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MAS.S64  Sci Fab ~ Science Fiction-Inspired Prototyping

Fall 2015

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Instructors: Daniel Edward Novy, Joost Paul Bonsen, Joseph A Paradiso

Lecture:  T 7-9 P.M.  (E15-359)        


Course Description

With a focus on the creation of functional prototypes, this class combines the analysis of classic and modern science fiction texts and films with physical fabrication or code-based interpretations of the technologies they depict. Topics will include the future of Matter, Energy, Medicine, Food, Cities, Brains, Emerging Nations, Sex/Gender, Money, War, Transport, Aging, Entertainment, Design, Religion, and more. Students will be exposed to concepts of digital fabrication, machine vision, speculative design, blockchain technology, interface design, machine learning, neuroscience, and synthetic biology to explore how tales of the future can inform cutting edge technology today. Guest lecturers and representatives from sponsor companies working in these areas will contribute to select project critiques. 

Students should have at least basic experience with fabrication techniques and/or coding skills.  We especially encourage students participating in How To Make (Almost) Anything and other skillbuilding fabrication, electronics, coding, and similar classes to consider taking Sci Fab concurrently.  Our emphasis is on exploring and finding the most interesting and compelling things to prototype -- in our case, as inspired by Science Fiction.  

We require you to commit to regular readings and/or viewings, active participation in class discussions, to have an open mind, to work on in-class design and other exploratory exercises, two iterations of project prototypes during the first and second month, and a final project.

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