Sound Studies Group

This is the Sound Studies Group at the SUSTech School of Design, Shenzhen. It is led by Dr. Qiushi Xu and Dr. Marcel Zaes Sagesser. Our research focuses on sound in relationship with technology, the environment, and human listening. It includes sound technology, sound studies, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), sound design, philosophy of science and technology, spatial audio, interactive audio, and creative media. The output of this team is published in prestigious international journals, at domestic and international conferences, and at international exhibitions and concert halls.

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DS226 Circular Products: Experience

Spring 2024
Old is New: Memory, Nostalgia, and Remixing with Video Projectors

Prof. Marcel Zaes SAGESSER
Office hours Marcel: Tuesdays, 13:00 - 15:00 (sign up 24 hours in advance)
TA: 薛超(XUE Chao) 

64 hours (32 lecture hours, 32 practice hours)

Class folder (shared, password protected)
Project Groups / Theory Presentation Schedule
Class notes

Software Tutorials:


Course Description

In this course, students will learn the foundations of time-based digital media analysis and production. Using the framework of ‘cradle to cradle’ and circular economies, this course will ask how reusing and recycling of pre-existing materials might look like in digital media. Students will consider real-world situations for opportunities of design that require the production of time-based, intangible digital media experiences. In addition to receiving the basics of digital media editing, students will engage in English-language classroom discussion, they will work both individually and in groups, they will learn to analyze pre-existing digital media experiences, and they will receive demanding assignments to produce their own creative digital media experiences.

Equipment: we will work in software with computers

Learning Outcomes

1.    Demonstrate advanced skill in digital media editing, composing, and processing.
2.    Demonstrate understanding of circular systems.
3.    Critically define the concepts “mediation.”
4.    Present a large-scale creative research project in digital media

Weekly Plan

Guest Lectures: will be announced later.



overview of course content, policies about ethical, academic, and creative expectations
Introduction: time-based digital media, timelines, arranging objects in time, creating experiences
Definition of key terms

  1. Welcome, expectations, small exercise
  2. Logistics: overview of the course content, practice project, and the expectations about academic, ethical and creative rigor
  3. creative exercise on timeline   
  4. Making Groups / Assigning theory presentations

Introducing topic: Old is New: Memory, Nostalgia, and Remixing with Video Projectors
Introducing collaborator: JMGO video projectors, Shenzhen.
Introducing connected courses: DS222 Personal System: Experience (XIAO Ruowei), DS224 Client Product: Experience (LUO Tao)

Image sources: 


the concepts of “cradle to cradle,” circular material economies, reuse, repurposing
Old as New: remix, mashup, collage, cultural appropriation, recombination
Introduction: reuse of existing materials, definitions of different concepts within circular material economies; concepts and techniques of digital media processes, including their ethical underpinnings and exercises

  1. Theory presentation: chapter 1; vacation exercise
  2. Vacation exercise; group building
  3. Group work: opportunity seeking, research into circularity
  4. Group work; wrap up: what is circularity in media?

Image sources, from left to right:


recording, capturing, storing, processing, playing back materials in digital media
The principles and theory of mediation and remediation in digital media / new media. Including practice-exercises

  • Individual: Bring 2 memories in the form of 2 media files to class: one should be very old, and one should be very new
  • Group: Bring 2 usage scenario ideas to class, each with a sketch, drawing, 3d model, or plan

  1. Theory Presentations |  Mediation Lecture
  2. Individual exercise: Mediation and Remediation, time-based
  3. Group Work on Final Projects (with meetings with Instructor)
  4. Group Work on Final Projects (with meetings with Instructor)

Image sources:


Notions of decaying, old, unused, defunct, or discarded materials. Waste as a resource
Theory and exercises, making new from old

Image Sources:
Video by DS226 class of 2023

  • Watch 2 different Adobe Premiere tutorial videos (English or Chinese), and add the two skills on the class notes document (short description text and screenshot)
  • Final Project (Group homework): 
    - Revise 2 Usage Scenarios, react to the feedback received: revise/draw professional visualizations of your two usage scenarios
    - Do Background research for your 2 usage scenarios: 2 case studies, 2 academic papers, 1 survey or interview with at least 5 participants

  1. Theory Presentations
  2. What is Decay?
  3. Project Work: Decay Exercise, learning recording video & sound (cameras, sound recorders)
  4. Project Work: Decay Exercise, learning recording video & sound (cameras, sound recorders)

Exercise: Remediation
  • Record something in a medium on video (something already mediated)
  • Record something in a medium in sound (something already mediated)
  • Create a composition on a timeline, use PR and AA.
  • max. 2 minutes long, image and sound
  • resolution: width x height: 1080 x 1080 px


Material Ecologies & Material Economies: working with digital media
Techniques of capturing, sourcing, organizing, classifying, tagging, archiving, and displaying digital materials. Digital archives.

Image Sources:
Niccola di Croce,
Asha Tamirisa, Vanishing Point (
(2x) The New Museum, New York,
Stock digital archive picture from

Homework for this week:
  • Individual: Finish remediation exercise from last week’s class (see above under week 4)
  • Group Work: Make progress with your final projects. Each group is further developing 2 project ideas. For each idea:
  • Visualize/summarize survey/interview results in a professional way, and in Chinese+English
  • Visualize/summarize the academic research in a professional way, and in Chinese+English
  • Visualize/summarize the 2 case studies in a professional way, and in Chinese+English
  • Revise your usage scenarios. They need to look professional. In your revision, react to the feedback that you have received last Friday.
  • Important Note: the JMGO video projector (one model of JMGO) must appear in your usage scenario, this is important because we are collaborating with the company.

  1. Theory presentations (chapter 4, Depth, Movement, Time) - Review Remediation Homework - Analysis of Case Studies
  2. Group Meetings for Final Projects - in class, and decide on 1 project per group.
  3. Project Work
  4. Project Work (announce small project 1)


Advanced Image Processing
Digital media editing and image synthesis techniques, theory and exercises

-> Small Assignment #1 is due (deadline, Friday morning, 7:59am, upload to class folder)

  1. Theory presentations (chapter 5: Light); image processing workshop
  2. Image processing workshop (continuation)
  3. Guest Talk: Ray LC
  4. Project work: final project check-in and group work

Small Assignment #1:
Play with digital media to create nostalgia: build a small digital archive with classified, tagged items (roughly 5-10 items). Then, produce a video that presents this archive in a playful way to the user. The video has to be presented inside a phone wireframe.
- video dimensions: phone (portrait), inside a self-made wire frame
- video duration: 30-60 seconds
- requirements: presents the digital archive along with tags/keywords (text)
- uses some techniques to create “nostalgia”

Grading criteria:
- originality / creativity / novelty 40%
- technical realization / professionality 30%
- conceptual consistency in producing “nostalgia” 20%
- obeying required specifications in duration / format / wireframe / topic 10%


Advanced Sound Processing
Sound in digital media, theory and exercises

  1. Theory presentations (chapter 6: Sound); quick overview project check-in; sound analysis exercise
  2. continuation of sound exercise + analysis. Project work, tutorials, group meetings
  3. Advanced Sound Processing, theory + demo 
  4. Project work, tutorials, group meetings

Exercise: Sound video analysis
  • What sounds do you hear? List them, and create categories
  • How do sound + image play together? List synchronous items, and items that have no synchrony
  • What is the role of each sound? (Function?)

Homework for next week:
  • Small individual homework: take your week 4 exercise, keep the video, and delete its sound. Re-create a completely different sound design. Use as sources: 1 synthetic sound, 1 recorded sound, 1 sound effect, 1 atmosphere. Use Adobe Audition. Upload the result before the next class (Friday before 8:00 am) to the course folder / week 7 sound design.
  • Final project: production & postproduction phase, upload the next draft of your video to the class folder before next class. It needs to contain edited video, added layers of text/annotations and other materials, and a draft of sound design.


Experiencing Experience Design: digital media in its spatial context
How do we experience space through digital media? How do we create space through digital media? How is digital media in itself spatial? Theories and exercises around the interconnection of physical and virtual/digital space.

  1. Theory presentations (chapter 7: Sound + Image); Case study analysis: digital media in space (shopping mall, ambient media)
  2. Project work, tutorials, group meetings
  3. Project work, tutorials, group meetings 
  4. Project work, tutorials, group meetings

Video excerpts from: 福田中洲灣C Future City (, Walking Inside Terminal 21 Asok in Bangkok | World Cities Themed Shopping Mall (, Explore China’s shocking future tech mall – Shenzhen Wanda Mall (


Interim Review
Presentation and critique of background research and project drafts

Interim Review with experts

Each group: 
  1. PPT with 6-8 slides, and 20 seconds of talking per slide (1 or several group members talk), roughly 3-5min
  2. Show your video draft – roughly 1-2 minutes
Instructions for slides and for the video are in the pdf on the course folder.

Homework for next week
  1. Read and understand your feedback for the interim in your group
  2. Write a list and order it according to your priorities: what are the 5 most important points of critique?
  3. For each important critique, offer a solution (in text, what changes you will make?)


Design process: responding to critique
After the critique is before the critique: learning to respond to critique; rethinking the projects; project work, software and tech tutorials as needed by projects

11 (no class this week, will rearrange topics)

Advanced Theory
circular systems as reference systems
The ethics behind circular material economies, understanding the differences between concepts such as recycling, reusing, referencing, recombining, repurposing, appropriating, etc.

-> Small Assignment #2 is due


Project Work
Project work, and individual tutorials, on final projects, software demonstrations according to project needs


Final Review
Presentation and critique of final projects and project reports


Writing on Digital Media
Project description workshop
Project work, internal feedback, and learning to write and present an experience design project publicly through writing


Project Work
Project work toward the final report, internal feedback, individual tutorials, software demos and lecture according to project needs


Project Work
Project work toward the final report, internal feedback, individual tutorials, software demos and lecture according to project needs

-> submission of final report

17/18 - Exam Weeks

Final exam, date and time to be announced.


  • Roberts-Breslin, Making Media: Foundations of Sound and Image, ISBN 978-0367638306, Focal Press, 5th edition, 2022
  • Bolter, David and Grusin, Richard, Remediation. Understanding New Media, ISBN 9780262522793, MIT Press, 2000


  • Attendance 10% (see below)
  • Final Exam 20%
  • Assignments 70% (10% Small Project 1, 10% Small Project 2, 50% Final Project)


Attendance: 10%
  • 100 points for never late and never missing a class
  • 100 points for being up to 4 times late (up to 50min), OR for missing 1 entire class
  • 50 points for missing 1 entire class and being up to 4 times a little late (up to 50min)
  • 50 points for never missing a class, and being up to 8 times a little late (up to 50min)
  • 0 points for missing 2 or more classes
  • 0 points for being late for more than 8 times
*all late or missing when unexcused. If excused with a reason, it doesn’t count toward the attendance grade.

Final Project

A large-scale group project that responds to learning goal #4 (Present a large-scale creative research project in digital media), but also responds to learning goals #1-3.

The prompt is as follows:
Work in a group. Every group develops a design project idea that makes use of a JMGO projector, puts it into a home situation, develops a new use/scenario (may be imagined). The use/scenario must clearly feature the idea of circularity, that is, that old media is reused to create something new. The design concept must be presented in a high-quality video production (the output is a video with sound in high quality – can be real film, animation, drawing, collage with text, etc, but must show in some way a JMGO video projector). 

  • dimensions: HD video with stereo sound (1080p resolution)
  • duration: between 2-4 minutes
  • credits: must credit authors, class, supervisor, potential use of AI, and all sources used including images and sounds

Along with the video project, each group submits a written, well-formatted report as a pdf. The report contains: name of the project, subtitle, slogan, abstract, author names, class, instructor, background research, ethnographic study, design concept, sketches/plans from the design concept, materials used.

Project Images:
In addition, every group submits 5 high quality pictures that describe the project, and which can be used in public communications to present your project.

- implementation of learning goals #1-4
- obeying technical requirements
- originality / creativity / novelty
- technical realization / professionality
- conceptual consistency in producing “nostalgia”
- quality, consistency, and completness of written report
- quality and consistency of 5 project images
- individual performance of each group member, assessed via questionnaire filled in by each group member as well as statement of individual work in the project report

Student Theory Presentations

In groups of two, each student signs up for a presentation of a (one) theory chapter from the course reading: 
  • Roberts-Breslin, Making Media: Foundations of Sound and Image

The task is for each group to present the chapter as precisely as possible to the class, identifying the most important points from the chapter that help the classroom projects grow. Follow these steps:

  1. from the assigned book chapter, choose the most important text parts and images (circa 5-8 short paragraphs of text, and 4-6 images)
  2. create a short pdf for your peers with the chosen text paragraphs and images (name sources and page numbers from original, and don’t change the text). If you add your own text to it, make sure you label clearly which is your own, and which is from the book.
  3. Present for 5-10 minutes your ideas to the class. The style is free. Ideally use the pdf that you made for the class. If you want to add dynamic/animated content, you can add that for your presentation.

  • Until Monday evening 18:00: briefly discuss your choice of text with the instructor (by email)
  • Upload pdf document for class by the start of the class (7:59am) to the course folder

Software/Hardware Tools

This class involves learning new tools. These tools may include:
  • Adobe Premiere PR
  • Adobe Audition AU
  • Sound recorders
  • Photo/Video cameras
  • and many more...

Final Exam

Part 1 of the exam is based on the course theory readings (the two assigned books presented by the instructor and by the students in the theory presentations). Part 2 is based on the software and hardware tools that we have been learning in this class.
[Details will be added later]

Classroom Policy

After each class, the classroom has to be cleaned up properly. Everyone is responsible for their computer and their desk, chair, and the floor around them. Remove any food waste, any trash. Make order on the computer, on the desk. If the keyboard/mouse are low on battery, put them on charge. Backup your files privately, put the chair nicely to the desk.
No eating during class time. Drinking is always allowed. The breaks can be used for eating.

Equipment and Device Policy

Technical devices are here to be used by the members of this class. They can be used freely during class time, and outside of class time, they can be either accessed in the classroom, or some of them can be checked out and can be taken with you. TA Jiayi is responsible for the device checkout.

Academic Integrity
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