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Creativity+Innovation Courses Spring 2021

Creative Computing

CS 4644

Do you think computing is an expressive medium? Have you ever had a desire to just build something that does some crazy thing? Do you hack things as a means of expression or just for fun? Do you have something to say to the world – or even to just an audience of 1?

This is a different kind of capstone class. We will do projects that explore creative expression using computing. This section will work with projection, sensors, and mobile technologies. There will be a few sketch projects and one large semester project.

You will use the skills you have learned in your other classes and on your own for implementation but you will problem-solve in different ways. We draw on expertise and practices in art, communications, music, and computer science. In parallel with the projects, discussions, a few lectures, demonstrations of collaborative projects created by faculty to frame and reflect upon the nature of technology based art. Students are expected to keep up with assigned reading and contribute actively to our discussions.

I am looking for motivated, creative students with a variety of backgrounds. I expect commitment to the exploration of ideas as well as professional, well-built software and installations. The semester projects will be shown publicly at ICAT Day.

In addition to a variety of creative projects, students will lead seminar discussions on topics of creative computing.

Additional information

Instructor: Steve Harrison

New Interfaces for Socially Distant Collaboration


TR 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Taught exclusively synchronously online

Building on the successes of the Linux Laptop Orchestra's (L2OrkL2Ork Tweeter designed in response to COVID-19 to connect laptop musicians over distance to collaboratively ideate, improvise, compose, rehearse, and perform new electronic music, in the Spring 2021 the Creative Technologies in Music program at Virginia Tech is pleased to offer MUS4014 course (New Interfaces for Socially Distant Collaboration). By forming interdisciplinary collaborative groups, students will have an opportunity to learn how to holistically:

  • Develop new networked collaborative interfaces and use them to co-create and co-design new sound, music, and multimedia-based artifacts;
  • Design innovative interaction interfaces;
  • Navigate issues of usability, security, and privacy;
  • Address the limitations of network-based collaboration, including bandwidth and audio latency;
  • Explore, test, and evaluate existing and new prototypes;
  • Collaboratively develop new content using newfound interfaces, and
  • Present their work at the end of the semester as part of the Creativity+Innovation Day.

The course is also open to non-majors who do not have to have stated prerequisites. Instead they need to be at least Juniors in their own area of study. To learn how to register please email the instructor at

Additional information

Instructor: Ivica Ico Bukvic
L2Ork website
L2Ork Facebook


UH 4984

TR 9:30 – 10:45 a.m.
Squires 134

Studio+ aims to enhance Virginia Tech’s leadership role in transdisciplinary and trans-sector education in collaborative technology innovation for societal impact. Studio+ currently focuses on six interrelated areas of trans-sector technological and societal innovation that are also emerging as distinguishing strengths of Virginia Tech: Cyber Physical Systems - Smart Factory, Design for Advanced Manufacturing,  Upgrading Systems From Legacy to Smart, Digital Thread and Supply Chain Synchronization, Semi Automated Inspection, and Inclusive Human Capital Development and Point of Need Learning/Training (PNLP).

In Spring 2021, the course will accept students with class standing of Sophomore and above and will focus on the exploration of cross-sector workforce development partnerships for VT in the six major areas identified above. Students in the course will be introduced to key ideas about collaborative sociotechnical innovation including design thinking, systems thinking, value propositions, and sustainable development. Working in teams, students will gain hands-on project based experience through collaborations with industry and nonprofits partners in the Industry 4.0 for Sustainable Development Lab.

Additional information

Instructor: Dr. Aisling Kelliher (CS) and Dr. Joseph Simpson (Business)
Honors College Course website

HCD collection of graduate iPhD courses

STS 6614: Interdisciplinary Design Cultures - A Seminar on the Values of Making Things

W 9:00-11:45 a.m.
Online Synchronous

What does design mean and what has it meant in the past to engineers, industrial designers, scientists, architects, urban planners, social scientists, et al.? Do these diverse professionals— who often work in teams—conceive of design differently? How do social conditions and assumptions
shape the material, digital, and conceptual artifacts they produce? What values is design meant to embody? What happens when designs fail? Are some designs “good” and others “evil”? In this seminar we employ a mix of thing theory, anthropology, history, sociology, and design research to investigate
these multi-faceted questions about the human-built world.

For Whom?
The class serves multiple audiences. It introduces students in STS, ASPECT, and textual fields to the theoretical and lived problems of design practice. It provides students from design programs from Human Computer Interaction to Landscape Architecture and Engineering Education with a historical and social background into their practices while at the same time demonstrating the value of STS approaches in design. We will foster a supportive environment where you can develop and share work in progress. We will invite design researchers and scholars to join us to discuss their work. The ambition is collaborative conversation. In other words, it likely is for you.

Sample Readings

  • Sasha Costanza-Chock, Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need (MIT, 2020).
  • Bruno Latour, Aramis, or, the Love of Technology (Harvard, 1996).
  • Victor Papanek, Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change (Pantheon, 1971)
  • Herbert A. Simon, The Sciences of the Artificial (MIT, 3rd ed., 1998).
  • Damien Patrick Williams. (2020) “Fitting the description: historical and sociotechnical elements of facial recognition and anti-black surveillance,” Journal of Responsible Innovation.
  • Bess Williamson and Elizabeth Guffey, eds., Making Disability Modern: Design Histories (Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2020).

Additional information

Instructor: Matt Wisnioski
Counts toward graduate certificates in Human-Centered Design, Engineering Education, and STS


Become a Partner

Is your organization dealing with complex problems?

What if you had access to new and innovative approaches that could meet your organization’s needs?

Would your organization benefit from different perspectives on the areas you are addressing?

Also, visit LINK online for other great partnership opportunities.