Clicking, Feeling:
Introduction to Interactive Design

T/Th 9:30AM–12:15PM
Jan 18, 2022–Apr 29, 2022

Class meetings on Gather

Final Critiques:
Room 108, Art Building

Office Hours by Appointment

Course Description

This course is concerned with the affective qualities interactive experiences can have. An interaction can happen in real space as well as online, one doesn’t outweigh the other, and both are integral to our day-to-day life. This semester we will be exploring the mesh between digital life and the physical world.

In this course you will learn to think of code as a creative medium. In the same way that oil paint, clay, and charcoal are considered mediums for visualizing ideas, code has the same potential to express and visualize ideas in surprising ways. The projects completed in this course will be made for the web browser with simultaneous crossover to physical spaces, and tangible objects.

During the course we will think about the relationships between our digital and physical spaces, while considering their ephemeral traits, as well as their capacity for perpetuity and for creating community. We will also have frequent conversations about transmission, and audience, as they are crucial things to consider when making interactive work—How does the world access the project? Who is it for? As a class, and through your projects, we will explore the ways participatory and web-based work can invite interaction, respond to our lived experience, and be an extension of it.

Through readings and group discussions we will learn about the internet and its history, discuss current trends, all while studying the varied ways creative practitioners use code, and the web as a medium.


This is a studio course, meaning most of your learning will be by doing. This class meets a total of 30 times on Gather, with in person final presentations in room ARTB 108. While a general overview of skills is given in class, the best way to learn is through independent study, and practice.

This semester we will be:
  1. Making and learning through a combination of workshops, demos, lectures, or other presentations
  2. Doing weekly in-class exercises
  3. Sharing our work, as well as the work of artists that we reference
  4. Reading, Watching, Discussing, Writing: There will be weekly readings/videos as well as mandatory written responses to these.
  5. Critiquing work as a group and through 1x1 desk visits with the instructor


Projects 1-3 will be graded on their quality in both a technical and conceptual level. Your final projects should clearly express their concept, and be as intuitive as possible. Taking risks is encouraged in this class, as that is the only way to truly experiment with a new medium. If any situations develop over the course of the semester that are affecting your ability to be a student, please share them with me, so that I can better support you in your education.

  • 15% Project 1
  • 15% Project 2
  • 15% Project 3
  • 15% Class website
  • 40% Participation & Process:
    Group discussions, desk visits with professor, critique, in class exercises, readings, reading responses, iterative process.

Assignments are physically due at the start of class. Late work is noted as such and will be deducted from your overall grade. Late work with a valid excuse (illness, family emergency, etc.) will be excused; please email me as soon as you are able to.

The class website is your homepage. It should include your exercises, reading responses, and final projects.

Technology, Tools & Supplies

  1. Laptop/computer
  2. Internet connection
  3. GitHub Pages
  4. Text editor such as Atom, Visual Studio Code, or Sublime Text
  5. Gather account
  6. Letter size paper
  7. Adobe Creative Cloud
  8. Zoom (for office hours)
  9. Slack account
  10. Paper
  11. Exacto Knife
  12. Glue
Please let me know if you have any technology problems. In addition, we'll use this website and our Slack channel for communication.

Community Guidelines

Be kind, patient, and generous with one another. We are here to learn from each other, and to support each others creative work.

University Policies

Academic Honesty

Academic honesty in design courses means only turning in your own work. Academic dishonesty carries serious penalties and will result in failure.

Accommodations for Documented Disability

Students requesting accommodations due to a documented disability or temporary injury should contact UConn’s Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD). You may contact CSD by calling 860-486-2020 or by e-mailing If your request for accommodations is approved, accommodation letters will be provided by the CSD. Please present your official letter to the instructor as soon as possible so appropriate arrangements can be made. (Note: Student requests for accommodations must be filed each semester.)

Sexual Assault Reporting Policy

To protect the campus community, all non-confidential University employees (including faculty) are required to report assaults they witness or are told about to the Office of Diversity & Equity under the Sexual Assault Response Policy. The University takes all reports with the utmost seriousness. Please be aware that while the information you provide will remain private, it will not be confidential and will be shared with University officials who can help. More information is available at

Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment & Inappropriate Romantic Relationships

The University is committed to maintaining an environment free of discrimination or discriminatory harassment directed toward any person or group within its community—students, employees, or visitors. Academic and professional excellence can flourish only when each member of our community is assured an atmosphere of mutual respect. All members of the University community are responsible for the maintenance of an academic and work environment in which people are free to learn and work without fear of discrimination or discriminatory harassment. In addition, inappropriate Romantic relationships can undermine the University’s mission when those in positions of authority abuse or appear to abuse their authority. To that end, and in accordance with federal and state law, the University prohibits discrimination and discriminatory harassment, as well as inappropriate Romantic relationships, and such behavior will be met with appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the University. More information is available at

The title for this class was inspired by Eve Sedgwick's book; Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity. This course is inspired and informed by courses and workshops from Laurel Schwulst, Rosa McElheny, and Paul Elliman.
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