• Class Number 7412
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Mitchell Whitelaw
    • Prof Mitchell Whitelaw
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 29/10/2021
  • Census Date 14/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
SELT Survey Results

In our increasingly computerised and networked society, designers and creative practitioners are faced with exciting new opportunities to incorporate computation into their production processes. Dynamic design embraces the constant change and variability of digital media, crafting flexible, interactive systems. Generative design takes up the potential of computing as a process, using rules and systems to create otherwise impossible physical and visual forms. The designed systems that result can give rise to endless variations in form and outcome, challenging traditional notions of design and object. To explore these ideas and opportunities, this course takes a practical, production-focused approach to computer-based generative techniques and design for dynamic content. It introduces skills and techniques with broad application which students may employ in image-making, visualisation, video and animation, interactive media, or 3D design for objects and structures. 

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. Adapt, apply and extend key concepts and techniques of dynamic and generative design.
  2. Apply generative and dynamic processes to specific cultural and design contexts through an innovative design project.
  3. Conduct research into design theories, artefacts and processes, and extend knowledge through creative production.
  4. Substantiate design outcomes with research and rationale.

Required Resources

Please refer to the policy on Required Resources and Incidental Fees. https://soad.cass.anu.edu.au/required-resources-and-incidental-fees

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

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 Combinatorial Systems and Form-Space
2 Cellular Automata
3 Growth and form - Eden Systems and DLA Case Study presentations 1 Generative Design Case Study
4 Particle Systems Case Study presentations 2
5 Multi-agent Systems - Swarms and more
6 System Studies review & work in progress presentations Dynamic Ceramics briefing
7 Dynamic Ceramics - Concept Presentations and Practice Audit
8 Dynamic Ceramics - project development. Introduction to PotterBot printer.
9 Dynamic Ceramics - project development and workflows. NB Public Holiday Monday - class will be rescheduled.
10 Dynamic Ceramics - project development and workflows.
11 Dynamic Ceramics - project development Test prints and analysis due Monday
12 Dynamic Ceramics - project development, final work in progress presentations
13 Dynamic Ceramics due Thursday 04 November Dynamic Ceramics Documentation and Rationale due Thursday 04 November
99 NON TEACHING Applying Dynamic Design due Monday 13 September

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Generative Design Case Study 10 % 09/08/2021 25/08/2021 1,3
Applying Dynamic Design 30 % 13/09/2021 27/09/2021 1,2
Dynamic Ceramics 50 % 04/11/2021 18/11/2021 2,3
Dynamic Ceramics: Documentation and Rationale 10 % 04/11/2021 18/11/2021 3,4

* 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 Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 09/08/2021
Return of Assessment: 25/08/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,3

Generative Design Case Study

1500 Words

Research and investigate an example of generative and/or dynamic design in practice. Check your chosen example with your tutor to ensure it is valid. Address the following points:

  • Identify, describe and explain the specific algorithms or dynamic systems and techniques applied.
  • Analyse and evaluate the range of variation that the system enables, and its constraints or limitations.
  • How does the algorithm or system constrain or structure the range of outcomes?
  • Analyse the role and value that generative or dynamic design plays in the work: eg generating variety, enabling customisation or personalisation, responding to data input.
  • Discuss authorship and control. How does the designer frame or represent their own authorship or choices? Do they claim authorship? How do they describe or account for the generative capacity of the system?

Share your case study with the class in a 10 minute non-assessable presentation in class, in weeks 3 and 4.

Assessment Criteria

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of key concepts of dynamic and generative design (50%)
  2. Conduct research into design theories, artefacts and processes (30%)
  3. Effective written and visual communication (20%)

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 13/09/2021
Return of Assessment: 27/09/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Applying Dynamic Design

Based on the approaches outlined in class, develop a creative project that applies dynamic / generative techniques to a specific design context and application. Outcomes may span visual communication, web design, motion graphics, product design, interface / interaction design or other forms. Discuss the scope of your proposed project with your lecturer before starting work. Create code that demonstrates your understanding of dynamic design techniques, and their successful application for visual and spatial outcomes. Ensure that your design is suited to your chosen context, and justify your design decisions in a brief (500 word) rationale. Submit sketches as code in p5.js or another appropriate and readily runnable format (eg Processing, OpenJSCAD, HTML/JS).

Assessment Criteria

  1. Apply and adapt generative and dynamic design processes (50%)
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of key concepts of dynamic and generative design (50%)

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 04/11/2021
Return of Assessment: 18/11/2021
Learning Outcomes: 2,3

Dynamic Ceramics

Working in groups, develop and realise a design system for 3d-printed ceramic objects. Designs must be generated using code, based on interaction, data input and/or generative algorithms and systems. Investigate the growing use of 3d printing in ceramics and use this research to inform your experimentations.

Focus on a specific functional application and form - eg bowl, vase, flask, tray, plant pot, cup, jewellery, tile, trivet, etc. Devise a system that can generate a diverse range of aesthetically successful and functionally viable forms. Work with the potentials and constraints of the ceramic 3d printer to inform your design.

Conduct test prints of your forms by Week 10. Submit documentation and analysis of your tests - this will form part of your rationale submission.

Submit code for dynamic system and at least 3 printed and finished (fired) objects showing the dynamic range and potential of your system.

Assessment Criteria

  1. Apply and adapt generative and dynamic processes in a developed design project (40%)
  2. Independently resolve techniques and materials for design outcomes (40%)
  3. Conduct research into design artefacts and processes, and apply findings to creative production (20%)

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 04/11/2021
Return of Assessment: 18/11/2021
Learning Outcomes: 3,4

Dynamic Ceramics: Documentation and Rationale

Working in groups, account for your project work, including:

  • Conceptual and technical development of your system
  • Design rationale - explain and justify your design decisions
  • Critical analysis of related work in relation to the project
  • Fabrication experiments and tests
  • Evaluation of the final outcomes including potential for future work.

Present your discussion in a richly illustrated report. Submit as a PDF file via Wattle.

Assessment Criteria

  1. Conduct research into design artefacts and processes, and apply findings to creative production (30%)
  2. Substantiate and document design process and outcomes (50%)
  3. Effective written and visual communication (20%)

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

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. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. 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.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted 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.

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).

Prof Mitchell Whitelaw

Research Interests

Prof Mitchell Whitelaw

Wednesday 13:00 15:00
Wednesday 13:00 15:00
Prof Mitchell Whitelaw

Research Interests

Prof Mitchell Whitelaw

Wednesday 13:00 15:00
Wednesday 13:00 15:00

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