Course Description

This course is an overview of core principles and methodologies for the design of interaction and behavior across objects and spaces. Instruction follows the path from prototype to a  deployable interactive experience, through lectures, hands-on workshops, and studio assignments. Students will gain an understanding of the overall interaction design process, with an emphasis on experience prototyping, testing, and iteration, preparing them for work in a professional environment. 

Topics include the history and principles of human-computer interaction; techniques for rapid behavior prototyping; user experience and testing; haptics and feedback; internet of things; programmable materials; and wearables.

This course provides a foundation in behavior prototyping and technical skills, such as modeling, digital fabrication, electronics, coding, and interaction design. Lectures will provide a technical foundation to enable students to create their own work, as well as a historical and contextual background for the critique and evaluation of interaction design.  


This semester we are collaborating with the Media Interaction and Design program at ECAL, in Lausanne, Switzerland. We will be running sister courses in parallel and students will create a large scale and distributed interface to connect both schools. More information about their program here:


We will start the course by creating a 1D game and a custom joystick for controlling it. Students will learn techniques for in-hardware sketching and prototyping, creating state diagrams, building their own electronics, designing a graphical user interface, coding, as well as techniques for evaluating and critiquing interaction and interface design.


We will end our course by designing a remote collaboration device to connect MIT and ECAL.

In a time where screen-based interactions are becoming the primary mode of human communication, we will imagine a future where screens are ‘forbidden’ or ‘undesired’. We will create physical devices that allow for communication and collaboration at a distance, taking full advantage of our senses and creating richer forms of human-computer and human-human interaction.