Hasso-Plattner-Institut25 Jahre HPI
Hasso-Plattner-Institut25 Jahre HPI

Sonic Thinking - Methods of Working with Sound (Sommersemester 2024)

Lecturer: Dr. Julia von Thienen

General Information

  • Weekly Hours: 2
  • Credits: 3
  • Graded: yes
  • Enrolment Deadline: 01.04.2024-30.04.2024
  • Teaching Form: Seminar
  • Enrolment Type: Compulsory Elective Module
  • Course Language: English

Programs, Module Groups & Modules

IT-Systems Engineering MA
Digital Health MA
Cybersecurity MA
Data Engineering MA
Software Systems Engineering MA
  • Professional Skills
    • HPI-PSK-DT Design Thinking


Course Details:

  • Starting Date: April 8th, 2024
  • Schedule: Modays, 3:15 - 4:45 pm
  • Location: HE 51/52

In this course, you practice how to design and conduct your own creative IT project. You receive ample theoretical input to inspire your project, and as a frame to reflect on what you are doing.  

While the human sense of vision is harnessed a lot in human-computer interaction, opportunities arising from other human senses are much less explored. This class is especially dedicated to the auditory sense and resulting design opportunities in the field of digital engineering.

A major part of the class is your own creative project. Based on personal interests and passions, you can self-design your own digital engineering project, in which you explore opportunities of sound.

This class covers input from diverse angles and different lecturers. You also have time in class to probe the relevance and implication of each session topic for your own project. 

You can read more about the HPI teaching team here, alongside guest expert input by Dr. Cobi van Tonder, Peter Blasser, Ayako Kataoka and Diane Barbé.


Your major grading-relevant work in this class will be a creative project, which you develop in the broad area of sound and digital engineering (3/4 of grade).
You can pursue this project alone as well as in teams.
You have great creative freedom to choose and design a project that is of deep interest to you.
You can continue to work on a project begun in an earlier neurodesign or sonic thinking class.

  • 1/4 of your grade is based on your first project presentation.
  • 1/4 of your grade is based on your final project presentation.
  • 1/4 of your grade is based on a brief & basic homework to be submitted by July 8.
  • 1/4 of your grade is based on the documentation of your project including code (or other digital engineering prototype) due August 31st, 2024. The project documentation can be an amended version of your PowerPoint slides from the in-class presentations.

You are welcome to look into the course. In case you decide to step back, you need to resign by contacting the Studienreferat and/or writing an e-mail to Julia.vonThienen [at] hpi.de by June 2nd, 2024. On June 3rd, first project presentations are scheduled in class.


8.4.24                 Introduction to Sonic Thinking (Julia)

15.4.24               Marisol Jimenez: Artistic Research in Sound I

22.4.24               Cobi van Tonder: A Thousand Echoes - Sonic Archaeology 

29.4.24               Cobi van Tonder: Interactive Art and Sound

6.5.24                 Peter Blasser: Analog Circuit Design and Computer Music

13.5.24               Julius Holtz: Qualitative Research in Sound - An Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods in Sound Studies and UX Sound Design 

27.5.24               Ayako Kataoka: Exploring Ma - Listening through Body and Places in Between

3.6.24                 Your Turn: First Presentations (course participants)

10.6.24               Marisol Jimenez: Artistic Research in Sound II

17.6.24               Diane Barbé: Acoustic Ecologies and Listening Beyond the Human & Chronobiology: What We can Learn by Shifting Temporal Perspectives

24.6.24               Julius Holtz: Soundscape and Soundscape Composition          

1.7.24                 Julius Holtz: Soundscape and Soundscape Composition Part II, or Introspective Garden 

8.7.24                 Marisol Jimenez: Artistic Research in Sound III

15.7.24               Your Turn: Final Presentations (course participants)