Tuesday, February 23, 2010
the fifth session i attended was a workshop chaired by Kylie Peppler, led by Leah Buechley, and which comprised Mike Eisenberg, Yasmin Kafai, Alan Gershenfeld and Heidi Schelhowe. being a workshop, this session was very different from any of the preceding four, in that we actually worked in groups to design and build a quick and dirty working electrical circuit! the session was entitled 'Computational textiles as New Media texts: Digital Media learning in youth and DIY communities'. motivated by the maxim of "digital media beyond the screen" (which manifested itself in "constructing / building, not just consuming"), Leah (examples of the work which she and her colleagues have been working on are here, here, here and here) opened by reminding us of the historical roots of the workshop in the work of the New London group back in 1996. an insight i took away from this workshop was that atomic fabs are able to traverse spaces in ways different from their virtual counterparts; they are also (in the particular example of computational textiles) able to traverse what might otherwise be perceived as traditional gender divides. i will remember this session as the very first time i have ever taken needle and thread to sew anything. you can see the results of my group's (including a former member of the FabLab and a QUT faculty member) collaborative handiwork in the photograph below :-)
See full post at: http://voyager.blogs.com/voyeurism/2010/02/digital-media-and-learning-dml2010-conference---notes-from-the-second-day.html
Monday, February 22, 2010
"Est. Today is all about handing over fashion control to the girls," says CEO David Cote. "By giving them the collaborative tools and guidance to design their own fashion, and allowing them to share these designs with their friends, we're starting a Fashion Revolution based on empowerment."
Join the Revolution at http://www.esttoday.com/!
Monday, February 15, 2010
Barbie, whose various careers have taken her from aerobics instructor to supermodel to business executive, will next be a computer engineer, a career chosen by half a million Barbie fans.
Computer Engineer Barbie still has her trademark cascade of blond hair, impossibly small waist, feet frozen on tiptoes to slide into her high heels and a whole lot of hot pink.
She also wears a neon-colored T-shirt with a binary code pattern and carries a smartphone and a Bluetooth headset. Her hot pink glasses will come in handy during late nights coding on her hot pink laptop. Before any one begins complaining, Mattel points out that her accessories were chosen with the help of the Society of Women Engineers and the National Academy of Engineering.
Computer engineer will be the 126th career for Barbie, who turned 50 last year. For the first time, Mattel, which makes the doll, asked people to vote for her career, choosing among computer engineer, architect, environmentalist, news anchor and surgeon.
The choice of computer engineer — a field in which men far outnumber women and in which women’s participation has been declining — was announced Friday at the New York Toy Fair.
Lynn Langit, a developer evangelist at Microsoft who teaches programming to girls and works on a Microsoft program called DigiGirlz that teaches girls about technology careers, said she was thrilled about Barbie’s next career.
“We can use any sort of positive influence that we have, because the number of girls studying programming is abysmal,” she said.
Her only suggestion: that Barbie get a multi-touch netbook next. “If Barbie needs any training, I would be happy to provide it,” she said.
Posted in NYT 2/16/10
Friday, February 12, 2010
After Kylie's presentation the partipants delved into their projects:
Saturday, February 6, 2010
With this inspiration the workshop attendees then delved into the designing and building of their own circuit. With the workshop being set up in the dining/meeting area using the circular tables as workstations it was easy to form the immensely popular socially based 'sewing circles' enabling the attendees to share concepts, techniques, materials as well as numerous stories. Check back in a few days for pictures of the event and projects!
The 6th annual Smart Fabrics 2010 is taking place April 14 - 16 in Miami, Florida. Smart Fabrics 2010 is the top event for the industry, featuring 40+ presentations from leaders across the smart textiles supply chain http://www.smartfabricsconference.com/. While much of the focus is on the commercial aspect of e-textiles, special attention will be paid to the current status of innovative smart fabric technologies in the marketplace, as well as recent application breakthroughs. The conference will be of particular interest for people involved in electronics, textiles, medical, sporting equipment, fashion, and healthcare industries, as well as military/space agencies and the investment community.
Two pre conference seminars include: 'Wearable Electronics for Illuminated Costumes & Clothing' with Janet Hansen, founder and chief fashion engineer of Enlighted Designs and an interactive, hands on 'Do It Yourself' with Leah Buechley, assistant professor at MIT and Director of the High-Low Tech Group at MIT's Media Lab. (Leah is also the creator of the LilyPad Arduino computational textile tool set)
Speaking at the event is Alison Lewis, author of Switch Craft, one of the leading books in the field including 20 DIY projects integrating sewing, craft and electronics. See website for the list of speakers and the conference agenda: http://www.smartfabricsconference.com/