Interactive Exhibit Design/IM357/Rouvelle/Fall ’07

Wednesday 4pm-10pm.

Bunting 320

Office: Brown Center, room 211, phone (in office).

Office hours: by appointment




Course Description


Interactive Exhibit Design is a rapidly evolving, team-based, profession at the intersection of art/science/interactivity/technology and design. This course will be a real world experience, matching MICA students with the exhibition staff of the Maryland Science Center to create interactive, mixed-media, on-screen/off-screen projects and prototypes for an upcoming exhibit on Cellular Biology entitled "Cells: The Universe Inside You", opening in February '09, which will be in the permanent collection of the center. Student works created during class will be displayed and user tested at the Science Center during the semester. 



 Grades in this course will be based on regular class attendance, the quality of your work, class participation, and progress.  Tardiness and excessive absences will adversely affect your grade.  Participation in discussions and critiques is mandatory.


Projects & Grading:


  You will be asked to conceive, build, install and document a prototype.  You must create three copies of your documentation and submit them to: Dr. Cooks at the Science Center, Me, and You.


                                                            ***We will not have a final exam during finals week***


 Students will be graded by letter, A-F, on all evaluated work.  Work must be completed on time and in full satisfaction of each project goal.  Late work (assignments handed in or posted after the start of in-class critique sessions) will be automatically downgraded by one letter grade.  In addition to in class exercises, you will complete four projects.



Well above the expectations of the course.  Outstanding participation, attendance, and exceptional progress.


Above average assignments and participation. No more than one absence.


Average execution of assignments, participation, and no more than two absences.


Well below average: work, attendance (two absences), projects, and participation.


Unsatisfactory: work, attendance (more than two absences), projects, and participation




Two or more unexcused absences from class may result in failure.  Two unexcused late arrivals, or early departures will be marked as the equivalent of one absence.  Absence from a class is not an excuse for skipping a tutorial, reading assignment, or posting an assignment.  You are fully responsible for completing work.



Readings will be linked from the syllabus.  There is no textbook.  You may utilize the printers in class to download hard copies of web-based content if you prefer.  Critiques and discussion will frequently be initiated from various topics covered in the readings – in other words, please use the concepts you read about in discussion of fellow students’ work.



Please bring to each class a storage media of your choice.  I recommend a jump drive from the bookstore, in lieu of this, an ipod, or server space, or 1-2 CD-R(s) – Recordable Compact Discs (700 MB) will suffice. You’ll probably go through many of them, for both this and other digital classes.  You might also want to bring in a sharpie to label your CD’s.

 It is essential that all work done in class be saved to either your jump drive, CD-R, server space, ipod, etc… at the conclusion of class.  There will be many, many other students using these computers and anything saved on them will be permanently removed shortly after the conclusion of class.


Food and Drink in the Computer Labs:




In MICA's efforts to provide the highest possible quality educational experience for every student, MICA maintains compliance with the requirements of the ADA and Section 504. Any student who has, or suspects he or she may have, a disability and wants to request academic accommodations must contact Dr. Kathryn Smith at the Learning Resource Center, 443 695-1384 or email at immediately.



MICA has developed policies and practices to ensure a healthful environment

and safe approaches to the use of equipment, materials, and processes. It is

the mutual responsibility of faculty and students to review health and

safety standards relevant to each class at the beginning of each semester.

Students should be aware of general fire, health, and safety regulations

posted in each area and course specific polices, practices, and cautions.

Students who have concerns related to health and safety should contact

Quentin Moseley, Environment Health and Safety Coordinator at 410 225 0220

or email at



Weekly Schedule




Week 1

Introduction, Resource website, review syllabus, registration matters.

Googlegroup/iGoogle class setup








>>What do we mean by Prototype ?



Resources, Reference, Partners



The Exploratorium





The National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research, UCSD >> Ruth West is on the Advisor’s Panel for the Exhibit.



Art & Science Collaborations, Inc.


Liz Lehrman Dance Exchange >> ferocious beauty


Boda Blocks from Leah Beuchley.  Dr. Cooks is interested in using these.  Leah does some great stuff.



***We are not asked to create visualizations, we are asked to create integrated, interactive media elements of the exhibit.







(4) h2210 ipaqs

(2) sd-502 gps units

(4) wifi CF cards for the ipaqs

(2) Nokia e61 smartphones

(2) Nokia 6682 videophones

(4) BlueSmirf Bluetooth modules for the Arduino


Sam Sheffield is now working with us.  Sam and I will give a demo of ad hoc networking using the above devices in two weeks.


We also have Max






Week 2

Presentation by Exhibition Design Staff, Maryland Science Center on ‘The Cellular Universe”.  Q/A,




To Group, and how to Group….









Week 3

MEETING AT THE SCIENCE CENTER.  Tour the facilities.  Team formation.




Week 4

MICA fabrication facilities.

Meeting with Dr. Roberta Cooks, Director of Exhibitions, Maryland Science Center.

Dr. Cooks will discuss specific aspects of the exhibition she would like you to work on.   She will discuss your preliminary ideas.

We will form our design teams around specific projects.


Each team must meet to define member’s roles, create a timeline for prototype production, and be able to present a prototype proposal during next class.



Weeks 5-7

Each team will build a prototype for the exhibit.  Each prototype must include specific information on how it fits with the exhibit, who will do what, how much it will cost, etc.  These weeks will involve close work with museum staff team members, all correspondence among groups must copy james.


Week 8

Prototype presentation to class and science staff.  Each prototype will be critted by class and science staff.  For class week 10 adjustments to prototype must be made to reflect crit comments.


Weeks 9-10

Prototype construction for placement in science center.


Weeks 11-13

Installation/Documentation at Science Center.  ***Schedule on-site documentation over the next two weeks.  Each team must have audio/video documentation of the prototype installed in the science center and in use and the science center, as well as documented discussions with users.


Week 14

Presentation of documentation (documentation must be a/v and @ 5-7mins., one copy goes to the Science Center, one copy goes to me, one copy goes to you).


Week 15

Deinstallation ‘party’ (aka food and drink…) at science center.