Below is a basic outline of the activities you’ll engage in as part of this course.

Week 1: Introductions

The first week will coordinate teams across both courses in building a common understanding of the challenges and opportunities involved in exploring and producing unsettling, otherworldly technologies.

Assignments Type Due
Introductions: What’s Spooky? Independent Thursday, Feb 4

Week 2-9: Investigations

We will follow a three-week cycle of research, investigation, design and review. Each design exploration module will include an introduction lecture, a guest speaker, readings and screenings, discussions, technical workshop(s), desk crits and a final project critique. The projects will involve a speculative prompt for critical making.

Assignments Type Due
Investigation - The Unexplained Independent Thursday, Mar 4
Investigation - Ubiquitous Presence Collaborative Tuesday, Mar 30

Week 9: Synthesis

Following the investgations, we’ll take stock, reflect on the outcomes to date and examine where we’re at. This will lead to a synthesis of ideas into a proposal which blends the supernatural, space and technology as an installation/intervention.

Assignments Type Due
Synthesis Report Independent Thursday, April 1
Integrated Proposal Collaborative Thursday, April 8

Weeks 10-14: Application

The remainder of the semester will be used to build a set of responsive, networked prototypes for deployment for public conversations. The organization of schedules, build time, and delegation of tasks will be accomplished by the student teams.

At the end of the semester, collaborative teams will work together to identify a shared approach for a critically-informed responsive mobile environment, prepare a working prototype, and deliver supporting process and outcome documentation.

Assignments Type Due
Final Project: Internal Crit Collaborative Thursday, Apr 29
Final Project: Showcase Collaborative Tuesday, May 4
Final Project: Reflection Collaborative Thursday, May 6
Final Documentation Collaborative Thursday, May 12

Detailed Schedule


Date Activities Assignments
Tues, Feb 2 Introduction to the course and concepts
Introduction to Spooky Technology
Intro Assignment: What’s Spooky about Technology Today? Given
Thurs, Feb 4 Guest Lecture: Dan Lockton
Review of Introductions Assignment
Readings for Feb 4th.
  • Excerpt of Spooky Technology.

Investigations I: The Unexplained

Date Type Description
Tues, Feb 9 Intro Breakdowns in Understanding
Thur, Feb 11 Cases Glitches, Hacking and Hoaxes
Tues, Feb 16 Methods Critical Engineering
Thur, Feb 18 Proposal Feedback on creative project proposals
15 mins per person + office hours
Tues, Feb 23 No Classes Break day
Thur, Feb 25 Tech Tools for Prototying
Hybrid Objects with Particle
Tues, Mar 2 Guest Irene Alvarado Guest Lecture: Teachable Machine.
Feedback on creative project
Thur, Mar 4 Review ZipCrit of creative project.
Prepare a lightning Demo - 5 mins per student.

Investigations II: Ubiquitous Presences

Date Type Description
Tues, Mar 9 Intro Networked Anxieties and Alternative IoTs
Tech Talk: Sensor Smoothing
Thurs, Mar 11 Cases Ubiquitous Presence: Augmented Rituals and Practices
Tech Talk: Interfacing with I2C and SDA
Tues, Mar 16 Methods Debrief on Warmup and Think pieces. Group work.
Tech Talk: Accelerometers + Serial
Thurs, Mar 18 Methods Project Introduction and Group Discussion onDiagetic Prototypes + Material Speculation
Guest Talk: Haider Ali Akmal, Joe Lindley and Paul Coulton - Tarot of Things
Tues, Mar 23 Tech Tech Talk: Building Alexa Skills; Feedback on creative project proposal refinement;
20 mins per person + office hours
Thurs, Mar 25 Tech Tech Talk: Building Alexa Skills (continued). Discussion on proposal.
Tues, Mar 30 Desk Crits Feedback on creative project development;
20 mins per group + office hours
Thurs, Apr 1 Review Crit of creative project.
Prepare a lightning Demo - 10 mins per group; 20 mins discussion


Date Activities Assignments
Tues, Mar 30 Introduction to Final Project Synthesis Report given
Thur, Apr 1 In-Class Synthesis Reports - 5 minutes per student  
Tues, Apr 6 Synthesis, Topic Definition and Team Formation  

Application: Haunted [Smart] Houses

Date Type Description
Tues, Apr 6 Intro Synthesis. Project Given.
Precedent - The Multiplexer Room
Thurs, Apr 8 Talk Guest Talk: Haunted Machines.
Tues, Apr 13 Concepts Review of Driving Questions.
Developing Imaginary Abstracts. In Class Exercise
Thurs, Apr 15 No Class Carnival Weekend
Tues, Apr 20 Prototyping Materalizing Alternatives
In Class Exercise
Thurs, Apr 22 Concepts Scenography and Diagetic Designs.
Group Work
Tues, Apr 27 Prototyping Draft Technical Prototype/Design Review
Desk Crits
Thurs, Apr 29 Concepts Draft Supporting Materials Review
Desk Crits
Tues, May 4 Prototyping Technical Prototype Revision
Desk Crits / Group Work
Thurs, May 6 Dry Run Internal Crit/ Dry Run
Feedback from invited guests. Discussion on staging.
Tues, May 11 Exhibit Digital Exhibition
Thurs, May 13 Reflection Debrief and reflection on exhibition.
Feedback from returning guests.