The Electric Paper Workshop aims to easing the understanding of electricity and circuit design. It utilized household tools of pencil and paper to conductive ink. This is a workshop to introduce anyone to making simple circuits out of paper and cloth. Yes, you can create interactive projects with items around your house.

The second half of the workshop, we stepped up and work with conductive ink and conductive thread. Conductive ink and thread are materials that can carry a charge. Other than the conductivity, the pens, paintbrushes and thread are manipulated like their conventional counterparts.

By the end of the workshop you will have an interactive card to take home along with new skills and knowledge you can use in your hobbies, art, teaching etc…

The participants started off a with a worksheet that they used with a HB pencil, LED and 9V battery. They make a variable resistor, a flashlight and a switch. The second part of the workshop introduced the use of Bare Conductive’s ink. The ink allows one to “paint a circuit” and light an LED with a 3v battery. The participants made pop up cards that featured a fish with and LED eye.

The electric paper workshop was run on August 10th as part of Hack the Barbican. The Barbican venue was important as the majority of its patrons are not engaged in open hardware, open source, hacking or electronic development community. The workshop was a piloting session for running a similar workshop with older people to introduce them to these “softer” electronic tools.

About Hack the Barbican, a month long series of ad hoc events at Barbican Centre in London, UK

Pollie Barden is a PhD Researcher QMUL's Cognitive Science research group. She is an artist, technologist, and game designer. She has run her games in festivals and presented her art in galleries and museums all over the globe. For nine years, Pollie has been engaging people with disabilities, teens and older people with technology with an aim to increase the opportunities to be involved in the open source community building. She has taught at various universities in US and UK. She co-founded and co-designed snagu, photo scavenger hunt game, that was a 2006 mtvU Digital Incubator Award winner. In 2011, she was one of the six co-founders of G.Hack, a women's technology club, that supports QMUL women in learning and sharing technology skills. With Furtherfield, a technology arts organization in London, UK and Culture Lab at Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK she ran a research project on Telematic Dinner Parties which explored the intersection of distance, food, dinning and games as influences on social presence in technology mediated social events. Her current research is in how gameplay and technology can ease to adoption of digital technology usage for older people.

Current research topic: Connecting Isolated Older People across Distance through Gameplay and Technology

Games have been used as a tool to introduce older people to digital technology. Here we are developing a gameful system to facilitate the social interactions between older people and young adults in an intergeneration community run club. We aim to ease the integration of digital tools through gameplay for older generations. Our research is about both the meaningful integration older people in the digital age and laying the groundwork for our future selves as older people. We hope to be able to learn and share strategizes for game designer, researchers and participants in the development of our emerging gameplay based society. We are designing for our future selves.