MADLAB was invited to lead a 3 day intensive workshop in physical computing for Florida International University’s School of Architecture. Over 22 hours, 18 architecture students and 3 professors learned how to translate physical input into meaningful embedded interaction with the built environment. The workshop introduced the Arduino prototyping platform, as well as techniques in soldering, electronics, programming, hacking, and debugging. The participants left with the knowledge to choreograph kinetic systems using sensors and actuators for affective interaction.
On Day One, participants became familiarized with the software and hardware components of the Arduino. As a programming environment, microcontroller, and social community, the Arduino is an ideal medium for teachinghow-to-learn embedded electronics. Participants were then exposed to techniques in manipulating digital input/output as well as digital input/analog output.
Day Two built on the programming and electronics knowledge from the previous day to incorporate sensors and actuators into the participants’ experiments. By the end of the day, participants were able to intelligently activate their surroundings by connecting lights, motors, and other output devices to a variety of sensory input devices (such as potentiometers, photocell resistors, force sensitive resistors, piezos, etc…)
Day Three reinforced lessons from the first two days, and focused on how to use external resources when prototyping a kinetic system. This included how to read a data sheet, how to use the Arduino forum, resources for DIY sensors, and resources for advanced circuits and programming.