Networked Objects

This workshop will explore the relationship between digital technologies – new media, urban screens, sensors and radio-frequency identification chips (RFID), mobile and wireless technology, and ubiquitous computing – as they are embedded into physical products/artifacts, spaces and environments as well as architecture and buildings, which is commonly referred to as the “internet of things.” The interaction between people, technologies and spaces have created opportunities for designers, both artistic and commercial, to develop a wide range of networks, applications and services across a range of sectors including consumer products and toys (Nabaztag), healthcare (FitBit, Wi-Fi-enabled scale), games and entertainment (GreenGoose), fashion and apparel (Nike+), the environment (Pachube), and transportation (CTA card).

This workshop takes a critical perspective on technology drawing on theories from communications, science and technology studies and design. The goal of the class is to experiment with and prototype emergent networked objects in order to learn about the opportunities, affordances and constraints of integrating them into our everyday life.