Experiments and explorations

During the project, I did experiments to imagine different ways we can think about what code is; how it looks like and how we relate to it. In this short video, I explain how programming is boxed into a tool for efficiency; which if we see programming as an art is limiting.

Let’s compare programming to painting. In painting there are two types of painting; whiting a wall or creating a piece of art. In programming it seems like we didn’t find the paintbrush yet; we have been making better grips (for f.e. smaller hands) for the paint-roller but didn’t change the expressive part of the tool.

 I will guide you through my experience of using other existing tools and re-formatting them to create explain and explore a different idea. In this case, more visual-based tools are used to define the behaviour of more physical based interactions in the real world.

These experiments are described on the website project hub; which was a double-edged sword; it helped me understand how sharing in the community works and it helped me explaining my concept for a broader audience. This is more aimed at the design community which is usually quite familiar with graphic design tools (Adobe Suite) and bridge this to the physical computing field. What these experiments try to do is to expand the concept of ‘code‘ and programming beyond the written text.

There are two benefits to using already existing tools; people are already familiar with them, if they are well known in the community and it is an easy (low-cost) way to imagine different ways of defining behaviour, then having to design a new whole ecosystem.

This video shows how the light of the NeoPixels is influenced by the position of the cursor. In this way, it is an easy way to prototype different light behaviour in Arduino. 

The goal is to see how defining behaviour could be extended from the current paradigms that are around programming. This example really shows the power of direct control to increase understanding of the thing the students are creating.

One interesting use case is to control movement (servo) with software like After Effects. Because you can adjust the curve over time; while seeing the servo move.

Published on Project-hub as “From pixel to neopixel“

This prototype explores using Photoshop as a way to prototype an ‘interaction matrix‘. You can then use two inputs to influence 3 different outputs; such as 2 axis servo motors or RGB colour.

The goal is to see how different representations of behaviour could be sketched; while keeping the dynamic behaviour. 

It creates perhaps more ‘visible’ code and makes artistic expressions easier than logic. It works well for light, but it is harder for other things like movement. 

I wrote a Medium article titled “Art of mapping“ about this explorations 
This prototype explores using keynote as a way to prototype a scenario; a part of the presentation is reserved for influencing the output; the other part of the presentation can give context in the form of text and images.

The goal is to see if and how and if it would make sense to merge storytelling with programming to increase the togetherness of code.

By focusing on already existing and learned skills we could allow for more people to be involved.

It might make telling and defining the story together easier. Doesn’t explain or show the complexity. Doesn’t increase understanding of the hardware; probably more the opposite.

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