Artschool I/O Summer School 2014

Download the PDFs:
July: ... August & September:

Short workshops on making interactive prototypes using electronics, coding and other easy tech.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays 2-5pm throughout the summer.
Workshops are open to all Design School staff, postgraduate students and members of Artschool I/O, and will take place on campus.
Register to avoid disappointment - email Roy Shearer on: r.shearer(at) - Venue and any requirements will follow.
All online materials are linked to, but also contained here:


  • Tues 15th Prototyping interactive ideas quickly - video prototyping, paper prototyping, role playing, powerpoint click-throughs, wizard of oz prototypes, and smoke and mirrors prototypes using littleBits and MakeyMakey
    • A crash course in getting going with interactive ideas. Making interactive prototypes needn't be difficult and slow - you can often achieve just what you need with a well conceived lo-tech prototype. Have a go at 6 different methods here.
    • Online materials

  • Wed 16th Basics of Coding, with Scratch - drag and drop code fundamentals
    • Scratch is a brilliantly easy piece of open software for making on screen interactive prototypes. It's also a great way to understand the fundamental concepts of coding that you will find in whatever language you later use.
    • Online materials

  • Tues 22nd littleBits hacking tournament! - quickfire mind vs machine contest *POSTPONED*
    • A fast paced game of prototype charades pitting mind against machines. littleBits is a snap-together electronics kit requiring no prior understanding of electronics or code. GSA spent a lot of money on this kit, so lets see what it can do!

  • Wed 23rd Processing taster - easy coding for interactive audio and visuals
    • Processing is the go-to platform for prototyping with interactive media, be it animation, geenrative artwork, video or audio glitchery or mocking up apps.
    • Online materials

  • Tues 29th Arduino taster (with Tinkerkit) - Get physical with code
    • Arduino is the go-to platform for prototyping with embedded computers and electronics, with a vast community of users across the globe. In this workshop we'll be using Tinkerkit modules to remove the minefield of electronics from the equation, and focus on getting physical with code.
    • Online materials

  • Wed 30th Lego Mindstorms taster - robots for dummies *POSTPONED* - ran instead on Tues 12th Aug
    • Lego Mindstorms combines the joy and intuitive nature of Lego with electronic prototyping and coding, and is especially great for quickly building smart robots.
    • Online materials


  • Tues 5th Wearable tech taster - wearable tech the easy way, using Arduino Gemma.
    • In this workshop we will give you a taste of working with embedding computers into garments or jewellery, in this case to create responsive lighting. We will be using Gemma, a tiny arduino-compatible system for working with code and electronics.
    • Online materials

  • Wed 6th Raspberry Pi taster - embedded computing with a bit more punch. Make an audio sampler.
    • Raspberry Pi is the go-to platform for embedded sound and video, and a whole lot more. Basically a laptop brain on hard drive sized board, we will use the Pi to investigate simple python code and interface with the physical world using the Pi's GPIO pins.
    • Online materials

  • Tues 12th Gadgeteer taster - small but sophisticated electronic prototypes. *POSTPONED*
    • Gadgeteer is a toolkit for creating small but sophisticated electronic prototypes using readymade hardware modules and Visual Studio. Potentially very powerful, we'll take a look at the basics.

  • Wed 13th Pure Data taster [with William Aikman] - visual programming for interactive audio artworks.
    • Pure Data and MaxMSP are the visual way to program, and particularly great for playing around with audio. PureData is also free, so we'll focus on that. Like any programming language, PureData can be moulded to suit almost any purpose, including making simple onscreen interfaces, and interfacing with the physical world via Arduino. William Aikman is an alumni of the GSA's Sound for The Moving Image MDes and member of artschool I/O.
    • Online materials

  • Tues 19th Electric Imp taster - it's an 'internet of things', er, thing. *POSTPONED*
    • Electric Imp takes the best of other embedded computers and visual programming environments and makes it all wireless, using Wifi to make prototypes that can be reprogrammed on the fly. We'll take a look at getting started.

  • Wed 20th Firefy taster [with Rob Harvey] - manipulate 3D models in Rhino using physical sensors and Arduino.
    • Ever wondered about making 3D CAD models that respond to the physical world? That's exactly what Firefly is made for: interfacing the world of Arduino with the boundless world of Rhinoceros. Rob Harvey, alumni of the Mackintosh Architecture School, and MAKlab volunteer, will show us the basics.
    • Online materials

  • Tues 26th Make your own Arduino - learn how to make your own Arduino for £7 or less.
    • Build your own Arduino for less than £7. Arduino is the go-to platform for electronic prototyping, but its a pricey endeavour - around £20 for a typical Arduino circuit board. Why not build your own, learning a bit about how they work, and cutting the price by more than half while you're at it? Eh?
    • Online materials

  • Wed 27th Processing 101 [with Paul Maguire] - easy coding for audio/visual artworks and prototypes.
    • Processing is the go-to platform for prototyping with interactive media, be it animation, geenrative artwork, video or audio glitchery or mocking up apps. This will be a basic intro covering the basics and techniques for generating images and exporting them out of Processing.
    • Online materials


  • Tues 2nd Arduino 101 - easy coding for embedding computers in artworks and prototypes.
    • Arduino is the go-to platform for prototyping with embedded computers and electronics, with a vast community of users across the globe. This is a basic intro to the world of Arduino covering all the basics of coding and wiring, blinking LEDs and beyond.
    • Online materials

  • Wed 3rd Working with input components - looking at everything from buttons to proximity sensors.
    • They're literally what makes your electronics project happen! Learn a bit more in detail about wiring digital inputs, analogue inputs and working with ultrasonic sensors, accelerometers and other 'smarter' inputs.
    • Online materials

  • Tues 9th Working with output components - looking at everything from LED lights to controlling motors.
    • They're the movers and shakers of the electronics world! Learn a bit more in detail about wiring and working with servo motors, dc motors, stepper motors, LEDs, speakers and buzzers.
    • Online materials

  • Wed 10th Interfacing Processing and Arduino - three different ways to combine the physical and the virtual.
    • Processing and Arduino on their own are great, but they're even more handy when combined. In this workshop we'll cover 3 different methods of making the two talk, including a detailed look at Serial communications.
    • Online materials

  • Tues 16th Solder like a Pro - learn to solder well, and how to de-solder to make things better.
    • Soldering is easy when you know how, and an essential way of solidifying circuits for embedding into prototypes. In this workshop we'll cover sodlering and desoldering best practice, safety, and caring for soldering tools
    • Online materials

  • Wed 17th Thermochromics taster - heat activated colour changing things, powered by electricity. *CANCELLED*
    • Thermochromic dye changes colour with heat. Do it on demand with electronic heaters. In this workshop we'll show you how to do it, and it involves a good amount of soldering!

  • Thurs 18th Autodraw - Using robots to make drawings with code.
    • Using the Lego Mindstorms robots, a fun way to learn a little coding and apply it to a (sort of) artistic end!
    • Online materials