Creative Computing

making art & music with code

Ben Swift

28 Jan '21

we acknowledge and celebrate Australia's First Peoples on whose traditional lands we meet, and pay our respect to the elders past and present

ANUEXT Creative Computing

an ANU Extension H-Course for teaching computer science to year 11 & 12 students through making art, music and other cool things with computers

first student intake this year (applications close Feb 14), first graduates in 2022

creative computing: definition

the creative arts aren’t a way out of computing, they’re a way in

today’s workshop task

make a lesson plan for exploring a computing concept through creative code


11:00 intro & group formation
11:15 lesson design task
12:00 presentations & discussion
12:30 lunch 🍣🍔😋

creative computing environments

there are lots, but today we’ll focus on these two browser-based (i.e. js) creative computing environments:

you’re all experienced IT educators, so you can navigate the getting started guides, examples, etc.

here are some example workshops (p5.js, gibber) from the c/c/c studio

what’s the deliverable?

a 2min presentation/demo of your lesson to the rest of this workshop

for scoping, ask yourself:

what are the minimal notes I’d give to a teacher (that I like) 30min before having to deliver this lesson to a College IT class?

group formation

groups of 2–3

try to find others with similar interests along the music/visuals axis

discussion questions

  1. which computing concept did you choose, why did you choose it, and how (if at all) did the “creative” aspect impact that decision?

  2. what type of task did you set your students? (convergent, divergent, etc.)

  3. how would you assess it—what might the rubric look like?

  4. what scaffolding is required to do this in a College IT context?

  5. was it fun?

(remember, presentations start at 12:00pm)

presentation time

wrap up

thanks so much for participating

I’m keen to:

stay in touch

[email protected]



Ben is an interdisciplinary researcher and Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing at the Australian National University. He’s interested in computational art & music, human-computer interaction, AI/machine learning (particularly in pursuit of creative ends) and the intersection of code, creativity and culture as those boundaries dissolve in the modern world. He’s the director of the code/creativity/culture studio within the ANU School of Computing.


He is a livecoder, and is the vice president of the Australasian Computer Music Association (ACMA). Ben is one of the inaugural ANU Reimagine Fellows, part of a $300m+ investment from the ANU charged with re-thinking (and re-doing) what it is to be a computer scientist in the 21st century.

creative-commons creative-commons-by creative-commons-nc creative-commons-sa twitter github vimeo envelope