Unravel the Code

International Collaboration and Digital Fab: Studio Research
Fall 2014
Wednesdays from 4-10 pm
Digital Fabrication Studio S101-4
FB 5425.01, Annet Couwenberg
SS 451.01, Ryan Hoover


Course Description:

Unravel the Code is a recurring collaboration with graduate and undergraduate students from MICA and students from the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Virtual and physical systems of communication and making are employed to actively explore our contemporary world.  Students will work collaboratively to research issues in digital craft, the social affects of electronic mediation, and the aesthetic impact of computer-based design.  The course will begin with a series of workshops that merge traditional crafts with digital technologies, which will inform and empower the interdisciplinary research projects that will comprise the core work of the class.  Research will culminate in a variety of made objects and other forms of publication.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the field of Digital Crafts and Electronics.
  • Demonstrate aptitude with an emerging technology and apply it to their own aesthetic intentions.
  • Demonstrate resourcefulness by overcoming stumbling blocks in learning a new digital or analog skill.
  • Develop habits of documenting research and process through a clearly constructed, multi-page design document, the Creative Process Journal (CPJ)
  • Recognize and engage in issues specific to interdisciplinary collaboration: communication, team-work and negotiation.
  • Present their project publicly, focusing on communication stage presence and articulation.
  • Develop and produce a self-directed body of art works.
  • Develop fluency with research methods to enhance independent thinking and their studio practice.
  • Become familiar with weave drafts, basics of loom weaving and origami and the ability to translate these into digital methods.
  • Gain knowledge and experience with the following software: Rhino, Grasshopper and Firefly to create 3D art works.
  • Gain familiarity with using the Arduino and will be able to use it in conjunction with basic electronic components create basic computer code using the Arduino software.
  • Gain cross-cultural knowledge and understanding to get prepared for working in a global market.
  • Gain professional development skills to work collaboratively in an international setting.
  • Expand their international exposure and gain professional development in an international context.

Assessment Criteria

  • Depth of research and reflection upon the given theme demonstrated through design & research document (CPJ).
  • Active participation in class meetings and group critiques and presentations.
  • Quality of concept as demonstrated through design & research document and final prototype/design object
  • Exhibiting thorough use of technical workshops, including experiments and tests, as demonstrated through process documentation in design & research document (CPJ)
  • Convincing and fully considered translation of final concept into design, demonstrated through prototype/design object/artwork.
  • Paying careful attention to the aesthetics and technical execution of the final design, demonstrated through prototype/design object
  • Communicating the concept and process of your design clearly and effectively through public presentation and documentation of project.
  • Consistent attendance

Concrete Deliverables

  • A prototype, installation, art work or design object.
  • A complete design & research document including research, process, sketches, outlines and final results, a CJP.
  • Public presentation of project consisting of:
    • a) Prototype/design object /artwork- presented within an exhibition context
    • b) Digital presentation, which explains the process and end result




Americans with Disabilities Act

Any student who may need an accommodation based on the potential impact of a disability should contact the Learning Resource Center at 410-225-2416, in Bunting 458, to establish eligibility and coordinate reasonable accommodations. The ADA statement is also available on the LRC website


Health and Safety

It is the responsibility of faculty and students to practice health and safety guidelines relevant to their individual activities, processes, and to review MICA’s Emergency Action Plan and attend EHS training. It is each faculty member’s responsibility to coordinate with the EHS Office to ensure that all risks associated with their class activities are identified and to assure that their respective classroom procedures mirror the EHS and Academic Department guidelines. All students and faculty must follow each of these policies and procedures. Most importantly, faculty are to act in accordance with all safety compliance, state and federal, as employees of this college and are expected to act as examples of how to create art in a way to minimize risk, and reduce harm to themselves and the environment. Faculty must identify, within each art making process, and require personal protection equipment use, by each student for each class, when applicable. Students are required to purchase personal protection equipment appropriate to their major. Those students who do not have the proper personal protection equipment will not be permitted to attend class until safe measures and personal protection is in place.


Each discipline within the arts has specific and appropriate means for students to cite or acknowledge sources and the ideas and material of others used in their own work. Students have the responsibility to become familiar with such processes and to carefully follow their use in developing original work. Policy
: MICA will not tolerate plagiarism, which is defined as claiming authorship of, or using someone else’s ideas or work without proper acknowledgment. Without proper attribution, a student may NOT replicate another’s work; paraphrase another’s ideas, or appropriate images in a manner that violates the specific rules against plagiarism in the student’s department. In addition, students may not submit the same work for credit in more than one course without the explicit approval of the all of the instructors of the courses involved.

:  When an instructor has evidence that a student has plagiarized work submitted for course credit; the instructor will confront the student and impose penalties that may include failing the course. In the case of a serious violation or repeated infractions from the same student, the instructor will report the infractions to the department chair. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the department chair may then report the student to the Office of Academic Affairs, which may choose to impose further penalties, including suspension or expulsion.


Graduate students only

Extended Illness or cause for legitimate absence

In the case of extended illness, family emergency or other legitimate absences that may keep the student from attending a class for more than three meetings, students must contact the instructor and the Office of Graduate Studies (full-time MFA and Post-baccalaureate certificate; the Dean for the Center for Art Education (MAT, MAAE, MACA, and MFAST) or the Dean of the School for Professional and Continuing Studies (MPS, MBA/MA). The appropriate administrator will facilitate a conversation with faculty to determine whether the student can achieve satisfactory academic progress.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>