Fall 2021 - IAT 806 G100

Interdisciplinary Design Approaches to Computing (3)

Class Number: 4890

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu, Th 4:30 PM – 5:50 PM
    SRYC 2985, Surrey

  • Prerequisites:

    SIAT Graduate Student.



Introduces students to computer programming that encompasses knowledge of art/design history and practices, and introduces a deep approach to design thinking in creating interactive software projects. This programming-intensive course includes an introduction to Interactive Design Computing and the history of ideas that lead to modern interactive computing systems and emphasizes decision making in software design process, historical perspective of art and design, interactive software objects, iterative design cycles and design rationale in producing interactive software and introduces a historical perspective on these techniques.


Students will engage with the practice of making interactive technology by writing programs in an object-oriented programming language. They will further their software design and implementation skills through a progression of interactive software projects. They will also be able to engage critically with the intellectual and ideological underpinnings of interactive systems and get to present and discuss conceptual issues elicitated in their readings.
Programming assignments culminate in a personal project, along with a final short essay motivating and describing their project.


Students will be able to critically engage in interdisciplinary design thinking in the development, design, implementation and testing of interactive software projects. Students we be able to bring in knowledge and practices from art making, design process and the historical record of interactive design computing into their software practices. Students will learn to express themselves programmatically. Student will understand computing as problem-solving, computing as aesthetic experience, computing as expressive media, computing as a user-centered artifact.


  • Programming Assignments 35%
  • Final Programming Project 35%
  • Readings Assignments 15%
  • Final Essay 15%



"New Media from Borges to HTML" by  Lev Manovich [online version is excerpt] 
"'Happenings' in the New York Scene" by  Allan Kaprow, 1961 
"Sketchpad" Ivan Sutherland, 1963
Selections by Experiments in Art and Technology From "9 Evenings E.A.T.", Billy Klüver, 1966
"A Personal Computer for Children of All Ages" by  Alan C Kay, 1972 
"Responsive Environments" by Myron Krueger, 1977 
"Direct Manipulation: a Step Beyond Programming Languages" by Ben Shneiderman, 1983 
"Interface for Advanced Computing" by James D Foley, 1987 
"Ubiquitous Computing" by Mark Weiser, 1993 
"Bricks: Laying the Foundations for Graspable User Interfaces" by Fitzmaurice, G., Ishii, H., & Buxton, W., 1995 
"Computation and human experience" by Philip Agre, 1997 
"Code is Law: On Liberty in Cyberspace" by Lawrence Lessig, 2000 
"Expressive AI: A hybrid art and science practice" by Michael Mateas, 2001
"Reflective Design" by P Sengers, K Boehner, S David, JJ Kaye, 2005 
"Computational Aesthetic Evaluation: Past And Future, From Computers and Creativity" by P Galanter, 2012
“Windows & Mirrors:  Interaction Design, Digital Art & the Myth of Transparency” (2005) by Jay Bolter, Diane Gromala; MIT Press.


"Form + Code in Design, Art & Architecture" (2010) by Casey Reas, Chandler McWilliams, Jeroen Barendse; Princeton Architectural Press; http://formandcode.com/ 
ISBN: 9781568989372

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.