Media Technology MSc students
In this course students gain experience with communicating scientific insights by means of a designed experience instead of the written format that is common in science communication. After conceptualizing and materializing an experience, the works are presented as a public exhibition hosted by the students.
The process is structured in the following way:
I. Students search for a scientific insight that is challenging to be translated into an experience. For example a theoretical or abstract scientific insight could be translated into a concrete experience. The term ‘translation’ is important in the sense that we do not want students to copy or repeat an experience that is already part of the scientific research itself, or create simply a demonstration of an insight — students must create the translation themselves.
II. After choosing the scientific insight it is reformulated in the form of a compelling statement. The statement describes the insight that students wish to convey to the audience, via a designed experience. The statement does not need to reflect the scientific insight directly; it may also contradict it, extrapolate it, re-appropriate it, or question it (in which case the statement takes the form of a question).
The statement should be compelling to the audience in that it is engaging, captivating, challenging, exciting, or infuriating.
III. Next, students develop a concept for the translation of the statement into a captivating experience that will be part of, and functions in the context of, the exhibition. The concept describes how you are going to achieve the experience of your statement: what is it that you will build or do. After developing the concept, it is important to test it in the simplest way possible, test if the key elements of your concept work. This is particularly relevant if the concept relies on assumptions of how people function/react.
IV. Finally, students realize the concept into its actual form. A popular form is that of an interactive installation, but we pose no limits on the form, other than that it must provide an experience to a general audience in an exhibition context. Alternative forms may include film, dance, performance, game, non-interactive exhibits, and so forth.
Students work in groups, generally containing three students plus a coach from the lecturer team.
After completing the course students are able to:
analyse a scientific insight in terms of its potential impact on a general audience;
translate this insight into a statement and subsequently an experience;
design and realise the experience for exhibition in a public space.
Mode of instruction
Lecture, Seminar, Excursion/Exhibition
Evaluation takes place based on the careful assessment of four criteria:
1) General process (16,666%)
This grade represents the quality of the done work (not to be confused with the realized work). This includes the quality of the exploration towards finding the insight (How extensive was the search? What directions were explored?, etc.), the quality of the statement development process, the quality of the concept development process, and the quality of realization process. The term quality includes motivation, dedication, collaboration, playfulness, out-of-the-box thinking, analysis, reflection.
2) Quality of the statement (16,666%)
Is the chosen scientific insight challenging to be translated into an experience, or is it obvious? How was the statement derived from the insight? What is the relation between the theme, the exploration process and the statement? Does the statement explain itself? Is it original and compelling? How “interesting” is the statement for the public?
3) Concept (16,666%)
Does the concept suit the statement? What alternative concepts were explored? Does the concept convey the statement, and was this validated through prototype (bubblegum and sticky tape) testing?
4) Final work (50%)
Does it work? When experiencing the work, is the statement conveyed? Does the work explain itself or does it require further explanation? Is the work original and compelling? Does the work use the exhibition format in an interesting and meaningful way? What is the implementation quality? Optional: does the interaction work well?
The booktitles and / or syllabi to be used in the course, where it can be purchased and how this literature should be studied beforehand.
You have to enrol for classes and exams (including retakes) in uSis.
Exchange students need to contact the programme's coordinator due to limited capacity.
Contact the lecturer(s) for course specific questions and the programme's coordinator Barbara Visscher-van Grinsven for questions regarding the programme, admission and/or registration.