces; more, homepage; Futuristic Kitchen (1970)
Architectural Robotics: ch. 9; Schafer. G, Green, K., et al. 2018. LIT ROOM. DIS '18.
W Architectural Robotics: ch. 10;
In class:
M Making videos [my guide]; ex.s: CHI17, CHI18, GrowBot; progress reports.
W Progress reports on design development.

Week 12 | 11.07 CITIES
Case Study:
M Futuristic City of Tomorrow (1960s); Intel smart city
The Experimental City. Google's Quayside, its termination, and lessons learned
M [no reading to make time for Role Play].
W McCullough, M. 2004. Digital Ground (excerpts). MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
In class:
M Intro to Role Play; progress reports on design development.
W Progress reports on design development.

Case Study:
ARL's pheB, a soft robotic wall for wellbeing in tight confines
M Architectural Robotics: ch. 12 to top of p.193.
Architectural Robotics: ch. 12 top of p.193 to end.
In class:
M Progress reports on design development.
W Progress reports on design development; Steve Jobs on presenting.

P A R T - 3   |   M O V I N G   &   T H I N K I N G - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Week 14 | 11.21 | [WORKSHOP] (No class Wednesday)
In class:
M Advance prototypes and video; prepare a draft video to present next class.

Week 15 | 11.28 INTELLIGENT?
M Riding in a Self-Driving Tesla
W John Searle's Chinese Room
M From The Singularity: Special Report, IEEE Spectrum, Vol. 45:
     • Zorpette, G. "The Rapture of the Geeks",” pp. 34-35.
     • Nordmann, A. “Singular Simplicity,” pp. 60-63.
     • Brooks, R. “I, Rodney Brooks, Am a Robot,” pp. 71-75.
> Debate: How intelligent, architectural robotics?
W Hayles, N. K. 1999. How We Became Posthuman (excerpt). U. Chicago.
> Debate: Architectural robotics: When? Where? For whom? Why?
In class:
M Present draft videos; advance final prototypes and supporting documents.
W Present draft videos; advance final prototypes and supporting documents.

Week 16 | 12.05 DEMOS, DRAFT VIDEO SCREENING (Last class Monday)
M Demo day: demo you prototypes, screen your videos. After this final class, you still have time to improve anything of assignment 2 until the date/time listed below.

DEADLINE: 12.15, THURSDAY, 4:30pm:
Upload your video and documentation to our shared folder for grading, as per the Cornell University Registrar's schedule for these.

A S S I G N M E N T S - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

There are two assignments for this course.
For the first assignment, your challenge is to make people see and interact with each other and the world differently through an interactive artifact at 1:1 scale. For the second assignment, your team's challenge is to design a room, to-scale, that has the potential to improve the state of affairs encountered in dystopian fiction and, in turn, the world we inhabit.

The first assignment, undertaken by each student, is intended to be a fast-paced engagement. The second assignment is undertaken by teams of 2-4 students and provides a longer, deeper development of the design following a trajectory like this:

  • Conceptualization
  • Prototyping / Rapid, low-fidelity
  • Concept Generation: GIF, Scenario, Morphological Chart, Storyboard
  • Prototyping / Hardware/Software
  • User Testing / Role Playing experiments
  • Video making and Reporting
  • Documentation

Team composition for the second assignment will be formed by the instructor(s) based partly on proposals pitched in class by class members.

Keep in mind: this course asks you to develop architectural robotic artifacts that have at least one input and one output which moves physcial mass.

Assignment 1 | A box inspiring wonder (45% of course grade; individual effort)

Using Arduino (or the Grove kit, if you wish), create a box of moving parts and (as you wish) lights and/or sounds that arouses wonder and serves as a portal to elsewhere. You may integrate any manner of input device, actuator, hacked device (e.g. a toy, a camera) and any technological approach (e.g. machine learning, computer vision, AR).

Practically, your box enclosure must be constructed following the dimensional and material specifications (plywood and acrylic panels with box joints) required of all boxes for this assignment. These panels will be provided you. The box is 9" x 6" x 4". This ai file may be useful to you if you would like to laser cut (etch or cut) the 9x6 face; the file can easily be modified to create the outline any of the faces you would like etch or cut.

Intellectually, your box will take inspiration from the boxes created by artist Joseph Cornell. Assembled according to a “dream logic,” Cornell’s boxes are “magical”: they “enchant their onlookers and entice them away to another world.” Brian Eno, producer (for U2, Coldplay, ...), ambient music pioneer, and member or the band Roxy Music, said that a key inspiration for him was such a box (listen).

The following will acquaint you with Joseph Cornell and his boxes:

This assignments is framed by three perspectives on designing for emotion:

For inspiration, consider Pandora's Box from my DEA 2730 course, examples from previous years of my DEA 5210 webpage found in the upper-left column, the haptic box from another course I've taught, and the lovebox [link]. All of these are good examples of the kind of artifact we are striving for: small in scale, whimsical/poetic, beautifully crafted, interactive in simple ways, meaningful/purposeful, and kinetic.

Requirements for assignments 1 and 2 are mostly the same, as detailed below.

NOTE: If you are new to electronics, my DEA 5210 webpage has lots of resources that make electronic prototyping easy! The use of digital fabrication is not required to produce the prototype. It's however easy to digitally fabricate components for your prototypes! Our partners for this course are the very friendly and capable D2FS staff in the shop in HEB 2L31. See below, under the heading DIGITAL FABRICATION, for instructions on preparing files and requesting an appointment for laser cutting and 3D printing them. If you would like to create an app that intereacts wtih or controls your physical object, you can develop the app rather easily using MIT App inventor.

Assignment 2 | "Repairing 'Stellavista' (45% of your course grade; team effort)

Read J G Ballard's short story, "The Thousand Dreams of Stellavista" (1962), and design a hotel room (to scale) that repairs something you discovered in Ballard's fictionalized suburban, architectural-robotic dystopia. Your user/clients are Fay and Howard Talbot, the couple in the story that purchases and moves into a home in Stellavista. Imagine your hotel room as Fay and Howard's place-of-stay while they shop for their new home. Write a paragraph that you insert, early-on, in Ballard's story that dscribes this hotel room and how it fosters a better future for Fay and Howard, a couple in distress, amplified by living in their new home.

We will build a scale model of a hotel room [this one from Marriott] for all the student teams to use. A good scale for this prototype is 1 ft. = 2 inches, to match the 12-inch wooden human figures you can purchase, for instance, here ($6.99) that you might use in your videos and documents. You can alternatively print images of people found in Google images and adhere these printed figures to cardboard backing.

The prototype should be interactive by way of sensors and actuators that move physical mass, You are encouraged to add lighting and/or sound. You may also integrate any manner of input device, actuator, hacked device (e.g. a toy, a camera), machine learning, computer vision, augmented reality,.... If you would like to create an app that intereacts wtih or controls your physical object, you can develop the app rather easily using MIT App inventor.

G R A D I N G   /   G R A D I N G   R U B R I C - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Throughout this course—an intimate and intensive “conversation” across students and the professor— students will have ample opportunity to receive feedback on their work. Grading is based on a 100-point scale.

Review carefully the grading rubric for the course deliverables.

  • (10 points) attendance, participation, and your assigned reading reviews / uploaded before each class. An attendance sheet must be signed by you in the first ten minutes of class for you to be counted as present. If you expect to be later than 10 minutes on a given day, or if you are absent, email both the professor and the TA (if any) with the cause for your late arrival or absence; these will be considered as a valid excuse or not. To assess participation during class, names may be pulled "from a hat" to identify student critics who will then peer-review the developing work accomplished by other students; the quality of the student critique will form part of the 10 point assessment.
  • (45 points) for each assignment; the deliverables are the same for both:
  • DOCUMENTATION (slightly different for each assignment, as noted below)

Upload your video, documentation, and Arduino .ino file to our shared folder by no later than the deadlines identified in the SCHEDULE.

M O R E   A B O U T   K E Y   D E L I V E R A B L E S - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  • THE VIDEO [my guide] communicates the full, cohesive story of the designed artifact your team produced, answering why, for whom, and how it was developed, including an overview of the methods used to design and evaluate it. The video will adhere to the requirements for the Video Showcase submission to the benchmark HCI conference, CHI (Human Factors in Computing Systems). Here are videos from previous CHI Video Showcases: 2018. For the video, include in your documentation a URL link to your video in Vimeo or YouTube; and upload to our shared folder an MP4 file reduced to < 30MB using, e.g., Handbrake (see my video guide). The video will otherwise adhere to the requirements for the Video Showcase submission to the ACM conference CHI (a benchmark for design research), where you will also find example videos.

    Tip-1: If you do not have access to video editing software (e.g., iMovie), try Open Shop – a free video editing app for windows https://www.openshot.org/

    Tip-2: For your demo video, you may want to add a remote environment (e.g., a dorm lobby, the Cornell campus, a Parisian café, an assistive living unit, a museum lobby) as a preferred physical context for your design; however, such an environment is not always readily accessible to you. An easy strategy for adding this physical context is as follows: video record your working prototype (with “actors” or scale figures of people if your prototype is to-scale) on a white background (e.g. in front of a white wall); then, add your background context photo (e.g. a photo of the café) as a virtual background in Zoom and record your screen.

  • DOCUMENTATION in the form of a written report (pdf) that includes...

  • For assignment 1: (a) a unique name for your prototype, (b) a jpg, 300dpi, of your "money shot" (i.e., a. best photo of your project), (c) a scenario that describes how people interact with your design; (d) a link to your video uploaded to Vimeo; (e) a brief description of how your prototype operates in technical terms; and (f) your code, cut-and-pasted into the report doc along with notes on which hardware components you used, to which pins they were connected to on your Arduino board, and reference to any Arduino libraries needed to run your code and hardware.

  • For assignment 2: all of the above for assignment 1 and also: (g) your paragraph that is inserted into Ballard's short story; (h) a photo of your hardware system with its components labeled; (i) a brief walk-through your design process (e.g., your GIF, Morphological Chart, Storyboard) including outcomes from your Role Playing experiment and how these outcomes informed your design iterations; (j) a discussion of what worked and didn't work for you in developing this project; and (k) a brief proposal of future work-- what you would do if you had more time (and money).

    Upload your documentation to our shared drive as a print quality pdf document. This example from a previous class provides an older model for this documentation, but it does not contain precisely every requirement listed above.

U S I N G   G R O V E   &   A R D U I N O   C O D E - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

G E T T I N G   S T A R T E D - start here: My GUIDE to the Grove Beginner's Kit
Grove Beginner Kit for Arduino Wiki
• The User Manual (pdf) is nearly identical to the Wiki linked above.
A video introducing the Kit's modules, how you work with them, and their code.
A video similar to the above, also very helpful.

A R D U I N O   C O D E  Y O U   C A N   C O P Y   &   P A S T E - best, easy bet!
• A Button controls an LED and Buzzer [code]
• A Sound Sensor controls an LED [code]
• A Potentiometer (i.e., Rotary Angle Sensor) controls a Servo Motor [code]
• A Light Sensor controls a Buzzer [code]
• A Light Sensor controls a Servo Motor [code]
• A Light Sensor controls a Servo Motor and Variable Color LED [code]
• An Ultrasonic Sensor controls a Servo Motor [code]
• An Ultrasonic Sensor controls a a NeoPixel LED Stick [code]
• An Ultrasonic Sensor controls a Servo Motor, a Buzzer & a NeoPixel LED Stick [code]

F I N D I N G   A R D U I N O   C O D E   F O R   G R O V E
• You can find lots of code already built into the Arduino software (IDE): Open up Arduino, select File > Examples, select an example and it will open in an Arduino window, ready to upload to your Arduino board!
• All of the built-in examples are thoroughly described here. Follow their logic to
construct the code for your project.
• An Arduino Library LIst for Grove components. Find code for lots of modules here!

M O R E   A R D U I N O   P R O J E C T S   W I T H   C O D E
Project Examples from Grove
Project examples from "Instructables" with code and documentation.
Project examples from Arduino Project Hub
Grove tutorial that has 9 simple codes you can copy-and-paste.
Numerous Grove Tutorials.
Many more Grove components are available than found in the kit.

A   D E E P E R   D I V E   I N T O   G R O V E   &   A R D U I N O   GITHUB
• Seeed Studio's open source community (here and here) and Help Forum.
GitHub is the open-source repository of code, including code for Grove Arduino.
15-Video Tutorial for Arduino (free) from Jeremy Blum, Cornell alumn! - great!

A B O U T   H A R D W A R E  
• How to work with wire: stripping, soldering, crimping, braiding it.
• How to extend (chain together) Grove kit wires.
• How to use an LED strip: solder it to a Grove connector and code it.
• How to convert your servo for continuous rotation (how to guide).
• How to breadboard prototype; about basic electronics.
• How to make two Arduinos communicate wirelessly using Blynk or NRF.
• About mechanical movements - 507 mechanisms to inspire you.
• About Interactive Paper Craft.
• About LiDAR sensors - measure distance and generate/identify objects and gestures.
• About using relays - "electronic switches."
• About making Arduino robots.

D I G I T A L   F A B R I C A T I O N : S O F T W A R E   &   D 2 F S - - - - - - - - - - - - -

This course does not require the use of digital fabrication to produce the prototype. You can manually produce all deliverables for this class. Many students use Adobe Photoshop or a like app, but even this is not a course requirement.

It's however easy to digitally fabricate components for your prototypes. Our partners for this course are the staff or our very friendly and capable Digital Design Fabrication Studio ("D2FS") on LL2 in HEB adjoining MVR. D2FS staff in the shop in HEB 2L31.

• You can easily draw a 2D file of your component(s) for laser cutting by our D2FS staff. Use Adobe Illustrator (save as ai) or use a CAD program like SketchUp (save as DXF) which is free and very simple to use.

• Preparing files for 3D printing can be more difficult, but if they are simple geometries, you can again use SketchUp. If you need a more complex form, you might begin by seeking the file you need from repositories of 3D printing files like this one and this one.
If you need to create a form anew or modify an existing file, the standard application to do so in industrial design/architecture is Rhino, and in Engineering, Solidworks (both are available on the computer in the rear of the "Assembly Room,' HEB 2L32). Typically, files are saved as stl for 3D printing. Work with the D2FS staff on your 3D printing projects.

• Once you have saved your file for laser cutting (ai or DXF file) or 3D printing (stl file), "Request an Appointment" to submit your file and specifications for digital fabrication, and the staff will do the work for you, presenting to you ASAP the fabricated pieces you requested. Make sure to complete the online appointment form carefully with precise specifications. If laser-cutting sheet materials are not provided by the class (e.g. for assignment 2), you will need to provide the staff with these sheet materials to laser cut ahead of your request. 3D printing materials are supplied free of charge.

• Work with the D2FS staff (ched2fs@cornell.edu) - they are here to help you!