Spring Courses 2013

Music and Technology


Christine Southworth, Lecturer and Composer

The Music and Technology seminar series presents weekly lecture/demonstrations by twelve prominent sound and multimedia electronic artists, who stretch sound-making to new dimensions. Their work explores mechanical experimentation, algorithmic modes of composition and performance, playful and improvisatory processes and the material, spatial, and kinetic properties of sound. With these lecture/demonstrations as a point of creative departure, students in the course design original instruments, software and compositions. The series culminates in a marathon concert featuring five-hours of genre-blending and experimental new music and a demonstration of the glass instruments created in collaboration with Visiting Artist Mark Stewart.

Design Across Scales


Neri Oxman, Sony Corporation Career Development Professor of Media Arts and Sciences
Meejin Yoon, Associate Professor of Architecture and Director of the Undergraduate Program in Architecture

Inspired by Charles and Ray Eames’ canonical “Powers of Ten,” the course explores the relationship between science and engineering through the lens of design. It examines how transformations in science and technology have influenced design thinking and vice versa. It offers interdisciplinary tools and methods to represent, model, design and fabricate objects, machines, and systems. Structured as core lectures and lab sessions, the course is organized by “systems”: Design of Information, Design of Fabrication, Design of Intelligence, Design of Play, Design of Organization and Design of Innovation. World-renowned designers, scientists and engineers contribute guest lectures, as students learn to design things both material and immaterial. Students learn new computational and fabrication tools, develop methodologies for design research of interdisciplinary problems, and practice what it means to think, live, and breathe design.

Check out student projects from Design Across Scales

Mechanical Invention through Computation


Daniela Rus, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of CSAIL
Erik Demaine, Professor of Computer Science
Chuck Hoberman, Hoberman Transformable Design

Featuring Visiting Artist Chuck Hoberman, the inventor of many folding toys and structures, this hands-on class considers the creation of mechanisms with a focus on the inventive process itself. Topics include kinematic analysis & synthesis, self-actuated form-creation through origami and other means, and the design of transformable structures that change size and shape. The class explores various techniques to conceptualize these innovative devices. Student groups organize semester-long projects to develop interactive software applications to facilitate "invention through computation," and to enable the fluid, intuitive development of surprising and unique mechanisms.

Read more about Mechanical Invention Through Computation