Computational Thinking for Artists, Designers and Architects
Instructor: Jason Reizner
Credits: 6 ECTS, 4 SWS
Capacity: max. 15 students (see registration information below)
Language: English
Date: Monday, Lecture 13:30 to 15:00, Lab 15:15 to 16:45
Location: Marienstr. 7b, Room 103
First Meeting: Monday, 10 April 2017, 13:30


"Computational thinking involves solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior, by drawing on the concepts fundamental to computer science."
– Jeannette M. Wing (2006)

Not everyone is a programmer, yet artists, designers and architects increasingly find it necessary to be able to think like one. Post-analog creative practice demands a functional understanding of computational processes in order to articulate ideas and realize projects programatically. This module introduces core computer science principles and programming concepts including data structures, variables, operators, control structures and functions, enabling participants to become familiar with C-syntax languages and develop the skills necessary to work effectively in Javascript, Processing or C/C++. Participants will also focus on identifying, selecting and implementing appropriate external resources, dependencies and libraries, while addressing relevant software development topics including design patterns, documentation and commenting, debugging, version control and licensing.

Admission requirements

Previous enrollment in an IFD[[IFD:Start|Interface-Design]] course offering, or with instructor permission.

Registration procedure

Media Art and Design MFAMaster of Fine Arts – graduate students will receive this degree Program:
Registration through the official Faculty Modulbörse/Kurswahl on 3-4 April 2017

Other Programs (MediaArchitecture, HCIHuman-computer interaction, International Exchange et.c.):
Send an Email with a letter of motivation to jason.reizner [ät] uni-weimar.de before 8 April 2017


Successful completion of the course is dependent on regular attendance, active participation, completion of weekly assignments and delivery of a relevant semester project. Please refer to the Evaluation Rubric for more details.

Eligible participants

MFAMaster of Fine Arts – graduate students will receive this degree Medienkunst/-gestaltung, MFAMaster of Fine Arts – graduate students will receive this degree Media Art and Design, MSc MediaArchitecture

Syllabus (subject to change)

10 April 2017
Week 1
Course Organization
Administrative Housekeeping

Semester Evaluation Rubric

17 April 2017
Week 2
No Class - Easter Monday

24 April 2017
Week 3
An abridged history of Computing
What is Computational Thinking?

Sources and Links from the Lecture
Semester Project Overview

1 May 2017
Week 4
No Class - Tag der Arbeit

8 May 2017
Week 5
Attention: No Class due to Deutsche Bahn

Due to last-minute travel plan changes made necessary by the German Railway, this class meeting has been cancelled.

Please make sure you have completed the tasks from 24. April
and review the following text "On Software, or the Persistence of Visual Knowledge" from Wendy Chun for next week:

15 May 2017
Week 6
Foo = Bar: Variables and Data Types
Hello, World: Functions and Operators
if, while, do, for, else: Iteration and Control Structures

Sources and Links from the Lecture

22 May 2017
Week 7
Pseudocode Show-n-Tell Discussion Round
Under the Hood: Interpreters vs. Compilers
or, See where the sausage is made

Sources and Links from the Lecture

29 May 2017
Week 8
Recap: Iteration & Recursion, Interpreters & Compilers
Why is this happening to me?
Debugging & Existentialism

Sources and Links from the Lecture

5 June 2017
Week 9
No Class - Pfingstmontag

12 June 2017
Week 10
Midterm Presentations

19 June 2017
Week 11
Libraries, Dependencies and Blobs
Don't Copy that Floppy: Licensing, Attribution, Open Sources, Piracy

Sources and Links from the Lecture

26 June 2017
Week 12
Design Patterns and Architectural Considerations

Sources and Links from the Lecture

3 July 2017
Week 13
No Class - xCoAx2017 Lisboa

10 July 2017
Week 14
Commenting, Documentation and the Needs of Humans

Sources and Links from the Lecture

17 July
Week 15
Final Presentations