Sunday, March 22, 2009

Smartsurfaces (course)

"In order to prepare for a life of productive endeavor in the 21st century, undergraduates at the University of Michigan must learn problem solving across disciplines and launch inquiries in uncharted territories of knowledge and practice. They must examine the assumptions that inhere in a disciplinary perspective and integrate material outside of patterns they are taught. They must locate issues within larger frameworks of thought, negotiate multiple perspectives, and develop habits of critical questioning and creative problem solving. In addition, they must learn how to find their way through disconnected bodies of information and perspectives and create their own path to a coherent education. We believe that the major problems of our time, from the environment to poverty, from human rights to terrorism, from religious movements to health issues, cannot be studied effectively within any single discipline; all involve integrative, cross-disciplinary thinking."

Smartsurfaces - a multidisciplinary, hands-on think-tank

Karl Daubmann ARCH 409
John Marshall ARTDES 300
Max Shtein MSE 489, 490, 493

University of Michigan
Fall 2009
3 Credits
Fridays, 11am-5pm
Design Lab 1, Duderstadt Center

Smartsurfaces offers a collaborative, project-based learning experience in which artists, designers, architects and engineers come together to build physical systems and structural surfaces that have the capability to adapt to information and environmental conditions.

The course will operate as a multidisciplinary, hands-on think-tank where participants will pool their knowledge and skill sets to work together to produce environmentally sound and socially responsible projects. Public exhibition of these funded projects will provide an opportunity for participants to present their work to a wider audience and to review their achievements.

Projects will make use of the resources available to all participating university units, such as:
  • parametric modeling
  • digital fabrication
  • networked sensors
  • micro-controller programming
  • energy harvesting using solar cells and nanostructured materials
The course is a collaborative endeavor led by three professors who will advise and contribute to all team projects. Teams will make use of visiting lecturers, specialists, site visits and relevant stakeholder organizations.

We have been awarded a grant from the Multidisciplinary Learning and Team Teaching (MLTT) Initiative to support this new undergraduate, multidisciplinary, team-taught course.

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I am exploring a hybrid form of art and design practice through the use of computer-based design and fabrication tools. I am interested in experimental objects and spaces that are dynamic and responsive and seek to challenge perceptions, expectations and established behavior.

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