Physical Interaction Design (DOM-E5043) by Juan Carlos Vasquez / Niklas Pöllönen


1st Week

2nd Week

  • Tue 6.12.2016 – No Session
    • Return a Project Proposal (1 A4). Send by the end of day to  -AND-
  • Wed 8.12.2016 9:00 – 12:00
    • Motors & Actuators
    • Capacitive sensing – Capacitive Sensors + Introduction to Velostat and examples
  • Thu 9.12.2016 9:00 – 12:00
      • Raspberry Pi II
        • Raspberry Pi and Arduino
        • Standalone operation
        • Assignment: Prepare a short presentation about your project for Friday.
  • Fri 10.12.2016 9:00 – 12:00
    • Strategies for Music Composition for Interactive Interfaces
    • Project presentations and starting of project work.

3rd Week – Project work and Tutoring

Project Week (FabLab).

  • 12th, 13th, 14th, (No Session on 15th due to Demo Day). 9:00 – 12, at FabLab (Hämeentie 135 – Arabia Campus, Second Floor)
  • Final Presentation: 16.12.2016


Physical Interaction Design course aims to explore and investigate the tools, concepts and practices for planing and building new interactions with digital environments.The course focuses on music and sound as lenses to discuss approaches and methodologies for the creation of interactive installations, physical media/image/sound projects and artistic strategies for the creation of experimental musical compositions. With a hands on approach this course invites students to experiment with sensor technologies, acoustic transducers, micro controllers and thus confront fundamental concepts and technical issues faced during the design of digital music environments.

The course explores multimodal interaction practices for adapting physical interaction to daily life applications and contemporary art works. The course will be taught using the Pure Data and Arduino open-source environments, accompanied by short readings. Physical Interaction Design course is a project-based course. At the end of the course, students will submit and present their projects.


  • 20% class participation
  • 10% assignments
  • 70% final project

 Assessment Methods and Criteria:

The course consists of lectures, exercises, reading materials, tutoring individual or group works. If it will be possible with the schedule, there will be also a public performance organised for the students to perform and exhibit their course works. Students work in a group or individually on their projects. We dedicate half of the course contact hours for project work in the classroom where the lecturer supports students by giving sufficient guidance, feedback and tutoring. At the end of the course, students present their projects and they receive feedback and comments both from the lecturer and students. Students submit their documented project work and 750 words learning diary. Each student project work is assessed with the following criteria: Design Values, Aesthetics and Originality; UI design and Production Values; Code Design Quality; Project Analysis – Depth of Understanding; Idea generation and implementation; and Presentation style.


Paja (Media Lab 4rd Floor)


  • Designing for Interaction: Creating Innovative applications and Devices by Dan Saffer
  • The Resonant Interface: HCI Foundations for Interaction Design by Steven Heim
  • Handmade Electronic Music: The art of Hardware Hacking by Nicolas Collins
  • Where the Action Is: The Foundations of Embodied Interaction by Paul Dourish