Feedback from HDSA2015 participants

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Hey Hackers, hey designers,

Herewith a couple of inspirational questions/thoughts to react on. Thanks for taking the time! XOA

Friendly words about your experience during the 10 day program of the H&D Summer Academy

  • (participated 5 days) learnful, challenging, experimental
  • (Maaike) playful, inspiring, good vibes. Great workshop tutors. And I like how you actively tried to get a diverse audience by inviting Nani and Abdel, and enough women.
  • ([m] Michaela attended 3days only!): possitive vibe, *rich program - a dialog, * horizontal structure ( blend between organizators, participants and workshop leaders)
  • (eurico) nice food, good mix of people, blend between organisers, participants and workshop leaders
  • (Flaminia) challenging and inspiring. Very pleasant environment and very interesting and well organized program.
  • (luis) The orgas were very supportive in making the workshop happen and the participants were enthousiastic, hard-working and very motivated.
  • (klasien) it was very hands-on with very interesting and creative results. It was very well organised and nice crowd of people

Critical words about the H&D Summer Academy

  • exhaustive
  • somewhat chaotic (not too much though). Next time perhaps less graphic designers and more artists/developers.
  • m] did not attended the full length to be critical!
  • 10 days without a break is a bit intense
  • (Basil) 10 days without a break are to ino intense
  • more excursions, more time outside, maybe not the entire time in the city. more mother nature, maybe once a hike, a nocturnal hike
  • Would have been frutiful to involve more Media Artists in the workshop session rather than only in the lecture day.
  • (luis) My experience was mostly all-positive. The group of parttakers was very good but in my opinion it could have benefitted from greater diversity of backgrounds. This summer's group was biased toward the graphic design / visual communication.
  • (klasien) 10 days seems long. It can be interesting to have a little bit of less hands-on workshops with more academic and research approaches (theory), but the hands-on is definitely part of H&D. I didn't experience all the workshops but I can imagine sometimes you want to dive deeper into one subject.

Helpful words about the H&D Summer Academy

  • It would be good to insert a break of a day.
  • Not every day has to be a workshop> lectures, discussions, presentations.
  • A bit more theory/discussion would be good.
  • m] Instead of one day workshop or "making something working" I will propose a longer work sessions from 2 up to 5 days for each workshop, maybe a parallel work sessions on different subjects and hands on a specific programing lan / design concepts. I believe that you found nice balance by gathering people with different backgrounds, set a skills and interests to work together! Congrads and good luck with future iterations of h&d!
  • The 10-day format with day break is a bit exhaustive. The participate group was mainly composed by graphic designers and the workshops were mainly focus on code and tech. As a graphic designer perspective it was interesting to know some of the basics of other languages however I could see that for some of the more technically skilled people it was not challenging. I can see the idea of hackers and designers work in a environment where the workshops are lead by a collaboration between a hacker and a designer or lead by an "outsider". Maybe this format would be able to focus more on concepts and ideas and led to a collaboration that challenges a whole range of participants.
  • One of the most fascinating project has been the one developed within a two days working session (CODE, TEXT AND TEXT-TO-SPEECH, Constant) where all participants have had time to get deeper into their ideas and turn them into shape. I think a two-days workshop formula for other workshops as well would have been more productive in terms of development of ideas, discussion and self-improvement. (e.g Language Design workshop).
  • (luis) It is hard to get meaningful results in one-day workshops unless the workshop is superconcentrated on one thing only or the parttakers already have mighty skills and are familiar with the tools of the trade.
  • (klasien) Keep on going! I love the meetups, unfortunately I can't always attend them. I see that H&D is expanding further in expertise but also location (crossing borders in multipile ways :) and I think there is potention in collaborating with other organisers around the world, if you are interested in that.

Did any concrete projects or collaborations come up during the H&D Summer Academy?

  • Not yet. But I'd like to organize a H&D spin-off in Antwerp. More exactly here:
  • Not yet, but who knows...
  • m] Yep a small py script which creates different order by shuffling and remixing text sources. It might be a beginning of something or just a simple exercise...
  • Not yet
  • Not yet

Is there anyone you would like to continue collaborating with?

  • Everyone. If I get (an idea for) a project I'll have a new list of talented people to contact and collaborate with.
  • Everyone - but with people based in NL would work best I think. So, if anyone needs help with an art or design project..?!
  • m] Everyone who might share similar interests to mine.
  • Yes, I will keep in mind the people I've worked with. Maybe involve them in the next projects.
  • Yes I see some of the interesting collaboration I had had during the workshop time as something which could grow in the future for smaller or bigger projects.
  • The H&D crowd seems rather interesting and it's a natural fit to my practice, so I can see potential for synergies.

Is there anything you would have liked to explore / learn about more?

  • Processing, web php, jquery
  • Critical design
  • m] text and image processing using python
  • - language / literature in code and vice versa
  • critical design/code + real life applications
  • I would like to learn more about Processing and how certain languages could improve my field of work.

Was there anything missing in your opinion?

  • The aesthetics of design
  • Like I said before, some more theory/discussion would have been good for me. It was all very playful and "getting things done", which is good, but it would have been even better with some more time for reflection.
  • m] Open source design tools (Imagemagick, python lib for imgs) allowing powerful image processing.perphaps hybrid publishing, from-web-to-print session might be interesting input for the designers too. + design + conceptual thinking

What was your biggest "aha-moment"?

  • Talking about AI's with Flaminia, Vincent and Rosa
  • Not 1 moment, but: finding out how easy it actually is to just start something and get something done with code/hardware. Even for non-developers.
  • Watching Jeffrey Babkock theatral performance and film critique
  • Seeing the excitement of having an Apple Watch
  • Conversation with Lucian about softwares and existential ideas
  • Developing a project about AI's with Vicky and Vincent
  • Being captured by Ramon Amaro ethical and philosophical dimensions of mathematical processes
  • Ramon Amaro's session was very enlightening.

What is the perfect lenght of a Summer Academy?

  • 2 weeks with 2 small intervals
  • 2 weeks with a free weekend in between
  • m] form 5 up to 10 days
  • 2-3 weeks with public programme on thursday or friday and with free weekends in between. The last 2-3 days would be focus on the production of show. This means selecting and improving the projects to be presented to the public. Exhibition can maybe extend for a large period of time.
  • 3 weeks would be a suitable time also to have a short break

Are you going to organize your own (H&D) meet-up in the future?

  • Yes. But first: contacts
  • Probably, when I have more spare time. Den Haag certainly needs it.
  • m] why not in the future ?!
  • I would love to organise a meet-up around the topic of net-art/software archeology and conservation/restoration. (maybe collaborate with Flaminia?)Yes! Absolutely up to it, we could contact\\ involve also Annet Dekker (Resercher Digital Preservation, Tate and PhD at Goldsmiths University of London in NetArt Conservation) and Anne Laforet and many other experts ;)
  • I'm working on it at this moment :)

Is there anyone you recommend inviting for the next HDSA or the H&D meet-up?

Do you have any comments on the food during the cause of the HDSA?

  • Omnomnom
  • Loved it
  • m] Fantastic! Thank you and to all the ones at the backstage who were cooking for us!
  • The food was amazing!
  • Very yummy.
  • Lunch was delicious and the dinner for the opening night with Dutchie was exceptional.

What is in your opinion an appropriate format for a HDSA2015 documentation?

  • An interactive platform where the conversation and idea's continue.
  • Yes, I'd like that too.
  • m] Open forum or publishing platform where people can read&write and post some visiual materials! Possibility for ready-to-make for instant publishing.

video --maybe a timelapse with some interesting moments.

  • Maybe some sort of generated pdf? [see] to be printed on demand?
  • A sharing platform and perhaps a final written outcome.
  • A mediamatic kind of web-hodge-podge so elegantly typeset that it reads like print and prints just fine.

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