Workshop 9: Prototyping and project planning

In week 9’s workshop, we will spend some time in planning for your Major project for this subject. You may use the time to play with Arduino and circuits, go deeper into the exercises to get to know how you may be able to use these equipment, or experiment with components for your prototype.

Tasks: Work on your Prototype

  1. Go over Assessment 2 requirements
  2. Create a map of ideas you are exploring:
    • locate any existing works you have come across in workshops or lectures that may inform your project, and further research and analyse these works.
    • draw/ make notes of how ideas, materials, processes in these existing works as your references 
    • then map out how you may do the same with your project
    • make notes of the things you will need, steps you will take
  3. Go back to previous weeks workshop notes and go through any materials or exercises that may help you build your prototype.
  4. Make notes of the resources, space, and equipment you will require for the prototype presentation.
  5. Discuss your project with class/ consult with tutor
  6. Put all this into a post onto your blog.

Research Analysis

To help think about how you may use an arduino for your project, have look at the art/ design works below and think about how each of these is designed:

  • Describe briefly the mechanisms of the work (draw a diagram if that’s more helpful).
  • What are the inputs to the system?
  • What are the outputs? What forms do they take?
  • How are the inputs translated into outputs? (what is the program?)
  • What are the main concepts of the work?
  • Describe the audience’s experience. What emotions, affect and thoughts may the work induce in the audience?



Prototype Presentation Planning

It’s time to think hard about the major project and step towards creating a prototype. It may be helpful to have a look at some past student works.

While the brief has varied over the years, the aim of the major project has always been to create a physical object-based piece that engages audience in some way.

As it is constantly repeated through lectures and workshops, central to our exploration is audience experience.Throughout the lecture, we suggest a number of factors that may agender engagement on the part of viewers: objects in juxtaposition, objects in collection, scales (miniature or larger than life), audiovisual, touch, kinetics and movement, automation, and mediation.

Investigating physical objects (and their mechanics), electronics, and digital programming provide means to enable different experiences for the audience, so what kind of experience do you want to produce?

Remember that the aim is to produce meaningful experience and this can be enabled by different technologies. The objective is not to showcase the technology itself.

Examples of everyday uses of Arduino can include:

  • Automatic pot plant watering:
    • Sensor: humidity sensor
    • Controller: servo motor on water hose
  • Tweet when cat has left the room
    • Sensor: distance sensor on doorway
    • Controller: trigger software function
  • Gesture based human interface for playing games online
    • Sensor: light sensor
    • Controller: Keystroke emulator (simulates someone hitting a key on a keyboard)

These are fun devices. Conceptualising meaningful interactions within a creative project is probably much harder.

Use the equipment and materials provided, have a play and jot down ideas you have. For example, see whether you can build a mini Rube-Goldberg machine.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.