Course Title: Designing with Data

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Designing with Data

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


320H Architecture & Urban Design


Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2017


City Campus


370H Design


Sem 1 2018,
Sem 2 2018

Course Coordinator: Chuan Khoo

Course Coordinator Phone: Please email

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Please email

Course Coordinator Availability: Please email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities:
- Familiarity and competency in using a computer
- Ability to use digital applications like Adobe Photoshop, or Adobe InDesign or Adobe Illustrator, is beneficial.

Course Description

By doing this course you will develop a clear understanding of the role of data within business, social and cultural contexts, and have the ability to visualise and generate a creative outcome —using data —aligned to your own research interests.

Literacy around data is becoming critical in all forms of practice: be it Big Data (analysis of patterns in large and connected data sets), Open Data (public reporting and government transparency), or personal data (monitoring personal activities).

In this course you will explore the connection between design processes and data to generate informative and creative visual outcomes. You might be from a creative discipline wanting to better understand how to use data, or alternatively, be interested in how the creative applications of data —through visualisation and interaction—can be applied to your discipline. This course is designed to introduce you to new ways of working that promote creative outcomes driven by data.

This course is divided into two main themes. Firstly, learning by exploring the core principles of using data within creative scenarios like Data Visualisation, Data Journalism, and Data Art precedents. Secondly, you apply these principles to your own creative project that integrates techniques that are critical to a data-design process: sourcing data, analysis, filtering, visualisation, design iteration, interactivity and presentation.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

Identify the role of data in business, social and cultural scenarios and communicate the value of design in these contexts

Create and present a data-driven project aligned to a self-directed research topic

Implement digital technologies and programming to achieve your project outcomes

Iteratively develop ideas & designs informed by data

Evaluate and appraise data-driven projects, and their visual and user experience outcomes, from a range of international precedents.

Overview of Learning Activities

This elective focuses on project-based learning in a tutorial environment, where in addition to lecturers, presentations and learning resources, you focus on weekly development of your project, with critique, discussion on self-directed development.

In this elective you will develop skills to handle data, and translate this it into outcomes that may include: printed graphics, interactive websites, or even 3D printed objects.

Overview of Learning Resources

Specific learning resources including readings will be made available to you at the start of the course. This course will utilise online learning materials and use easily available – zero to low cost - software via the internet.
You are expected to bring your own laptop (or have access to a laptop) for the duration of the elective (and have administration rights for this laptop to install software).

You are recommended to have drawing supplies (pens, paper, sketchbooks) and cover expenses relating to printing - using RMIT print facilities - dependant on your project outcomes. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course learning outcomes. Assessment will include the following items:

- Demonstrated capacity to generate, research and articulate project ideas

- Consistent development and documentation of a data-driven design process

- Technical ability to deliver project elements.

Assessment Schedule
1. Research document (10 pg graphical PDF) - 25%

2. Design prototype & presentation (digital files / website) - 35%

3. Project documentation (20 pg graphical PDF) - 40%

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures:

The Student Charter provides an overview of key responsibilities of RMIT Staff and Students to ensure a successful experience of university life.