Week 1: Introduction – January 29

Introduction to the course and review of the landscape over the past 15 years: what has worked, what has not, what are some of the recurring challenges that prevent wearable technologies and wearable environments from gaining mass adoption.


Week 2: Seeing & Mediated Realities – February 5

Technology has always altered the way we look at the world; interfaces by definition are mediating our relationship to the object at the other end. Google Glass and similar emerging technologies take that mediation further. What are the implications of this furthering of and what are some alternatives?

 Week 3 & 4: Hearing, Feeling / Touching – February 12 & 19

We will continue our investigation into senses and how they relate to wearable technologies, how they can be augmented, used to navigate personal and social space, create new interfaces and ways of connecting us to our self and the world.

 Week 5: Identity and the Qualified Self – February 26

How do we construct our identity? What goes in it and what is the role of wearable environments in this construction? While much has been made of the quantified-self movement, is there room for the exploration of a quantified self? What would the role of wearables be in such an investigation?

 Week 6: Well-Being – March 5

Following on the findings of a qualified self, how can we redefine well-being? What are the criteria for well-being beyond physiological indicators? With the aging population growing (every day, 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65) what are the opportunities of wearable technologies in realizing well-being?
Guest: Steven Dean, Quantified Self NY

Week 7: Intimacy & Communication – March 12

Moving from personal space to social space, and from the innate human desire for communication and community, we will explore the transition from one to the other and the role that wearable technologies have, and can play, in this journey.


 Week 8: Time, Space, Location and Distance – March 26

Wearable technologies bring the notion of “always-on” to an entirely new plane. Our attention span, ability to scan information, the way this very information is delivered, is changing and with it is also changing us. Inevitably this is also changing our perception of time and space, location and distance. We will experiment with this altered sense of perception and how it affects the way we build affordances for wearable interfaces.
Guest: Aniruddha Das, Assistant Professor, Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Biomedical Engineering, Colombia University

Week 9: Culture, Symbols and Gestures – April 2

Humans have been wearing clothes for millennia—they are part of our culture and merge the technical, personal, and social in a unique way. What is the role of culture, symbols and gestures in the making of emerging wearable environments? How can we use these embedded cues to construct more compelling wearable environments?
Guests: Asta Roseway and Paul Johns, Microsoft Research

Week 10: Fashion Dilemmas – April 9

From Hussein Chalayan and Alexander McQueen to this year’s debut of Cute Circuit at NY fashion week, the fashion world has been flirting with technology for some time, while technology companies (Intel collaborating with Opening Ceremony, Apple hiring Burberry’s CEO) hope that fashion will bring the cache and elusive adoptability they are missing. And yet fashion is about temporality, excess, uselessness – qualities in contradiction to what technology does best. How can the two be reconciled? Should they? Does an opportunity space open up in the middle?
Guest: Sarah Scaturro, Head Conservator at The Costume Institute, Metropolitan Museum of Art

 Week 11: Materials and Materiality- April 16

When we talk about technology we tend to focus on electronics, and yet great advances in material technology offer unprecedented opportunities as well as new ways of relating to the material world. We will look at some of these advances as well as well as how our technological universe is redefining our evolving material culture.
Guest: Randy Harward, Vice President, Materials, Under Armour, Inc.

Week 12: Wearable Ecologies – April 23

When we put it all together, what kind of wearable ecologies are forming? How will our world and relationship to the personal and social change if we inhabited a world where the prototypes we have developed during the class were part (as they can very well be) of our everyday reality?

Week 13: Best of (Part 1) – April 30

Week 14: Best of (Part 2) – May 7

Students will have the opportunity to revisit a prototype they developed as part of their weekly assignments, refine it and present it as part of the class final presentations.