This course will cover advanced topics in interactive media, virtual reality (VR) and
introduce creative coding techniques. It
provides an introduction to the theory and
practice of design and development of
virtual reality (VR) projects using the Unity
game engine. Participants will investigate
novel forms of design practice using
advanced technologies such as the virtual
reality environment CAVE2 in the UIC’s
Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL).
Focusing on creative coding, 3D interaction,
audio design, typography, theater and seminal works,
this course will take a deep dive into the
techniques and challenges of the designs
for virtual reality. We will cover a breadth
of topics not only limited to the “how-to” of
VR, but also explore the history of the VR
art and design, creative coding, real-time
typography, theater, ethics and visualization critique.
We are experiencing an outburst of the VR
technologies across fields and industries.
The increasing accessibility of headsets is
attracting designers into VR to examine its
potential beyond gaming. What is the future of design in the context of rapid advancement of technology? What happens when VR technologies instead of being a choice for designer became a required medium? Can we define theoretical, practical and empirical methods that can provide a better understanding of design communication possibilities in modern virtual-, augmented-, or mixed reality environments?
This course offers a rare and exciting
opportunity for design students
to work with the CAVE2, the most advanced
virtual reality collaborative environment and
high-resolution display technology available
today. We will use advanced visualization
technologies available in EVL such as SAGE3,
Scalable Amplified Group Environment.
SAGE3 is designed for data-intensive
visualization and team collaboration. We will
use large display powered by SAGE3 for our
critiques, presentations and demonstrations
of team projects.
Participants will develop new skills and produce interactive projects using 3D design, typography, VR and audiovisual media. This course will introduce the basics of coding and scripting and it designed for students with no prior programming experience. We will use Maya, Adobe CS, Unity3D game engine, C#, Audacity, and other software tools and languages to develop interactive applications and collaborative class exhibition. The coursework will be organized around the development of collaborative project which will be exhibited at the end fo the semester.
To contextualize these projects participants will read from seminal and contemporary writings on virtual reality, media design, interactive narrative, creative AI, immersive experiences, and information visualization from journals such as Leonardo, SIGGRAPH and the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA).
School of Design has mandatory $125.00 laboratory fee is required for each course, which is
used for the course supporting materials, and supplies (devices, printer paper, copies, media
storage, supplies for presentation etc.)
Your final grade will be based on your
performance on the class projects,
assignments, attendance, discussions, and
participation. In order to successfully pass
the course, students will be expected to
complete the activities listed below. Weights
listed between parentheses indicate the
contribution of the specific component to
the final course grade. The course evaluation
components listed below are mandatory.
Students do not have the option of opting
out of any of the activities required for the
assessment of these components.
For best in-class participation, you should
complete required readings and tasks before
class (will be specified in the study guide in
Be prepared for a lot of hard work: be
prepared to design, research and code, often,
and much outside of the class. This course
will be difficult but also very much in-depth
and useful to prepare your graduation
portfolio. There is a lot of self-study required:
there are many recommended resources on
mobile design and programming, and our
course time is limited. Each session will have
required pre-reading and post-reading. Make
sure to, at the very least, skim the references.
Our lecture time is limited as well as our
lab time, and the goal is to maximize that
time. The instructors reserve the right to add
online tutorials, lectures and video sessions
to class lectures and homework.
You must submit all assignments via Google
drive unless otherwise instructed on the
deadline specified for each assignment.
Attendance, Collaboration and Participation (20%) :
this component of the final grade is based
on your contribution to the class in the form
of attendance and active participation in the
collaborative project. Students are expected
to attend every class meeting, arrive on
time and stay until the end. Regular and
punctual attendance may be used, at the
professor’s discretion, to make adjustments
to the final grade in borderline cases. Active
participation will help students achieve the
best learning experience. Completing the
readings indicated in the class schedule
before class, and being fully present during
each class will help students actively
engage during each class meeting. Active
participation includes active engagement
during in-class activities and contributions
through asking questions or providing
answers when material is unclear. The
professor will assume that you are well
prepared for each class meeting and will feel free to call upon you to provide an answer or
comment. Each absence will be penalized
by 1% in the case where permission was not
granted by the professor ahead of time. More
than two unexcused absences will result in
a reduction of the final grade by one letter
grade; with every additional unexcused
absence, the final grade will drop by an
additional grade. Be prepared for a lot of
hard work: be prepared to design, research
and code, often, and much outside of the
class. This course will be difficult but also very
much in-depth and useful to prepare your
Assignments, Discussions (30%) :
Assignments will be due on Wednesdays by 12:00 pm unless otherwise specified. Project
deliverables will have a different deadlines’
structure. Any number of unannounced
quizzes may be given during the semester at
the beginning or end of class. There are no
make-ups for assignments or quizzes.
Projects (50%) :
Students will propose
their own individual projects as well as
the collaborative project concepts and go
through an ideation phase. Ideas will have to
be approved by the instructor. Each student
will have to submit various deliverables
including a project proposal, skethces,
and final design. Stuents are expected to
submit all the deliverables in order to receive
a final grade on the group project. Team
members are expected to contribute to
every deliverable and be present in all class presentations.
Late submissions will be penalized by
5% grade reduction for each overdue
day. Assignments must be professionally
prepared and presented.
Projects more than 5 days late will not be
accepted. Be sure to submit the work well
ahead of due time. Excuses like website or
computer error will not be accepted after the
‘Incompletes’ will only be granted according
to University policy. No incompletes are
granted for not-health related reasons
unsupported by medical documentation.
A (90-100%) Consistent growth in the above
listed as well as excellent work. Excellent
work consistently goes above and beyond
what is required.
B (80-89.99%) Above average growth in the
above listed as well as above average work.
C (70-79.99%) Average growth in the above
listed as well as average work.
D (60-69.99%) Dissatisfactory growth in the
above listed and incomplete work.
F (59.99% or below) Dissatisfactory growth in
the above listed, incomplete work and poor
Any individuals with learning disabilities or special needs must make the instructor
aware of them prior to the due date of the first major assignment. Those who require
accommodations for access and participation in this course must be registered with the
Disability Resource Center. Please contact DRC at 312/413-2183 (voice) or 773-649-4535
(VP/Relay) and consult the following: http://drc.uic.edu/.
You are responsible for understanding what constitutes academic dishonesty. Academic
dishonesty is an extremely serious offense. All cases of academic dishonesty will be dealt
within accordance with the policies of the University as published in the Undergraduate
Catalogue and the University of Illinois at Chicago policy on Academic Honesty at: https://dos.
Class and Lab Policies
No cell phone usage in the lab. You are responsible to turn your cell phone off prior to the
class. No non-class materials loaded into the computers.
No food or drink in the computer
labs. No surfing the Internet during lectures. Reconfiguring the system on Cyber-Commons /
CAVE2 unusable for other courses and may result in dismissal from the course.
No talking to neighbors during class.
No falling asleep.
No reading newspapers or magazines.
Your repeated disruption will reduce your final grade. In extreme cases, you can be asked to
leave the class and even excluded from the course.
UIC is committed to the most fundamental principles of academic freedom, equality of
opportunity, and human dignity involving students and employees. Freedom from
discrimination is a foundation for all decision making at UIC. Students are encouraged to
study the University’s “Nondiscrimination Statement.” Information on grievance policies and
procedures is available on the University web pages of the Office of Access and Equity: www.