• Offered by School of Art and Design
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Design
  • Areas of interest Digital Arts, Visual Arts, Design
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Pia van Gelder
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2023
    See Future Offerings

This course introduces students to physical technologies that interact with our bodies and environment through sensors and actuators, systems that are already embedded into our daily lives. A field of creative practice that is sometimes referred to as physical or material computing, this course requires no prior knowledge of coding or electronics, providing a hands-on introduction to integrating physical technologies and computing in creative practice. As a part of this course students can create their own devices, instruments, systems or wearables, applying ideas of interaction design to physical experiences. Through investigations of physical computing technologies, discourses and practices the course also introduces critical perspectives, considering how technology is a cultural and creative material, studying and testing how physical computing can be embodied, how it can integrate, mimic and intervene with systems that are environmental and behavioural, natural and engineered. While grounded in design and the visual arts, this course is suitable for any students with an interest in creative approaches to computing and electronics. 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. create designed objects and experiences that incorporate environmental, behavioural and material factors;
  2. navigate and critically interpret physical computing technologies, discourses and practices and apply research to your creative practice;
  3. contextualise your work within fields of discourse and practice through writing and reflection; and
  4. incorporate ethical and critical approaches to technological and material practices.

Other Information

School of Art & Design studio courses have a limited enrolment capacity. Students are advised to enrol as early as possible to maximise the opportunity of securing a place.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Interactive Circuit: Sensing and Actuation (Independent) (30) [LO 1,2,4]
  2. Research and Development Documentation (20) [LO 2,3,4]
  3. Creative Interventions (Group) (50) [LO 1,2,3,4]

The ANU uses 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. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:

a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks comprising lectures, tutorials/workshops; and

b) 94 hours of independent research, reading and practice.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

As published on Wattle


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $5100
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3849 20 Feb 2023 27 Feb 2023 31 Mar 2023 26 May 2023 In Person View

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