responsive objects surfaces and spaces

Creative design and technology research program

Defining collaborative design solutions where emerging technologies weave physically and digitally across all facets of our everyday experiences with performance, knowledge, play, environment.


The vision of seamlessly coupling the physical and digital worlds involves re-thinking the teaching approaches used in related courses. In order to enable designers and developers to effectively realize physical/digital co-design of technological systems for real-world contexts, educational activities need to incorporate teaching methods that can connect and engage students with different skills and backgrounds across traditional disciplinary boundaries. A number of pre-existing courses at Georgia Tech that are closely related to the ROSS vision have been integrated, and new multidisciplinary courses have also been designed by the joint efforts of the participating faculty to respond to the ROSS research program philosophy. The goal is for students to develop interdisciplinary skills, as well as to learn to work closely with practitioners from other disciplines on the development of physical/digital interfaces and systems. The following courses are a combination of multidisciplinary as well as individual efforts of the participating faculty towards enriching the ROSS research program philosophy in education:

ARCH 8803
Title: MetAtomic Architectures: Digital Fabrication and Materiality
Faculty: Tristan Al-Haddad
Description: This course introduces fundamental CAD/CAM [Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing] skills and reconsiders the role of digital medium in the design and construction process. Digital modeling and fabrication techniques is used in conjunction with traditional fabrication techniques to investigate materiality, geometry, configurations, and structural performance in the design and construction of architectural components. The course is structured around a series of lectures and exercises which will build up an understanding of both traditional fabrication techniques and contemporary CNC [Computer Numerical Control] fabrication techniques. The AWPL [Advanced Wood Products Lab] is used to introduce a full-scale shop environment to the course. The course focuses on the production of mockups at a variety of scales in order to investigate digitally designed proposals. Student should have a strong background, or interest, in large scale construction processes and should also be well versed in 3D CAD systems and physical model making. Instruction will be organized around readings, lectures, working sessions, and design reviews.
Semester: Fall 2007

COA 8821/9004 & LCC6350
Title: The Spatial Construction of Meaning
Faculty: Ken Knoespel, John Peponis
Description: The "Spatial Construction of Meaning" is a graduate elective course taught jointly by John Peponis (Architecture) and Kenneth Knoespel (LCC) since 2001. The course discusses how spatial structures created in a variety of media (architecture, literature, film and painting) become intelligible and function to communicate cultural meanings.
Semester: Offered since 2001

ID 8900
Title: Materials of Design
Faculty: Claudia Winegarden
Description: The objectives of this course are for students to master the activity of thinking about the design. The aim of this course is to help increase awareness of where the industrial design discipline is heading and how new emergent materials, especially intangible/invisible materials affects the notion and practice of the industrial design discipline. Emergent materials are defined as intangible resources comprised of the dynamic relationship between emotion, cognition, communication, culture, gender, experience and technology, to name a few, that affect and shape the industrial design practice. The course will help students open discussion to contemporary design issues and have flexible and creative thinking toward various opportunities and limitations encountered in the design practice at the intersection of technology.
Semester: Spring 2008

LCC 3710
Title: Principles of Interaction Design
Faculty: Ali Mazalek
Description: What are the experiences we have with technological interfaces? How do we create them? And what makes them more or less successful? Interaction design is the art of creating effective and compelling interactive experiences with new media technologies. The aim of this course is to provide students with an understanding of interaction design as an academic and creative discipline. Weekly readings and class discussions will focus on the study of interaction design principles across a variety of media application spaces and contexts. Weekly interaction design exercises will provide the opportunity for students to explore and apply these ideas in their own interactive designs.
Semester: Fall 2007

LCC 6310
Title: The Computer as an Expressive Medium
Faculty: Ali Mazalek
Description: The goal of this course is to learn Java programming in the context of an art and design practice, that is, to understand computation as an expressive medium. We will juxtapose reading and discussion of seminal articles in computational media (from the New Media Reader) with Java programming projects designed to exercise specific technical skills as well as encourage conceptual explorations in computational art and design. Anyone working in new media will eventually be involved on interdisciplinary projects in which the ability to program will be a strong asset, if not a necessity. Even if in your future career as an artist or designer programming is not a large part of your practice, this course will empower you to communicate confidently with programmers, and thus deepen your interdisciplinary collaborations. And perhaps a few of you will become fascinated with the expressive possibilities opened up by programming, and will choose to make computation one of your primary media.
Semester: Fall 2007

LCC 6318/4730 & ARCH 8803
Title: Experimental Media and Interactive Tables
Faculty: Ali Mazalek, Tristan Al-Haddad, Claudia Winegarden
Description: In this project-based class, students develop the critical, intellectual, and creative tools necessary to understand and work at the developmental stages of emerging technologies. The course focuses on physical computing and the construction of hybrid physical/digital spaces through the design and creation of tangible media projects. The digital media arts and entertainment space is seeing an increasing interest in emerging platforms, such as interactive digital tabletops that can track multiple fingers and tagged objects. This course is a project-based course, where students develop the conceptual, aesthetic and technical basics of creating interactive narrative applications for emerging tangible display, interaction platforms and table/environment designs. The course provides an informal, hands-on and team-based learning environment, in which students will develop digital and physical storytelling applications for delivery on a novel tangible tabletop platform being developed in Georgia Tech.
Semester: Spring 2008

To view all ROSS education courses, click here.