• Introduction

    In this course, we will explore how the choices of form and material affect our senses and interactions. Perceptual approaches to design consider form as something that affords a sensory-motor experience. We combine such approaches with traditional product design methods such as sketching of an object's geometrical form and constructing physical prototypes. We use simple materials such as paper to explore the potential of the three-dimensional forms. You will learn how to study and to design physical objects so that they trigger a sensory experience.

    Key Topics:

    • Design Affordances
    • Sketching for Interaction Designers: Objects and their Use, Storytelling and Storyboards, Technical Drawing ( Section, Plan, Axonometric drawing, Perspective)
    • Patterning > Paper modelling
    • Product Design Werkstatt Introduction, Z-Tech course ( laser-cutting etc.)
    • Concept and design of tangible interactive prototype ( Sketching, Photo Series, Text )

    • Rasa Weber
    • Verena Ziegler

  • for Lecturers


  • Preparation

  • Exercise 1. Sketching Sensory Experience

    The goal of this exercise is to study an object through tactile experience it enables. The challenge is to sketch the sensory experience as it emerges: to put the sensations into words and into drawings. Students work in couples. One of the students is blindfolded. He or she is given an object to be explored through senses other than vision. Without saying the name of the object, the blindfolded person describes the sensations (soft, curved, warm, loud etc) caused through manipulation of the artifact. The person who listens tries to put these words into sketches.

    1 File
  • Exercise 2. Sketching Form

    Using front and side views, sections the students technically represent an object. Basics of Sketching techniques and construction.

    1 File
  • Exercise 3. Sketching Construction

    Students sketch the construction of an object - geometric construction, section, focal points, shadows, coloring.

    1 File
  • Exercise 4. Sketching Function

    Students sketch the use of the object in a functional way. The human body or its parts (hand or foot) have to be represented. The result should be a drawn user manual / story board / Stop Motion Film

    1 Assignment, 1 File
  • Expercise 5. Use & Misuse of an Object

    Students invent stories of the use and misuse of the object. The temporal aspect of the story comes into play - How does one represent cause-effect loops, emotional states etc.

    1 File
  • Exercise 6. Cut & Paste (2 days)

    This exercise is an exploration of patterns, scale and repetition. It is composed of three steps:

    1. From a flat paper create a form by cutting, folding, or weaving it
    2. Using a repetition of the same element create a pattern or a new object
    3. Scale the same element into different sizes and connect them to create a new object

    1 Assignment
  • Excursion

  • Low Level Introduction Workshop

    On Tuesday 5th of October you'll have an introduction to the low level workshop from 9.00 -12.00 am and 13.00 - 16.00 with Armando Wehrli at the workshop gallery (ZT 3.E07-B Projektraum Low Level). Armando will pick you up, in front of the low level workshop. Those who already did the low level workshop & laser introduction, can skip this workshop introduction. You are very welcome though to take part in the workshop introduction, a refresher is always helpful.

    Be prepared to get dirty and dusty - so dress accordingly. Also, avoid clothes that are too baggy.

  • Exercise 7. Cube Expresssions

    Build 3 objects out of foam cubes [10x10x10cm]. Each must invite one of the following actions through form:

    • spin me
    • leave me alone
    • shake me
    • stretch me
    • complete me
    • inhale me
    • break me

    1 Page
  • Exerecise 8. Light as Matter Introduction

    Create a concept for an interactive lamp. Adapt interactions and/or affordances from other contexts. One way of achieving that can be by giving existing objects a new function (ready mades). Build an experience prototype.

  • Farb-Licht Laboratory Introduction & Concept Presentation (15.10.2019)

    Farb-Licht Laboratory Introduction 09:00 - 10:30

    In the morning 09 - 11ish am you will have an introduction into the "Farb-Licht Labor" with Marcus Pericin and Florian Bachmann in room 7.E10. Please don`t hesitate to ask them any questions that come to mind. They will meet you in front of room 7.E10.

    Excursion to the "Farblicht Labor". Contakt: marcus.pericin@zhdk.ch

    Concept Presentation 14:00-16:00

    Duration: 5-7 min

    • Form: Slides (beamer presentation) with physical artefact
    • Your idea: What was your focus, why did you choose it?
    • Your use case: How is your object used? Visualize your concept through a scenario in the form of a storyboard or reenacted (video)
    • Your first attempts, first learnings
    • Next steps

  • Final Presentation

    1 URL, 1 Assignment
  • Assessment