Interactive Media

Access to new and more expansive communication technologies creates new opportunities.

From the electric telegraph to personal computers, from the participatory web to intelligent networks, our tools for communication and media production are constantly changing the ways we connect with one another. Interactive Media’s mission aims to make sense of these developments by demystifying their inner-workings and leveraging them as a means for creative expression, communication, and participation. While Interactive Media courses attempt to keep pace with the latest in transformative technologies, the program’s questions remain the same: Can these technologies enrich the lives of everyone? Can their application address issues of equity, beauty, diversity, or the environment? Can they facilitate meaningful relationships and engaging experiences?

 

The Interactive Media program at NYU Abu Dhabi approaches these questions through an ethos of creativity, community, accessibility, playful exploration, and critical investigation. In practice, the program rests at the convergence of art, design, communications, computer science, and engineering. The technologies are posited not as an end in themselves but as a means to address fundamental questions pertaining to the human condition, complex relationships between ourselves and our mediated environment, and what it means to be an active participant in a world increasingly informed by computation and automation.

Professor Aaron Sherwood assists a student during a live performance of her project.
Professor Aaron Sherwood assists a student during a live performance of her project.

Course work routinely involves electronics, programming, practical research, and design. Students create interactive projects and prototypes of their own choosing that involve the creative use of hardware, software, and digital media. Iteration, implementation, and analysis are key factors throughout this active learning process. The intent is not to master any one technical domain, but rather to foster the confidence and literacy to critically engage in a diverse technical landscape.

Professor Scott Fitzgerald in the CAVE system at NYUAD.
Professor Scott Fitzgerald in the CAVE system at NYUAD.

The strength of the Interactive Media program ultimately lies in its ability to facilitate an environment where students are encouraged to imagine new possibilities for expression. Through an ever-evolving project-based curriculum, a supportive communal work environment, and an emphasis on bringing creative ideas to life, the program embodies a culture of collaboration and inclusivity applicable to people of all backgrounds and interests. Graduates of this major will be empowered to more fully engage in a world where technical change is anticipated, collaboration between humans and technology is expected, and a fluency in interactive media is fundamental.

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