research publications

music + interaction



research opportunities



AeSon toolkit




(Past @ UTS 2008 - Feb 2014 )

Bachelor of Sound and Music Design (Former Course Director)

UTS course information:

The course is for students with an interest in music, creative arts, design and technology, and interactive media. It converges creative practice (art thinking) and innovative solution (design thinking) through music and sound. It offers a unique, contemporary sound and music degree experience by merging art and technology across domains of composition, entertainment and audio technology, as well as combining features of musical culture and sound production with interaction design. A strong research-led teaching ethos governs the rapid integration of new technologies and develops from research and industry collaboration into the curricuum to embrace latest thinking in an evolving and innovative field. It is a 3-year full-time Bachelor's degree.

Career pathways include working in sound design or production across a diverse range of media, communication and design outlets including architecture, animation, exhibition design, gaming, music, product design and web applications. Specific examples include computer musicians, e-fashion designers, electronic music composers, information system (sonification) designers, installation artists/sound sculptors, interactive media artists, mobile/smart-phone and device audio interface designers, new media artists, new sonic interface designers, product audio designers and software interface designers. This hybrid multidiscilinary approach builds on the collabroation between the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences with the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at UTS enabling a rich intersection with spatial, architectural, industrial design and social and cultural contextualisation.



Situated Media Installation Studio

Cross-Faculty interdisciplinary studio involving the collaboration of Sound and Music Design and Photography and Situated Media students in the development of situated (contextual) installation (e.g. using locative, augment reality, geo-situated technologies, sonification & visualisation of real-time situated data, and light objects) to create responsive, situated and interactive installations for a culminatingpublic exhibition of major projects.

2011 studio: precinct.neighbourhood (exhibited at fraserstudios)

In 2011, the theme is 'precinct/neighbourhood' referring to the Frasers, Ultimo, Broadway, Haymarket and general UTS vicinity, narrative, history, perceptions and revealing hidden and augmented interpretations of our city environment. Students examined ways in which media is affected by its situation and ways in which media can affect/transform/interpret its sitaution, alter perceptions of space and meaning through location, augmentation, interaction, making visible and audible the invisible and altering human engagement with the context (social, spatial, geographical, locative, informative, semantic).

Some works were conceptual and physical, installed in the gallery, while others took you on an experiential journey (binaural+video-enhanced walk) to investigate situated media outside in the precinct, starting from the gallery.In addition to promoting art and design collaboration, students explored ideas that were new for most - installation design, interaction, situated media, new technical skills, e.g. programming in Max/MSP, Arduino + Processing, electronics, working with physical light, gallery installation, new modes of recording their images and sounds. The other teaching staff were: Chris Caines, Alex Davies, Jai McKenzie, Kirsty Beilharz, Vedad Famourzadeh, Aengus Martin and Justin Harvey and we were supported by: The School of Design in DAB and Professor Lawrence Wallen, FASS MediaLab & Brendan Lloyd & Equipment Store, DAB Fabrication Lab, Sense-Aware Lab. Additional guest lectures were given by David Burns, Koji Ryui and Damien Castaldi, as well as the teaching staff who work from locative, lighting, interactive and augmented reality media backgrounds.


2010 studio: public spaces in dab building

This studio-based subject explores situated media through installation. The interaction and experience of media is human-scale and occurs in gallery and museum installations, public places, in ambient (informative or responsive) displays, re-configurable architecture and large spatial environments. The objective of the interdisciplinary collaborative studio is to encourage dialogue across media boundaries and paradigms of designing, to facilitate trans-literacy in a spectrum of medium. Thus photographic and design students collaborate with sound and music students to investigate real-time interaction and the mediation of the human-scale experience, with interfaces such as sensors, camera- tracking, game controllers, wireless technologies, and methods of capturing user engagement. Versatile purposes for installation include informative display, modes of inquiry in public places, entertainment, ambient information display (visualisation and sonification of social and contextual data relating to the spatial, climatic or cultural environment) and dynamic architectural spaces. Students develop innovative ways to integrate different media from specialist design fields, to situating media according to its environment, perspective and context.

Situated Media can be understood in terms of contextual location (locative media), proximity, social, political, physical, spatial, environmental and cultural situation. Students will develop an understanding of different theoretical, historical and innovative ways to respond to context and how media can be specified to respond to its situation.

Themes include:


Contemporary Music 1

This subject provides a contextual historical overview of contemporary music since 1950. It investigates the social environment, theoretical climate and influences that shaped contemporary music, examining genres as diverse as rock, jazz, experimental avant-garde, early electronic music to contemporary classical composers and non-Western music. Students are introduced to major schools of thought and the descriptive language, styles, genre, forms and origins in music history with particular focus on the nexus of acoustic and electronic sound and music based on listening. The subject also looks at sonic, harmonic and other structural elements as they draw on traditional cultural heritage, retrospective origins and new directions.

The content in Contemporary Music 1 is presented in parallel with Electronic Music Composition. While Contemporary Music 1 focuses on history, theory and culture, Electronic Music Composition concentrates on making, i.e. knowledge applied in practical creative projects revolving around the same topics. In this subject, students will explore the historical, theoretical, conceptual and contemporary ideas, readings and listenings that form the basis of fundamental trends, style and techniques in Contemporary Music, examining the origin of contemporary forms, theories and techniques. While in Electronic Music Composition, students will elaborate these ideas in their compositional creative practice. The examples of 'great masters' studied in Contemporary Music 1 will inspire the techniques, technologies and implementation undertaken in Electronic Music Composition.

Specific content covered includes:


Contemporary Music 2

Building on the historic foundations of Contemporary Music 1, this subject focuses more specifically on philosophy, form and theory as it informs approaches to composing music and organising sound. These ways of thinking potentially provide methodologies for students in their creative practice. Learning by example, students consider works by master composers. The subject covers approaches to soundscape and environmental sound founded by Murray Schaffer; philosophies of silence, re-thinking form and chance with John Cage; relationships between physical, spatial and musical structures; microcosmic investigation by the Spectral composers; Stochastic and theoretical practices; digital and music concrète; post-digital music; world music influences in the orchestra and transforming notions of structure and sonority. The primary objective of this subject is to develop ways of transforming abstract thinking, philosophy and theory into practical approaches for creating music.

Topics include:


Electronic Music Composition

This subject takes a conceptual and practical approach to composing music in a number of 'non-traditional' ways. It examines generative and algorithmic music, form and structural strategies for organising sound and music, harmonic theories, spatial design and approaches to creativity, challenging limitations of the conventional notions of the 'score'. Students explore a breadth of methods for developing time-based sonic structures, generating sonic content and organising elements cohesively through projects. The subject looks at electronic ways of composing beyond the traditional score, as well as software environments that facilitate creative practice.

The content in Electronic Music Composition is presented in parallel with Contemporary Music 1. While Contemporary Music 1 focuses on history, theory and culture, Electronic Music Composition concentrates on making, i.e. knowledge applied in practical creative projects revolving around the same topics. In this subject, students will explore the technological and computational methods of composing, organising, and presenting sounds and musical ideas through fundamentals of structure, timbre, harmonicity and dissonance, rhythm and pulse, orchestration for electro-acoustic or electronic musical composition media. Students will draw on the historical, theoretical, conceptual and contemporary ideas discussed in Contemporary Music 1 and apply this knowledge to their own creative practice. Contemporary forms, theories and techniques will be explored through a variety of time-based, notation, processing and performative software options, elaborated through the musical techniques inspired by 'great masters' studied in Contemporary Music 1, such as interpolation, rules and generative techniques, aleatory, density/textural devices and executing these ideas in electronic music composition. Students will develop fluency across a variety of creative and cultural platforms.

Topics as for Contemporary Music 1, studied through creative practical outcomes.


Former Ph.D & DCA Supervisions

(Principal Supervisor)

Roger Mills
Ben Carey
Mary Mainsbridge
Jiann Hughes
Jeremiah Nugroho
Jenni Hagedoorn
Elmar Trefz
Vedad Famourzadeh

(Associate Supervisor)

Ben Ball
Andrew Martin


(past @ Universtiy of Sydney 2001 - 2008)

Undergraduate (Bachelor of Design Computing)

Sound Design and Sonification
(Acoustic and audio theory, methods, sound design, auditory cues, auditory display, sonification)

Advanced Interactive Multimedia Design
(responsive + interactive multi-modal art installation, hyper-instrument or data-driven display (visualization/sonification); Max/MSP + Jitter, computer vision, Wiring + Processing, Kroonde/WiSeBox wireless sensors)

Graduate Coursework (Master of Design Science - Digital Media)

Interactive Sound Design Studio
(responsive + interactive sound and multi-modal art installation; Max/MSP + Jitter, ProTools/Logic, Wii controllers, cv.jit colour- and motion-tracking computer vision, reactivision fiducial marker-tracking with computer vision and reactable, boidal flocking, Wiring + Processing, Kroonde/WiSeBox wireless sensors, physical computing, sensate environments, ambient display, data-driven design, spatial + gestural interaction)

Visual Perception and Digital Imaging
(physiology of vision, visual cognition, image composition, aesthetics, criticism, montage, digital imaging, PhotoShop)

Digital Media Design Studio
(Project-based applications of interactive and time-based media design, physical computing, artificial intelligence, A-Life and other generative computing methods, sensor and tracking data, research papers)

Web Design and Programming
(scripting and programming, and media element design)

Interactive Multimedia Design
(usability, HCI, interaction design, Flash + ActionScript, Director)

Advanced Interaction Design
(responsive + interactive multi-modal art installation, hyper-instrument or data-driven display [visualization/sonification]; Max/MSP + Jitter, computer vision, Wiring + Processing, Kroonde/WiSeBox wireless sensors)

Digital Media Production
(image editing - PhotoShop, Illustrator/InDesign, audio editing, video editing)

Postgraduate Research

Ph.D supervisions (Principal Supervisor):
Joanne Jakovich, Hong Jun Song, Michael Bates, Nathan Wilson
Ph.D (Associate Supervisor):
Ian Stevenson, Sam Ferguson, Baki Kocaballi
Honours supervisions (3)
Independent Study supervisor

Subject Coordinator

3D Computer Graphics Concepts (formerly 3D Modeling)
3D Animation 1
3D Animation 2
Digital Compositing and Visual Effects
Modelling and Animation for Games Studio
Digital Video Design and Production
Digital Culture