University of Technology Sydney

87849 Creative Technologies

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building: Design
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.

Recommended studies:

87731 VC Design Studio: Narrative, Form and Time


This subject explores alternative and future-focused ways of interacting and interfacing with digital environments with a broad range of emerging technologies being covered with an eye to designing for the future.

This subject aims to extend the student's notion of interaction with computers beyond the typical set-up of (touch)screen, keyboard and mouse, to a broader and informed understanding of, and engagement with, computing itself.

As part of this subject, students are introduced to the emerging technologies of virtual and augmented reality and learn to design an immersive experience that explores virtual reality as embodied, physical interaction. They also have the opportunity to learn how to create their own physical interfaces or communicate with the projects they build using a range of off-the-shelf controllers and sensors.

Students are also asked to think critically about contemporary media technologies and consider a range of projects and ideas from existing projects that make use of emerging and speculative technologies.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1. Research and plan a simple project for physical interaction with a virtual environment
2. Understand and apply design principles and fundamentals within the design constraints and affordances of emerging and speculative technologies.
3. Gain the technical skills to make and develop projects using of emerging technologies.
4. Develop skills to produce an aesthetically resolved outcome and the ability to communicate ideas
5. Reflect on process and outcomes
6. Identify, contextualise and analyse relevant works that demonstrate emerging and speculative technologies as expressive and communicative media

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes to the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • Practice cultural principals and protocols required to work in Indigenous contexts. (A.3)
  • Work cooperatively and professionally as part of a team, initiate partnerships with others, take a leadership role when required, and constructively contribute to peer learning. (C.1)
  • Advance ideas through an exploratory and iterative design process. (I.2)
  • An ability to critique your own work and the work of others with reference to standards drawn from contemporary design practice. (P.1)
  • Understanding of academic and professional ethics, copyright and appropriate acknowledgement of intellectual property. (P.3)
  • Source, evaluate and utilise appropriate academic and professional references. (R.1)
  • Employ a range of qualitative research approaches including practice-led visual and material exploration and social and participatory methods. (R.2)

Teaching and learning strategies

Studio sessions will combine discussions around critical engagement with technology, presentation and discussion of art and design examples in the field of physical computing, technical demonstration and hands-on practice in iterative physical computing design practice.

Your studio leader will facilitate discussion and offer expert insight and direction where needed, but as students, you are primarily responsible for the mood of the studio session. Emphasis is placed on developing each student’s confidence in processing and refining ideas, moving from research and conception right through to the creation and presentation of a prototype.

Students are expected to commit 9–12 hours per week to each 6-credit point subject. This includes the contact hours. The 6–9 hours remaining each week are for the completion of preparatory activities and assessment tasks.

This subject involves opportunities for students to benefit from peer feedback. Students will engage in low stakes collaborative peer feedback throughout the sessions. Projects and exercises cover ways of identifying and balancing the many requirements of successful communication of information and ideas as well as enhancing technical skill.

The program includes pre-work sections each week that describe what you need to do to prepare for and bring to lectures and tutorials. Learning activities variously engage students in secondary research, online discussion, peer-group critique on work in progress and presentations. At the end of each session, please read the Pre-work section for the next session. Pre-tutorial resources and subject materials are accessible via UTS Online.

Students will have several opportunities to receive assessment feedback during the subject. The feedback provided will vary in form, purpose and in its degree of formality:

Formative feedback will be provided during the learning process, typically provided verbally by the subject's teaching staff. It will address the content of work and a student's approach to learning, both in general and more specific ‘assessment orientated’ terms. It is designed to help students improve their performance in time for the submission of an assessment item. For this to occur students need to respond constructively to the feedback provided. This involves critically reflecting on advice given and in response altering the approach taken to a given assessment. Formative feedback may also, on occasion, be provided by other students. It is delivered informally, either in conversation during a tutorial or in the course of discussion at the scale of the whole class. It is the student’s responsibility to record any feedback given during meetings or studio sessions.

Summative feedback is provided in written form with all assessed work. It is published along with indicative grades online at UTS ReView. Summative feedback focuses on assessment outcomes. It is used to indicate how successfully a student has performed in terms of specific assessment criteria.

Content (topics)

• Interaction design - How to design interactive systems from a hardware and software perspective.
• Designing for virtual reality - How to conceptualise and design for virtual environments.
• Usability - Basic usability and interaction design principles that apply to physical computing and virtual reality media.
• Design Practice - Researching, planning and managing a basic project for physical computing and virtual reality.
• Critically engaging with and conceptualising speculative technologies.


Assessment task 1: Proposal


Formalise a project plan and gain experience in pitching a concept for development. Provide an opportunity for critique and feedback from studio leader and peers.


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 4 and 6

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

C.1, P.3 and R.1

Type: Presentation
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 20%

Assessment task 2: Project Prototype


Provide hands-on experience in conceptualising and realising a project utilising emmerging technology, up to a working prototype. Allowing for the demonstration of technical, design and conceptual skills developed throughout the course.


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

2, 3 and 4

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

A.3, I.2 and P.1

Type: Project
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%

Assessment task 3: Research and development journal


Provide an environment for critical thinking and self-reflection around course material and the iterative process of creating the prototype.


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 5 and 6

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

I.2, R.1 and R.2

Type: Journal
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%

Minimum requirements

The following text must be added: The DAB attendance policy requires students to attend no less than 80% of formal teaching sessions (lectures and tutorials) for each class they are enrolled in to remain eligible for assessment.

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