Reading: Scrapyard Lessons

My first Scrapyard Challenge experience was last fall, when we did the MIDI workshop as part of our Interface Studio class.
I relate to the text in its entirety, specially about being intimidated at first, being a novice and not having any physical computing background.
I remember I went into the workshop not knowing what to expect, or how to hack anything, specially changing it into an instrument. The process began going through garbage seeking things that had metal and movable parts.  Then we made pile of things and everyone grabbed whatever they wanted to work with, not necessarily what you brought.   Once our team decided on what artifacts we were going to work with, the final piece emerged organically from our team’s work, imagination and problem solving.  The end result was very rewarding for us, and the non-judgmental environment really helped make it a great experience.
The “low-art” concept is key in the success of the work we will develop.  It is very rewarding to see that you are able to apply design concepts into repurposing “a thing” and make a prototype out of something that someone else discarded.  It is as if you are giving the artifact a second chance, after someone declared it good for nothing.  I believe the teachings from the workshop begin on the hackability of things and working with constraints; but it then extends to freedom in creativity and environment and social awareness.

Here’s a link to my blog on my first Scrapyard Challenge experience.

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