VA444 Interaction Design
instructor: Ekmel Ertan
assistant: Altay Dağıstan


Course Description

This course aims at teaching fundamentals of interaction design.  Student will learn the nature of digital media and user interaction and will gain hands on experience on screen based as well as physical interaction.

As the new media is increasingly interactive and ubiquitous beside that the design and development in the field is getting simpler, more and more designer and artist attracted with the expressive possibilities it provides. This course aims at opening a new gate to interdisciplinary and collaborative design practices.

Students will learn fundamentals of scripting in different programming environments and authoring tools. No programming skills are pre-required, but a certain level will be acquired through the course. Works will be critiqued in class to enhance the design competence as well as technical skills.

The main objective of this course is to provide the know-how and practical capacities that the students will need to envision and implement their projects for the final year thesis as well as in their professional life after graduation.

Course Aims

  • To introduce the basic concepts of interaction in new media
  • To provide hands on experience on screen based interaction
  • To teach several authoring tools and programming environments to empower students to create interactive applications
  • To provide simple knowledge on physical interaction
  • To enable students to use live data in information visualizations or interactive applications

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Use standard authoring tools to create multimedia applications
  • Write script to handle basic screen based interaction
  • Conceptualize and visualize information based on live data
  • Design and build simple physical interfaces


The course is 3 hours a week.
Students have to submit each assignment on its due date. All the assignments will be resubmitted for final evaluation during the exam period. Students expected refine their design and application of the assignments for final submission.


Student must attend class at least 10 weeks (out of 14 weeks).
Class works (assignments)  60%
Final project  30%
Attendance and participation 10%


Course Schedule

wk 1
what is all about?
design, digital design, new media
new designer
art and design
screen based interaction vs physical interaction
tools and methods

hands on workbasics of electronics
simple LED circuit
ohm law and some calculation

0: sign up -create your author account- on
1: make a web research (see the links in this blog), present and explain interesting works, cases, researches, tools, etc in the class

wk 2
hands on work
circuit bending
bring a toy that makes -electronicaly driven- sound, we will hack them and convert into instruments!

2: develop what you did in class

wk 3
hands on work
finalize your instrument
put it into a box…

perform with your instrument
shoot a video

3: bring the edited video and the device (this assignment will be graded)

Wk 4
present your work, video and the instrument

hands on
introduction to arduino
install arduino IDE
turn on a LED

none. you will have less fun this week, sorry

wk 4
processing I

4: will be given in the classroom

wk 5
processing II
general concepts of programing

5: information visualisation…

wk 6
processing III
object oriented programing

6: remake assignment 5 in OOP way…

wk 7
arduino continued…

7: connect your arduino to your processing visualization

wk 8
Makey Makey
Pico Board

8: develop your final project idea for based on arduino, makey makey or Pico Board, create a simple proposal with drawings etc.

wk 9
basic image processing
camera as sensor
other frameworks and applications for video tracking
eyecon, Isadora, etc.
other issues…

wk 10
wk 11
wk 12
project workshop

wk 13
project workshop

wk 14
final project workshop and presentations



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