Designing and prototyping a virus robot installation during a pandemic

At the end of 2019 we were ready to begin work on our second iteration of the Viruscraft project, moving focus from how viruses jump from one species to another, to how they evolve once they are in a population. This project has been focused from the start on designing and building physical interfaces to help understand invisible biological interactions between viruses, host organisms and evolution. Our new plans included …

Evidence Support Initiative pilot report

The Evidence Support Initiative is a pilot project pairing science researchers with councils to facilitate evidence-based decision making, and learn about each other’s worlds, funded by Civic Square’s Dream Fund.

The Evidence Support Initiative launch

We’ve been awarded seed funding to pilot a new system to encourage and facilitate scientific researchers to work with their local councils, providing on-demand advice on scientific issues to fit the needs of councillors, and perhaps also passing on the skills to find and use scientific information.

Step by step: building tangible livecoded braid robots

After successfully performing maypole dances and creating simple twists and weaves with hundreds of passers by at the Algomech festival in Sheffield, we noticed how much people like to interact with our woven robots - wanting to help or direct their actions by picking them up and trying to understand what they are doing.

As we are interested in tangible programming - where we move code from its conventional …

Building a new Pattern Matrix with conductive thread

While processor speeds and the use of computation in our society have increased enormously, it is significant that the materials of electronics construction itself (discrete components soldered on to resin printed circuit boards) has been broadly consistent for well over fifty years.

The Penelope project is concerned with re-evaluating histories of textile technologies with mathematical and scientific thought. The emergence of “wearable electronics”, in particular inspiration from Penelope collaborators and …

AccessLab pandemic style

Making an AccessLab event work online. This post covers changes we made to the workshop format, what worked and what didn't, and what we'd do differently next time.

Off-grid micro scale manufacturing – part of a COVID-19 response in Cornwall

For some time we have been prioritising tools and processes that can be reused for different purposes in times where infrastructure is failing. Part of our COVID-19 response to the above problems has been to refit a small garden shed with a solar power setup (from our Sonic Kayak workshops) so we can run one of our CNC machines more or less unsupervised*, slowly churning out small parts for …

Viruscraft 2.0

We're redesigning Viruscraft for a new project on virus and host co-evolution with Dr. Ben Ashby at the University of Bath. This post explores the options we're considering and why.

Sonic Kayaks - after a summer of Sonic Kayaking with Access Lizard Adventure

Following our workshop with visually impaired people at Trevassack we were left with mixed feelings, on the one hand the participants were very happy and seemed inspired by the day - but on the other hand we experienced plenty of technical difficulties with the new GPS system, and we didn't have enough time to really get into sonic mapping.

The important thing was that the participants gave us so much …