Archive for the ‘Threads and Yarns’ Category

Nela’s Chair Report – 30 November, 2011


Bloomsbury Festival weekend was great fun !

After testing the electronic components for the Threads & Yarns artwork in the workshop, Kavin, Nanda and Pollie joined CSM team for the installation on Friday evening at the Brunei Gallery, overcoming some interesting challenges (let’s just say that next time the modular structured artwork is retrieved from the storage, the number of panels and the legs going into the van will be counted at least 7 times !).

Over the weekend, the exhibition attracted an interesting bunch of visitors of all ages and occupations. Pollie and myself  had lots of fun polishing our flower-making skills with the assistance of wonderful CSM team, whilst talking to visitors about G.Hack and its involvement with the project as well as exchanging tips on what to do when you get a bicycle puncture, how to survive summer holiday in Italy without air-conditioning and where to recycle old shoes so they don’t end up in a landfill. It’s fascinating what you can learn from complete strangers whilst  threading a piece of paper yarn through a complex looking double flower loom !

Until the next Threads & Yarns event, I will leave you with some photos !

Brunei gallery outside ...

and inside.

All buttons working ...

lighting up the black flower ...

the red flower ...

the white flower ...

and the green one too !

Visitors taking photos ...

listening to sounds ...

talking to Rebecca ...

and admiring the artwork 🙂

Pollie keeps on going with a little help from Diet Coke 🙂

and (for the first time ever !) we have a few men handling yarn and needles ! Brill !

Having a nice poster on the wall makes all the difference !

I snapped away for two days and run out of battery when Nanda came to help us de-install. Miaow ! Next time Nanda I promise to catch you in action with wires and screwdriver 🙂












G.Hack at Bloomsbury Festival Oct. 22 & 23, 2011


Threads and Yarns: hands-on crafting!

Back in July 2011, G.Hack partnered with Central Saint Martins to provide the interactive component for an interactive installation Threads & Yarns. The installation is a table full of flowers created by CSM textile students and the people they interviewed regarding healthcare. The installation is accompanied by workshops run by CSM.

Threads and Yarns will be part of the Bloomsbury Festival the weekend of October 22 & 23.

It will be at the Brunei Gallery,
SOAS University of London Thornhaugh Street Russell Square

Link to Directions and Maps:

Nela’s Chair report – 24 July, 2011


There is no rest for the wicked ! The Threads and Yarns exhibition opened at the V&A on Monday and by Friday the preparation for Chi-TEK exhibition already gathered momentum with emails flying around and G.Hack wiki filling up with ideas on possible design concepts, context and technology.

More info on this in weeks to come but for now let me just say a BIG THANK YOU to Jo Morrison and Rebecca Hoyes from Central Saint Martins for giving us a wonderful opportunity to work on a high profile public engagement project, students from BA textile Design for helping out and teaching us the art of flower-making, V&A staff for making the installing and dismantling of the exhibition go so smoothly and of course, Peter McOwan from Queen Mary University of London for getting the ball rolling in the first place !!!

Last but not least a HUGE THANK YOU to my superb G.Hack team for making it all happen ! GIRLS YOU ROCK !!!

Until the next report I will leave you with a few images from a VERY BUSY weekend indeed !

*photos courtesy of Jo Morrison

Final testing in the workshop

Transporting interactive flowers to V&A

Waiting for V&A passes ...

Waiting for artwork assembly ...

and eating chocolate biscuits to pass the time 🙂

Adjusting LED's

Adjusting wiring

Attaching interactive flowers

Cleaning (saw dust and electronics don't go well together!)

Installing the speakers

Connecting the wiring

Yay ! All working beautifully !!!

Nic is in charge of quality control ...

Nanda is ready for a well deserved nap ...

and Alice is ... wondering how we managed to do it all in such a short timeframe !

Installation supergal team: Nicola, Nela, Alice, Nanda and Pollie

The installation night before was super quiet shhhhhhhh

But the opening was super buzzy !!!*

The artwork sparked up some interesting conversations ...*

and was looking, lighting and sounding FANTASTIC !!!*

G.Hack team learning how to make flowers 🙂

5.30pm - time to dismantle the artwork ...*

disconnect the wires ...

and pack up (until the exhibition goes on the road later this year!)

The last gals standing (and celebrating with peppermint tea, mango lassie and some strange pine kernel drink - very rock'n'roll indeed !!!)

G.Hack Represents in Threads & Yarns Exhibition @ Victoria & Albert


G.Hack has completed our first collaboration project with an installation in the Threads & Yarns Exhibition at the V&A Museum, July 18th 10am – 5pm. Check it out!

G.Hack worked with Joanna Morrison, Rebecca Hoyes and the Central Saint Martins BA Textile students to develop the interaction component for the installation. The installation is a table of crocheted flowers that were created by Central Saint Martins BA Textile Design students and senior citizens over conversations around biomedical themes. The conversations were recorded and nine soundbites of about 1 minute were chosen to be featured in the installation.

The final installation is a sea of flowers over a table top. Nine of the flowers were matched with the nine sound bites and made interactive. When one of the nine buttons is pushed on the table, an audio soundbite plays and the flower and its button light up for the duration of the audio.

G.Hack edited down and optimized the audio of the nine featured sound bites. Each soundbite is matched with an interactive flower and a momentary push button. There are a total of nine interactive flowers in the installation. These flowers are woven with superbright LEDs. The buttons used had an embeded LED so that the LED could be controlled separately from the button.

Leading up to the installation, we ran a workshop with the Central Saint Martins textile students to introduce them to integratation of physical computing into textiles. The workshop was run in the newly opened MAT Workshop in the basement of the Electronic Engineering Building.

The final result can be experienced  on Monday July 18th at the V&A in the Sackler Center.

G.Hack Threads & Yarns Press:

G.Hack Flower Power Team

Pollie Barden (MAT)/Nela Brown (IMC) – Project Management and Pcomp Support

Alice Clifford (C4DM) – Lead Audio Designer  and  Testing

Nanda Khaorapapong (MAT) – Lead Pcomp and Circuit Board Designer

Nicola Plant (MAT) – Lead Solder and testing

Sam Duffy (MAT) – Audio consulting

Kavin Narasimhan (IMC) – Pcomp support

The project is supported by the Wellcome Trust

Nela’s Chair Report – 13 July, 2011

There’s been a flurry of activity in the MAT workshop in the past few days and Pollie, Nanda, Nicola, Alice and me were joined by Kavin and Ilze in our efforts to get things soldered for the Threads and Yarn (aka ‘flower project’) collaboration with Central Saint Martins ! Brill !
We were further joined by Sara and Becky (just back from NY) for a meet up about CHI-Tek teapot making for V&A (to be installed on the 7th September). We opened up a bottle of bubbly, had some colorful cup-cakes made by our resident cake maker/PComp detective Alice and raised our paper cups to toast G.Hack getting the QMUL Small Grant for Development of Learning and Teaching, Alice winning the British Federation of Women Graduates Scholarship in the form of the M H Joseph prize for academic excellence (awesome or what?!?) Nic and Kavin passing Stage One (Yay!) and Becky starting up a business (Go Becky !).
Still plenty left to do (meeting at CSM to go through all the last minute requirements on Thursday, install on Sunday and opening on Monday) but really excited about it all !!! Some news about our collaboration with Central Saint Martins has already appeared here: and we just received the full programme for 18 July for the Threads and Yarn event at the V&A which looks awesome !
Go G.Hack !!!

Champagne and cup-cake

Nanda teaching Kavin some new tricks 🙂

Nic having fun with heat-shrink-wire-wrap-drying

Pollie looking after an 'LED patient' in the 'A&E' corner

Soldered √ LED's tested √ Connections heat-shrunk √ Yay ! Flower 6 is done !

I am helping Nanda sort out a misbehaving perf-board. Bad perf, bad!

Problem solving - G.Hack way !

Wires everywhere - not a problem ...

... 'PComp detective' Alice is on the case !



Prototype Test with Audio/LEDs


Hi All,

We now have blog and here is the video from this afternoon. We have the audio, buttons and Led’s working.

[QUICKTIME 640 480]

After the video, Nic and Pollie added one additional LEDs to 2 of the arrays. So we are able to run 9 LEDs off one pin o the Arduino.