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

Sonic Thinking - Methods of Working with Sound (Sommersemester 2023)

Dozent: Dr. Julia von Thienen

Allgemeine Information

  • Semesterwochenstunden: 2
  • ECTS: 3
  • Benotet: Ja
  • Einschreibefrist: 01.04.2023 - 07.05.2023
  • Lehrform: Seminar
  • Belegungsart: Wahlpflichtmodul
  • Lehrsprache: Englisch

Studiengänge, Modulgruppen & Module

IT-Systems Engineering MA
  • Professional Skills
    • HPI-PSK-KO Kommunikation
  • Professional Skills
    • HPI-PSK-DTA Design Thinking Advanced
Digital Health MA
Cybersecurity MA
Data Engineering MA
Software Systems Engineering MA


The seminar takes place on Mondays, first session April 17, 23.
When? 3:15-4:45 pm.
Where? HPI Main Building HE-51/52
Predominantly, the lecture is held in person.
In addition, the slides of each session are shared on the class's Slack channel.

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. 

This course is offered (in alphabetical order) by: Leonardo Auri, Julius Holtz, Marisol Jimenez, Nico Steckhan and Julia von Thienen. You can read more about this teaching team here. We are also proud to announce our guest presenters in this course, who are (in alphabetical order) Ayako Kataoka, Jacob Kirkegaard and Cobi van Tonder.


There are no prerequisites for attending this class.


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 may pursue one bigger project across this class and Design Thinking for Digital Engineering (Mondays, 11 am-12:30).
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
  • 1/4 of your grade is based on the documentation of your project including code (or other digital engineering prototype) due August 31st, 2023. 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 18, 2023. On June 19, the first grading-relevant presentations are held in class.


17.4. Introduction: Julia

24.4. Sonic Archeology & Visual Acoustics (Cobi van Tonder)

8.5. Artistic Research on Sound I (Marisol)

15.5. Sonic Environing (Julius)

22.5. Artistic Research on Sound II (Marisol)

5.6. Artistic Research on Sound III (Marisol)

12.6. A Matter of Sound - artist talk by Jacob Kirkegaard

19.6. Your turn: First project presentations

26.6. Music Theory in Practice for Programmers I (Leo)

3.7.  Constellation Sound, Body & Object (Ayako Kataoka)

10.7. Music Theory in Practice for Programmers II (Leo)

17.7. Working with Sound in Digital Health (Nico Steckhan, Connected Healthcare)

24.7. Your turn: Final project presentations


31.8. Your turn: Final project submissions