Microworld OSE

// July 2019 //

We are chuffed to have been asked by Open School East in Margate to run a series of workshops on creative coding and electronics. We’ll be joining forces with Matt Mapleston in July.

On this 6 day course you can learn the basics of moving pixels around a screen, adapt webcam and kinect images, use microphones and build kinetic prototype art works with simple microcontrollers.

We will be throwing a lot of techniques at the participants and one over-arching creative model based on ecosystems. This sees artworks as ‘living’ things interacting with each other, the environment, and the audience through a cascaded series of inputs and outputs. There will be a lot of hacking involved – both code wise and breaking apart electronic and wind-up toys looking for interesting mechanisms to recycle and cannibalise.

All the pieces will ‘feel’ the world around them using simple electronic sensors and then use this information to feed algorithms which can then produce outputs which could be screen based or audio or physical motion using coding and simple actuators such as servo motors, led strips and piezo speakers.

Then the idea is to put all these performing objects into a shared space and see how they can affect each other – can we build up waves of actuation, or feedback loops, or will it implode into a big mess? We look forward to the participants experiments.

Genetic Moo will be handling the creative coding elements using Processing and various visual and sound libraries. And Matt Mappleston will be teaching Arduino and basic electronics. There will be physical model making too where we use everyday materials to clothe the machines.

The course is for the Open School East associates and there are a few places for members of the public. See below.

Importantly – the results of the workshops will immediately be on show in the Adult Education Centre as part of the OSE exhibition. We’re hoping the associates go on to develop the pieces further for exhibition with us in the Autumn.


Session 1: Monday 1 and Tuesday 2 July, 11am – 5pm
We will be learning how to code creatively, and build living, interactive installations in pixels and light.

Session 2: Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 July, 11am – 5pm
We will be ‘hacking’ charity shop wind-up toys with LED lights, motors and buttons, and learning how to control the movement of these objects through the use of basic electronics, using arduino technology.

Session 3: Tuesday 16, 11am – 5pm, Thursday 18 and Sunday 21 July, 2-5pm
We will be using an array of toys, sensors, novel interfaces, electronic parts and machine bits and pieces, working individually or in teams using all the techniques we’ve learnt during the course to feed into a public ‘Hackerthon’ and exhibition to show what we’ve made!

This is a free workshop, but as places are limited we need you to book with Louis at: louis@openschooleast.org or by phone on 07511 159 644.

Interested in coming to some and not all of the days? Please get in touch with  Louis and we can talk to you further about what can work for you.