Course Title: Make Things Interactive: How to create physically interactive objects and environments

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Make Things Interactive: How to create physically interactive objects and environments

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


370H Design


Sem 1 2018,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021

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

No pre-requisites or prior knowledge is required.

Course Description

This course explores the use of embedded microprocessors to develop physically interactive objects and environments. Through the course you will become proficient in the use of open-source electronic prototyping platforms such as Arduino. You will investigate the creative use of sensors that detect stimuli, including movement, light and sound and develop program code, circuits, and networked devices to produce active or reactive objects and/or installations.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course will develop your capacity to:

  • Design technologically mediated interactions and experiences.

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

  • Employ basic electronics, including embedded microcontrollers and sensors to build sensing platforms and interactive objects.
  • Apply essential programming principles and procedural thinking to interaction design.
  • Evaluate and integrate the use of appropriate software and hardware tools with your existing knowledge & expertise.
  • Demonstrate prototyping and construction abilities that will enable you to assemble and solder hardware elements to create interactive devices.
  • Develop active / reactive interactions through shifting information between virtual and physical environments.
  • Critically reflect on the social impact of digitally connected or augmented environments and the role of the designer in relation to these environments.

Overview of Learning Activities

In this course you will be expected to work both collaboratively and in a self directed manner to demonstrate your learning through a number of small learning activities in tutorial and workshop settings.

Your lecturer will guide you in developing a unique project that will allow you to achieve the appropriate learning outcomes for this course based on your capabilities, disciplinary focus and learning objectives.

You actively engage in researching and exploring processes, technologies and methods to allow you to realise your project objectives.

You will contribute to class critiques and receive verbal and/or written feedback from academic staff and your peers through a variety of consultations, presentations and tutorials.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT University will provide you with a range of resources and tools to engage in this course, including studio and workshop facilities, online systems and professional equipment. You will also have access to a wide range of online and hardcopy resources through RMIT University Library.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the learning outcomes of this course. Assessment will be based on tutorial and workshop activities and on the design and production of an active or reactive object, sculpture or installation.

You will be required to document and critically reflect upon your process and method.

Equitable Learning Services: 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.

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

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