Updates from January, 2009 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Yury Gitman 10:32 am on January 31, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Intro post: Ira Goldberg 


    I was born in Ukraine and when I was 10 my family and I immigrated to Israel, where I grew up, graduated school, served in the IDF and earned my B.Ed. in Design and Education from Haifa Nery Bloomfield Wizo Academy. Since graduation I was working mostly with print graphics and advertising.

    But, the interactive media, installations and physical computing fascinated me. I missed a passion for creative challenges and innovation but most of all I was missing the feeling of creating things with my own hands and not just the computer.
    I found the combination of all it in the MFADT program at Parsons and immediately decided that I’m going to do it, even though it seemed like the most impossible fantasy at the time.

    Computation – it is a big challenge for me, absolutely don’t have any programming background, but this is the reason for me being here. My biggest dream ever, was to make toys, but in a way it was impossible even to think about it. Now I’m totally obsessed with the idea to be able to develop and create my own interactive toys.

    I love toys and mostly stuffed toys. My favorite childhood toys are still my favorite toys.  When I came to New York I took many stuff out from my suitcases just to make room for some more stuffed toys.
    My favorite one, was a small, old, fluffy dog that was named “Bulka”, but unfortunately he mysteriously disappeared 14 years ago. I found this picture in the Internet, which reminds him a lot.


  • Yury Gitman 6:58 pm on January 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Kirsten Halterman 

    Name: Kirsten Halterman
    Background: I grew up in a small northern California town by the name of Moss Beach. Moss Beach is located on the coast about 45 minutes south of San Francisco. I earned my BFA in Graphic Design at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. Upon graduation, I worked for a biopharmaceutical company (Amgen) for about two years in South San Francisco doing production/design work. About a year into doing layout work, I grew tired of it and realized that I was growing ever increasingly more excited about the digital aspects of design. So, I decided to apply to graduate schools for my MFA – Parsons was my first choice.

    Why I'm in Computation: I’m taking Computation because it’s completely foreign to me and I want to learn as much as I possibly can during the next year and a half. I’ve always been interested in childhood development and I’m becoming increasingly interested in how ubiquitous computing in toys can be used for educational purposes. I’m very excited and slightly terrified of the final project.

    Favorite Childhood Toy: Favorite childhood toy: I used to love watching the Wuzzle Videos as a kid and playing with my Wuzzle in my parents’ front yard. I remember actually thinking that my Wuzzel (the purple elephant guy) used to sneak off and play with the other Wuzzles, like he did in the video, when I wasn’t looking.

  • Yury Gitman 5:42 pm on January 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Nick’s Bio 


    I must have taken this picture right when I to New York, cuz I am really tan. I grew up in Miami, so this winter is my first real winter. I came up with only t shirts, so I had to buy a whole new wardrobe. I received my BFA from Florida State University in 2006. I studied graphic design, 3D animation, and suprisingly only a small amount of web. The best classes that I took were with Stuart Robertson for visual effects. Stuart is a badass and his most notable achievement was an Oscar for visual effects in the movie "What Dreams May Come." The film school is top ten in the nation and our class was working on effects for student films. I took it for two semesters and the second semester, my friend and I did the special effects for Stewart McAlpine's MFA thesis film titled "The Caress of the Creature", which was about a gay sea monster. The run time was approximately 20 minutes and there were quite a few visual effects due to the fact that we had to create the illusion of a cave in a boy scout cafeteria with blue and green screens.

    After I graduated, a friend introduced me to Flash and I haven't stopped. I became a flash designer/developer at an interactive agency named WA007. I decided to go to Parsons to pursue my own interests and here I am.

    My favorite toys growing up were the teenage mutant ninja turtles. My favorite was Donatelo because if you played with him in the video games on NES, his weapon had the furthest reach. Got em.


    Oh yeah. I am taking computation because I am tired of making things for pixels only. I want to bring it out into the real world for more interaction.

  • Yury Gitman 5:38 pm on January 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Intro post: Katherine Lee 1.30.09 

    I am Katherine Lee.
    This is a photo of me:


    So what brings me here is a story likely both unnecessarily long-drawn and uninteresting. Regardless, a little background on me: I hail from Sandy, Utah, in the burbs of big, bad Salt Lake City. I did my undergrad in Philly at the University of Pennsylvania, where I studied molecular biology and economics. I went on to do a masters in biotechnology. I became a little obsessed with biotech start-ups and all sorts of crazy little seed companies and subsequently went to work for a boutique biotech consulting firm in Boston, focusing on early and seed stage clientele in all sorts of healthcare and medical device technology ventures. From there, I made a bit of a career shift into the financial services industry, doing healthcare investment research for a financial company, which is mostly what I've been doing for the past few years upon stumbling somewhat ungracefully into the MFADT program at Parsons.

    As for the foreground, I approach this class with the hope that I can approach computation without trepidation, despite any lack of broadly or finely based understanding of what I'm dealing with. I also really like making things and twiddling around with stuff, fixing things or mashing them together until they either work or refuse to ever work again. The combination of these is attractive.

    The following is a toy that I remember loving from childhood, a playhouse based on a Hello Kitty obsession, with little toy candies and things that you can plug into the house (obviously…). So great.



  • Yury Gitman 5:36 pm on January 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Bruce’s Bio 

    Bruce Drummond


    Background: Born and raised in India, I completed my undergrad in Commerce (trade?) in 1999, went on to do a course in advertising and autonomous courses in graphic design. In the last 9 years I've done a variety of work in print, publishing, branding, advertising, illustration, graphic design, 2d flash animation, elearning, interactive design, web design and programming, music composition and live performance.

    I'm in computation because: The thought of building interactive physical objects excites me and this is an area I'm keen on exploring!

    My favorite childhood toy: Was a plush monkey who wore a checkered shirt. My aunt made him for me and I have no pictures, so here's the next favorite toy I remember, it's an H.M. Murdock action figure:


  • Yury Gitman 5:36 pm on January 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Steve Varga: Bio 

    Name: Stephen (Steve) Varga

    This is what I look like:

    Photo 9

    My Background is in interactive design and web programming/development. I am originally from the South Jersey/Philadelphia area, and have lived between Philadelphia and NYC my entire life. I have an undergrad degree in traditional graphic design, but for the last couple years I have been almost exclusively involved in itneractive design. I was working as an interactive designer for the last couple of years, but I recently quit my job to pursue a more code/development based career. I am looking to learn as much as possible and have fun doing it.

    I am taking this class to learn a lot more about prototyping and hardware, and create awesome stuff. I really want to integrate hardware and software to create new and interesting interfaces, as well as learn how to create something completely physical that can engage and excite people in a meaningful way. Also I just wanna make really cool stuff.

    This is my favorite childhood toy:


    Its a glow worm, it has lighting on the inside and when you squeeze it it turns the lighting on and off. I used to play with it when I couldn't sleep at night.

  • Yury Gitman 4:47 pm on January 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Mics Parts: 

    Tools [in order of importance]
    needle nose pliers
    small wire wrap tool
    small glue gun
    30-20 awg (gauge wire stripers

    Battery pack (provided)
    Power Adapt [  DC Power Plug, Coaxial, 5.5mm x 2.1 mm]
    USB Cables
    header pins (rectangle not round)
    9 volt batteries
    30 gauge wire

    All Electronics
    Radio Shack

  • Yury Gitman 8:21 pm on January 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Schedule – Spring 2009 Semester 

    27    First Day
    30    Sign-up To Blog, Review Parts to get and where/how, Install operating system. Do homework Hello World, Hand-out Arduinos

         Show Home Work. Discuss LED's, Lumi's Viewing Radius. Find LED
    time-pieces, blog them. Make a series of LED's fire. Explore Time and
    Squence in Code. Explore Position in Space for Effect. Assign Student
    6      Student Lectures Begin. Topic and Homework -  LED Light and Time, Resisters, Series/Parallel.
    10    Student Lectures.  Topic and Homework -  LED Light and Time- PWM and general construction and material effects.
    13    Movie Theremin
    Attend Toy Fair 15-18th. Blog 3 items you liked there. Include photo,
    name, maker's name, and one paragraph of why you like it.
    20    Show LED light Projects – Crit
    24    Student Lectures.  Topic and Homework – Order Speakers and other parts. Sound, Speakers, IR sensors, Ultra-sonic sensors
    27    Student Lectures.  Topic and Homework – IR sensors, Ultra-sonic sensors, Feedback via LED's

    3     Student Lectures.  Topic and Homework – More on IR sensors, Ultra-sonic sensors, Feedback via LED's
    6      Student Lectures.  Topic and Homework – Sound and Music Feedback via Speakers, PWM
    10    Student Lectures.  Topic and Homework – Sound Resonance in Material. Prototype 1
    13    Student Lectures.  Topic and Homework – Prototype 2
    16 to 22    Spring Break
    24    Project Crits, Prototypes 3
    Electro-Plush, Sewing and Plush Fabric/construction- Focus on
    Fabric/Stuffing, Blog 3 Characters you like. Never the same twice.
    Electro-Plush, Sewing and Plush Fabric/construction-  Focus on
    Enclosures, Research Other Elecro-Plush, Find 3 and Describe why.

    3     Electro-Plush, Prototype 1
    7     Electro-Plush, Prototype 1 — User Play-Testing
    10   Electro-Plush, Prototype 2
    14   Electro-Plush, Prototype 3– User Play-Testing
    17   Electro-Plush, Prototype 4
    21   Holocaust Remembrance Day
    24   Electro-Plush, Clone and Network
    28   Electro-Plush, Clone and Network– User Play-Testing

    1     Labor Day  Clone and Network
    5     Electro-Plush, Prototype 4– User Play-Testing
    8     Electro-Plush, Prototype 4
    9 & 10     Reviews for Major Studio
    12           Last Day of Class. Individual Reviews.
    16t-17     Thesis Reviews
    18   Classes and exams end.

  • Yury Gitman 12:46 pm on January 27, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Course Description/Outline 

    About This Class:

    As a second semester Major Studio in the four semester MFA program, Computation gives students experience prototyping embedded computing applications, objects, and experiences.  This class focuses on building and refining prototypes based on concepts outlined by instructor, but created and imagined by students. It will also focus on ubiquitous computing, product and experience design, documentation/presentation skills, entrepreneurship, and tend-spotting.

    This Class Focuses on 3 primary projects:
    A Time Piece:
    Use LED light to show the passage of time, and tell/read a certain time.   

    Use proximity sensors and speakers to recreate a Theremin-style sound object.

    Electro-Plush Experience:
    Use light, sound, and proximity senor(s), to create an interactive plush-toy experience.

    Once a primary project is built, students will have to keep it operating so it can be used and iterated through-out the rest of the semester.  In final presentations, students will show all three projects as their "final work."
    Additional exercises will be assigned through-out the semester to develop the necessary skills to complete the 3 primary projects.

    Material Costs:
    Since we make prototypes the entire
    semester this class will ask you to buy a lot of things.  If you've
    taken physical computing  you probably
    have most of the tools already. I will introduce all the tools and
    materials in class.  Expect to spend around $100-300 for material/tool cost in
    the class, for all your prototyping needs.

    This is a rapid
    prototyping class, you will test your concepts as working prototypes.  Physical computing is a prerequisite for this class.

    Making things people play with is not an easy design challenge. 
    your designs and prototypes withstand user-testing requires a lot of
    time on your part.  In light of this, it may be very likely that this is your most
    time consuming class.  But I think you'll find the work very rewarding
    as your prototypes begin to live around the home and in your creative

  • Yury Gitman 12:20 pm on January 27, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Assignment for 2/27/08 




  • Yury Gitman 12:02 pm on January 27, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Required Reading: 

    Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software
    by Charles Petzold

    Arduino – HomePage

    Non-required but helpful:

    Flow : the psychology of optimal experience
    Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

    Additional reading assigned in classes based on topic and class direction

  • Yury Gitman 11:45 am on January 27, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Major Studio Guidelines 

    Major Studio Guidelines:
    Download Major_Studio_Spring09

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc