I taught a workshop with Anijo Mathew in October at the Illinois Institute of Technology on prototyping in electronics or “sketching in hardware.” The class was a variation on a concept created by IDEO’s Haiyan Zhang called “Game On!” The idea is to demonstrate how fast the participants can move from concept to interactive prototype. It’s incredible what people with little to no previous experience can achieve in the span of a few hours. We constrain the workshop to the creation of a game because it allows people to be silly, excited and not over complicate the challenge.
Sketching in Hardware
Sketching is a tool for conveying and capturing the right level of information as quickly as possible. When designing for interactive systems there is often value to bringing sketching off of the notepad and realizing the interaction in technology. In this workshop you will be introduced to a set of tools (in this case, Arduino + Flash/Actionscript) and will break into teams to create a game that incorporates a variety of physical interactions.
In the workshop, we had a bunch of electronic sensors that were plugged into a prototyping board called Arduino. The Arduino was plugged into the computer with a USB cable that allows the sensors to control a game on the screen. We started the day getting Arduino working with Adobe Flash on everyone’s computer. After everyone got it working we split into groups and started brainstorming ideas for games. The teams spent the last 4 hours cutting, gluing, wiring, drawing, learning and coding to end the day with working, playable games. Check out the games they made and some technical details after the jump.