Physical Computing (DECO1013)


This unit introduces sound as a design medium, with an emphasis on computer-based implementations and using hardware platforms, such as Arduinos, for prototyping interfaces. It introduces the core concepts of acoustics and psychoacoustics, digital audio, audio programming and audio production, physical prototyping, basic electronic concepts, hardware programming, as well as aesthetic issues in sound design, the creative use of sound as a medium for communication, and sound in interactive systems. Students are introduced to programming interactive audio systems in code and creative patching environments, as well as studio production using digital audio workstations, and studio production using the Faculty's recording studio. On the successful completion of this unit of study, students will have demonstrated knowledge of the methods of programming audio systems, creating physical sound control interfaces, knowledge of a range of sound design techniques, especially in relation to interactive contexts, awareness of issues of aesthetics in sound and sonification and the ability to work in a team to produce complex interactive audio systems. This is a core unit in the Bachelor of Design Computing.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Lecture 1 hr/wk; tutorial 2 hrs/wk


Assignment 1 (10%); Assignment 2 (20%); Assignment 3 (20%); Assignment 4 (40%); Participation (10%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.