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Abstract co-written with Levi Hammett.

Putt-Putt Pedagogy:
Making interaction design tangible through play.

The discipline of graphic design has a history of evolving to incorporate new technologies and modes of production. This includes the relatively recent incorporation of interaction and interface design. Universities have kept pace with this evolution, engaging students in screen-based interactive projects. However, education need not simply be training for industry, it can allow students to explore the playful side of interaction design, preparing them to adapt to new technologies, modes of production, and opportunities.

How might we prompt students to go beyond the screen and investigate interaction design from different perspectives, experiences, tools, and mediums? How might we make principles of interaction design tangible for students?

These questions, along with an ongoing interest in game design, prompted us to think of ways to engage students in a project that would explore the physicality of material, introduce FABlab production methods, encourage collaboration, and investigate the intersection of play and participation. In tandem with a biennial art & design conference in Doha, Qatar, we co-developed a nine hole artist mini-golf course project that involved the entire graphic design department. This paper will discuss the pedagogical goals of the project, along with the methods, processes, and outcomes.