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Sunday, October 02, 2011



Instructor: John Canny

Course Overview

This course is an introduction to realization of smart or networked artifacts. By realization, we mean the creation of working prototypes. Most of the course will concentrate on physical artifacts, but the first two sections cover 3D models and animation. This course is intended to be part of the introductory sequence for the Berkeley Institute of Design's 2-year Masters program. It is the second course in the sequence, and assumes the student has had an introductory design course. The previous offering of Design Realization (by Maribeth Back and Steve Harrison) is very good preparation. Undergraduate courses such as ME110 (Product Development) or CS160 (User Interfaces) or any of the 100-series courses from Architecture are also ideal.
Course Goals
This course is very broad, and includes material from at least 5 specialties. Its main goal is to develop each student's fluency in the making of smart artifacts. It has several secondary goals: Students will develop their abilities to work in interdisciplinary teams, they will be better able to fill disciplinary gaps and work across disciplines (as in a small company), and they will improve their meta-knowledge about design realization: specifically how to acquire or enhance their design skills in a new domain, and to collaboratively share that knowledge. The reasons for integrating several methodologies are that (i) the boundaries between design disciplines today are in flux, and (ii) there are many opportunities for innovations at the boundaries between disciplines, (iii) fluency can be acquired today much more easily than in the past because of better learning resources and computer-aided design tools, and (iv) (hypothesis) today's most effective knowledge worker is more adaptable than in the past, and has a greater breadth of knowledge that enables them to specialize as needed for the project at hand.

Course Structure
The course will include both lecture presentations and studios with critique of student work. Most of the work (beyond reading) will be short assignments (creating a prototype), which will be presented in studio. Each student will also choose a semester-long project which will be a contribution to the course's body of knowledge. The course material is open-ended and each student is expected to contribute to it through their project, and also through readings and links to complement the weekly topics. A course swiki (a collaboratively-maintained web site) will be the main resource for all course materials. Think of the course as an ongoing workshop on design, with a growing corpus of knowledge generated by its participants. This collaborative knowledge acquisition and sharing is a key skill for all knowledge work, and especially for design.

Course Contents
The course aims to cover the following topics. Rather than in-depth treatments, the goal is to develop fluency: basic proficiency with each medium, knowledge of one's limitations and how to deepen one's skills. 


3D Shape Modeling
Lecture 1 Course introduction, the design process.
Lecture 2 3D shape qualities.
Lecture 3 Making shapes in Maya.
Lecture 4 Shape hierarchy, blending shapes.
Lecture 6: History and Design of the Chair, Galen Cranz, UCB architecture

Lecture 5 Basic animation, keyframing.
Lecture 7 Kinematics and inverse kinematics.
Lecture 8 Constraints and dynamics.
Lecture 11: Animation in the Real World, Rob Jensen, Pixar

Manufacturing and Materials
Lecture 9 Prototyping technologies.
Lecture 10 Physics of materials, introduction to metals.
Lecture 12 Introduction to plastics.
Lecture 13 Composites, hierarchical, cellular materials.
Lecture 15 Active (mechanical) polymers.

Lecture 14 Physics of electronics, passive components.
Lecture 16 Digital/analog and analog/digital conversion.
Lecture 17 PCB design, processors and networks.
Lecture 18 Sensors.
Lecture 19 Real-time programming.

Lecture 20 Physics of motion, electric motors and drives.
Lecture 21 Physics of deformation, structural components.
Lecture 22 Feeback control, simulation with Matlab/Simulink.
Lecture 23 More on control, code generation with Real-Time Workshop.

Lecture 24 Improvisation in technical media, physics of light.
Lecture 25 Reflection, refraction, prisms and lenses.
Lecture 26 More on lenses, matrix method, fresnel lenses.
Lecture 27 Fresnel prisms, diffusers, holograms, polarization.


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