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Arduino for Interactive Design

Summer University Term 2a: July 1st - July 19th, 2019


Course price: 1,450 Euros

20 hours of class a week, 4 ECTS, max. 18 participants


The course focuses on understanding and programming Arduino microcontroller, and designing interactive, responsive devices that express media contents.

The course is suitable for students of media, design, and architecture who are interested in design processes, techniques using multimedia digital tools and coding, and moreover, for academics and professionals of media, design, and architecture who are interested in experimental interactive design tools, techniques, and processes using Arduino.

The course addresses the following topics:

  • What is Arduino microcontroller?
  • What can Arduino do?
  • Understanding Arduino programming environment
  • How to program Arduino
  • How to incorporate input sensors and output components into Arduino-driven devices

What is Arduino?

Arduino (https://www.arduino.cc) has gained great popularity since its introduction in 2003. It offers a small, inexpensive microcontroller and programming environment for designing automation and interactive devices. The course offers hands-on instructions and experiments on how to program and use Arduino with various input sensors (e.g. light, color, temperature, sound, motion, etc.). The participants will learn the basics of Arduino programming, deployment of input sensors in connections with output devices (e.g. lights, speakers, motors, etc.) and designing a simple interactive automaton at the end of the course. 

Learning Goals & Syllabus


The course aims to:

  • Provide practical knowledge and skills of working with Arduino microcontrollers
  • Teach how to program Arduino and incorporate input sensors
  • Teach how to store and express media contents
  • Construct automatic, responsive and interactive media devices


You can find the syllabus for this course HERE

You may find the syllabus useful when discussing with your home University whether the ECTS credits attainable for this course are accepted by them.

Course components

The course is structured as follows:

Week 1: Fundamentals of Arduino and its Programming

The first week of the course is an introduction to Arduino and its programming. The students will learn Arduino’s many application and basic programming. In this week, the course consists of an intensive electronics and programming workshop and learning the basics of Arduino hardware and software environment for making a responsive device using sensors and controllers.

Week 2: Design and Assembly

In the second week, the students will design a responsive device that consists of various sensors and output expressions in light and sound. Based on the design, we will work on the basic assembly and refining programming. At the end of the week the students will demonstrate a functioning prototype.


The general prerequisites of the TU Berlin Summer University are the following: at least one year of university experience + English level B2 (university level proficiency) or equivalent.

The course also requires that you have:

  • Bachelor level education in media studies, design, and/or architecture
  • Some ability/experience with drafting, hand tools, and construction
  • Own laptop computer, camera, and smartphone (the course will use open-source and/or educational programs; the instructors will provide them for the duration of the course)


Dr. Sang Lee, RA (primary lecturer)

University Docent 1, TU Delft, NL

Sang Lee (tudelft.academia.edu/SangLee) is an architect with a PhD in Architecture and a tenured University Docent at the Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, where he teaches architectural design and theory. He has also taught architecture in Eindhoven University of Technology, Bergen School of Architecture, Bauhaus University Weimar, and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as lecturing in numerous schools in the EU and the US. Sang has contributed numerous papers and chapters to international conferences, journals, and books. He conceived, edited and published “The Domestic and the Foreign in Architecture” (2007) on architecture, cultural identity and globalization, and “Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture” (2011) on the aesthetic perspectives in sustainable design of architecture. He is currently completing the monograph “Architecture in the Age of Apparatus-Centric Culture” and the chapter “Performance-Critical Architecture” in “The Routledge Companion to Criticality in Art, Architecture and Design” (forthcoming in 2017).

Stefanie Holzheu, Dipl.-Ing., M.Arch. (associate lecturer)

Creative Agency for Media Architecture (CAMA), Berlin

Stefanie Holzheu (www.mediaarchitecture.gallery) studied architecture at Bauhaus University Weimar and media-architecture at the SUNY Buffalo. She is the founder of Creative Agency for Media Architecture (CAMA) in Berlin. She lectured and taught architecture and media at TU Delft, TU Berlin, Bauhaus University Weimar, and Bergen School of Architecture. Her professional and research interests consist of not only architecture but also the position of technology and media in and about architecture and design. Stefanie published a chapter (co-authored with Sang Lee) “Building Envelope as Surface” in the book “Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture” (2011) and a project paper “ColorTracker” at the 2016 eCAADE conference. She also won the Netherlands Architecture Fund’s Startup Grant for her research project “FiberTech” in 2012 and the Neudeli Fellowship with “Froxter Play Kit” in 2015. 

CAMA specializes in the research and design of intermodal media; digital design tools and techniques; interactive multimedia installations; and consulting on early education programs of digital culture. 

Please send direct questions about the course to the TU Berlin Summer University Team at: . We will answer your questions and direct specific queries regarding course content to the course lecturers where necessary.


Registration for Term 2 is now closed. Check out our program for Term 4 or Winter 2020!

Brochure & Poster Download

Check out our Brochure and Poster for Summer 2018! 

Zusatzinformationen / Extras

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Beth Sibly, Director
+49 30 4472 0230