Spring 2016


The forth offering of Critical Making was in Spring 2016. This page and the linked syllabus represent an archive of the projects and activities during that semester.

Spring 2016
COMPSCI 294-85
4 units

spring 2016
m+w 10:00-12:00

eric paulos • instructor
kevin tian • gsi
chris myers • invention lab manager

220 Jacobs Hall

Office Hours

Eric Paulos • 11-12 Tue • 210B Jacobs

Kevin Tian • 12-1 Mon • 220 Jacobs Kevin Tian • 9-10 Fri • 141 Sutardja Dai

Spring 2016 Syllabus

Slideshow of student work in progress from Spring 2016


Come to the final student showcase 5 May 2:00-3:30pm Jacobs Hall (see poster and project videos below):


Critical Making for Maker Faire 2016

Critical Making

Class Public Exhibition • 2016
Thursday, 5 may 2:00-3:30 PM
Jacobs Hall

Critical Making students operationalize and critique the practice of making through both foundational literature and hands on studio culture. As hybrid practitioners, students developed fluency in readily collaging and incorporating a variety of physical materials and protocols into their practice.  With design research as a lens, they envision and create future computational experiences that critically explore social and culturally relevant technological themes.

In this final provocation students were challenged to envision and create a landscape of new-wearable interactive technologies. Come experience these future wearable designs.


Sell Yourself

Jingyi Li, Joanne Lo, Michelle Nguyen, Nick Renda, Diane Wang

Adshirt transforms your body into a monetization platform.Companies compete for your advertising space through online bids—and you cash out.Build your reputation with trusted reviews, and ensure a profitable minimum bid byspending time near densely populated spaces. Wear the marketing revolution.


Keywords: advertisements, augmented wearables, design noir, neoliberalism

Dress Code

Know Your Clothes

Joshua Fandel, Elly Lin, Juejin Lu, Hannah Sarver, Angira Shirahatti

For our wearables project, we envision a future where your wardrobes can be managed, tracked,and expanded in the same way we manage our music libraries. Dress Code features a smallelectronic “tag” with an embedded flex sensor, vibrating motor, and LED. Combined with abluetooth sensor and mobile app, the tag makes reviewing your wardrobe, receiving suggestions,and putting together an outfit from your phone possible. As you pick an outfit, the vibrator confirmsthat your app has loaded them, then potential combinations light up in your closet. As you narrowdown the selection, the lights turn off.Dress Code enables you to visualize which garments you wear most and how your style changedover time, and decide which ones might be worth donating. It provides seasonally appropriatesuggestions, and can even help you find outfits you’ve never tried before, all from what is already inyour closet.

Keywords: clothing, tags, closet, outfit tracking, outfit suggestion


Meet your new wallet

Nada Almeddine, Justin Berner, Eldon Schoop, Eugene Song, Janette Tang

Max is a wallet with personality. That personality, however, is up to you. Students may choose the frugal, penny-pinching cardboard Max who screams whenever they try to splurge, while hipsters may prefer wood Max who persuades them to patronize a nearby nano brewery. Max comes in a variety of materials and personalities, all with a universal design that’s comfortable for anyone. Whether you’re thrifty or extravagant, a hipster or a health goth, there’s a Max for you.

Keywords:Wallet, budget, friend, sidekick, personality

Watch Owl

Got Your Back

Serena Chang, Prashan Dharmasena , Shireen Khan, Allison Yee

Watch Owl is a wearable that acts as a safety companion when you’re walking home at night. Clip it to your backpack and it’ll serve as eyes on the back of your head, recording every moment for your record. If a sudden jerk is detected, Watch Owl will wait for a response to make sure you’re ok – if it doesn’t hear back from you within a minute, a loud sound will alert people around you, and it will send a text message to your contacts with your GPS location.

Key Words: Theft, Sexual Harassment


Sparking dialogue, igniting movement

Ethan Chiou, Christine Dierk, Margaret George, Shana Hu, Siqi Wang

Spark is a unisex, multipurpose scarf designed to increase awareness of sexual harassment. When worn, it allows the user to discreetly mark locations where he or she was harassed.  When worn near a location that has previously been marked, Spark will light up and alert its current user that an incident has happened there previously. It can also help stage interventions – when a user reports a harassment, other users that are nearby  will be alerted with a different color.

Keywords: Wearable technology, sexual harassment, awareness


Keep in touch. Literally.

Uma Balakrishnan, Ingrid Hong, Tiffany Lam, Karen Li

Amplify is a hoodie that enables you to share experiences and emotions with a loved one who lives apart from you. During the day, each person can record a myriad of soundbites — ambient chatter on public transportation, personalized messages, short tunes — and whenever the other person has some downtime, he/she can play back the partner’s recordings for the day by simply putting on the hood. This helps alleviate the difficulty of constantly having to set aside a common time to talk, which is especially difficult if the two people are in different time zones. Additionally, the hoodie allows for the sending of hugs — a subtle, comforting reminder that your partner is thinking of you. When receiving a hug, the person will feel the heating pads on the hoodie sleeves heat up. When the two of you finally meet in-person again, the gleaming LEDs along the shoulders of the hoodies will celebrate your reunion.

Keywords: Wearable, Clothing, Long-distance, Shared, Experiences


Not all those who wander are lost

Borna Dehghani, Lydia Gilbert, Daniel Goldberg, Tina Pai, Corten Singer

Wanderer helps you get where you’re going while exploring the world around you. Specify what kinds of places you’d like to explore – parks, shops, land-marks, etc. Then specify a destination and arrival time. TheWanderer jacket leads you to that destination, taking you along a path that visits places you’ll enjoy, while making sure you don’t wander far enough away to be late to your destination. Lights and vibrations help you navigate directions in an intuitive, non-disruptive way so you don’t have to look at your phone.

Keywords: Experience, Discover,Presence,Serendipity,Destination


A scarf for relieving stress and raising awareness about mental health

Michelle Kyee, Xiaojie Li, Roxanne Moslehi, Manisha Sharma, Erica Yin

Awearness is a scarf that is designed to comfort its user and also encourage conversations about mental healtha topic that usually isn’t talked about. The scarf specifically targets the widespread issue of stress and anxiety on college campuses. The key features of the scarf include: a flashing “Awearness” logo to spread awareness about the issue of mental health colleges, a button that triggers a soothing sound for when users are feeling stressed, and a separate web interface where anyone can anonymously “send love” to vibrate the scarf and can also check how many students are currently feeling stressedThe scarf is also designed for users to fidget and play around with when they’re stressed or anxious. By encouraging conversations with the flashing light and connecting a community of people using scarves and the website, Awearness makes stressed students feel less alone.

Keywords: scarf, mental health, stress, wearable tech, virtual community

Previous projects this semester focused on technologically augmenting mobility and human powered transportation.


Hi-res PDF of poster



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