Course Description

Artistic practice is constantly evolving in correlation with technological innovations. In the 21st century, designers use of analog and digital materials have already redefined our relationship to our environment by allowing new types of interfaces with the material world. This studio class will focus on how new materials such as smart textiles, conductive inks, soft circuits, wearable computing challenge traditional ways of relating to objects, wearable, and space through new forms of interactions. We will begin by examining how traditional crafting techniques (embroidery, ceramics, carving, etc) can be interwoven with new materials and technologies to generate new behaviors and interactions. Computational craft will provide students with a range of skills to address contemporary notions of craftsmanship, usability, aesthetic value. Throughout the course there will be an emphasis on project documentation and publication, technical construction, and aesthetic creation. You do not need to have any prior knowledge of physical computing or electronics, though it may be helpful.

Artisanal Tech is a class where student will explore a range of new process and new materials. The course will be focus on mixing and interconnecting traditional techniques and basic materials with new technologies and intelligent materials. The main idea is to understand how things work and to try to redefine and reconstruct projects using this hybrid method, this will help us to increase interaction and to find simple way to make. We will also discover that we can use technology as an aesthetic part of element and to not lock up in a black box.

Learning Outcomes

During this class student will learn how to develop a research method and how to document their experimentation to share it and to make it understandable for others. By exploring this new process, their will discover a range of new techniques and materials that will going to be new skills for the rest of their curriculum. In this class, we will approach basic understanding of physical computing and how they can connect material, which seems basic, to computer and creating new kind of interface.

  1. How to develop a research method in the purpose of an exploration process, in the context of short and long projects.
  2. Learn how to document experimentations and how to create tutorials published as open-source tool for others.
  3. Understand notion of interaction and interface, especially in this high-low tech context, by using raw material and simplify technology.
  4. Understand importance of choice of material and technology and how it will impact haptic and affordance of the project.
  5. Gain a basic understanding about physical computing and digital prototyping, by exploring the limits and possibilities of the tools available to you both within the school and in other locations e.g. hackerspaces etc.
  6. Develop knowledge and interest about the future of smart materials and understand how they will impact everyday life, and new behaviours, by exploring speculative and fictional design.
  7. Understand how it benefits to contribute to the DIY community by documenting and sharing on the course website and other platforms like instructables.

You need to give information to the community as much as you learn from it to keep this open-source spirit prolific.

Class Structure

During the semester, each session will  set as a short workshop where student will discover specific techniques, methods and references connected to. Those skill sets will be used as medium to express and prototype concept/idea for the rest of their curriculum.
Each class is split in three times:
– Analytic:
Everybody will present their solutions, issues, references to the class. Each project, completed and documented, will be published on course blog by each student or groups.
– instructive
Second part will be more theoretical and technical, we will discover the new processes, references.
– Experimental
Experiments and start of the next assignment (due for the following week).

Experimentations will be the core of the first part of the semester as a method to explore, experiment and domesticate this new concept of “Artisanal Tech”. The last 5 sessions of the semester will focus on the production of one project per student using different skills learned during the semester.


How to get what you want (
Kobakant (
Kit-of-no-parts (
Open material (
High Low Tech research group (
Fashioning tech (
How to make (almost) Anything (
Fabric computing interfaces (
A construction kit for electronic textiles (
Smart fabric, or washable computing (
The Next Black – A film about the Future of Clothing (