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Fall 2022 ︎︎︎ SUNY Purchase ︎︎︎ (DES3090) Interactive & Experience Design

CPX Recital


This project is meant mainly to have a fun way of exteriorizing your work with the CPX. This is not to say that we will be uncritical with the work here but, again, working with something new and being creative are often difficult to accomplish simultaneously. We will also use our critical energy to apply towards the technical side of the project.


    • Convey that you are taking the code we are learning in class and synthesizing and metabolizing that knowledge in a project that is closer to your own. 
    • Find an application for the existing code that you have learned, that combines and encapsulates it.

Final submission

    • An in-class display of the product of your code. 
    • Documentation of this in-class presentation.
    • The final code for your project. 
    • A folder containing any sketches, process documentation, and previous code iterations.


  • Your project must take input (button press, shaking, waving, screaming, etc.) from a CPX and transfer it to another source (another CPX, a computer, etc.). There’s no need to be fancy here.
  • Your project must provide output. Whether that be sound, light, or otherwise. 
  • Your code should work during show and tell/critique. If it does not, we’ll take time to troubleshoot it at the end (as a class) and you will make sure it works when documented and in class the following week.
  • Your code must be original. If you copy or adapt code from another source (which is fine) please cite the source in your comments and attribute and link to it in some way.

No Shuriken Mode Challenges

(Please note that, doing these do not guarantee a better grade or extra credit by any fixed or demonstrable amount, but if you’re doing or approaching these things, you’re probably doing well. The point is that, like not using shurikens in Shadow Dancer, it is more difficult, and increases your proximity to the material. All this being said don’t hurt  yourself and consider your other assignments and mental and physical health. Additionally, if you are not feeling challenged by the class or an assignment, and these suggestions are not sufficient for you, please le me know.)
    • Create a game-like experience like The Button. I’m pretty sure this actually uses a CPX or some kind of ring of neopixels.

    • Use a tool like Adobe XD, Squarespace, or ReadyMag to create an advertisement that explains your project.
    • Collaborate with someone else in the class to create a narrative experience where the CPX’s function as a lightsaber or magical device of some kind.

Grading Rubric

    • 50% ︎︎︎Execution of piece ︎︎︎
      This is a combination of both the craft of your code and your piece as well as whether your final piece actually functions.

    • 30% ︎︎︎“Readability” of code ︎︎︎
      This is both to say the structure of your code and how you provide clarity through structure.

    • 20% ︎︎︎ Exploration of Technology ︎︎︎
      Did you try a “Gizmo” or other piece of technology? Did you try a new mathematical concept? This needn’t be highly technical, and if even if it doesn’t ultimately work and your final project is simpler you can provide documentation of your exploration.


    • A place for ideas.This page has a good deal of sample projects with the CPX.
    • Code can be fun. Don’t hesitate to use funny variable names or provide levity in your comments. That is not a command, but you can talk freely and at length in your comments. 
    • Artifice. Consider how you might disguise, cloak or otherwise “dress up” your Circuit Python Express. Is it in a cardboard box? Under a hankerchief? Connected to a small tripod via a plastic enclosure?
    • Location. How does the location change your piece? Could it be creepily changing light patterns in the corner of a darkened room? Is it under a desk? Does it play a sound from within a locker? 
    • Complexity. This is not important. Consider an elegant or simplistic idea that is thoughtfully executed or arrived at through trying multiple ideas.
    • Originality. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel here. Start with combining different examples that might have different aspects of the CPX you want to work with. Also you could perhaps use the same methodology but with a different underlying concept.
    • Time. This is mainly for production. Consider how long it will take to make things and give yourself more time than you think you might need.
    • Money. It is not important for your piece to be expensive but how could you spend money or materials to give your piece better “production value.”
    • Source of the input. What does it mean if your mother is the one who pushes the button? Your lover or partner?  Can your piece help someone who is hard of hearing or with a different level of abledness?
    • Literal-ness. I’m cool with something that might not totally satisfy the terms of the assignment if the idea is interesting.

Relevant Dates

(please note this schedule is subject to change depending how the coding stuff goes)
    • 09/19/2022 ︎︎︎Introduction!

    • 10/10/2022 ︎︎︎ Check-in + Technical Triage
    • 10/24/2022︎︎︎Check-in  + Technical Triage

    •  11/07/2022︎︎︎Recital!