As the countdown to the beta release continues, a few communities in particular are especially excited. MAKE Magazine subscribers who have read the recent Modkit article are eager to give Crimp Cards a try. Teens in the Boston Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn program are thirsty to do more with Modkit and explore how its new features can enable them to take their projects in new directions. This upcoming weekend, several people attending the Fifth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI 11) will meet the new Modkit tools in a hands-on workshop setting.
To date, feedback from workshops that bring together creators of all ages and backgrounds has helped Modkit evolve. On Sunday January 23rd, 2011, Ed and I will be in Funchal, Portugal running a hands-on studio workshop with 20 participants at TEI 11. The Studio is called "A Toolkit for Tinkering with Tangibles and Connecting Communities."
Preparing for the TEI Studio and beta release at the same time has involved a lot of work - sometimes late-night in the kitchen, as the photo below shows. Going to the TEI conference will be a welcome change of pace. The other photo below shows the TEI homepage featuring pictures that suggest this Studio will have a beautiful backdrop - a welcome break from local kitchens, computer labs, and cafes.
The Studio participants will range from first-time tinkerers to long-time creators of tangible technologies. We'll be working with the group to remix Crimp Cards and explore ways to extend the Modkit tools so that they meet the needs of diverse creative communities. The rough schedule is as follows:
9AM - 10AM
-get to know the participants.
-use the supplied electronic and craft components to prototype an interactive object.
10AM - 12PM
-discuss what everyone created or attempted to create.
-revise the starter projects with new materials the organizers introduce.
12PM - 1PM
1PM - 2PM
-rework the morning projects to incorporate new ideas or start a second project.
-go through the process of extending the Modkit toolkit to meet the needs of communities that the participants represent.
2PM - 3PM
-reflect and discuss the topics of creative communities and computational toolkits.
We look forward to going live with the new Modkit and later posting photos from the TEI Studio.