Society of Networked Things

From Medien Wiki

Lecturer(s): Mark Shepard, Visiting Professor from the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Credits: 18 ECTS, 12 SWS
Date: Tuesdays, 9:15
Venue: Marienstraße 5, Room 204
First meeting: 21.10.2014


By the year 2020 the number of network-enabled “things” is projected to reach 50 billion, or 7 for each person on the planet. As networked things become more commonplace, machine-to-machine (M2M) communications will outnumber those of human-to-machine (H2M) and human-to-human (H2H) communications over the Internet. This has profound implications for the nature and place of things in human habitats and our interactions with and through them in the course of our daily lives.

  • What happens when humans become a minority on the Internet?
  • What new qualities might this emerging society of networked things exhibit?
  • How might we imagine alternative relations between people and things within such a society?

This studio will investigate the social, spatial and political implications of these questions through the creation of a collective installation composed of individual, network-enabled things. We will explore and problematize simple behaviors of responsive things (for example: plants that tweet when they need water, a light bulb that indicates a coming storm by changing color) and study how these behaviors gain complexity not only in their networked interactions with each other, but also though embodied interactions with people in space.

Admission requirements

Basic knowledge of (or co-registration in courses on)

  • electronics,
  • physical computing (Arduino YUN),
  • programming (Processing),
  • server-side programming (Node.js).

Recommended Courses:

Registration procedure

Please send your application by email with the Subject Society of Networked Things to: shepard6 (ät)

  • Your full name
  • Your study program and semester (Studienprogramm und Fachsemester)
  • Student number (Matrikelnummer)
  • Valid email address Why?
  • A paragraph describing:
    • why you want to take this course,
    • what technical skills and experience you have in this area, and
    • what other courses you plan on taking this semester


  • Conceptual development and realization of a working prototype (70%),
  • regular and active participation in studio critiques and discussions (15%),
  • documentation of all work in digital formats (15%)

Eligible participants

Master students in Media Architecture, Media Art & Design


Subject to change

21.10.2014 Introduction: meet & greet, course overview, introduce project
28.10.2014 Presentation/discussion: Network Theory, Internet of Things (IoT)
04.11.2014 Student presentations of prior work
8-9.11.2014 Workshop: fingies (together w/ IFD Project)
11.11.2014 Presentation/discussion: Responsive Things, Sociable Objects
18.11.2014 Workshop: Review of preliminary concepts
25.11.2014 Workshop: Workshop: Arduino Yun / Temboo. Accessing network resources via APIs
02.12.2014 Workshop: Workshop: Data wrangling: scraping, parsing, cleaning, manipulating data
09.12.2014 Workshop: Workshop: TBD
16.12.2014 REVIEW: working prototype
06.01.2015 Presentation/discussion: Networked Performances
13.01.2015 Group work session
20.01.2015 Presentation dress rehearsal
27.01.2015 FINAL REVIEW w/ invited critics
29.01.2015 Showreel (together w/ IFD Project)
03.02.2015 Documentation





  • Talk to Me, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), July 24–November 7, 2011, New York, NY
  • Toward the Sentient City, The Architectural League of New York, September 17–November 7, 2009, New York, NY