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Physical + Digital Development




Digital + Physical UX

Credit Hours


Explore current and emerging methods and tools to develop ideas into interactive prototypes.

This recurring course teaches current and emerging electronics and programmatic prototyping tools so that students are able to fluently develop their ideas into interactive and responsive outcomes. Digital Development challenges students to explore how a combined knowledge of design research methods, contemporary technologies, and engineering prototyping tools can contribute to better and more informed designed outcomes. Each semester, the course takes on a specific topic and a new set of technologies, allowing students to retake the course and acquire new skills and exposure to other technological prototyping tools.

Learning Objectives

  • Gain fluency with the Arduino prototyping platforms
  • Find and implement open source code and libraries
  • Write well-structured code in Arduino-Flavored C++
  • Develop perseverance through confronting technological limitations and failures
  • Demonstrate a high-level understanding of musical theory, composition, and the physical properties of sound and auditory/acoustical phenomena
  • Implement a wide variety of analog and digital sensors and synthesize the results into a computational understanding of the world
  • Use mathematical, computational, and physics principles to address design problems

Learning Outcomes

Students in this course will complete many small experiments, with both shop tools and computer code. A final individual project will be developed as a working, testable prototype.

Format & Grading

Each class will be divided into an interactive tutorial focusing on a specific topic, followed by building time in which students will be presented with an assigned real-world challenge for their designs to conquer. Weekly homework will task students with building circuits, writing code, and prototyping hardware.

Grading based on

  • 40% Weekly assignments
  • 20% Class Participation
  • 20% Ambition and Perseverance
  • 20% Final Project

Enrollment Restrictions

No prerequisites. This course is open to all Institute of Design students.