Parsons The New School for Design
Collab: MAKE Magazine
PUDD 4550 J; CRN 6362
Wednesdays 3:00 pm – 5:40 pm, Parsons 2 W 13th Room 1006
- email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred)
- IM: bekathwia (AIM/Yahoo/Skype), or becky.stern (gchat)
- cell: 347-204-4334 (use sparingly, txt ok)
- ofﬁce hours by appointment (in person or IM/Skype)
Make: Beyond DIY will expose students to techniques, tools, and resources for expanding what we can make and share ourselves. In-class workshops, field trips and guest instructors will inform individual and group assignments on hacking how-to projects and producing outstanding online documentation including tutorials in text, pictures, and video. We’ll combine traditional and novel techniques and materials in electronics, computation, crafts, fabrication, and other do-it-yourself genres to make tools, toys, art, hacks, and upgrades, to name just a few. We’ll release our projects as fully and openly as possible and investigate the cultural implications of participating in the global DIY community. Through instructor Becky Stern, Associate Editor at Make: Online and CRAFT, students will have opportunities for online exposure and access to a stellar network of innovators, hackers, hobbyists, and crafters producing DIY projects.
Schedule may change to accomodate visiting instructors and ﬁeld trips. Unless noted otherwise, ssignments are due via class blog post on 10pm the night before class. Most classes will begin with a presentation of interesting DIY projects from around the web that week.
By the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Make DIY projects: electronics, crafts, toys, tools, services
- Document projects through photography, video, and writing
- Release tutorials online so others can make DIY projects, too
- Engage with the maker community through groups, blogs, and events
Criteria for Evaluation
Participation and communication: Your participation in class will be evaluated not just in the classroom through discussions and group project work, but also online through the class blog and other DIY project sharing outlets including photo, video, tutorial, and social media sites. Plentiful, frequent, high-quality, and well-organized contributions to class and the web are essential.
Quiz: You’ll be given a quiz on in-class safety and the specifics from one or more of the in-class workshops. The questions will be directly relevant to your understanding of the techniques put forth. You’ll be provided with study material in advance. The quiz will be open-internet, but your answers should be processed and recorded individually.
Individual and group assignments: You will be evaluated on your production of well-documented DIY projects with accompanying tutorials, alone and/or in groups. You’ll first be asked to put together a kit and evaluate its instruction set, and will be graded on your successful completion of the kit with highest quality projects taking the kit to a previously-undiscovered new level/domain/function. Next you’ll be asked to tackle projects of your choice based on in-class brainstorms, but with guidelines for documentation and sharing online upon which your (or your group’s) project will be evaluated.
Final project: Your final and most impressive DIY project to date will be evaluated based on its cultural merit (benefit/relevence to maker community), writing, photography, videography, and open/organized internet release.
Students will be provided with a copy of MAKE, Volume 21 and one of either Make: Electronics, Fashioning Technology, or Getting Started in Arduino (student choice), as well as one Maker’s Notebook (courtesy of MAKE/O’Reilly Media). In addition to these print materials, the following blogs must be reviewed frequently, preferably daily:
- Make: Online: blog.makezine.com
- CRAFT: blog.craftzine.com
- BoingBoing: boingboing.net
- Adafruit Industries: adafruit.com/blog
- Featured Instructables: instructables.com/tag/type-id/featured-true/rss.xml
- Fatlab: fffff.at
- Core77: core77.com/blog
- Fashioning Technology: fashioningtechnology.ning.com
- Threadbanger: youtube.com/threadbanger
- How to Get What You Want: kobakant.at/DIY
- Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories: evilmadscientist.com
use of an RSS reader such as Google Reader is required.
More blogs for the hungry, not required but interesting regardless!
- Inspire me now: szymon.tumblr.com
- Arduino blog: arduino.cc/blog/
- Thingiverse things: thingiverse.com/newest
- Instructor’s site: sternlab.org
- Recommended Twitter feeds: twitter.com/bekathwia/recommended
Some resources for shopping/downloads/services:
Materials and Supplies
You will need access to a digital still and video camera for this course. Access to
lighting equipment, microphone, and tripod are highly recommended. Internet access,
photo manipulation, and video editing are the requirements of the computers you use
for this course. Cross-platform and open source resources will be provided and used
as often as possible.
Materials and supplies will vary based on each student or team project’s needs.
Some workshops will be held in which acquiring supplies will be organized by the
instructor to aid in convenience/reduction of shipping costs/accuracy.
These standards have been modiﬁed based on the Parsons grading standards for
Failing grades are given for required work that is not submitted, for incomplete ﬁnal
projects or for examinations that are not taken (without prior notiﬁcation and
approval). Make-up work or completion of missed examinations may be permitted
only with the approval of the instructor.
The project adheres to all of minimum terms of the assignment. Project work receiving
a “D” grade may be poorly conceived, executed, or documented. “D” projects may
also have serious organizational and grammatical errors in evidence, which may or
may not impede the viewer’s/reader’s ability to understand the authorʼs point.
These are average projects. They will demonstrate some success in engaging with
the assigned readings and subject matter at hand. The project will show that the
student can identify and work with key elements of a DIY project and its
documentation in tutorial form. Additionally, the project poses an interesting and
unique idea. Typical of a “C/C+” project, however, is that the original idea is not
explored to its full potential. There may be mediocre or difﬁcult-to-follow instruction,
photo documentation, or video. “C/C+” projects may also have signiﬁcant
organizational, grammatical and/or editorial errors in evidence. These errors may
periodically impede the viewer’s/readerʼs ability to understand the authorʼs point.
These are very good projects. The “B/B+” project does everything a “C/C+” project
does, but offers a sustained high-quality level of documentation of a culturally-
relavent and unique DIY project. The project is clear in all documentation genres:
text, photo, and video. Although minor grammatical and editorial errors may be
present, do not impede the reproducibility of the project from the instructions created
by the student.
These are exceptionally good projects that go above and beyond the expectations
and requirements set forth in the assignment. They demonstrate substantial effort
and achievement in the areas of ideation,execution, and documentation through text,
images, and video. “A” projects are very well organized, and are free of grammatical
and editorial errors.
A grade of I (Incomplete), signifying a temporary deferment of a regular grade, may be
assigned when coursework has been delayed at the end of the semester for
unavoidable and legitimate reasons. Incomplete grades are given only with the
written approval of the instructor and the major program Chair. The Request for an
Incomplete Grade form must be ﬁlled out by the student and instructor prior to the end
of the semester.
For undergraduate students, if a grade of incomplete is approved, outstanding work
must be submitted by the seventh week of the following Fall semester (for Spring and
Summer courses) or by the seventh week of the following Spring semester (for Fall
courses). Otherwise, a grade of I will automatically convert to a permanent unofﬁcial
withdrawal (WF) after a period of four weeks. For graduate students, the maximum
deadline for completion of an incomplete is one year though a shorter period may be
imposed at the discretion of the instructor.
Divisional, Program and Class Policies
The remainder of the syllabus is Parsons/New School boilerplate text except where
listed as an “Instructor addendum.”
Students are responsible for all assignments, even if they are absent. Late projects,
failure to complete the readings assigned for class discussion, and lack of
preparedness for in-class discussions and presentations will jeopardize your
successful completion of this course.
Class participation is an essential part of class and includes: keeping up with
reading, contributing meaningfully to class discussions, active participation in group
work, and coming to class regularly and on time.
University Policy: Faculty members may fail any student who is absent for a
signiﬁcant portion of class time. A signiﬁcant portion of class time is deﬁned as three
absences for classes that meet once per week and four absences for classes that
meet two or more times per week. During intensive summer sessions a signiﬁcant
portion of class time is deﬁned as two absences. Lateness or early departure from
class may also translate into one full absence.
Collab studio speciﬁc: Collaboration Studios meet for one two-hour and forty-minute
session per week, and at least 5-10 hours of work per week is expected from each
student. As per University policy, 3 absences constitute grounds for failure. Two
absences will result in an automatic academic warning. Arriving ﬁfteen minutes after
the start of class also constitutes an absence. There is no such thing as an excused
absence; any failure to attend a class sessions will be marked as an absence.
Instructor addendum: Please let Becky know in as far advance as possible if you
must miss a class. Email preferred, phone/txt ok.
Instructor addendum: The class blog will function in place of Blackboard. Check it
often, subscribe to its RSS feed, and contribute to it regularly.
In rare instances, I may be delayed arriving to class. If I have not arrived by the time
class is scheduled to start, you must wait a minimum of thirty minutes for my arrival.
In the event that I must miss class entirely, a sign will be posted at the classroom
indicating your assignment for the next class meeting.
● Academic Integrity
This is NSUʼs Statement on Academic Integrity: Plagiarism and cheating of any kind
in the course of academic work will not be tolerated. Academic honesty includes
accurate use of quotations, as well as appropriate and explicit citation of sources in
instances of paraphrasing and describing ideas, or reporting on research ﬁndings or
any aspect of the work of others (including that of instructors and other students).
These standards of academic honesty and citation of sources apply to all forms of
academic work (examinations, essays, theses, computer work, art and design work,
oral presentations, and other projects).
It is the responsibility of students to learn the procedures speciﬁc to their discipline for
correctly and appropriately differentiating their own work from that of others.
Compromising your academic integrity may lead to serious consequences, including
(but not limited to) one or more of the following: failure of the assignment, failure of the
course, academic warning, disciplinary probation, suspension from the university, or
dismissal from the university.
Every student at Parsons signs an Academic Integrity Statement as a part of the
registration process. Thus, you are held responsible for being familiar with,
understanding, adhering to and upholding the spirit and standards of academic
integrity as set forth by the Parsons Student Handbook.
● Guidelines for Written Assignments
Plagiarism is the use of another person’s words or ideas in any academic work using
books, journals, internet postings, or other student papers without proper
acknowledgment. For further information on proper acknowledgment and plagiarism,
including expectations for paraphrasing source material and proper forms of citation
in research and writing, students should consult the Chicago Manual of Style (cf.
Turabian, 6th edition). The New School University Writing Center also provides
useful on-line resources to help students understand and avoid plagiarism. See
Students must receive prior permission from instructors to submit the same or
substantially overlapping material for two different assignments. Submission of the
same work for two assignments without the prior permission of instructors is
● Guidelines for Studio Assignments
Work from other visual sources may be imitated or incorporated into studio work if the
fact of imitation or incorporation and the identity of the original source are properly
acknowledged. There must be no intent to deceive; the work must make clear that it
emulates or comments on the source as a source. Referencing a style or concept in
otherwise original work does not constitute plagiarism. The originality of studio work
that presents itself as “in the manner of” or as playing with “variations on” a particular
source should be evaluated by the individual faculty member in the context of a
Incorporating ready-made materials into studio work as in a collage, synthesized
photograph or paste-up is not plagiarism in the educational context. In the commercial
world, however, such appropriation is prohibited by copyright laws and may result in
● Student Disability Services
In keeping with the Universityʼs policy of providing equal access for students with
disabilities, any student with a disability who needs academic accommodations is
welcome to meet with me privately. All conversations will be kept conﬁdential.
Students requesting any accommodations will also need to meet with Jason Luchs in
the ofﬁce of Student Disability Services, who will conduct an intake, and if
appropriate, provide an academic accommodation notiﬁcation letter to you to bring to
me. At that point I will review the letter with you and discuss these accommodations
in relation to this course. Mr. Luchsʼ ofﬁce is located in 79 Fifth Avenue, 5th ﬂoor. His
direct line is (212) 229-5626 x3135. You may also access more information through
the Universityʼs web site at www.newschool.edu/studentservices/disability/.]