This course focuses on wearable and ‘soft’ computing as a vehicle for subversion and artistic appropriation. Readings emphasize theoretical discourse on the relationships of the body, technology, fashion, social interactions and environment. Concepts are developed, designed and prototyped into working pieces by participants addressing personal expression and social dialog. Soft circuits (conductive paint, fabric, etc), new and recycled materials are explored in the development of expressive computational forms.

Students are best served by attending all classes. More than three absences will result in an incomplete or a grade of “no credit.” Two unexcused late arrivals or early departures are the equivalent to missing one class. Attendance at Final Critiques is mandatory. Speak with the instructor if you have any questions or concerns about attendance.

Students are required to complete all weekly assignments and to present substantial work in final projects for critique at the end of the term.

The readings for this course will be either delivered in class or found online. Some readings will support the technical component of the course, while other readings will be used as the basis of class discussion regarding critical issues of digital art and culture. Additional suggested readings can be found on the class website.

Each student needs to create an account at https://wearablesandsoftcomputing.wordpress.com which will be the course community website and blog. It will be used to post any assignments, projects and documentation as well as research and techniques. All assignments are due at the beginning of class as they will be discussed first thing. There are weekly assignments for blog postings. Active participation in both the reading discussions and blog is required to receive credit for this class.

You are responsible for documenting your work through photography, safe physical storage, and data backup. Documentation of process and final projects will be required posts to our class blog. I may request images of your work for archival purposes.

Bring to every class: Your laptop, sketchbook, drawing/sketching media, and class kit materials (see below). You will be told in advance what additional specialty items you will need to bring with you for each class. Coming to class unprepared will contribute toward a No Credit for the course.

Students are expected to obtain their own materials for this course as needed for their projects.  Each project will have different supply requirements.  The ability to search for and obtain proper materials is essential to completing a soft computing project. A list of local vendors and online suppliers is found on the class website.


Part I: Wearables & Soft Computing Kit
–       76 ft Conductive thread
–       Needle Set
–       1 ft x 36 inch Velostat ® film
–       1 ft x 22 inch Pure Copper Polyester Taffeta Fabric
–       coin cell battery holder
–       2 coin cell battery
–       Breadboard
–       (5) alligator clip test leads
–       (4) Neopixel LEDs
–       Haptic Motor
–       Continuous Rotation Micro Servo

Part II:   Adafruit Flora Kit
–       1 Adafruit Flora Microcontroller
–       1 Polymer Lithium Ion Battery – 500mAh
–       1 Micro Lipo Charger
–       1 USB micro cable

Note: students who already have a Lilypad, Flora (or an Arduino) are not required to buy both kits. They only need to purchase Part I of the kit

Please note that the syllabus is subject to change.

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