Instructor: Ian Hattwick
This course situates the design of technological systems firmly within lived, embodied experiences, and challenges market-based narratives of design success. In addition to current designers of digital systems, the class examines instrument makers from western cultures such as Hugh Le Caine, Gunnar Schonbeck, and Bart Hopkin, and the role of instrument design in musical performance practice across different traditions, from the mbira dzavadzimu of the East African Shona people to the role of the gu’qin in Chinese philosophical traditions. This course will also examine adaptive music systems and inclusivity, reviewing strategies for successful design for musicians with a range of abilities and discussing how instruments can support use by performers from diverse cultural, musical, and personal backgrounds.
By the conclusion of the course, students will have critically engaged with the ramifications of technical and conceptual design, will have gained practical experience in the design of digital musical instruments as well as their use for artistic performance, and will be prepared to build on this experience as they continue to develop their artistic practice.