DESMA 28: Interactivity
UCLA Department of Design | Media Arts

Associate Professor C.E.B. Reas
TA Casey Alt

Time: Monday & Wednesday 14:00 to 16:50
Location: Broad 4230
Office hours: Wednesday 13:00 (Reas); Monday & Wednesday 13:00 (Alt)



This course is an introduction to the concepts and principles of interactivity and to software as a medium for expression and communication. It focuses on developing the skills required for creating interactive work, therefore participants will work toward developing their computer programming skills within the context of visual media. The concepts and skills taught in the class will enhance each participant's ability to excel in future UCLA classes about the Internet, animation, interactive media, and game design.


There are fifteen exercises and four projects given in this order:

Exercise A, B, C: Form & Data
Exercise D, E, F: Response & Media
Project 1
Exercise G, H, I: Functions & Events
Project 2
Exercise J, K, L: Motion & Curves
Project 3
Exercise M, N, O: Arrays & Images
Project 4

Each exercise requests a thoughtful answer to a question or focuses on a specific skill or concept. Each project is an application and synthesis of the concepts and skills introduced in the previous exercises. Each assignment has related readings from Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists.

Required reading

Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists by Casey Reas and Ben Fry. Forthcoming from MIT Press Fall 2007.
The manuscript is available at Course Reader Material, 1137 Westwood Blvd.


The grading is based on the exercises (45%), projects (48%), and on the participant's comments, feedback, and active participation during the class meetings (7%). All work is evaluated on how well it demonstrate an understanding of the material, originality, and aesthetic qualities. Feedback will be primarily qualitative but numeric scores will also be given for all work. All assignments must be uploaded to the class server and functioning within the website before the beginning of class on its due date. Late work will not be accepted. More than two absences without the Professor or TA's prior approval will lower the participants final grade by one unit (i.e. an A will become an B). With each additional unexcused absence, the grade will drop an additional unit. All problems sets and projects must be completed to pass the course.

The grade breakdown follows:
7% Participation
45% Exercises (3 points each)
48% Projects (12 points each)