Wednesday, 18 March 2015

App in a Day Workshop with Invisible Flock

On the 28th of January, the Technology Research Cluster / LCA hosted a training workshop in Prototyping Geo-located Apps which was delivered by Invisible Flock's Ben and Richard. It was aimed at developing HE/FE staff's CPD and Research Interests, as well as future scoping skills for the college. The software explored was AppFurnace, which though simple and intuitive to use ( think powerpoint ), allowed for powerful exploration of App development for Iphone or Android - with further coding in Javascript to facilitate deeper interactions.

The aims of the workshop were:
  • An introduction to locative art - the field and concepts
  • Mapping narratives to place - identifying sites, walking and location as practice
  • Writing for games - creating quick multi-stranded text
  • Layering narrative through multiple mediums - exploring use of media to tell stories
  • Generating sound - creation of field recordings and found sound
  • GPS content creation - technical introduction to GPS, location and mobile phones
  • Simple coding - simple beginner introduction to technological creative tools

Having the expertise of Ben and Richard and Invisible Flock's Projects as Case Studies - staff got a good insight in using these digital tools and approaches within art practice and storytelling. A good discussion on the creative opportunities and issues with developing for this type of audience was had during the day. 

It was quickly picked up by the participants, how these tools could be used to create teaching material, particularly for field trips, or location based activities. Having a representative for the Students Union was also useful, as they saw it as a good potential for making an App for Fresher's Week, to help students know the city or similar engagement with social media and devices.

Some feedback for the workshop from staff:
I found this [workshop] extremely useful in terms of concepts and contexts for applied projects for teaching and personal practice. The potential for dealing with narrative in a spoken word format has strong potential for development of alternative platforms of expression for Illustrative practice.
Eleanor - Senior Lecturer, BA(Hons) Illustration 
It was a brilliant session – fun, informative, practical. The instructors were great. The level was just right. It was accessible. It served to demystify what app-making is. 
Kai Syng Tan - Junior Research Fellow 
I can see a lot of potential for using this on study trips as a teaching aid – to ensure students visit specific exhibitions or points of interest for example. By being in the location specified this could trigger information or tasks for the student to complete to pop up on their phone.
Rebecca Long - Lecturer,  Extended Diploma Art & Design 


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