ICM (+pcomp) Synthesis Workshop

A few days ago we had an ICM synthesis workshop. I must say that I had very low expectations from the workshop, which ended-up being one of the most inspiring and enjoyable activities I’ve been part of since I started ITP. I truly feel that this workshop was a milestone in my personal ITP growth.

First experience with changing digital objects using physical sensors

I was lucky enough to work with talented Scott Reitherman. We picked-up one of Scott’s early P5.js drawings, and manipulated it using a potentiometer.

The following video shows the final outcome, but doesn’t show exactly what’s happening (lesson learned about documentation videos).

Scott’s P5 drawing is being manipulated with a physical potentiometer: The jitters’ speed is changing when I rotate the knob.

My personal conclusion from the workshop

  • Doing is more inspiring than reading – Sounds trivial right? Not to everyone. I tend to read a lot and cover a vast range of topics using only my eyes. For some reason, this workshop made me realize finally  (or maybe reminded me after so many years of learning and having almost zero time for experiments) what is the difference between reading and doing, and how inspiring doing can be.
    Working on this tiny project, made me think of so many applications that could be interesting and challenging to make.
    Maybe it is because I just read “Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook” by Saul Greenberg, Bill Buxton from the pcomp class reading list, which reminded me how useful sketching could be, but I decided that from now on I’ll try to focus on sketching and making more than on anything else. To me, this is a very motivating and uplifting conclusion.
  • Focus on projects – From on, I’ll try to be more focused on projects, that will include subjects that were covered in different classes, more than on simply learning. Sounds vague, but maybe this is how it should be.
  • P5 is not ready – P5.js doesn’t seem too stable when dealing with serial  inputs. It doesn’t handle buffers very well, and tend to stop being responsive after 5-10 seconds of interaction.
    This limitation didn’t take anything from my first ‘sensor + digital visualization’ experience, but led me to the conclusion that I will not be able to use P5 on any of my final projects, if stability is something I’m looking for (I do).

Published by

Dror Ayalon


2 thoughts on “ICM (+pcomp) Synthesis Workshop”

  1. The more you get to know P5 and serial you’ll see it’s actually quite stable. There are details of which you need to be aware that will stabilize it for you, which we begin discussing this week.

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