Week 10: Prototype Testing and Preparation

[Kuuki’s e. Menura supurba]

Assessment 2: Prototype presentation provides an opportunity to test your ideas into physical form, and to solicit response and feedback from an informed audience. Bearing in mind: one of the key concepts explored is interaction in terms of audience experience. You should be testing and examining this central idea in the prototype presentation.

This assessment has now moved to week 11, which will allow you to dedicate this week’s class (and the following mid-session break) to get your prototype up and running for the accessible presentation.


  1. Read the Assessment outline thoroughly and note down the deliverables you will need to submit for the assessment.
  2. Develop your prototype: what objects would you incorporate into your work? What will it look like? How would the audience interact with the piece? Would you need to incorporate any circuits or sensors? Document your processes e.g. any tests you conduct.
  3. Draft a plan: what space would you need? How would you install this prototype?

What is a Prototype for?

A successful prototype should be able to convey a substantial idea about the intended work. The central concept of the work should be evident. It would have tested several aspects of the idea, particularly the one that is deemed most problematic or difficult (this can be technical as well as conceptual). For example, this can be working with electronic components, testing functions of hardware, assessing the physical setup of the installation, determining the suitability of materials. Or this may be evaluating whether the central idea comes across in the work. For instance, does the work invite audience to participate?

We would advise you to present the workable structure or mechanism that demonstrates how the piece will work in combination with some partial content. The presentation should demonstrate how the audience may experience the work.

Here are some documentation of the prototype presentation from the MEDA202 class from previous years where the students tested out their prototypes on the class. You can see their final works compared to the early prototype.

A general idea of what the finished product will look like.

Adam Old’s sketch: A general idea of what the finished product will look like.

Adam Old’s Customised Space Invader game played with large T-shaped joystick that required three players to cooperate. The joystick had tilt switches that sent keystrokes back to the computer.

Electro-Mechanic Turntable

Lavender Lily’s prototype: ‘Electro-Mechanic Turntable’

Lavendar Lily’s final presentation


Angus Pinkstone’s prototype of a panoramic augmented vision installation.

Back: Angus Pinkstone’s final presentation. (Front: Mark Richardson’s touch activated paper Sumo.)



Martin Molin leads the Swedish pop group Wintergarten. He is also keen on developing and making his own mechanical music instruments. He shares his processes on his YouTube channel sometimes documentation and sometimes tutorials. From this public presentation, he often receives advice from other enthusiasts, makers, and experts as comments on his videos or emails.

For his “Hole punch” music box tutorial, he received a lot of comments about other ways to make the strip such as laser cutting software. He created a page to share with other makers their ideas and processes: http://bit.ly/2ljPoOQ

Have a look at this page and consider how this kind of sharing (of ideas and processes) may work in creative practice. Do you think this can help you develop your work? If so, how can this work in your case?

Week 11 Assessment

Physical setup and install for week 11

Set up your prototype in Black Box 1, Black Box 2, the DMC gallery, or the class rooms. For this presentation, spaces will not be allocated, instead choose a location that will suit your work (you may need to negotiate with your peers).

If you need equipment such as projectors, screens, monitors, plinths, lights etc., please arrange a loan with Glenn. We will have a laptop/projector/screen in the class room for those who need to show their research or screen works.

The lecture for week 11 will be online, so extra time may be allocated for install.

Assessment Criteria:

Research engagement and application of relevant materials evident in the prototype presented
What is the degree of of critical engagement with relevant contextual frameworks? How has research materials been applied to the development of the prototype?

Criticality of response to the set theme
How critical is the exploration of the theme and project parameters? What is the relationship between the conceptual development and practical problem-solving in the creation of the prototype?

Exploration and experimentation with objects, material and media
What is the quality of experimentation with objects, material, and technology? How well does the development of the prototype demonstrate a sensitivity to materials? How does this practical development of the project relate its conceptual exploration?

Execution of the prototype in terms of functionality and how audience experience is addressed
How well does the prototype function as a proof of concept? Does it test several aspects of the idea (particularly ones that are deemed the most problematic)? Does it present ways on how the work will be completed? To what degree does it demonstrate engagement with an audience?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.