Interaction Design WikiSpatial Interaction

Spatial Interaction FS2016

"Strange Garden"

Lecturers: Karmen Franinovic, Moritz Kemper, Assistant: Joël Gähwiler
Guests: Mihye An, Selina Reiterer (ETH CAAD), Christoph Brunner (ZHdK MTR)

Image: Numen

People often come to a garden  to seek relaxation and connectedness to nature through sensorial and caretaking experiences. A garden is a place of growth, transformation and decay, but above all a place of care. In this, both natural and artificial space, humans begun to manipulate living plants, for better or for worse. A gardener grooms his garden by sometimes following nature’s cycles, offering nutrients provided by the animals to the soil.

Our Strange Garden has two soils: one large surface hanging above us and one below our feet. These soils are rich of seeds which can enable various experiences to emerge. They can be connected physically and through their media responsiveness. The surfaces will be populated by luminous, sonic and moving stuff which can expand and evolve, connected through the soils and the space between them. Like a gardener, who negotiates and guides various materials and informations streams such as flows of seeds and bees, inhabitants may groom this digital-physical environment the same way.


The course is a joint collaboration between people from CAAD, their master students, master students from MTR and people involved in the Texturing Space project. The course is split in two phases which are separated by a Mini-Symposium. In the first phase, students get introduced to spatial interaction and the involved technologies. The master students have the ability to opt-in on these lectures as they see fit. At the one-day mini Symposium all students and tutors will come together and discuss the topics during short lectures, talks, exercises and workshops. The goal is to go deeper into the topic of the course, and to encourage the students to exchange about their explorations, skills and ideas. The last three weeks will take place in a big space where the students develop their projects and populate the Connected Soils with their own ideas and networks. The final installation/performance piece will be opened to the public and celebrated on the last day with a small Apéro.


The Mini-Symposium “Strange Garden” is organized by Interaction Design as part of the “Spatial Interaction” course in collaboration with colleagues from Computer Aided Architectural Design (ETH) and from Master Transdisciplinary Studies.



09.00 - Moritz Kemper and Joël Gähwiler
Strange Garden
A short introduction to the day, the general topic of the Mini-Symposium and the upcoming work in the space.

09.30 - Luke Franzke
Decay & Ephemeral Electronics
Introducing the emerging technology of transient electronics, and its impact on the future of interaction.

10.00 - Christoph Brunner, Ernesto Coba and Rosamund v.d. Westhuizen
Texturing Space
A Mobile Lab for Urban Research

10.30 - Break

10.45 - Karmen Franinovic
Active Architecture
Reflections on design, qualities and values of responsive environments.

11.30 - Mihye An
Affair with Network
Stories of network ability in media architecture and various garden breeds.

12.00 - Lunch


13.30 - Selina Reiterer
It’s all about Arrangements
A visual exploration of reliant networks.

15.00 - Luke Franzke
Decay & Ephemeral Electronics
DIY construction of light emitting electronic devices made from paper and other ephemeral materials.

16.00 Christoph Brunner and Karmen Franinovic
Responsive Space as an Urban Knot
Gathering flows of urban experiences.

Field Trip

The day after the Symposium we will organize a visit and guided tour in the Masoala Halle. They offer a guided tour (1.5h) in which the first 45 minutes are about the plants and animals and the other 45 minutes about the technical system that keeps the artificial eco-system alive.

We will meet at 09:45 by the entrance of the Masoala Halle.
The overall costs are 720 francs for 20 people which will be split 50/50 between IAD and the students.


Technology Blocks

In the first two weeks we will have several technology related inputs that are mandatory for our students. People from CAAD will join the KickOff (Linksammlung) and can freely join the inputs following.

  1. Processing Refreshment (Vektoren, Klassen)
  2. Image ProcessingVideo Processing
  3. Einfache AlgorithmenOpenCV
  4. Kinect
  5. Sound als InputMarker Tracking
  6. Communication Protocols (OSCMIDIDMXMQTT)


All the code for this module could be found on Github


Week 1Tuesday 23.2Wednesday 24.2Thursday 25.2Friday 26.2

4.K14 - MJ

Technology 2
4.K14 - MJ
Technology 3
4.K14 - MJ
Technology 4
4.K14 - MJ

Technology 1
4.K14 - MJ

Individual WorkIndividual WorkIndividual Work
Week 2Tuesday 1.3Wednesday 2.3Thursday 3.3Friday 4.3
MorningIndividual WorkIndividual Work

Presentation &
Technology 5

4.K14 - MJ

Technology 6
4.K14 - J
AfternoonIndividual WorkIndividual WorkIndividual WorkIndividual Work
Week 3Tuesday 8.3Wednesday 9.3Thursday 10.3Friday 11.3



Field Trip & Idea
Masoala-Halle KMJ 
Project WorkMentoring
1.D08 - KMJ
AfternoonProject WorkProject WorkProject Work
Week 4Tuesday 15.3Wednesday 16.3Thursday 17.3Friday 18.3


Project WorkProject WorkProject WorkMentoring
1.D08 - KMJ

1.D08 - KMJ

Project Work
Project WorkProject Work
Week 5Tuesday 22.3Wednesday 23.3Thursday 24.3 


1.D08 - KMJ 
Project Work


AfternoonProject WorkProject WorkExhibition


K: Karmen, M: Moritz, J: Joël