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Interdisciplinary Electives

November 15, 2017

Interdisciplinary learning is a key component to our curriculum at Westphal. In the winter term students will have the opportunity to learn from a product designer and visual artists duo in Making Things Move; explore the physicality of virtual reality in Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Reality; develop wearable technology in Pattern Material and Form; or get lost in the oddities of 1950s television programming in Supernatural Drama.  

PROD T380-001 26321/WEST T380-001 26320/VSST T380-001 26370 – Making Things Move – 4 credits – T/R 3:30-5:20 –  Instructors: Josh Longo and Lewis Colburn 

Course Description:

Making Things Move is an interdisciplinary course which explores the designing and making of kinetic objects, both as functional objects and as sculptural objects of meaning. This is a studio course in which students will gain hands-on experience with all manner of processes for making kinetic objects, including working with gravity-powered machines, simple linkages and mechanisms, small motors, as well as soft sculpture. 

Students will not only explore the making of kinetic objects, but will also consider the ways that a moving object can communicate ideas and emotions through direct exploration of materiality and form. Exploring ideas of efficiency/inefficiency, beauty, complexity/simplicity, empathy for machines, and the ways that we anthropomorphize an object in motion, students will develop a sophisticated vocabulary both for making kinetic objects, and to discuss them as creative, poetic, and beautiful meaning machines. 

PROD T380-001 26254/WEST T380-001 262555/DIGM T580-006 26256 – Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Reality-  3 credits - W 9:00-11:50 -Instructor: Erik Sundquist 

Course Description:

This course will explore and reimagine the physical space and experience of virtual reality. Working with the current technology of VR headsets and hand controllers, students will be challenged to design and fabricate prototypes of haptic interfaces to augment the VR experience.  The goal of the class will be the design and fabrication of low fi VR physical interfaces (e.g. a rocket bikes, a flying simulators, spacewalk) that enhance and augment the VR experience.


WEST T480-001 25060 /FASH T680-001 25058 – Pattern Material and Form – 3 credits – F 10:00-12:50pm – Instructors: Erik Sundquist and Autumn Kietponglert

Course Description:

Material and Form is a course that focuses on explorations of digital techniques in the production of textures and forms for wearable designs. The course will be organized as a series of software seminars and material fabrication exercises. Working with students from various design disciplines, students will explore various methods and materials in the act of producing multi-layered textures to canvas on the body.


TVST T380-001 25903 – Supernatural Drama -  W 1500-1750

Course Description:  

We will examine television shows from the 1950's to the present that include vampires, werewolves, witches, ghosts, demons, monsters, and other beings with unusual abilities that arise from myths, legends, fairytales, and folktales (and not from scientific fact).We will explore a variety of supernatural themes in television drama, including those that reflect our fears of the unknown and our desires to be more than we are. We will also discuss what goes into creating a high-caliber supernatural drama television show, looking at both the content and the form. We will discuss the writing, the directing, the production design, the camerawork, the sound, the editing, and the special effects. Non-freshmen standing only.