Young People’s RS Components Hack @ musictechfest

I spent a great weekend at LSO St Luke’s in London running an introductory Arduino/Raspberry Pi workshop for young people, along with Sandbox Education and Daniel Lopez (he of Cave of Sounds).

Young people of all ages, even with no prior coding knowledge, were able to create all kinds of crazy sounding instruments using physical tech donated by RS Components.

It was an incredibly fun event to be involved with and the crossover of music and tech in a very ‘jam’ like environment worked out very well. Young people shared both musical and technical skills with each other to create a combined cacophony of far-out sounds.

Getting a group of creatives in a room, bouncing ideas around and seeing what comes out is something that I’ve seen work well in youth music projects as well as when I’ve joined in hackathons and game jams myself so it was exciting to see these disciplines come together in one place!

Final thought: the more I work on these kinds of things the more I start to believe that the nature of ‘art’ is misunderstood - it isn’t in the finished, polished product or performance, it’s in the creative process itself. The more opportunities there are for anyone and everyone to have a go at being creative the better because we are all artists. We just might not know it yet :)

More photos of the event by Andrew Dubber on Flickr

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what 123D Catch spits out once it’s done processing your images

I Put a Giant Scarab Beetle in Space and You Can Too

While working as a web designer at the britishmuseum, I’ve been looking into ways of presenting information about some of the objects housed there for an online audience.

While nothing may compare with seeing the Museum’s collection in person, I figured there might be some fun, interesting and interactive ways to present visual and factual information about these data-rich objects.

After taking a bunch of photos, I was able to quickly and fairly easily mock up interactive 3D models using Autodesk’s images-to-3d-model app 123d Catch and online WebGl / HTML5 3D model hosting service Sketchfab.

The former produces surprisingly good models even from a set of blurry pictures (I spent max. ten minutes capturing images on a Sony DSC-HX5). The latter gives you a lot of control of how your model is rendered and, most importantly, let’s you put it in outer space.

Rowland Emett

…was an was an English cartoonist and constructor of whimsical kinetic sculpture who worked through the mid-20th century, also one of my favourite artists. I traveled to Birmingham yesterday to see an exhibition of some of his illustrations and sculptures.

I wrote to him when I was six years old, sending him some drawings I had made of some of his characters - despite being very ill at the time he wrote back (the postcard is at the top here, sent six months before he passed away in 1990 - ain’t that some handwriting?).

The exhibition is on until 21 September at the Birmingham Museum

p.s. you might know his stuff from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

pretty much real life

sounds on collision, some fog and clouds

and a simple minimap

Took the long walk home on Friday

I was in central London and it took about an hour or so to get back to near my place in the south east. There was a storm earlier in the day so there weren’t that many people about. The Thames is both crappy and great - lots of trash but it’s still a giant open space of water and wildlife.