Bachelor degree (completed)
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, it is hosted by students in a public exhibition.
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.
Date, time and location of this course is included in the Media Technology calendar.
Mode of instruction
Throughout the semester there are various plenary sessions leading up to the mock-expo and eventually the exhibition at a public location. Students meet with their groups on a weekly basis and get regular input from their coaches.
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?
You have to sign up for courses and exams (including retakes) in uSis.
Due to limited capacity, non-Media Technology students (elective, external and exchange) can only register after approval of the programme coordinator/study advisor Barbara Visscher-van Grinsven MA.
Students who have not yet completed their bachelor degree cannot be admitted to Media Technology courses.
Media Technology MSc programme coordinator/study advisor: Barbara Visscher-van Grinsven MA