Field 2’nd Year – Option: Kinetic Environments

The first day of field went well, I am happy with my option and the choice that I have made to do Kinetic Environments over Synergies Between Materials and Technologies. I had been worried about the choice but I found as the day went on I was glad of my choice. I do feel I would have really enjoyed Faking It, the props and set design module, after hearing about it from friends and feeling a little jealous! All in all I am satisfied that this is the option for me. At the end of the 5 weeks we will be making a interactive installation in a room ( location presently unknown). Along the way I may set myself some small projects as I have so many projects that I have in my web bookmarks and on my desktop I want to try or adapt to other ideas of mine that I am sure I will not be lack for ideas…only time!

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Most of what was taught today I already new but it did go a long way to clearing up lots of questions or uncertainties I have had about certain things related to arduino coding language. I intend to start learning to code on Khan Academy the on-line school/learning resource for free, I shall be looking at basic computer science and maths, Java and maybe C. I enjoyed circuit building, Dennis the TD will be running a workshop on Thursday to go over basic electronics theory and practise and help with progression in the coding language, and I also enjoyed messing/playing with the code, trying to get it to do more complex things, produce a particular effect or experimenting with output values.

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Working with other people in a group was really fun! One of the best group work times I’ve had at university so far! Becky was great to work with, we shared an enthusiasm to experiment and progress beyond the simple tutorial trying to make the code more complex and try to get more interesting results.

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Andy and Lotties buzzer and LED’s

Today we experimented mostly with outputs by manipulating LED’s and buzzers. My favourite thing was using a piezo (?) buzzer to make tones. Once we learnt the tone function and how to change its pitch and delay values we added lots of tones to one sketch and played with making a tune – essentially 8 bit music. We made some interesting sounding loops, although nothing particularly note worthy or good! I intend to experiment more with this on my arduino at home tomorrow evening as I want to explore this further with an investigation perhaps into its history and certainly into what is out there now, on-line tutorials and how I might apply it to my work. One idea I had today whilst cycling home was a room sized 3 axis Theremin type sounding viewer reactive environment in 8-Bit tones with interactive moveable walls. A big idea.

I will post a post in the future about my interests in making which I think arduino and this module could apply to in the wider context of my making and creating ideas.

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When this circuit was complete we could sound the buzzer by grabbing a naked wire between finger and thumb and the static our bodies generated was enough to send an electrical signal.

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