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- a practical introduction to electronics for designers and makers.
13-15 May 2016
Traditionally electronic circuits are made using stiff and impermeable components; limiting the design potential for electronic products. However, recent advancements in material sciences* allow functional circuits to be created on flexible and porous surfaces as well. What impact will these advances have on domestic products? Could flexible electronics open up new possibilities for more sensual and poetic designs? And how could we interact with them in very different ways?
Aimed at designers and makers, this workshop will explore flexible electronics using paper and conductive ink as starting points. Through drawing, cutting, folding and
glueing; participants will be introduced to basic electronic components and principles - breaking down the mental barrier that exists between design and engineering. After, they will be challenged to come up with new and exciting possibilities and applications for flexible electronics of their own.
Thematically the workshop address; the integration of crafts and technology as well as issues of environmental awareness.
*electro active inks, conductive threads, smart materials etc.
Requirements participants (max 15):
* Basic manual drawing / making / design skills
* Knowledge of digital fabrication is helpful
(i.e. 2D cad / illustrator / lasercutting / 3d printing)
* NO prior electronics knowledge required
* Laptop / computer on day 2 and 3.
9.30 Lecture: Introductory Lecture.
(Topics: workshop outline, goals and schedule + thematic overview)
10.15 Class Exercises: Participants will be asked to copy and re-design practice circuits on paper with conductive pens and electronics components.
(introducing: conductivity, components, polarity, switching and limiting.)
13.00 Team Exercises: Participants will be asked to design a 3 dimensionalswitch and/or circuit using elements explored during the previous exercises. (They are encouraged to use a variety of techniques and materials; paper, wood, metals, plastics, cutting, glueing, folding, lasercutting, 3d printing etc.)
16.00 Informal presentation / critique: presenting the results of Day 1.
(Homework: install arduino IDE)
9.30 Lecture: Introduction to digital electronics. (Topic: Arduino)
10.00 Class Exercises: Participants will be guided through creating their own minimal Arduino board on paper.
11.30 Class Exercises: learning to talk to Arduino
13.00 Exercises: reading sensors + connect to the switch from yesterday
15.00 Assignment: Create a concept and prototype for a functional application of flexible electronics using techniques acquired sofar.
16.30 Individual reviews
(Homework: continue with assignment)
9.30 Continue prototyping
10.00 Individual reviews
13.00 Individual reviews + trouble shooting / debugging
(this will likely be necessary!)
16.00 Final Review / critique: mini exhibition / ’show and tell’ format*
17.30 Clear up.
After Hand in short video clip of finished prototype (.mp4 / .mov, max: 1.30min, doesn’t have to be edited)
* The final prototypes (as well as experiments!) should be physically displayed in an exhibition setting. Presentations can be quite informal. However they should at least include a demonstration of the functioning (or non functioning… it happens!) prototype, and address: how the prototype was made ( which techniques where used, and if any particularly exciting
discoveries were made during the production process) as well as the intended application and/or context.
It is advised to document the functional prototype in video before the presentation. This way it can serve as your backup in case it fails during the presentation.(Electronics, tend to get stage fright.)
Frank Kolkman is a Dutch-born artist / designer interested in unpicking the social,economical and ethical implications of current and near-future technologies. Thematically addressing issues of technological access and ownership, his works display a broad understanding of design and production that includes: objects, installation, experimental devices, scenario’s, photography and video.
Frank holds a master’s degree (with distinction) in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art in London (UK) and a bachelor’s degree in Product Design from ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem (NL). Since his graduation from the Royal College of Art in 2015, several of his projects have received critical acclaim and have been exhibited internationally. Currently Frank is a design associate of the KYOTO Design Lab (D-lab) at the Kyoto Institute for Technology (JP).
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