IFD:Printing Acoustic Interfaces

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Printing Acoustic Interfaces
Instructor: Clemens Wegener
Credits: 6 ECTS, 2 SWS
Capacity: max. 12 students
Language: English
Location: Marienstrasse 7B, R002
First Meeting: 9th April 2019, 9:15 AM


This course focuses on printing acoustic sensors for the sensing of structure-born sound. Print processes like silver ink-jet and screen printing can be applied to manufacture acoustic sensors. Tapping and sliding gestures on an acoustic surface have a different sound impact, which can be leveraged to design new interaction concepts. The course focuses on developing a concept for acoustic interaction and developing a working prototype with appropriate sensors and signal processing abilities to materialize your concepts.

Admission requirements

Knowledge in Hard- and Software would be highly appreciated, but is not a requirement.The needed functional components will be explained throughout the course. In parallel you will develope your own interaction concepts or product prototypes. For buying electronic components, a little budget of 10€ to 20€ is neccessary. Of course you can keep your manufactured works.


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

Eligible participants

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

Syllabus (subject to change)

  • Session 1: Examples of acoustic interfaces
  • Session 2: Introduction to printed electronics workflow
  • Session 3: Brainstorm for project proposals
  • Session 4: Workshop: Printed electronics
  • Session 5: Introduction to the electronic workshop and tools
  • Session 6: Amplifier circuits and technology
  • Session 7: Prototyping Workshop 1
  • Session 8: Prototyping Workshop 2
  • Session 9: Connecting to Arduino or Raspberry Pi
  • Session 10: Audio signal processing in Pure Data 1
  • Session 11: Audio signal processing in Pure Data 2
  • Session XX: Final project presentations (9th July)

Course Material

Further Reading

Suganuma, Katsuaki: Introduction to Printed Electronics. New York: Springer Science+Business Media, 2014.

Y. Kawahara, S. Hodges, N. Gong, S. Olberding and J. Steimle, "Building Functional Prototypes Using Conductive Inkjet Printing," in IEEE Pervasive Computing, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 30-38, July-Sept. 2014.

Zamborlin, Bruno. 2015. Studies on customisation-driven digital music instruments. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London.

Murray-Smith, Roderick & Williamson, John & Hughes, Stephen & Quaade, Torben. (2008). Stane: Synthesized surfaces for tactile input. Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings. 1299-1302. 10.1145/1357054.1357257.

Rasamimanana, N.H., Bevilacqua, F., Schnell, N., Guédy, F., Fléty, E., Maestracci, C., Zamborlin, B., Frechin, J., & Petrevski, U. (2010). Modular musical objects towards embodied control of digital music. Tangible and Embedded Interaction.

Jones, Randy & Driessen, Peter & Schloss, W & Tzanetakis, George. (2009). A Force-Sensitive Surface for Intimate Control.

Pure Data Patches


Setting Up the Raspberry Pi

  • You will need an SD card reader for Micro SD cards (eventually and SD card adapter)
  • Download etcher and PatchboxOS
  • Install balenaEtcher and launch
  • Select downloaded PatchboxOS image and press flash
  • Plug Your SD Card to the Raspberry Pi
  • If you don't have a Raspberry Pi 3: Plug Your USB WIFI to the Raspberry
  • Start it up!


Inspiration for your projects: