Day 3: Computer as Craft Material

n the morning we asked students to take the props and characters and story-lines they had developed yesterday and enact a play on the map. These plays traced some very sophisticated resource and energy flows.

To extend the mapping of flows that emerged from the plays we did some more elaborate and complex network diagrams on the chalk board that followed the flow of material, wealth, water, energy and more, through the community.

For the rest of the day most of the students worked on their SRATCH animations based on the mornings plays, and a small group of four started to make more complex renderings of the Drishya school in Google Sketch Up.

Once the students started to figure out with HOW they were going to display their SCRATH programs we had a breakthrough. It has been hoped for a while that computers could be small enough and designed with intention for use as a craft material. One thinks of Arduino and the physical computing for artists/crafters revolution. However, by using the otherwise useless Nokia N810 running a hacked version of SCRATCH we were able to use these little screens and imbed them right into the map, and create frames that continued the animation into the crafted space. For Jay it was a revelation for a goal he has had for a while: using computers as a craft material.

Computers compliment craft instead of getting in the way of the intuitive and materiality of the handmade, while still allowing the excitement and vision that comes with animation and interactivity. Nice!

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