Making Studio Fall 2019 Syllabus


Welcome new students! Here is your syllabus for Making Studio 2019. Please download and read it, and let me know if you have any questions.

Making Studio – Syllabus Fall 2019

The printed copy you received on the first day of class has our class meeting time and my contact info.

Course Description
As the impacts and consequences of mass production become better understood, designers find new relevance in the fields of making, hacking, hand-crafting, and DIY. This course exposes students to techniques, tools, and resources for expanding what we can make ourselves, as well as sharing what we make. In-class workshops, field trips, and guest instructors will inform individual and group assignments around the creation of functional product prototypes. Students will combine traditional and novel techniques and materials in electronics, coding, crafts, fabrication, entrepreneurship, and other do-it-yourself areas. The course will provide great emphasis on participating in online communities about making, providing students with opportunities for exposure and access to a stellar network of innovators, hackers, hobbyists, and crafters producing DIY projects.

Course Objectives

Makers today have all the resources available to them to fully develop a product idea into a small business. Methods of fabrication like laser cutting, CNC milling, and 3D printing— once only available to large corporations— have recently become easily accessible for just about anyone. Likewise craft techniques like sewing and knitting can be simple to learn and open up a wide new ability to express creative ideas. This course will offer an introduction to many kinds of making, including electronics/physical computing with Arduino, and will give the student the confidence to move well beyond ideation and concepts to creating products of design that are fully realized and fully functional.

Course Outline

Schedule may change to accommodate visiting instructors and field trips. Unless stated otherwise, assignments are due via class blog post by 8pm the night before class.

Week 1   Sept 4    Intros, syllabus & class blog overview, 
                   Project 1 assigned (Teardown)
Week 2   Sept 11   no class-- Instructor out of town
Week 3   Sept 18   Arduino workshop, Project 1 discussion
Thursday Sept 19   Sewing/soldering workshop, 
                   intro to Project 2 (plush night light)
Week 4   Sept 25   In progress critique
Week 5   Oct 2     Project 2 presentations, 
                   intro to Project 3 (Halloween costume)
Week 6   Oct 9     Arduino workshop
Week 7   Oct 16    In class work time
Week 8   Oct 23    In progress critique, midterm dossiers due
Week 9   Oct 30    Project 3 presentations
Thursday Oct 31    6pm Halloween Parade (optional)
Week 10  Nov 6     Video documentation presentation, 
                   Final Project discussion
Week 11  Nov 13    Arduino workshop, work time
Week 12  Nov 20    Final Project in-progress critiques
Week 13  Nov 27    Peer-supported writing workshop/1-1 meetings
Week 14  Dec 4     Final Project presentations
Week 15  Dec 11    Final Project presentations
Wednesday Dec 18   Final dossiers due (required for passing grade)

Learning Outcomes

  • Experience new methods of making
  • Develop knowledge and hands-on skills in basic electronics and physical computing
  • Develop hands-on skills in student-selected crafts: sewing, soft circuits, knitting, jewelry, laser cutting, 3D printing, etc.
  • Create portfolio-building products and projects
  • Engage with a huge online maker community through sharing projects, groups, blogs, and events
  • Document projects through photography, video, and writing
  • Experience publishing projects as how-to manuals online
  • Learn to self-promote online
  • Cultivate resources and confidence for creating a business around independent making

Required Reading

The course Arduino exercises will loosely follow the Instructables Arduino Class and Internet of Things Class.

The course book is Getting Started with Arduino. Use it to look up Arduino terms and questions, and read the background chapters at your own pace— you will not be explicitly assigned readings from the book, yet are expected to read the entire book during the course.

Students are encouraged to use an RSS reader such as NewsBlur to research DIY and maker-related blogs.

Some texts may also be assigned.  They will be handed out in class or sent out by e-mail for discussion in future class meetings.

Materials and Supplies

You will need access to a digital still and video camera for this course. Access to lighting equipment, microphone, and tripod are highly recommended. The computer(s) you use for this course must be capable of internet access, photo manipulation, and video editing. If your laptop only has USB C ports, you will need a C-to-A adapter to work with Arduino. Use of platform-agnostic and open source technologies are highly encouraged. Materials and supplies will vary based on each student or team project’s needs and may be available directly through the VFL. However, in the case of a workshop, supply acquisition may be organized by the instructor for convenience.

For our Arduino workshops, the department has prepurchased your electronics components. For more details about your kit, find product links in this Adafruit wishlist.

Some resources for further shopping/downloads/services:

Supplies/materials – NYC based components supplier (ship via UPS ground for fastest delivery, or use same-day delivery before 11am) – Colorado based components supplier – upstate NY – interesting conductive materials such as fabrics and paints – Minnesota based components supplier – supplier of new and surplus electronics components – utility hardware supplier – moldmaking and casting supplier

Communities – general making community owned by Autodesk – electronics community owned by Avnet – electronics community owned by SupplyFrame

Services – 3D printing files and other CNC files (laser cutter, etc.) sharing site – on demand 3D printing service – distributed on demand 3D printing, CNC machining, and injection molding service – on demand laser cutting service

Software – electronics prototyping ecosystem – free browser-based 3D modeling and circuit prototyping software

Autodesk Fusion 360 – free for students – 3D design software – free and open source photo editing software – free and open source vector drawing software – free and open source programmatic 3D modeling software

Cura – free 3D slicer/printer file prep software

Criteria for Evaluation

Participation and communication: Your participation in class will be evaluated not just in the classroom through discussions and group project work, but also online through the class blog and other sharing outlets including photo, video, tutorial, and social media sites. Plentiful, frequent, high-quality, and well-organized contributions to class and the web are essential.

Individual and group assignments: You will be evaluated on your production of four projects over the course of the semester. Your projects will be evaluated based on cultural merit (benefit/relevance to target community), writing, photography, videography, and documentation online.

Project Dossiers

In addition to other requirements for the course, a passing grade will require the submission of a project dossier 1 week after the final class. (For courses that are a full 15 weeks in duration, an additional midterm dossier is required on week 8.) You will not receive a passing grade unless you provide the dossier on time. Please find in this syllabus the precise date and time of the dossier submission deadline for this course. Project dossier instructions will be sent from our department staff. Making Studio Midterm dossier due Wednesday, October 23 at 10am. Final dossier due Wednesday, December 19 at 10am.

Instructor Addendum

Schedule office hours with me anytime you want to chat (in person or by email)— I can meet with you at SVA or via Skype/Google+ Hangout. Please let me know as far in advance as possible if you must miss a class or will be late (by email or text message if necessary).

Author: Becky Stern

Making and sharing are my two biggest passions! I'm a Content Creator at Autodesk and part-time faculty at SVA. Check out all my Instructables and find me as @bekathwia on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.