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Projektmodul / Project Module
Intimate Interfaces: The Personal is Pervasive
Instructor: Vertr.-Prof. Jason Reizner
Credits: 18 ECTS, 12 SWS
Capacity: max. 15 students
Language: English
Date: Plenum: Tuesdays, 11:00-18:30; Consultations: Wednesdays by appointment
Location: Marienstrasse 7b, Room 104 Now Online!
First Meeting: 12 May 2020, 13:30 (Link to online meeting will be sent to accepted participants by email.) BISON Course ID: 320120020


Whereas traditional approaches to human-computer interaction were predicated on affordances and usage contexts specific to monolithic appliances fixed in space, two decades into the 21st century we find ourselves in a vastly different world where digital interactions have transcended the infrastructure of ubiquitous computing to pervade the daily existences of their users.

From the mobile devices that permanently accompany their humans everywhere they go, to the near-blanket availability of reliable network connectivity, to industrial-scale data centers supporting endeavors such as 'big data' and 'deep learning', it is clear that contemporary 'always on' digital ecosystems have inextricably embedded and entangled themselves into our daily lives. This project module will examine the intimate interfaces and applications running on these embedded and entangled systems, with a focus on the the personal, political and societal ramifications they pose for the individuals who use them, both knowingly and unwittingly.

Through a series of lectures, workshops and targeted discussions, participants will address topics including data collection, aggregation and correlation; machine learning and neural networks; location-based and behavior-based applications; participatory platforms and subversive computing; wearable electronics and cyborgs; telepresence and telerobotics.

Admission requirements

Enrollment in MKG/MAD MFA or MediaArchitecture MSc programs

Application and registration procedure

Application with CV and Statement of Motivation to jason.reizner [ät] uni-weimar.de


Successful completion of the course is dependent on regular attendance, active participation, completion of assignments and delivery of a relevant semester prototype. Please refer to the Evaluation Rubric for more details.

Eligible participants

MFA Medienkunst/-gestaltung, MFA Media Art and Design, MSc MediaArchitecture candidates

Platforms and Tools

Primary Synchronous Conferencing:
Cisco Webex
Contingency Synchronous Conferencing:

Syllabus (subject to change)

12 May 2020 / Week 1
Course Organization
Administrative Housekeeping

Assignment: For next week, please review the following:

Please be ready to present for five minutes on your preliminary ideas for speculative design, design futures and design fiction as they relate to the development of your concept for your semester project.

19 May 2020 / Week 2
Speculative Design, Design Futures & Fiction

Assignment: For next week, please review the following:

Please write a brief problem statement relating to the project concept you presented today and post to Moodle submit by email. You will also want to create a Google Jamboard, Miro or equivalent whiteboard in advance of our next meeting.

26 May 2020 / Week 3
Usability, User Experience & User Centered Design

Assignmnent: For next week, please review the following:

Please prepare either a user flow, task flow or wireframe to accompany the research you have already conducted in developing your semester project. This work should be included on the whiteboard you established last week, along with any other resources, sketches and notes relevant to your project.

2 June 2020 / Week 4
Cyborgs, Singularity & Hybrid Forms

Assignment: For next week, please finish preparing your midterm presentations. You should be able to present a cogent vision for your semester project over the course of this 15 minute presentation which outlines your core concept, areas of inquiry, plans for technical realization and development timetable.

9 June 2020 / Week 5
Midterm Presentations

Assignment: After reflecting on our discussions following your presentations, for next week please be ready to discuss two technologies (tools, workflows, processes) that you wish to explore in the course of developing your semester project.

16 June 2020 / Week 6
Iterative Prototyping Lab: Machine Learning Introduction

Assignment: For next week, please continue to develop the models you started today with Teachable Machine in today's lab. Expanding on the brief data gathering and model training you did in class, experiment with defining and adding larger, external datasets to your training set, as well as establishing multiple (more than two) classes. Feel free to use online collections of images or sounds. Be prepared to present a short demo of your model and discuss issues, successes and surprises with regards to data selection, acquisition, training an potentials for further research. You should also review and be ready to comment on the following video from Lex Fridman entitled 'Deep Learning State of the Art': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VH1Lim8gL8

23 June 2020 / Week 7
Machine Learning: Neural Networks, Style Transfer, Text Generation

Assignment: For next week, please review the demo videos on fast style transfer using ML5 from Yining Shi: http://1023.io/fast-style-transfer
as well as the demo video on text generation with LSTM and Spell from Nabil Hassein: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfuVcfwtEyw

30 June 2020 / Week 8
Embodied and Tangible Interaction


7 July 2020 / Week 9
Interim Technical Status Updates

14 July 2020 / Week 10
Debug Lab

21 July 2020 / Week 11
Final Presentations


Further Reading

Coming Soon.