Interesting things are happening in the area of fabrication. The recent addition of a laser cutter and a 3D printer at NYU have opened up new possibilities for prototyping physical forms. Outsourcing the fabrication of parts, whether to China or New Jersey is now easily done over the Internet. Neil Gershenfeld describes this in his recent book Fab as “personal fabrication”. At ITP, our students have been fabricating interactive prototypes for years, and these new tools expand the range of possible methods open to them. In classes like Personal Expression and Wearable Technologies, Materials and Building Strategies, Spatial Design and Industrial Design, students learn to develop the forms of devices whose behaviors they prototype in the Physical Computing classes. We hope to expand this area by making some of these tools available in-house, and by offering training in the methods needed to use them.
Materials and Building Strategies - In this class, students consider the non-digital components that are essential to successful project building. They learn a range of possible materials that can be used for their projects, and methods for using those materials.
Spatial Design - This class is a test of invention and critique where students create tangible and virtual products that focus on how to reveal the gaps between people and objects. Students use traditional media (drawing, sculpting, model making), construction of small installations and digital media to expand the way they think about their work and therefore the way they envision how we live next to man-made objects.
Industrial Design - In this accelerated course, students survey the range of issues and knowledge a good industrial designer commands - they are introduced to the skills and crafts designers use to create and present their ideas. They learn the classic phases of the industrial design process: 1. Analysis, 2. Exploration and synthesis, 3. Development, 4. Refinement, 5. Manufacturing.
Personal Expression and Wearable Technologies - In this class, students explore the possibility of developing wearable devices & accessories as means to generate social experiments and as agents of expressivity and communication.