ARCT3050 Active Matter

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 complementary unit in the Architecture A major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Design and Creative Arts
  • Category B broadening unit for students
This unit investigates the rapidly changing conceptions of “Matter” or material innovation in design, through digital fabrication and 1:1 prototyping. Within this context, students will engage and apply new digital or robotic fabrication methods and technologies, prototyping methods, and experimental material development, culminating in 1:1 prototypes or assemblages exhibiting bespoke properties. Students will research the relation between material properties and specific prototyping methods (CNC, 3D printing, robotic fabrication, etc.) and apply this research towards ‘learning by making' to design, develop and prototype functional or “responsive” material assemblies. Project development and outcomes will explore and apply contemporary topics relating to material craft, digital fabrication, and emerging technologies such as robotic fabrication and smart and responsive materials.

The overall academic objective of the unit is to develop a critical rethinking of “Material,” towards a new approach to design and making, combining both analog and digital craft. Material innovation and prototyping topics and projects provide a critical and practical foundation for students to engage twenty-first century design practices, whereby the designer is involved in the development of new tools, processes, materials and prototypes.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate an awareness of current material innovation in design practice
; (2) synthesise research findings to design and produce full scale functional prototypes and responsive material systems
; (3) demonstrate an advanced level of understanding of the iterative process of drawing and making
; and (4) develop critical and practical skills to interrogate and advance the making of physical prototypes.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) report; (2) prototype; and (3) final assembly. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Santiago Perez
Unit rules
ARCT3040 Advanced Design Thinking
Approved quota: 25—first come, first serve basis
Incidental fees
Incidental student fees and charges are costs incurred by students as part of their studies at UWA that are in addition to their tuition fees (further information is available here or contact your Faculty Office).
Participation in this unit will incur the following incidental fee(s):
Participation in this unit will incur the following incidental fee(s): (1) Materials + Hardware required for project development and prototyping (estimated cost - $100-$350). (estimated cost - $250).
Contact hours
Up to 3 hours per week.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.