School of machines, making & make–believe

How can we expand our visions of our surroundings and ourselves in new ways by learning to code?

  • / 5. August - 30. Augusut 2018

  • / four weeks, full-time in Berlin, Germany

  • / Small class of paricipants

  • / Based in ACUD


Course Description

As we become more connected through technology, understanding how that technology works can be empowering, insightful and practical, especially as coding has become a building block for an increasing number of professions. We hope that by increasing the number of people who can understand code, we can also diversify the voices controlling these technologies.

How can we create meaningful interactive experiences or tell stories with code? This course will focus on creative coding, narrative, interactivity, and self. The goal is to explore the creative and expressive possibilities of technology, digital tools, and self-expression while gaining a foundation in how to code.

Course Outline

Week 1: Introductions, concepts, narratives, play, and critical discourse as introduction to coding.

Week 2: Command line. Tools and Techniques for creating interactivity through code.

Week 3: Advanced coding techniques.

Week 4: Creating collective narrative and interactive experiences for showcase to the public on the final day of the program.


  • Artist / Student (Full Time)*

  • Women and persons from LGBTQ+ and other under-represented communities in the tech field highly encouraged to apply!

    *Includes in-class materials, use of space, and professional mentorship

    Note: If you'd like us to seek out your accommodation for the month, please add €525 to the above fee.

In this course, you will be introduced to

- Tools for generating ideas, building stories, completing an idea
- Tools for creating interactive artworks
- Toolkits and platforms like Processing, P5.js
- The basic concepts of working with code
- Playful ways of self-expression
- Programming building blocks by making fun experiments and projects
- Axidraw techniques for plotting artwork
- Playing with interaction, audio and visuals
- Getting familiar with command line
- Gaining enough familiarity with code, reading documentation, installing tools and libraries, and using github etc. to carve your own way forward
- An amazing network and community of like-minded creative beings and potential future collaborators
**No previous experience necessary**

Who is this program for?

The workshop is suited for anyone interested in familiarising themselves with code, and particularly suited for visual artists and designers keen to augment their practice. In a professional workshop, you will be taught through hands-on and playful explorations, creating visuals, animations, and interactive experiments. You will be provided with with an essential tool kit that can be applied across contexts and problems and will do so in a manner that is fun, accessible, and engaging.



  • Saskia Freeke/

    Saskia Freeke is an artist, creative coder, interaction designer, visual designer and educator based in Amsterdam. She has a BAT in Interaction Design and a MA in Computational Arts. Her work focuses on structure, geometry and playfulness. Central to her artistic practice is her daily digital art project that she started January 2015, where she experiments and explores creating patterns and animations. These artworks are mostly created with code. From her digital work she creates often physical artworks and she is interested in creating tangible interactive and playful installations.

    She previously taught at the University of the Arts Utrecht School for Games and Interaction in Visual Design and has taught Physical Computing at Goldsmiths University of London. Saskia has been a fellow with the Processing Foundation in 2017, where she created in collaboration with the Code Liberation Foundation multiple workshops.

  • Sarah Grant/

    Sarah Grant is an American media artist and educator, currently based in Berlin. Her areas of focus are bio-circuitry, sculpture, radio, and computer networks. She has taught workshops in self-hosting and DIY networks around the world. She is a former Research Fellow at the Tow Center for Journalism at Columbia, Adjunct Professor at NYU Polytechnic in Digital Media, and Resident at the Eyebeam Art and Technology Center.

    Additionally, she is the author of Subnodes and organizes Radical Networks, a community conference and arts festival for creative, critical, and alternative applications of Internet technology.