Interaction-Design-in-The-Wild

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Interaction Design in The Wild

by Sofia von Hauske Valtierra


‘Interaction Design in The Wild’ is an Interaction Design (IxD) course from the lens of wildlife and their sensory phenomena. Throughout the course, we look at sensory systems of various animals ranging from bats, bees, sharks and more. What would it be like to experience magnetic fields like a migratory bird, or to find your way like a bat? What if, like the polar bear, you could smell something that was 20 miles away? We draw a parallel in the human world and build devices with two primary aims: i) to understand and connect with wildlife, ii) to augment and build new dimensional experiences for humans

The fundamentals of Human-Centered Design provide us with a framework to develop solutions by involving human in all aspects of problem solving. But what if the users of technologies were not humans? How would we design interfaces meant for mental health stimulation of animals? By learning radically different sensory experiences and dialogues from animals, could we also design novel interfaces for humans?

This class focuses on fundamentals of interaction by changing the traditional users of our technologies. There will be weekly lectures from zoologists and animal experts. The class will have weekly readings, assignments and projects for students to support their hypothesis. The students are expected to have prior prototyping abilities to rapidly iterate their solutions in this intensive course. A select number of students from the class will be chosen to deploy and test their final projects at the San Diego Zoo’s naturalistic setting.


  1. Empathy Machine

  2. Fox Enrichment Proposal I

  3. Fox Enrichment Proposal II

  4. Fox Enrichment Prototype

  5. Hyena Enrichment Proposal

  6. Hyena Enrichment Prototype

  7. Final Proposals

  8. Final Project: Week I

  9. Final Project: Week II

  10. Final Project: Week III

  11. Final Project: Week IV

  12. Luncher: Final Project