Since 2000 we offer a range of robotic art and creative technology workshops.
We believe that playful making with technological items can turn a user/consumer into a maker/explorer. Workshop participants are encouraged to experiment, provided with starting points and assistance on request instead of a fully guided, pre-planned programme. Paul Granjon’s substantial experience as an electronic artist and educator makes for an engaging experience that combines creativity, improvisation and reflection. The format of the workshops is directly informed by Granjon’s participation art projects such as Oriel Factory.
Most workshops include collaborative making and spontaneous discussions about the social and environmental impact of technology. The technical content is often counterbalanced by the inclusion of low-tech activities such as singing or mud constructions.
The workshop is fine-tuned to your requirements (age group, expertise, choice of technology, duration, curriculum aspect…). The range of skills covered ranges from using hand-tools, cordless drill, soldering, making electrical circuits and switches, controlling motors and sensors, using programmable electronic devices (Arduino, Microbit, Raspberry Pi).
In the popular Wrekshop format people rip freely through a pile of electronic waste and gradually construct either their own gizmo or a collective interactive frankenstein machine made of reconfigured scavenged parts. Recent activities include the Mud Machine wrekshop, getting messy with mud and motors.
More details on the wrekshop format here.
Paul Granjon has led several series of workshops in primary schools as part of the the Arts Council of Wales’ Lead Creative School scheme. The projects ran for 10 weeks and aimed to include creativity at the heart of the curriculum. The children and teachers responded well to imrovising with electronic waste and sometimes coding, with outdoor activities and chaired conversations.
The workshops somehow resist the current trend for teaching coding as a critical skill for kids, focusing instead on formats where the children can refine their understanding of technology in a critical way. Making, talking and spending time outdoors are given priority over screen time, in some cases the workshops feature no coding at all.
Granjon also runs Wrekshops for the family oriented Deershed festival in North Yorkshire, where since 2013 hundreds of children contribute to the dismantling of tons of obolete consumer electronics, reconfigured into temporary electro-kinetic sculptures that loosely address the yearly theme of the festival.
A recent workshop is the the Mud Machine wrekshop for a teenage audience, mixing electricity and water in a safe and creative manner. Another recent example is the Doodlebot workshop in Barbican Arts Centre. Doodlebots are a classic simple design and a children’s favourites. During a 2 hour session participants as young as 5 made an electric wobbly drawing machine to take home.
We also provide creative technology training for teachers and educators.
Workshops can also be tailored for artists and adults with intermediate skills. Examples include
– the Insect Buzz workshop, making electronic sound placards for ecological protests in Campfa Gallery Cardiff.
– a 4 days Drawing Robots workshop for adults using Arduino and 3D printing in Dartmmor Summer arts School
– a Neopixel (programmable led device) workshop for artists in Dartmoor Summer arts School.
– a wrekshop for artists in Access Space Sheffield..