Scrapyard Challenge

22 Jun 2006

Create a remote control cushion for your home cinema set, a cuddly toy light switch, or a dress that plays music….


Werken -

There are more and more tools widely available that allow us to make and publish our own media. These days all kinds of people have their own blog, and upload videos at the push of a button. The next step is that consumers modify physical objects, products and electronic devices. Scrapyard Challenge opens up this world and shows how easy it is to re-use technology and make it serve a new purpose. Participants in the workshop will not only experience what it’s like to tinker with electronics, but be encouraged to think about the design of open systems, platforms and tools that allow the user to put these to a new use. Hacking and DIY culture are two of the key sources of inspiration.

The workshop
The Scrapyard Challenge Workshop is an intensive, one-day workshop in which the participants will make simple controllers using reclaimed, defunct materials such as old electronic equipment, furniture, old computer components, electric appliances, turntables, monitors, gadgets and clothing. Each of the objects designed during the workshop will be linked to a MIDI output device that is able to generate audio or visual material, depending on what the participant would like to build. As a warm-up exercise the workshop will kick off with everyone building simple ‘drawbots’. At the end of the day the participants will give a short performance or demonstration, playing their new creations to the rest of the group.

Open and collaborative workspace
The Scrapyard Challenge Workshops are built on the premise of encouraging an open and collaborative space for creative ideas and hands-on prototyping. Workshop attendees learn how to build simple instruments from found and/or discarded objects. We encourage attendance from visitors from multiple backgrounds and all skill levels.
Hands-on prototyping involves taking an idea or concept and turning it into a working model, using it to test scenarios for its possible use. This method is increasingly being employed in design processes to integrate user feedback in the development process, but it can also be used as a tool for supporting creative processes.

We are looking for an interdisciplinary mix of designers, product designers, musicians, performers, developers and people involved in various other ways in creative processes. The workshop brings together participants from a variety of backgrounds and fields of knowledge. Participants do not need to have a wide knowledge of or experience with electronics or technology.

Date: 22 June 2006
Time: 9.30 am - 5.30 pm
Location: STEIM, Achtergracht 19, Amsterdam (
Fee: 100 Euro, student discount fee 25 Euro
How to apply: send an email with your CV and short bio to:

For more info on the Scrapyard Challenge:

Speakers/support team
Katherine Moriwaki is an artist and researcher investigating clothing and accessories as the active conduit through which people create network relationships in public space. After receiving her Masters degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Katherine co-developed and taught the ground-breaking collaboration studio "Fashionable Technology" at Parson's School of Design. Currently she is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Networks and Telecommunications Research Group at Trinity College Dublin.

Jonah Brucker-Cohen is a researcher, artist, Ph.D. candidate, and HEA MMRP fellow in the Disruptive Design Team of the Networking and Telecommunications Research Group (NTRG), Trinity College Dublin. He was also a Research Fellow in the Human Connectedness Group at Media Lab Europe. He received a Masters from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU and was an Interval Research Fellow there creating interactive networked projects. His work and thesis focuses on the theme of "Deconstructing Networks" which includes projects that attempt to critically challenge and subvert accepted perceptions of network interaction and experience.

The workshop is organised in collaboration with STEIM, the centre for research and development of instruments and tools for performers in the electronic performance arts,. The workshop will take place at Steim, located at Achtergracht 19, Amsterdam.
www: Steim