• Class Number 4644
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Mitchell Whitelaw
    • Geoffrey Hinchcliffe
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course introduces code and data as powerful tools for design and creative practice. By working directly with these fundamental processes of computing, students will develop practical skills and conceptual approaches that can be applied to design, fine arts, digital media, data visualisation and many other fields. Students without previous computer programming experience will gain an introduction to core concepts, processes and techniques of coding, with a focus on generating visual and spatial form. Through practical production workshops and design projects, students gain the expertise required to generate creative works for screen, print and fabrication technologies (such as laser cutting, CNC and 3D printing). This course will also introduce students to the vibrant cultural context of creative code platforms and practices.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Interpret, adapt and apply creative coding concepts and techniques.
  2. Employ computational methods to generate innovative design outcomes for a range of media.
  3. Reflect on and strategically adapt to the technical and cultural constraints of a specific context.
  4. Conduct research into design artefacts and processes, and expertly apply findings to creative production.
  5. Understand design as a critical research practice and substantiate process and outcomes.

Resources for each assessment task will be made available via the course site and in weekly classes.

Staff Feedback

Students will be provided with verbal feedback in the weekly classes. Verbal and written feedback will be provided for all assessment items.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction Procedural drawing Creative Code context; Intro to Processing & P5js; learning to learn.
2 Drawing machines: variables, iteration and interaction
3 Text and image: mashup poetics. Introduction to Arrays
4 Randomness, variation, recursion and transformation. Introduction to functions.
5 Data and form: Visualisation 101. Sketchbook development and review.
6 Points in space: particles and geometry. Sketchbook work in progress presentations Code Sketchbook Due during break
7 Dynamic ID Introduction. Surveying dynamic identity design. Generative systems: variation and coherence
8 Dynamic ID design approaches Combinatorial systems; Dynamic ID concept development
9 Computational Typography Dynamic ID project development
10 Physical Simulations Dynamic ID project development
11 Dynamic ID project development
12 Dynamic ID project presentations

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Code Sketchbook 30 % 09/04/2019 23/04/2019 1,2
Dynamic ID Project 50 % 30/05/2019 13/06/2019 1,2,3
Rationale and Research Report 20 % 06/06/2019 20/06/2019 4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


The course has been designed with the expectation that students will attend and participate in the weekly class activities. Students are required to present their work in class for both in­-progress and final reviews.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 09/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 23/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Code Sketchbook

This assessment item will document your knowledge of fundamental creative code techniques. Based on work undertaken in class, develop three p5.js sketches that collectively demonstrate all of the following fundamental elements and principles:


  • Arrays
  • Functions (with arguments)
  • Mouse and keyboard interaction
  • Loading and saving data (image and/or text)
  • Use of external libraries and/or code

Creatively adapt the in-class exercises to pursue specific creative goals and investigate techniques of interest. Add detailed comments that explain the function of each portion of the code. You may use pre-existing code, provided that it is licensed appropriately and attributed correctly; also note that you must demonstrate in the comments an understanding of how the code functions.

The sketches also provide an opportunity to experiment with the creative potentials of code. They should demonstrate an ability to use creative code techniques to create resolved outcomes.

Along with the documented sketches, submit a rationale (max 1000 words) that:

  • Outlines your motivation or interest in creative code in relation to your professional background or aims, or field of academic practice or research - this should answer the question of why you are studying this course and what you hope to gain from it.
  • Shows how your submitted sketches address your interest. Document and evaluate the research, technical learning and creative experimentation involved in producing these sketches, and how it addresses your aims and interests.


BuiId and present your sketches using the p5.js web editor environment (http://alpha.editor.p5js.org). Submit a document via Wattle containing links to your three sketches along with your rationale

Value: 30%

Presentation requirements: Present your Sketchbook work in progress in class in week 6 for formative feedback and review



Interpret and apply creative coding concepts and techniques

All required techniques applied successfully with comprehensive interpretation. Additional techniques applied and integrated, with evidence of independent learning

All required techniques applied successfully with clear and comprehensive interpretation.

All required techniques applied successfully, with mostly sound interpretation.

Most required techniques applied successfully. Basic interpretation.

Fails to apply most required techniques successfully. Limited interpretation and understanding shown.

Generate coherent creative outcomes using computational methods

Highly resolved and polished creative outcomes, showing inventive and independent engagement with computational methods.

Successful and resolved creative outcomes, showing inventive and fluent application of computational methods.

Coherent creative outcomes showing successful application of established computational methods.

Mostly coherent creative outcomes showing a basic application of computational methods.

Incomplete, incoherent or non­functional creative work, showing significant limitations in applying computational methods.

Substantiate process and outcomes.

Lucid, insightful and reflective account of motivation, process and outcomes.

Clear and reflective account of motivation, process and outcomes.

Coherent account of motivation, process and outcomes.

Basic account of motivation, process and outcomes.

Fails to account for motivation, process and/or outcomes.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 30/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 13/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Dynamic ID Project

In this project you will apply fundamental programming techniques to realise a creative project. Working in groups of 2­-3, devise and develop a dynamic visual identity for one of the following Canberra organisations



ICON Water



ANU Climate Change Institute

The National Arboretum Canberra


Mada Wines

(or nominate another with approval)

A visual identity is a designed system of text and graphics that conveys an organisation’s identity in a distinctive, legible, recognisable and engaging form. A dynamic visual identity is one that uses code to systematically create variations on the identity, while retaining its character. Variation can be created through coded rules, external data, or user interaction. Consider how variation in the identity might be meaningful in relation to the client. 

Your identity should show a wide range of variations, while maintaining its distinctive character and appeal. Prepare a p5.js sketch that demonstrates dynamic variation and use of interaction, data or generative rules. Demonstrate your dynamic ID in at least two of these three physical realisations:

Screen - ­ stills or animation for web, video, mobile app, digital signage or projection

Print -­ identity for business cards, stationery, posters, flyers.

Object -­ digitally fabricated realisation, eg laser­-cut signage or 3-d­printed object

For digital fabrication we highly recommend the ANU Maker Space. They run regular inductions and provide a range of fabrication services. If you are intending to use their services make sure you complete your induction early in semester!

Submission Requirements

Each submission must include:

  • Final output (screen media, prints, or fabricated items)
  • Dynamic ID p5.js sketch
  • Process Documentation

For the Process Documentation, produce a PDF containing:

All Processing / p5.js code used to generate the outcomes

  • Documentation explaining the code and generative processes used
  • Documentation of the final realisation (eg photographs of fabricated outcomes or plots)
  • Documentation of group roles and contributions to the project. Briefly outline the contributions of each group member

The Process PDF is documentation, not an essay. It should clearly demonstrate what has been done, how, and by whom. 

Upload digital files (screen media, Process PDF) via Wattle. Submit p5.js sketches as links to the online editor, or other public URL. Submit physical media in class.

Final Presentations

Groups will present their finished projects in class, in a final review during week 12. Give a 15 minute presentation outlining the process and outcomes of your project.

Individual Assessment

In this group assessment students should demonstrate their individual contribution in the Process Documentation (above). Students will also have an opportunity to demonstrate their individual learning and contribution in the Reflective Report (below).

Value: 50%

Presentation requirements: Present your completed Dynamic ID Project in class week 12 



Interpret and apply creative coding concepts and techniques

Fluently adapts and applies swarm approaches, independently extending and developing the swarm scaffold

Successfully applies, adapts and extends swarm concepts and techniques

Successfully applies and adapts swarm concepts and techniques

Successfully applies swarm concepts and techniques

Fails to apply swarm concepts and techniques

Use computational methods to generate coherent creative outcomes for a range of media

Fluently uses computational methods to realise highly resolved and inventive work in a specific medium or material.

Uses computational methods to realise highly resolved work in a specific medium or material.

Uses computational methods to realise successful work in a specific medium or material.

Uses computational methods to realise coherent work in a specific medium or material.

Incomplete, incoherent or non-­functional creative work, showing significant limitations in applying computational methods.

Creatively adapt to the technical and cultural constraints of a specific context.

Fluently combines the creative potential of code with specific cultural features of the chosen context and outcome.

Successfully combines the creative potential of code with specific cultural features of the chosen context and outcome.

Adapts creative code to specific cultural features of the chosen context and outcome.

Applies creative code in line with cultural conventions of the chosen context and outcome.

Fails to adapt creative code to cultural conventions of the chosen context and outcome.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 06/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 20/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 4,5

Rationale and Research Report

Prepare a document that provides a rationale for your Dynamic ID project and documents and demonstrates the research content of the project.

  • Document your research into specific creative code works, practitioners and contexts relevant to your project. Formulate a critical response to this practice and show how this critique contributes to your creative project.
  • Document your research into specific applications of creative code relevant to your project. Develop a critical response and show how this critique contributes to your creative project.
  • Document your creative process and provide a rationale, explaining and contextualising your decisions and investigations in the Dynamic ID project, accounting for research, practical experimentation.

Value: 20%

Word limit: 2000 words



Critically reflect on practice and substantiate design outcomes with research and rationale.

Articulate and insightful reflection on practice and learning. Sophisticated and thoroughly supported rationale.

Open and astute reflection on practice and learning. Clear and well supported rationale.

Sound reflection on practice and learning. Clear rationale with solid support.

Some reflection on practice and learning. Offers a limited rationale with some support.

Fails to show reflection on practice and learning. Little or no rationale and/or inadequate support.

Understand design as a critical research practice and substantiate process and outcomes.

Detailed and thoroughly documented research into creative code applications and contexts. Insightful critique applied directly to production.

Thorough research into creative code applications and contexts. Thoughtful critique applied to production

Sound research into creative code applications and contexts. Clear application of critique to production.

Some research into outcomes and/or processes. Some application of critique to production.

Little or no research demonstrated. Little or no application of critique to production.

Effective written communication and organisation

Flawless written expression and sophisticated expression of ideas. Effective document structure

Fluent written expression and clear articulation of ideas. Effective document structure.

Sound written expression and clear articulation of ideas. Sound document structure.

Key points are clearly conveyed; some minor errors. Document shows coherent organisation.

Unclear, incoherent or significantly flawed written communication and/or failure to structure the document effectively.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The written assignment (Reflective Report) is submitted using Turnitin in the course Wattle site. You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records.

Hardcopy Submission

Submission for the Swarm Project may include physical outcomes (drawings, objects etc). These should be submitted in person, in class, on the due date.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Physical submissions will be returned in person by arrangement with the Course Convenor.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Students whose assignments receive a Fail grade may be permitted to resubmit at the discretion of the Course Convenor.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

AsPr Mitchell Whitelaw
6125 4713

Research Interests

AsPr Mitchell Whitelaw

Tuesday 10:00 12:00
Geoffrey Hinchcliffe
6125 4713

Research Interests

Geoffrey Hinchcliffe

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions