In the first year of the Bachelor’s Creative Technology, you will work on establishing a broad foundation. You will study various disciplines, such as Mathematics, Electrical and Dynamic Systems, Programming and Physical Computing, in addition to (Visual) Design and Design for an Optimal User Experience. You will gain insight into the different professions and themes of your future field. You will also start engaging in the development of practical solutions for complex issues and learn to apply the knowledge you have gained in challenging team projects.
At the University of Twente, your education is divided into modules (four per year). Central to each one is a current societal or business issue. For example, what will living and working look like in the future?
The first module is an introduction to Creative Technology as a discipline and as a subject. You will learn:
- to describe various aspects typical of the field of Creative Technology (example products, societal context, processes and issues in the field, techniques for creative thinking)
- to a certain extent, to describe your own position in this field (“Me as a Creative Technologist”)
- to work in a project (first encounter with planning, collaboration, communication and organisation)
- to describe, and apply to yourself, possible roles that one can take in a project or creative development process
- to apply a first set of skills and insights in the various thematic subfields underlying the curriculum (Smart Technology, Interactive Media, Computer Science and Engineering, (Visual) Storytelling, Programming)
Modules 1-8 have time dedicated to professional development which you will use to broaden and deepen your knowledge and skills in the field of Creative Technology, and develop yourself as a professional.
In the Smart Environments module students learn various techniques from different disciplines that are needed to invent, design and realize a (prototype of) a smart environment. The module is a mix of smart technology, additional knowledge and skills from other disciplines and a project in which the students apply the skills they just learned. The smart technology components in the module are "Sound & Circuits", "Programming and Physical Computing", "Smart Environments" and the module’s project. These courses deal with (distributed) electronic and digital systems in increasing complexity and with increasing interaction with the physical environment. An important part of the module is programming these (sub-)systems. To be able to invent, design and realize smart environments, knowledge from other disciplines is necessary. "Introduction to Mathematics and Modelling" provides the students with basic mathematical skills, while "Sketching" teaches the students how to sketch and make a design. Some generic skills like collaborating in a team are essential.
As an independent creative professional, it is necessary that you develop skills to generate ideas (ideation), explore and tinker. It is also necessary that you can imagine, realize, present and evaluate ideas in the context of an external assignment. The main components of module 3 are:
- Ideation, tinkering, explorative research
- Shape, design, context, tangible models
- Users and user scenarios
- Physical systems (dynamical systems): modelling, simulation and supporting math
- Introduction in electronic systems + supporting math
- (Interactive) visualisation, 3D modelling
One of the main attributes of a creative engineer is visualising and concretising ideas, both as independent professional or by external assignment. These ideas need to be presented in a way that allows for tinkering, tweaking, playing and testing - before they are ready for market or production. There are many ways for visualising or realising ideas in such a way that they can be presented to and discussed with others. This process of choosing a representation, tinkering and explorative research is the bottom-line of this module.
Central topic in the module is assignments by external clients. The assignments deal with both technology (smart products, electronics, new media) and design aspects. Students have to make a well-balanced choice in the tools they use for visualising and discussing their solutions (mock-ups, prototypes, simulation, 3D visualisation, movie) and evaluate the work that has been realised (discuss evaluation criteria, produce and evaluate measurement results, discuss their choices in shape and design and used methodology).
Can you develop human feelings of pity in an artificial, lifeless installation? Can you make music with light? In Module 4, during the “Have fun & play!” project you will design and realise an interactive installation for Gogbot, a local art and technology festival. You will use and integrate methods and techniques you familiarised yourself within the previous modules. Additional elements in this module include:
- Experience Design:
- Conducting user surveys;
- Introduction to the theory of probability and statistics, as a means of supporting your activities in conducting methodological user surveys;
- More basic programming skills (Algorithms).
You will tell the story, both visually and textually, behind the (creation of) your installation and place it in its context, for a variety of audiences. The module is organized in cooperation with the GOGBOT festival, an international festival in Enschede, held in September. The focus of the festival is on multimedia, art, music and technology. High quality installations are invited to exhibit at GOGBOT (in addition to the course project exhibition).
To predict the impact of the interactive installation you will have to reflect on the theoretical concepts of interactive art and consider how your design will influence the experience of the spectator.