Trente pixels Workshop
One week workshop I led at ECAL (Switzerland) with the students in Media & Interaction Design unit (second year).
The concept came out of 2 findings. The first one appeared very naturally after some strolls in Lausanne during chrismas.
At the end of the years, cities get covered of christmas light animations. And in many cases, a quick stroll reveals really cold, robotic and soulless use of LEDs. With looping animations, without beginning nor end and a disturbing lack of content. So it seems like a perfect raw technological ground on which media and interaction designers should bring meaning and poetry.
The second one came later on, as I was figuring out the best way to bring an affordable, interesting and easy to use LEDs platform to the workshop.
Full HD, Retina Displays, Virtual reality Headsets..etc. The content we produce constantly evolves to an ever-growing density of pixels and always widening formats. But what happens when we reduce drastically this output? How can we still tell a story, setup a game or an interactive installation with a single line of 30 pixels ?.
I designed and built 8 open source wifi-adressable LED 1 meter bars (with atmega328, ESP8266, custom PCB and 3.7v 1268 batteries) along with custom softwares that makes them easily controllable via UDP. You can have a look at the making-of post if you're interested in the technical aspect & specifications of the LED bars.
The first half of the week was dedicated at OpenFrameworks and walking the students through the creation of their first C++ App on their laptop and then mobile phones.
The second half of the week allowed students to create a project that used the led bar. They were a total of 6 great projects involving music, iphones, minimalistic shadow projections and games.
One great exemple was made by 2 students using a drone + lightpainting : http://did-you-see-me.tumblr.com
Assistant : Mathieu Minguet
Supervision : Alain Bellet
Cover Photo : Lina Berjaner
Did-you-see-me Photo : Lara Défayes & Julie-Lou Bellenot