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Interactive Technology is The Future
Updated 2017-04-11
Buzzing upon contact – Rebecca Toolseram’s Buzzer Wire Robot Game.

Arduino Day is a worldwide birthday celebration of Arduino, which is generally referred to as an electronics platform that can be customised to make interactive projects through various modes of inputs and outputs. Recently, The One Academy School of Multimedia Design celebrated this important day for the second consecutive year at their campus in Bandar Sunway.

Audience at the Arduino Day celebration got the opportunity to attend exhibition, show & tells, workshops and presentations by Arduino enthusiasts from The One Academy, and also professionals from the industry itself. Essentially, it was a space where people interested in Arduino get together, share their knowledge, and learn more from one another’s experience.

Arduino also has roots within the Maker culture, a technology-based do-it-yourself culture that focusses on innovation of existing devices and invention of new ones. With typical interests in electronics, robotics, 3D printing and other technologies, both delve more towards sensing technology and interactive projects.

In multimedia, the use of different content mediums such as audio, text, images and videos aims to communicate and generate more engagements among its audience. Therefore, this celebration of Arduino is beneficial to students as it encourages the spirit of independent making and innovation.

This event also brings together professionals from different backgrounds such as interactive technologies, art, design and architecture, stressing the importance knowledge from different fields. Contemporarily, Arduino appeals to a very niche audience due to the passion and expertise required to engage in it. But in reality, the products of it are all around us and it is time to bring Arduino into the limelight.

Fun and Interesting
From a single programmed Arduino board to an orchestra of lights, visuals, music and interaction, this field will open a whole new world of possibilities to the new eye.

At the event, an Arduino-powered interactive installation ‘City of Faith’ did just that. Set-up by students of Multimedia and also Graphic Design, the installation underscored interaction from the audience who provided input (drawings of a “city” on a screen), and then intertwining them with appealing design, storyline, music and blinking lights from a makeshift city prop.

LightUp Paper Toy workshop portrayed another side of Arduino that embraces the hands-on process which is a crucial part of the culture. Put-together by The One Academy Multimedia Department, participating Arduino newbies were guided through the procedures of making a mini battery-powered character made using paper, copper tapes and LED.

Friendly to Environment
Many Arduino enthusiasts are also passionate about making environmental-friendly projects through the means of their creativity.

Biji-biji Initiative, an organisation that makes installations that are not only sustainable, but also fun and interesting, showcased their pedal-powered bike installation which, when cycled, is able to charge phones, juice fruits, and much more. They also frequently conduct talks and workshops to spread their vision of “sustainability through creativity”.

Michelle Oui, student of Interactive Media Design programme, exhibited and presented her interactive timepiece Anew which aims to explore the possibilities of repurposing objects that we deem obsolete into creative art. Besides the electronic and Arduino components, Michelle incorporated old camera films and laser-cut wood into her design because they are “wasteful to dispose”.

Contributing to Other Fields
Arduino may appear to be specialised in electronics technology, but it attracts a large community of makers from distinctive backgrounds. Thanks to the open-source platform (all information and knowledge are shared online), users can simply learn and use Arduino (methods, codes, etc.) to enhance their respective fields of interest.

Speaker Jun Ong was at the presentation to share about his experience within these intersecting cultures. As a practising architect and artist, he creates many artistic installations that at times require collaborations with Arduino experts.

Due to its collaborative nature, the Arduino maker community is very tight-knit and supportive of each other. Other makers who participated on Arduino Day include Nickson Yap from Seamless Industries, We Maker, Rebecca Toolseram and Corliss Chuah.

Audience interacting with flipbook animation inspired caged bird interactive installation by Corliss Chuah.

Audience during Arduino Day celebration at The One Academy Bandar Sunway.

Arduino-powered interactive installation ‘City of Faith’ by students of Multimedia and Graphic Design.

Arduino Keychain Workshop at Arduino Day The One Academy Bandar Sunway.