Undergraduate Degree




DA9001 Art, Design and Material Connections

[Studio Contact Hours: 39 hours; Pre-requisites:Nil; Academic Unit: 3.0]




Academic Unit


3 AU

Course Description


Learning Objective

The course is co-offered between the School of Art Design and Media and the School of Materials Science and Engineering. The class aims introduce novel materials to future designers, artists and engineers and to inspire them to use materials that would enhance the expression of an idea, while having specific visual, textural, functional, cultural values. Further students would conceptualize and propose possible material applications in art design and architecture. The class will be a platform for experimentation and introduction to future innovative collaborative projects between schools.


Materials have gone beyond practical need to playing key role in emotion and aesthetics. Advanced materials have created potential for brighter colours, richer textures, illuminating surfaces and motifs. This course will address the three core axis of materials: structural characteristics, (mechanics behind folding and bending), optical characteristics, (how the material interacts with light, which includes luminescent and coloured materials, electrical properties/photonics such as lasers, solar power and LEDs), and surface characteristics. Art/design/material science students would be working in small groups that will explore and design with the specific material. The knowledge attained would be applied to a final project with a better understanding of what materials can do and how it can be built into art /design. The class would encourage 1) new ideas and techniques for concept proposals 2) address on possible skills and techniques 3) introduce fabrication and realization challenges. Ideas of lighter,softer, smarter, and greener materials will be briefly touched upon.

Course Outline




• Introduction to the course

• Material and aesthetics

2 - 6

•Combining Structure and Surface -Part 1


• Surface Luminates: Luminescent and coloured materials; Colour Ornamentation as tools of construction.

• Changing colour and display animated motifs.


• Mid Sem review of assignments

8 - 12

•Combining structure and surface Part 2: Surface structure (Folding, Inner Outer Mobius Strip, Klein Bottle /non-orientable surfaces)


•Dynamic design: shape shifting materials.

• Continuation, through exercises and projects, of the principles and process covered


• Future forecasting and mega trends- sustainable materials and environmentally friendly materials, traditional craft practices

13 - 15

• Final project development

Learning Outcome

The students will have a practice-based familiarity with drawing. The students will be able to use drawing as part of a thinking and development process.

Student Assessment

  1. Final Assessment: 30%

  2. Continuous Assessment: 70%

Continuous assessment components will include:

  • Studio-based exercises and projects 20%

  • Individual, group and team-based assignments 35%

  • Class participation 15%


Suggested Reading:

  1. Bradley Quinn; Design Futures, Merrell Publishers, 2011

  2. Lisa Iwamoto; Digital Fabrications: Architectural and Material Techniques, Princeton Architectural Press, 2009