Interface Design II at ISIA Urbino — Academic year 2018–2019

Everyday we interact with a complex system of infrastructures, technologies, algorithms, corporations, individuals, data, protocols, and more, through digital interfaces. Phones, computers and other interconnected devices mediate behaviours, encourage interactions and influence the way we see and experience the world around us.

The role of designers is usually focused on making these interactions as frictionless and smooth as possible, to create a never-ending data exchange process that generates value.

The course aims at reframing the interface as a cultural and political object. The students are invited to experiment different methods and practices to approach and explore the relationship between interfaces, data and algorithms. Each chapter of the course revolves around a specific action and produces a different output in order to develop different skills and methodologies.

Observe (November 21–22 ). Observe, deconstruct and describe extensively what you see while you are performing an action on a digital platform.

Alter (December 5–6). Modify the visual elements of a graphical interface developing a web extension.

Reveal (December 19–20). Extract and visualize the invisible trackers that follows you in one hour of web browsing.

Re-publish (January 30–31). Analyse and re-publish data coming from a digital platform to renew our understanding of a phenomenon.

Suggested readings

  • Cade Diehm. “On Weaponised Design”. Accessed November 01, 2018. https://ourdataourselves.tacticaltech.org/posts/30-on-weaponised-design/.
  • Cardon, Dominique. “Deconstructing the Algorithm - Four Types of Digital Information Calculations”. In Algorithmic Cultures, 95–110. New York-Routledge, 2016.
  • Carlin Wing, Martino Morandi, Peggy Pierrot, Anita Burato, Christoph Haag, Michael Murtaugh, Femke Snelting, and Seda Gürses. The Techno-Galactic Guide to Software Observation. Constant, Association for Art and Media, 2018.
  • Galloway, Alexander R.. The Interface Effect. Polity Press, 2012.
  • Hankey, Stephanie, and Marek Tuszynski. Efficiency and Madness. Using Data and Technology to Solve Social, Environmental and Political Problems. Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Berlin, (2017).
  • Ippolita. Tecnologie del dominio. Meltemi, 2017.
  • Kubrak, Anastasia. User-Agent - If everything is so smooth, why am I so sad?. The Sandberg Institue, 2018.
  • Moll, Joana. “Poetic deconstruction of the interface”. Accessed November 15, 2018. http://janavirgin.com/HANGAR/.
  • PIPES BCN. “Manifesto for a critical approach to the user interface”. Accessed November 1, 2018. https://interfacemanifesto.hangar.org/index.php/Main_Page.
  • Ricci, Donato, Calibro, and óbelo. “Cozy Flat - A visual inquiry into the Private Spaces we Share”. Accessed November 01, 2018. https://cozyfl.at/.
  • Rogers, Richard. Digital Methods. MIT Press, 2013.
  • Srnicek, Nick. Platform capitalism. John Wiley & Sons, 2017.