Final projects


Students will work in teams to develop an interactive concept around the theme of biolectronic interfaces. Students will be offered mentorships and feedback from designers and biologists throughout the design process. At the end of the semester, a winning project will be selected by a panel of judges and the winning team will present their work at the Biodesign Challenge ( in NYC in June.

Think about how technology might interface with biology in the next 10 years and create a prototype that demonstrates your vision. Your project will will use the tangible interaction techniques from this class to engage with biological processes. Your project can interface with any aspect of biology, including:

organic inputs into digital systems—you might consider systems where biological processes serve as inputs into digital systems. For instance, your project might monitor and/or report on organic processes (e.g., citizen science tools for monitoring environmental factors such as air, soil, or water quality). Handheld, wearable, or public sensors would reveal aspects of the biological world.

digital inputs into organic systems—complimentary to the above, you might think about how digital devices could serve as inputs into organic systems. For example, you might consider digital technologies that alter the biological world, by, for example, providing nutrients or care.

creatively interfacing with food —tangible interaction might engage with food-specific processes such as fermentation, gardening, or scientifically-oriented meal preparation (e.g., molecular gastronomy). Think about how (bio)technology might shape the future of urban gardens, supermarkets, restaurants, or kitchens.

bio-electronic materials—your explorations might focus on creating a new materials that combine organic and digital components. You might think about incorporating organic materials into textiles (e.g., composites of regular and conductive thread and organic fibers, similar to the natto actuation paper); or developing materials that mimic biological activity (similar to the 3D printing hair paper).

bio-electronic interfaces and humans—your project might explore how biotechnology might interface with human beings. You can think about the future of genetic testing, insertable devices, or medical applications.

Grading rubric (out of 30)

  • 3 points – project story boards (due TBA)
    • storyboards illustrating your top 3 ideas
  • 2 points – project pitch (due TBA)
    • Clear and convincing in-class pitch of your idea
  • 4 points – project concept
    • new interesting, creative concept
    • concept does not replicate what has been done by others
    • concept is inspired by something in the real world
    • concept is relevant to the theme of bioelectronic intersections
  • 3 points – mastery of class material
    • project shows mastery of core techniques from this class
    • project is appropriate for your skill level
  • 2 points – external skills or concepts
    • project incorporates something we did not learn in class
  • 8 points – project demo
    • the extent to which the project actually works during the demo session
    • how polished your demo is visually
  • 8 points – project documentation
    • clearly shows the design rationale, process, and iteration
    • clearly shows how your project was made (diagram, parts list, materials used)
    • demonstrates how the project works (video)

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