Digital Arts and New Media: MFA: Collaboration, Innovation, Social Impact

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openLab: art+science research (winter - fall 2014)

Project Group Image: 

Jennifer Parker


This collaborative research cohort will create tangible user interfaces for interactive art, and design as part of OpenLab a collaborative Art + Science research initiative at UCSC.


Art+Science based projects developed for public spaces by the Mechatronic’s project group will stem from Professor Parker’s systems based approach for fabricating functional experimental art devices that combine principles of kinetics, electronics, motion control, sensors, actuators, motors, and other control devices with Arduino Boards and Make Boards with Max/MSP/Jitter and Processing as the primary programming languages. The fabrication methods include, woodwork, metalwork, moldmaking, and rapid prototyping to build and advance iterations of the mechatronic platform. The conceptual framework of the projects created by the Mechatronic’s group will be developed in response to the public site chosen by the cohort for implementation of the tangible devices.


The project group will focus on the design and prototyping of tangible user interfaces to create meaningful correlations between the public site, user gestures, the controller interface, and the output of that controller. Interaction design concepts include perceived affordances, translation of physical action into digital information, and user observation. Prospective students applying to the project group should have skill in 3D modeling and animation, art, music, gaming, programming, video, engineering, robotics, and design.


Please indicate your interest in “Mechatronics” in your application.


Research Collaborators:

Intersection for the Arts

Gray Area Foundation for the Arts



The OpenLab Network