Interaction Design Exhibition

A student designed a sensor that detects if the cycle is being moved and it emits an alarm sound. He also design a mobile app to pair with the sensor. The app tracks the cycle. It also provides the option to mark if a location is a hotspot for cycle theft. He designed the interface to account for both left and right hand users.

I teach a module in Interaction Design on the Product Design Programme at the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK. This term, I introduced the Arduino platform to the Product Design Programme.

Arduino is an open-source physical computing platform that is designed for make physical computing accessible to anyone who is interested. It has been around for roughly 10 years and supported by an active development community. I have been working with Arduino since its release in 2007.  Learn more about Arduino here.

A student designed a laser triggered metronome to support his drumming practice.

This module introduced the students to hands-on coding and physical computing which entails circuit design and coding. Their goal was to develop a interactive project of their choosing that demonstrated their understanding of theory of interactive principles and their application of new technical skills.

I ran the module using gamification techniques. The students development of their projects was the Quest. Each week they were given a mission to complete that would help them gain the tools and skills they needed to complete their quests. They had resources they could use:

  • A book of Spells: Arduino Project Book
  • A trusted companion: The Arduino that they had to train and learn its language to communication with each other (learn to code)
  • Seek out experts with key knowledge: Tutors, each other and Arduino forums.

A student created an  Imperial Walker coin bank. It detects the weight of the coin to determine what it is and keeps track of how much you have in the bank.

They presented their final projects through a self-curated exhibition open to the entire school. It was well attended and they gather valuable feedback on the functionality and usability of their projects that they applied to future iterations.

A student designed a module sensor to attach to free-weights to track rep workouts.

British Science Festival

The British Science Festival is Europe’s longest standing science festival, traveling to a different place in the United Kingdom each year. For 2017, Brighton University and the University of Sussex were selected as hosts for the festival.

My Fireflygame was accepted into the festival. I ran it over two days at the Brighton Museum as part of the Creative Technology Research programme.

The Fireflygame is a research project that investigates human-to-human interaction mediated by technology. It challenges players to develop new game rules and analyze the effect of the gameplay and strategy. The game exposes that is hard to design for play and fun.

DIY and Hands-On Learning with Technology

Owl Popup card with conductive ink and LED
Owl Popup card with conductive ink and LED created by Diane Simpson-Little

In my role as a facilitator of learning, I always aim to develop engaging and accessible methods for conveying ideas and concepts. At the University of Sussex, we have a lovely community for sharing experienced and techniques across the university. Through the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) group, I have been able to share my methods through a variety of their venues.

As part of Sussex's Innovation Week, I ran a Electric Paper Workshop with staff to demonstrate how to create digital interactive systems with paper, ink and graphite.

If you would like to find out more about my work with Maker techniques and gamification in learning please check out the podcast and interviews below:

  • Hands-On Learning with Technology: Technology Enhanced Learning Podcast where I discuss using game design and DIY technology to create interactive opportunities for learning and engagement.
  •  #DIWSussex Makerspaces: Here is an interview of the process and opportunities for using graphite, conductive ink and paper to create an interactive experience.


Getting Older People Addicted to the Internet - Digital Shoreditch

Getting Older People Addicted to the Internet - Digital Shoreditch 2015 from paba on Vimeo.

I was invited to present my research on engaging older people with digital technologies at Digital Shoreditch 2015.

I presented the outcomes of my work with using Participatory Design methodologies to co-develop a mobile/tablet apps for older people. The research was conducted with an intergenerational run club called GoodGym.

Tousle Monster - Soft Circuit Workshop V&A

Tousles at the
All the Tousles together!

We had a lovely time running a workshop at the V&A Museum that introduces soft circuits. The participants get to create their own Tousle Monster. Tousle has one eye and a tuff of hair. The hair is made up of two sections of conductive thread separated by regular yarn. When the two sections of conductive thread are "tousled" together, they complete the circuit. When the circuit is complete an LED light in the tongue lights ups.

The grey threads are conductive thread in two sections on either side of regular yarn. This is the "switch"to turn on the LED in the tongue.

The participants had a good time learning how to create the Tousle and conductive materials. Some of the participants created their own version in the form of a fish. Everyone went home with a working Tousle monster to show their friends. They have a new awareness of the abilities conductive materials can offer the crafting community.

Fish version of Tousle. The tail acts as the switch.


Etch-a-Sketch Ardunio/Processing Workshop

Etch-a-Sketch success for Lycée Eugene Livet students.


For the second year, Codasign and Lycée Eugène Livet collaborated on an Etch-a-Sketch workshop for Livet's student visit to London. The workshop is not only fun but relevant for the French students. André Cassagnes of France invented the Etch-a-Sketch.

In the workshop, I take the 25+ students through a set of lessons where they learn both Arduino and Processing. The workshop focusing on teaching how one can use serial communication to allow Arduino hardware and Processing software to talk to each other.

The end product is a system where the students use potentiometers (knobs) wired and programmed by the Arduino to draw on the screen in Processing.

This year, the students brought with them 3-D printed knobs and frames they made on their new 3-D printer and laser cutter respectively.

In addition, to learning code there is also an exchange of English/French terminology and humour in translation mishaps.

flickr: etch-a-sketch images


Electric Poster Workshop

Students present their LED infused paper poster.


Codasign and King's College collaborated to host an Electric Poster workshop for 30+ visiting university Chinese students. The university students are studying various areas in art and illustration.

The workshop was broken into two sections. In the first section, I introduced circuit design, Arduino and using conductive ink. In the second section, the students used their new found circuit knowledge to create interactive posters. They were experimental combining traditional electronics and conductive inks in their final creations. At the end, each group presents their poster.

flickr: electric poster images


Petchey Academy - Power to the People Project #5: Creating Thermochromic Ink Interactive Art



This was a collaborative project between four organization. Petchey Academy, Space Studios, Arts Catalyst and Codasign in London, UK

The project was developed as part of The Power of the People initiative by Space Studios. Codasign was brought in to provide the technology support over six weeks with the students. The students were enrolled in the school's product design class. We introduced Arduino and thermochromic ink to the students. We also designed and produced the printed circuit boards (PCB) with the students.

IMG_20140312_170813   IMG_20140313_185243

The students conceived of creating a modular image where they each took ownership of a square. When all the squares were assembled a single image was formed. One of the students drew a skyline of London. Each student was assigned a square to draw their interoperation of their section. All the images were outline with black ink. The color was applied with the thermochromatic ink. The students also conceived and designed their own button for the their square of the image.

The student programmed Arduino with a RGB LED. The programed the color for their LED when the button was pressed.

The final project was a gridded image. Each square of the image of connected to a button. When the button was pressed a LED lit up on the button and the color thermochromatic ink was heated up and became transparent. The result is the only the black outline are left.

The final project was unveiled at The Power of People #5 exhibition at the The White Building on April 2, 2014.

flickr: petchey academy images

Arduino workshop with Lycée Eugène Livet



The students of the Lycée Eugene Livet School, Nantes, France came for the second time to Space Studios as part of their annual London trip. Codasign designed a workshop for the students that combined Processing and Arduino. The school has a technology program that includes teaching Processing and Arduino. The students were a mix of experienced and newbies to both programs. There were two aims to the workshop: 1) teach how Processing and Ardunio can be used to together and 2) help the students understanding of the English centric coding language of both programs. There were two classes and the workshop was run over two days. One day for each class.

Codasign created an Etch-a-Sketch Project for the students to create. The project creating a drawing program in Processing and Ardunio to create the Physical Knobs to control the drawing on the screen. For more advanced students, who finished the project early, we introduced servos and piezos.


flickr: process etch-a-sketch images


Hippokampos in the Grey Matter

hippo_feetinwater wave+vf

Hippokampos in the Grey Matter explores how we relate memories to a physical place and how these are shared with others, yet are never quite the same. The game takes people through a network of memories – places and trails from our past, and traces them into the physical landscape of Athens, exploring how memories can cross in the same way paths can.

This game experience is inspired by psychogeography practice and research in the temporal memory. Psychogeography approaches our landscape through our human emotional and behavioral responses, instead strictly measurements of distance and features. With Hippocampus, we took someone’s memory of a favorite walk. (Temporal) and worked with them to extract the salients elements of the experience. Then used those elements to reimagine the walk in completely different space.


The game was commissioned by AthensPlaython for their inaugural September 2012. We ran a workshop where the participants developed the narrative clues within the framework of myth. The participant designed game was run in the final day of the festival.


The game was developed in collaboration with Mztek, a learning community in technology and arts for women.