Digital Playgrounds For The Online Public ARCH11247

Print Friendly

2016-17 session


Semester 2, 20 credits. Course organiser: Denitsa Petrova

Thursday 11:10 – 13.00, Atrium (G.10), Alison House



The purpose of this course is to allow you to engage with the process of contextualising and creating digital media art projects that explore the Internet as a public sphere and playground for creativity.

The course is directed particularly to the creative aspects of the Internet and digital media. It explores current and emerging artistic practices and theories in the virtual public sphere This course will help to strengthen the academic core of both Digital Design Media and Digital Design Media ODL programmes by supporting the transfer of theoretical aspects of design and digital media into your design practice. The course aims to expose you to discursive frameworks through which your work can be discussed and to enable you to contextualise and reflect on your own creative ideas whilst developing a project.


  • Social media art
  • Art for virtual worlds
  • Augmented Reality
  • Creative hacking
  • Shared creativity online
  • Touch screen creativity
  • Art apps

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Critique established and emerging practices and principal theories in digital media art and the Internet as a creative platform
  • Consider the creative potential of Internet tools and platforms and develop critical approach to their use and misuse
  • Contextualise and reflect on your own creative practice in an appropriate written / visual form
  • Successfully communicate ideas and approaches using academic protocols for research and writing
  • Articulate ideas in a creative and original way through the means of digital production


Creative component 60%
Written Component 40%

Whilst the larger proportion of the time should be spent on the creative outcome of this course, a significant percentage of the allocated should be spent on research, reflection and contextualising their own practice within the frameworks of the current and emerging trends in digital media.

See LEARN for further assessment details, project brief and submission dates

Criteria for Assessment

Work will be assessed on the basis of:

  • Demonstrated skills in conceiving, creating and implementing your design work
  • Demonstrated abilities in meeting the requirements of the project brief while imaginatively responding to open-ended design challenges
  • Demonstrated technical competences with design and multimedia production tools
  • Demonstrated management of available resources, including time and technology
  • Demonstrated awareness of contextual and critical relevance
  • Precision and competence in presentation, including well formatted documentation of the work
  • Design quality of the work in terms of meeting functional requirements, legibility, usability, interactivity, and appropriate use of media
  • Account will be taken of the risks taken and degree to which the design deviates from standard solutions.

Please note that assessment will take account of tradeoffs between the above criteria, particularly taking account of the diverse backgrounds of students in the class.

You are encouraged to seek feedback during the development of your work, but please note that adhering to feedback does not guarantee a high assessment of the completed work. Note also that the assessment of the work is not necessarily commensurate with the amount of time spent on the project work.

We will offer constructive feedback on the submissions but cannot give detailed feedback on every detail of the work submitted. Within four weeks of the first submission you will have received short written feedback on your work and a provisional mark, to be confirmed after the exam board in May/June of the year of study.

Tutors may refer to the risks taken in response to the brief, the conceptual approach you’ve taken with your design, the quality and character of the design, the clarity of the written components, and any technical issues that may help you in future.

Tutors will scale grades and refer to University’s Common Marking Scheme:


ATKINS, R., FRIELING, R., GROYS, B. & MANOVICH, L. 2008. The Art of Participation: 1950 to Now, London, Thames & Hudson.
CHANDLER, A. 2005. At a Distance: Precursors to Art and Activism on the Internet Massachusetts, MIT Press.
DIETZ, S. 2009. Public Art 2.0: Media, Technology & Community in the Interactive City. Public Art Review, 11.
GAUNTLETT, D. 2011. Making is Connecting: The Social Meaning of Creativity, from DIY and Knitting to YouTube and Web 2.0, Cambridge, Polity Press.
GERE, C. 2002. Digital Culture, Reaktion Books London.
JENKINS, H. 2006. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide New York, New York University Press.
LIESER, W. 2009. Digital Art. [K�nigswinter]: Ullmann/Tandem.
MANOVICH, L. 2009. The Practice of Everyday (Media) Life: From Mass Consumption to Mass Cultural Production? Critical Inquiry 35, 319-331.
SHIRKY, C. 2010. Cognitive surplus: Creativity and generosity in a connected age, Penguin.
TRIBE, M. & REESE, J. 2009. New Media Art, Taschen Benedikt Verlag Gmbh.
WANDS, B. 2006. Art of the Digital Age. London: Thames and Hudson