Digital Self [S14]

The Digital Self: Interfacing the Body | Collab Spring 2014: [PSAM 5550]

AMT, Parsons, The New School for Design, MFA Design and Technology

Collaboration with OpenBCI


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ARMPIT WORLD by Fei Liu and Maxine Kim

Course Dates: Jan 30, 2014 – May 15, 2014

Aisen Caro Chacin
Post-Graduate Fellow, Full-Time Faculty | Parsons The New School for Design 
Conor Russomanno

Adjunct Faculty | Parsons The New School for Design/ Co-Founder | OpenBCI

Course Description:

“We see with our brain, not with our eyes.” -Paul Bach-Y-Rita

As computing devices become more integrated with our physiology, designers and engineers are shifting their scope to biometric in/output interfaces. In this course students will explore the electric network of the human body, and develop an in-depth understanding of the its biological signals by experimenting with a variety of biometric sensors. This course is offered in collaboration with OpenBCI, a cutting-edge, open-source human-computer interface platform. OpenBCI facilitates novel methods of retrieving and interpreting biological signals emitted from the human body. This hardware is capable of tracking ECG (heart rate), EMG (muscle activity), and EEG (brain activity), and interfaces easily with electronic prototyping platforms such as Arduino. Learning more about anatomy and the contact potential with these devices will instigate students to design new and experimental interfaces for computing media. By working together students will build and share creative applications of the technology and become developers of the open-source community that powers OpenBCI.

This class will  engage students in understanding the body’s electric potential, and spark new ideas of human computer interaction. Our goal is to create experimental software and hardware applications that are in sync with our anatomy, e.g. directing a person’s path with galvanic vestibular stimulation, controlling robotics or virtual interfaces via neurofeedback, mapping and re-visualizing heart rate, or composing music with your muscle activity. Students will measure resistance, capacitance, and learn how to use the body as an electronic component in circuit design. Classes will range from galvanic electricity labs to neurofeedback coding sessions, and will engage students in understanding the body’s electric potential, sparking new relationships between humans and computers. Students will explore conceptual models which will critique, enhance, and innovate in the field of Human Computer Interaction and become citizen neuroscientists of the OpenBCI community.

Aisen Caro Chacin