Carnegie Mellon University


Integrative Design, Arts, and Technology

Soft Technologies

The IDeATe minor in Soft Technologies weaves together a rich set of traditions and techniques to animate soft materials and matter. This burgeoning field draws from the disciplines of costumery, computer science, arts and design, engineering, materials science, robotics, and textiles. In this minor, students explore the unique qualities that soft technologies afford in design and interaction — responsiveness, adaptivity, sensitivity, morphing, biomimicry, and forms of intelligence. The courses offer students the opportunity to shape and fashion a wide range of soft matter and materials into artifacts and applications ranging from novel to practical -- forms that can shape-shift, adapt, and transform in response to environments and the human body. Students will engage in project-based inquiry, using research, experimentation, making, and reflection to inform their creativity and to develop critical perspectives and skills. Through this minor students will gain skills in envisioning their own projects and develop sensitivities to the breadth and limitations of soft technologies.

Soft Technologies Minor - Minimum of 45 Units

One Computing Course - Minimum of 9 Units

  • 15-104 Introduction to Computing for Creative Practice
  • 15-110 Principles of Computing
  • 15-112 Fundamentals of Programming and Computer Science
  • 60-210 Electronic Media Studio: Introduction to Interactivity
  • 60-212 Electronic Media Studio: Interactivity and Computational Practice

One IDeATe Portal Course - Minimum of 9 Units

  • Recommended Portal Course for this minor:
    • 62-150 IDeATe Portal: Introduction to Media Synthesis and Analysis
      • Section A: Introduction to Textile Media
  • Recommended Portal Course for this minor:
    • 99-361 IDeATe Portal
      • Section A: Inflatables
  • 16-223 IDeATe Portal: Creative Kinetic Systems
  • 18-090 Twisted Signals: Multimedia Processing for the Arts
  • 53-322 IDeATe: Little Games/Big Stories: Indie Roleplaying Game Studio
  • 60-125 IDeATe: Introduction to 3D Animation Pipeline
  • 60-223 IDeATe Introduction to Physical Computing
  • 62-150 IDeATe Portal: Introduction to Media Synthesis and Analysis
    • Section B: Introduction to Mediascapes: 2D to 3D Spatial Environments
    • Section C: Introduction to Digital Storytelling + Archives
  • 99-361 IDeATe Portal
    • Section B: Intelligent Environments
    • Section D: Learning About Learning

IDeATe Soft Technologies Courses - Minimum of 27 Units

  • 09-227 The Culture of Color: Dye, Chemistry, & Sustainability
  • 05-499 Special Topics in HCI: Morphing Matter
  • 12-031 IDeATe Special Topics: Sustainability in the Textile and Fashion Industry
  • 15-367 Algorithmic Textiles Design
  • 16-224 IDeATe: Re-Crafting Computational Thinking with Soft Technologies
  • 16-376 IDeATe: Kinetic Fabrics
  • 27-505 Exploration in Everyday Materials
  • 54-346 Introduction to Costume Construction
  • 54-486 Understanding Textiles
  • Additional courses as available. Please check IDeATe Courses for the options for the current and upcoming semesters.
Double-counting: Students may double-count up to two of their IDeATe minor courses for other requirements.

Soft Technologies Faculty

The Soft Technologies faculty represent Carnegie Mellon's expertise in Art, Engineering, and Computer Science. They carefully oversee the collaboration of students while delivering the IDeATe Soft Technologies courses.