With Andrew Quitmeyer

July 8 - 12, 2019

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The behaviors of living creatures help shape, and in turn, are shaped by their surrounding environment. Similarly, your tools shape how you understand and interact with the world, but they also take on characteristics of the environments in which they are developed. As we begin taking digital technology (primarily developed for human needs) into the natural world, not only will these tools have to change, but perhaps the way we create these tools also needs to change.

We will discuss, design, and create outdoor laboratories for interactive scientific and artistic tools. Through hands-on encounters with the natural world, we will explore the question of how can technology developed in harsh environments differ from those developed in more traditional laboratories. This workshop will involve much time spent outdoors designing and building backpacks, organizers, and furniture as well as basic electronics and physical computing programming. We will analyze the pros and cons of on-site, rapid technology prototyping, and work towards the development of new aesthetics, design guidelines, and standard tools for Wild and Wearable Studios. The lessons will draw on experiences creating wild laboratories built into jungle, forest, or ocean environs in places such as: Panama, Madagascar, Spain, Slovenia, the Philippines, and Thailand. The technology we use is very much alive and evolving. We need to find new and less prescriptive ways to cultivate its development since, like any living system, our technology is not simply bound by our intentions. We intend to do this by playing outside with new technology.

Who is the workshop for?
This workshop is intended for anyone interested in rapid prototyping (in the lab and outdoors), environmental monitoring, animal interaction design, physical computing (sensing and actuation), and hybrid crafting techniques with natural and artificial materials. 

What should participants bring?
Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop with the Arduino IDE installed as well as prototyping and electronics materials. Equipment will also be available for use through ATLAS. 

About the Instructor
Dr. Andrew Quitmeyer is a digital adventurer studying intersections between wild animals and computational devices. He’s a professor at the National University of Singapore resarching how to blend biological fieldwork and DIY digital crafting. This “Digital Naturalism” work has taken him through the wilds of places such as Panama, Madagascar, Philippines, and the Galapagos where he runs workshops with diverse groups of scientists, artists, designers, and engineers. He currently leads “Hiking Hacks” around the world where participants build technology entirely in the wild for interacting with nature. His research also inspired a spinoff television series he hosted for Discovery Networks called “Hacking the Wild.”

He is the winner of several design awards and his trans-disciplinary, multimedia projects have been featured in The Discovery Channel, Wired, PBS, NPR, Cartoon Network, Make Magazine, Fast Company, Gizmodo, along with other print and digital internet news and educational sources.

 

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