Phone Grown

You don’t have to be techy to repurpose ‘older’ tech!

Join us in exploring less-technical, fun and creative ways to reuse seemingly obsolete technology in this guided workshop. In this workshop, we will (temporarily and non-destructively) repurpose an (old) smartphone or tablet into a ‘smart display’, using Google Sheets, pen and paper.

This smart display will then light up in various colours depending on the data you want it to represent, which – using pen and paper – is contextualised using an overlayed drawing. The combination of, colours and a drawing results in endless options for personalisation and creativity!

At the end of the day, we’d love to discuss how DIY tech-repurposing approaches such as this one are more broadly applicable.

To join this workshop, you will need:

  • A smartphone that can connect to your Wi-Fi (preferably one you don’t need for a while, but not mandatory)Some pen and paper
  • A computer/laptop to set things up and join the remote  workshop
  • A Google account (for using Google Sheets – you need to be ~16 years or older)
  • An account (for connecting it to data – you need to be 18 years or older). Note: if you are already using a free IFTTT account, please check/ensure you have at least 1 (out of 3) free ‘triggers’ left.

In the afternoon we remix our creations together!

After the workshop has ended, we invite you to take what you created and remix it any way you like. Take whatever interests, skills and materials you have to make it bigger, make it smaller, make it friendlier, .. We will ask you to keep your channels open during this process, so you can share knowledge, fun, inspiration or just friendly company with David and the others participated in the workshop. For a (preliminary) schedule, check the Make & Remix Monday page.

By David Verweij

I am a creative technologist building digital and physical products, and always busy with user experience design, software and hardware. In my current academic position at Newcastle University I specialise in a Research Through Design methodology. Using novel technologies and bespoke designs, I develop interactive research products and deploy them in-the-wild.