An artist in residency at Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts
In this residency I extended my technical skills into electronics and physical computing. I worked on the creation of wearable technology, 'intelligent' objects and the internet of things. I also explored the issues around primary and secondary level technology education.
It is becoming clear that the number of students currently choosing to study IT at University is not high enough to satisfy future demand. How can we extend the appeal of computer programming? How can we interest a broader range of students in electronics generally? At the Open Lab I suggested that creative practice offers some solutions and shared what I have discovered, including new and creative initiatives to learn programming skills and electronics.
After some ill-fated experiments with so-called easy electronics kits, I taught myself the basics of constructing and programming circuits using the Arduino computer and LED lights.
Then I applied these skills to the Arduino's cousin, the LilyPad computer. I designed a cicuit, programmed it and sewed it using conductive thread, along with an electronic 'brooch' made of LEDs and crystals, into an upcycled dress. At a touch of a switch, the colors and light patterns in the brooch change, allowing the dress to transition all the way from dinner to the dance floor.