Dr. Sarah Eagle
Dr. Mike Fraser
The term ‘internet of things’ refers to an emerging development whereby everyday objects can simply and cheaply be linked to the internet, providing information about their identity, status, or location, and/or receiving information from external sources. Currently, interest is increasing in the informal communities of people who come together to tinker with open source hardware; it has been suggested that innovation in the ‘internet of things’ is likely to arise from these communities, sometimes called the ‘Maker Movement’. In this workshop series, members of all academic disciplines are invited to explore theoretical perspectives on the relationships between creativity, informality, and future forms and uses of hardware and software. The series begins with a hands-on, practical workshop that will involve participants in making physical objects, exploring ways in which they can be connected to information and to other objects via the internet.
The emergence of the ‘maker movement’, in which people connect objects with the internet, producing diverse and often playful inventions, is beginning to receive attention (see, for example, More than just digital quilting, The Economist November 2011 and Satellites in the Shed, The Guardian, July 2012). Across the world, communities (hackspaces) in which people ‘come and tinker’ with open source hardware have sprung up, of which some 40 are in the UK. Institutional support for these activities is emerging, as seen in the Manchester FabLab, implying support for the notion that innovation is fostered by a culture that encourages and supports tinkering, building, improvising and making.
Revisiting the nostalgic image of the backyard inventor making things with his or her hands and the engineer who dates his or her interest to their early experience with Meccano, this workshop series will be concerned with the cognitive aspects of the informal, ‘maker’ activity in the Internet of Things.
We invite members of all academic disciplines to explore the relationships between creativity, informality, and future forms and uses of hardware and software, exploring the Internet of Things through hands-on, practical activities of ‘making’ as well as through theoretical perspectives that conceive of thinking, learning, and creativity as cognitive activities that originate in our physical existence in a three-dimensional world, and are related to our connection with others, including, for example:
Thursday 6th September, 2012 10.00 to 4.30pm.
Graduate School of Education (Room 406)
The 'maker day' is an opportunity to engage in making physical objects, to explore ways in which they could be connected to information and other objects via the internet, and to begin the discussions that will later be developed in workshops 2 and 3. This workshop will be led by Karen Abadie, Steve Bullock, and Peter Bennett, with further technical support from members of Bristol Hackspace.
Places are limited; please register here.
KarenAbadie is a workshop artist, with many years experience offacilitating groups, supporting the improvisatory and imaginative activity that can take place when people engage with physical materials in relaxed social spaces. She has an interest in the use of electronics, computing and programming in imaginative projects, which she sees as offering the means by which physical and virtual worlds can be brought together in engaging ways.
Steve Bullock is a teacher-turned-engineer whose passion forcommunicating is equalled by his interest in exploring electronics, robotics and programming as a medium for the expression of the human imagination. He uses skills from his day job as a researcher in order to bring creative visions to life. With experience in teaching and facilitation, and a skill set from embedded electronics to hardware design and manufacture, he takes pleasure in guiding projects from abstract idea to physical realisation.
Peter Bennett is a member of the Bristol Interaction & Graphics group in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bristol, where he designed the chronotape, a tangible timeline for family history research. This was developed as part of the PATINA project, which aims to revolutionise the design of technologies for supporting research.
Wednesday 21st November, at 13:00
Graduate School of Education
Having explored the Internet of Things through hands-on, practical activities of ‘making’, in Workshop 2 we move on to explore ‘maker’ activity, whether your own or that of others. Participants will be invited to respond to the subject matter of Workshop 1 (whether or not they attended it) and to share their varied perspectives on making, designing, thinking, learning, informality and creativity, and future forms and uses of hardware and software.
Please contact Sarah Eagle if you would like to participate in this event.
Tuesday, 25th June, 2013, at 13:00
Room 226, Graduate School of Education - This event requires advance booking
You are invited to join the final session in a series of workshops at which people from a wide variety of disciplines have come together to participate in making and talking. In our making we have used scrap material and paper to make 'Things' that are connected (some electronically, some conceptually) to data, and our talking has been about what making and the 'Internet of Things' means to us, within and between our different disciplines.
Those who have been able to attend regularly have established an informal atmosphere which has generated some free-flowing and highly stimulating conversation, which we believe is supported and stimulated by sharing in the process of making. As the academic year ends, we are inviting others to bring scissors, coloured pens and their laptops to join us to continue some of the threads of discussion that have already begun, and to begin some new ones.
By the end of this workshop we plan to have begun a process of collaborative writing – a ‘maker’ activity for academia.
Places are limited. To book, please email Sarah Eagle.