ARTM3220 Interaction Design


In a studio setting, students will build upon the processes and ideas learned in ARTM2220 by participating in interactive experiences, examining case studies, and then designing their own interactions. Through lectures, demonstrations, field trips and studio problems, students will focus on the art, technology, and design methods for effectively creating experiences for others. Students will explore interactions on screen, with products and within architecture. Then, students will be introduced to a variety of emerging technologies to prototype and create interesting and engaging interactions.


The student will:

  • develop
    • a stronger understanding of human behavior and human factors,
    • the basics of electronics and physical computing,
    • experimental interactions, experiences, objects and environments;
  • demonstrate an ability
    • to present and communicate ideas,
    • use industry standard interactive design vocabulary,
    • generate rapid prototypes using analog and digital techniques;
  • think critically about
    • interactive systems,
    • user needs,
    • design goals,
    • functionality vs. usability.

Required Materials

  • Sketchbook
  • Makey Makey
  • Arduino, or Raspberry Pi
  • The Maker’s Manual: A practical guide to the new industrial revolution by Andrea Maietta and Paolo Aliverti ISBN-10: 145718592X
  • Getting Started with Arduino or Getting Started with Raspberry Pi


Each week will begin with a lecture, or class discussion then transition to a demo or time for research/  process activity.

Projects 50%

There will be two semester long projects assigned, which will broken up into 4 major components: sketch book, process documentation, maquettes, and functional demo. Detailed requirements will posted to the online syllabus and handed out in class. Collectively they account for 50% of your final grade. Projects are due at the beginning of the class period for which the critique is assigned.

Research Presentation 20%

Each student must present research on either a designer or a case study that is relevant to their interests related to Interaction Design. Research materials will be suggested by Prof. Ames during individual meetings.

Project Update Presentations 15%

Update presentations will happen throughout the semester. Each week, I will randomly select 2 to 3 students (unless I have volunteers) to present the progress they have made on their semester-long project. These updates should cover any research that has been done, show material tests, prototypes, sketches, etc. These presentations should also be a time for you to ask the class for specific feedback on the different aspects of your project, from design, programming, fabrication, etc.  Always be prepared to present as you might have to present two or three weeks in a row. Presentations will add up to 15% of your final grade.

Critique and Participation 15%

Critiques play a crucial role in graphic design practice. Group and individual meetings take place throughout the semester. Students encounter numerous situations where it becomes necessary to evaluate, work and rework projects in order to achieve the highest possible standards. Verbal and written skills are important, students are required to explain and write about their design decisions in front of the instructor, clients, and peers.

All projects and exercises are due at the beginning of the class for which the critique is assigned.

Critiques and class discussions, will become helpful tools only through your participation. Participation in class will count for 15% of your final grade.