Spring 2021 - IAT 438 E100

Interactive Objects and Environments (3)

Class Number: 6699

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 11 – Apr 16, 2021: Thu, 4:30–8:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    Completion of 60 units, including IAT 233, 235 and 267.



Develops programming and scripting skills for developing combined software, and hardware prototype versions of interactive objects and environments. Covers the art and design of interactive objects and environments. Methodologies emphasizing embodiment, kinesthetics and haptics are introduced by combining theory and practice. Students develop programming skills for developing working prototypes comprised of software, sensors, and hardware.


This course is the “destination course” for the stream of design in SIAT dedicated to the professional practice of User Experience Design in industry.  The outcomes and projects of this course will adhere to these standards - but from the most contemporary, informed and forward-looking position as possible within a given year.  The first course builds advanced learning in design process, framing, developing insights, etc.; as well as graphic design experimentation, dynmaic composotion, and art direction. Content design and strategy will form a major focus for the course. Once these fundamtals of good UX Design are in place the projects will develop with good interactions and UI, strong Visual Design within an Interaction Design framework, working in the context of Experience Design and Business strategy, and Brand. Advanced studies in design languages, experience languages and succesful design systems will be incorporated into a final portfolio-quality project is produced. 


Developing and ensuring the most up-to-date understanding and skillisets necessary for succesful graduation and employment in the UX Design industry in product and agency environments. 


  • Quizzes 20%
  • Projects 80%


As this is a studio-based class that involves weekly teamwork, students should plan accordingly for the semester to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the course as to professional preparation. 



1. Massimo Vignelli, “The Vignelli Canon” 

ISBN: 10: 3037782250

2. Newbery + Farnham, “Experience Design: a framework for integrating brand, experience and value"
ISBN: 10: 1118609638

3. Jake Knapp + Google, “Sprint: how to solve big problems and test new ideas"
ISBN: 10: 150112174X

4. Ellen Lupton + Jennifer Cole Philips, “Graphic Design - the New Basics” 
ISBN: 10: 1568987021


1. Stickdorn + Schneider, “This is Service Design Doing”.
ISBN: ISBN-10: 1491927186

2. Marco Spies, “Branded Interactions:  creating the digital experience”. 
ISBN: 10: 0500518173

3. Andy Clarke, "Art Direction For the Web" 
ISBN: 978-3-945749-7

4. Ellen Lupton, "Thinking With Type"
ISBN: 10: 1568989695

5. Josef Muller-Brockmann, "Grid Systems in Graphic Design: a visual communication manual"
ISBN: 10: 9783721201

6. Josef Albers, "Interaction of Color"
ISBN: 978-0-300-17935-4

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 spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges 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. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).