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Undergrad seminars posed the question: How might we work, play, think?
From 1998 to 2007 I taught part-time in the Science, Technology, and Society program at the University of Texas at Austin. I got my start with Coco Kishi when she invited me to teach the information architecture segment in her course "Introduction to Interactive Media."
In 1999 Andrew Otwell and I taught "Pixel, Line, Plane: Elements of Digital Craft," a course that introduced students to the basics of visual and interaction design through the DBN programming language developed at the MIT Media lab by professor John Maeda and his graduate students Casey Reas and Ben Fry, among others.
About the Spring 2005 Course
Through readings and hands-on activities "Introduction to Science, Technology, and Society" explored the relationship between humans and the technologies we invent. Throughout the course we re-invented various technologies, including:
- Renaissance-era perspective Machines (see one in action)
- Turing Machines made from toilet paper and post-its
The bulk of the course was devoted to the exploration of the human, social, and ethical dimensions of various Internet technologies.
Readings included a history of information design by Edward Tufte, an introduction to Denise Schmandt-Besserat's theory of the origins of writing, an analysis of the social aspects of Internet technologies, and an introduction to the principles user-centered design (UCD) and human-computer interaction (HCI).
Throughout the course we explored the interchange between technology and various fields including art, architecture, design, and psychology.
The course ended with a final project that asked students to synthesize these concepts by conceiving of and prototyping a new kind of Web browser. One student actually went on to patent his browser ideas, and now works as a software product designer.