Space Is The Place: From Simulation to Hyperreality
Instructor: Jason Reizner
Credits: 6 ECTS, 4 SWS
Capacity: max. 15 students
Language: English
Date: Dienstag/Tuesday, 13:30-16:45
Location: Marienstr. 7b, Room 104
First Meeting: 16 October 2017


Today abstraction is no longer that of the map, the double, the mirror or the concept. Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal.
     –Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation

As applications and user experiences continue to evolve past the boundaries of the device and melt into the fabric of the world at large, the jobs of architects and interface designers are becoming ever more entangled and indistinguishable. In a world where traditional epistemological distinctions between 'rendered' and 'real' become increasingly irrelevant, a considered awareness of space and place is mandatory for the practitioners who mediate the environments where application states intersect states of mind. This course exposes participants to the philosophical and sociological discourse underpinning hyperreality, while exploring contemporary off-screen interfaces and ambient interaction in the rest of the universe, outside of the device. Reflecting on the physics and psychology of space, participants will consider the theoretical and technical foundations of tangible, pervasive and ubiquitous computing, as well as future directions for emerging technologies including Mixed Realities and the Web of Everything. Successful candidates will apply their experimentation in support of the development of a relevant semester project, scaffolded by targeted readings, discussion sessions and workshops.

Admission requirements

Concurrent enrollment in another IFD[[IFD:Start|Interface-Design]] course offering, or with instructor permission.

Registration procedure

Candidates from Media Art and Design MFAMaster of Fine Arts – graduate students will receive this degree Program:
Preliminary registration will take place at the faculty-wide enrollment event on Tuesday, 10. October from 11:00 until 13:00 in the Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 7.

Candidates from MediaArchitecture or other programs:
Preliminary registration is conducted by sending an email with your name, matriculation number and a statement outlining your motivation for taking this module, as well as your background, technical competences and current areas of research, to jason.reizner [ät] uni [minus] weimar.de

All candidates:
Formal registration will take place at the close of the first class meeting. In the event there are more interested participants than available capacity, candidates will be selected on the basis of their technical, aesthetic and conceptual aptitude.


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

Eligible participants

MFAMaster of Fine Arts – graduate students will receive this degree Medienkunst/-gestaltung, MFAMaster of Fine Arts – graduate students will receive this degree Media Art and Design, MSc MediaArchitecture

Syllabus (subject to change)

17 October 2017
Week 1
Course Organization
Administrative Housekeeping

Assignment: Read the linked article titled "Jean Baudrillard: Simulacra and Simulations"

24 October 2017
Week 2
An Abridged History of Simulation

Sources and Links from the Lecture

Assignment: For our meeting in two weeks, develop a physical or digital simulation and be ready to present your work for 10-15 minutes. You may wish to refer to some of the examples listed in the sources above.

31 October 2017
Week 3
No Class - Reformation Day

7 November 2017
Week 4
Roundtable Project Presentation I: Simulation

Sources and Links from the Lecture

Assignment: For next week, please read the following two articles: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-spacetime/ and https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/newton-stm/

14 November 2017
Week 5
Physics and Philosophy of Space
Descartes, Newton, Leibniz, Einstein
Plato, Kant, Heidegger

Sources and Links from the Lecture

Assignment: For next week, please review the following videos from the PBS series Space Time:
When Time Breaks Down: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GguAN1_JouQ
The Origin of Matter and Time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHRqibyNMpw
The Real Meaning of E=mc^2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo232kyTsO0

In advance of next week's workshop you will also want to download and install SketchUp here: https://www.sketchup.com/download

21 November 2017
Week 6
3D Spatial Representation and Digital Modelling
Workshop with Pol Foreman

28 November 2017
Week 7
Midterm Presentations

5 December 2017
Week 8
Proximetrics: Human Perception and Psychology of Space
Tangible Computing
Physical Interfaces

Sources and Links from the Lecture

12 December 2017
Week 9
NOTE: Today's class meeting is cancelled due to illness.

19 December 2017
Week 10
Prototyping Lab

09 January 2018
Week 11
Input Modalities
Context-Aware Computing and Location Services

Sources and Links from the Lecture

Assignment: Considering the different input modalities presented during today's demos (conventional HID devices, tangible interface objects, Computer Vision, embedded or discrete sensors, audio processing, location/positioning systems) develop an example of a simple system that takes some form of input and uses it to determine a change in usage context and then affect a corresponding change in the system's behavior. Be ready to present your system and discuss its input and context during next week's project roundtable.

16 January 2018
Week 12
Roundtable Project Presentation II: Inputs and Context
Milgram und Co.: Mixed Realities

23 January 2018
Week 13
Debugging Lab (Possible Excursion?)

30 January 2018
Week 14
Final Presentations

15 March 2018
Final Semester Deliverable Submission Deadline