ABOUT THE MINOR

In the bachelor program of our university, the first semester in the third year is dedicated to a semester long course called a minor. There is a range of different minors allowing the bachelor students to gain work experience or obtain a broader perspective on their own topic. General information about enrolling and the current offered minor courses can be found here.

Our minor program is called “interactive environments”. The word “environment” on its own refers to everything that surrounds and influences us. It’s a very broad notion and we often use various adjectives to narrow it down. For example, by referring to the “natural environment”, we typically mean everything around us that has not been transformed by humans. We can also use the term “built environment”, which refers to buildings and all kinds of other man-made structures such as roads or bridges. We can also think of a “social environment”, which refers to all other people that have some direct or indirect influence on us.

However, unlike the obvious kinds of environments listed above, the term “interactive environment” may be less straightforward to understand. We have chosen the name “interactive environments” to describe a new kind of environments whose many parts dynamically “interact” with one another and with people. You might have encountered such environments in the form of interactive art installations, “smart” homes, or automated office spaces. Such environments may have many different functions, but what they have in common is the use of digital technology to enable them to interact with people. They also often leave us behind with a feeling that so many more functionalities and experiences could be created with interactive technology.

In the interactive environments minor you will learn how to design, engineer, prototype and test new kinds of such complex interactive environments. You will also critically reflect on the implications interactive environments may have on our society and culture. Below you can find a brief introduction to some other important aspect of the Interactive Environments minor.

ABOUT OUR DESIGN STUDIO

The Interactive Environments minor and the Science Centre Delft have initiated close cooperation. The Science Centre Delft is the institution that acts as an interface between the Delft University of Technology and the general public. Its mission is to open up and share cutting-edge science and research of TU Delft with people of all ages and all social backgrounds. In this framework you work directly at Science Centre Delft in a dedicated design studio, where prototypes of the Interactive Environments minor will be fabricated, assembled and tested, while at the same time they become immediately exposed to the curious public.

Visitors of the Science Centre Delft can meet you at work, help you with testing of prototypes and acquire understanding of these new kinds of interactive environments. Visitors of the Science Center are treated as design partners as well. Therefore you are obliged to permanently expose your process and intermediate results to the public by means of verbal explanations, demonstrations and through exhibiting presentation material and intermediate prototypes during the minor program.

FACILITIES AT THE SCIENCE CENTER

The Science Centre Delft hosts the minor and gives you access to its facilities for the duration of the master. Among these are the following: a unique design studio, access to its fabrication laboratory with all kinds of tools such as a laser cutter machine and 3D printers, and lastly free coffee or tea. In return you expose your process and results to the public of the Science Centre Delft by any means possible.

MULTI-DISCIPLINARY TEAMWORK

The minor is organised from the Industrial Design Faculty of the TUDelft. However, the coaches involved with the minor come from various backgrounds – not only design. We acknowledge that design teams more will consist of people from different backgrounds. People with expertise in Psychology, Architecture, Software Engineering, Design, Mechanical Engineering and other relevant disciplines form a team to answer a design challenge.

The minor is an excellent form to experience the collaboration with students from different disciplines. Thought the program of the minor we have a special focus on making the differences visible and manageable.