Course Outline

Designing Emerging Technologies

The skills-based studio will expose students to contemporary software for interaction design. Short projects and activities will provide the opportunity to experience a variety of software packages that are used in web-based, mobile and sensor-based technologies. May include web software, mobile technologies, and Processing or current standard.

Course Content

This course explores emerging technologies in the context of Interaction Design and how it relates to designers. The curriculum includes lectures, tutorials, discussions and projects that investigate both the benefits and disadvantages of contemporary technologies in hardware and software. Participants in the course will be asked to explore a variety of technologies, establish criteria for evaluating technologies and learn about the decision process for choosing the most appropriate technology for a specific project.

In this course we will address nascent technologies and deconstruct how they work and where the opportunities for designers are. The focus of the course is open source web technologies which include HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, MySQL and Processing. Students will gain practical skills and techniques in prototyping using web technology.

The Interaction Design: Technologies course is designed to address a stronger understanding in contemporary digital technologies. The course aims to be a dynamic survey of the most recent advances in technology and their implications for design and society in general.

As technological progress accelerates – we, like the world, are required as designers to change too. Topics in the course will range from computer vision, biotechnology, nanotechnology, digital manufacturing, artificial intelligence, generative design and algorithmic art.

Course Learning Outcomes

Successful participants of this course will learn the following things:

  • The nascent advancements in technology and how they effect the design industry
  • The important aspects of technology that designers are required to be aware of and understand
  • An foundational knowledge of the technology underlying the web
  • A basic understanding of Javascript and JQuery
  • Why learning more about web technology is important for designers
  • What other technologies are influenced or built from web technology
  • The most common tools for prototyping digital experiences
  • How to assess contemporary technology and create an evaluation criteria for choosing specific technologies for design projects
  • How to approach learning new technologies

Resource Materials

All resources can be found at the course website:

Evaluation Criteria

Attendance 10%
Participation 10%
Projects 60%
Presentations 20%
Total 100%

Evaluation Criteria Definitions

Exemplary participants will exhibit the following qualities:

Knowledge of technologies

  • demonstrate thorough and insightful knowledge of forms, conventions, terminology, and strategies for discussed technologies


  • very detailed and insightful findings documented from all research methods for understanding target users and context
  • Observations and insights are compelling or surprising, making good material for ideation and design.

Quality of design solution

  • present very creative and compelling design solutions, clearly focused on addressing a need from a user-centered perspective.

Critical and creative thinking skills

  • use critical and creative thinking skills with a high degree of effectiveness

Communication of information and concepts

  • communicate information and ideas with a high degree of clarity and with confidence

Production skills with technology

  • be able to implement appropriate technologies for given design solutions

Grade Scale

Letter Grade Grade Points Percentage Equivalent Description Expanded Description
A+ 4.33 95-100 Distinguished
A 4.00 90-94 Outstanding
A- 3.67 85-89 Excellent Achievement
B+ 3.33 80-84 Very Good
B 3.00 75-79 Commendable
B- 2.67 70-74 Good
C+ 2.33 65-69 Competent
C 2.00 60-64 Satisfactory
C- 1.67 55-59 Pass
D 1.00 50-54 Marginal Pass
F 0.00 0-49 Fail
P/F 0.00 Pass/Fail
I 0.00 Incomplete Grade
W 0.00 Withdrawal from a course

Additional Policies and Information

University Attendance Policy

You are required to attend all classes. Absence and lateness will affect your grade for the course. Therefore, you should be aware
of the following criteria:

  • You will receive a 5% penalty for each absence and a 2.5% penalty for each time that you are late for class.
  • You will be considered late if you arrive after attendance is taken, when the class has formally begun. Furthermore, you are
    subject to the same penalty if you leave the session before it has properly ended.
  • Being more than one hour late is equivalent to being absent.
  • More than three unexcused absences in a class will result in failure of the course.
  • To formally excuse an absence due to illness or emergency, students must phone or send an email to the instructor by the end of
    the day. You may be required to give proof of a legitimate excuse, such as a doctor’s note.
  • It is also your responsibility to determine what you missed and what you must do to complete any assigned work.

University Participation

100% attention is required during critiques and meetings. Thoughtful and serious engagement, critical thinking and sensitivity
regarding other students and their work are crucial. You are expected to be present and engaged in every class, and well prepared
for every meeting and critique.

Academic Accommodations

Accessibility Services (formerly Disability Services) provides accommodations to the learning environment for students with speech,
hearing, visual, physical, mental health and neurological disabilities (learning, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders), as well as chronic health conditions and acquired brain injury. To receive an accommodation, students need
to establish their eligibility through supporting documentation and become registered with the Accessibility Services Coordinator. An
Accommodation Notice will be prepared for the student to submit to their Faculty. Faculty can then facilitate the accommodation. If
you have a disability and have not yet registered with Accessibility Services, please visit

University General Policies

• Students must maintain an appropriate standard of conduct. They must demonstrate respect for all persons on the campus, and
display mature conduct. All students must abide by the university’s Student Conduct Policies and the university’s Harassment
Policies (see Emily’s A to Z). Failure by students to maintain appropriate standards of conduct may result in the initiation of
disciplinary action by the university. Instructors are responsible for managing the classroom. Students whose behaviour is
disruptive, challenging or intimidating will be addressed and may be excused from class. If the behaviour continues, disciplinary
measures (see Emily’s A to Z) will be employed.
• The instructor may modify the material or schedule specified in this outline. Any changes will be announced in class.
• Late assignments or projects may be penalized as specified in the course outline.
• It is plagiarism to present someone else’s work or ideas as one’s own. Plagiarism may result in failure of an assignment, of the
course, and, if repeated, expulsion from the university. Assistance with the ethical practices of attribution and documentation is
available from the Writing Centre or online at
• A student may be required to provide proof of a legitimate excuse, such as a doctor’s note, for illness or absence which causes
any missed assignments, tests, projects, exams, etcetera, or for absences of more than two classes. At the discretion of the
instructor, the student may complete the work for a prorated grade.
• Students must demonstrate that they understand and practice the safe use of tools and other equipment, materials, and
processes used in their course projects. They must conduct themselves in a responsible manner that does not endanger
themselves or others, and must adhere to area procedures regarding authorized operation of equipment, handling of materials, and
use of space.
• Professional counselling and therapy is available at no charge to students who have concerns of a personal nature. Information
shared is held in strict confidence. To make an appointment, call 604-630-4555 or email or come in to the
Counselling Centre.
• The Writing Centre is a service that Emily Carr provides to all students, staff, and faculty from every program area who would like
to improve their reading, writing, critical thinking, and research skills. This is a free, voluntary, and confidential service. Writing
Centre instructors can help you at every stage of your writing, from developing ideas to final revision. This applies to any kind of
writing, from a three line artist’s statement to a twenty page academic paper. Please check out the Writing Centre blog site for more
information and to sign up for an appointment Telephone: 604-629-4511; Coordinator: Heather Fitzgerald
• Email is an official means of communication with Emily Carr students by faculty, administration and other service providers on
campus. Email routing will be confined to the university’s internal communication network, and delivered to an officially assigned
and verifiable University Email Address. All users are bound by the provisions of Emily Carr Policy 415: Code of Conduct for
Appropriate Use of Information Technology Facilities and Services (outlined on the Emily Carr website and in Emily’s A to Z).
Instructors will outline and detail the expected extent and parameters of email use in the course in the first class, and clarify the
timeframe for checking and responding to emails.
• Emails will be answered in a timely manner, usually within 48 hours after receiving the email. Emails will not, however, be
answered on weekends or the day before an assignment is due if the email relates to the assignment.

Important Dates

January 4, Monday: University Reopens
January 6, Wednesday: Spring semester classes begin
February 7-13, Sunday – Saturday – Study Week: No Classes
February 8, Monday – Family Day: University Closed
February 15-27, Monday – Saturday – Grad Studies 2016 MAA Thesis Exhibition + External Review
March 4-12, Friday – Saturday – Grad Studies 2017 MAA Interim Exhibition
March 25, Friday – Good Friday: University Closed – classes rescheduled on Wednesday, April 6
March 28, Monday – Easter Monday: University Closed – classes rescheduled on Thursday, April 7
April 5, Tuesday – Last day of regularly scheduled classes
April 6, Wednesday -Classes rescheduled from Friday, March 25
April 7, Thursday -Classes rescheduled from Monday, March 28 (Last day of rescheduled classes)
April 6-7 – Wednesday – Thursday – Grad Studies 2017 MAA + MDes Interim Thesis Presentations
April 8 – 14, Friday – Thursday – Critique, exam + assessment week
April 8 – 14, Friday – Thursday – Design Reviews – Final Critiques
April 11 – 15, Monday to Friday – Review Panels for Visual Arts, FVIM, ANIM, ISMA, CRCP + CGIA
April 11-15, Monday to Friday – Grad Studies 2017 MAA + MDes Advancement Reviews
April 15-21, Friday – Thursday – Assessment + grading week
April 15-21, Friday – Thursday – Design review + assessment week (follow up, individual meetings with students, project
documentation, and program events)
April 18 – 22, Monday – Friday – Grad Studies 2016 MAA + MDes Final Thesis Project Presentations
April 22, Friday: Spring Semester Ends