School of machines, making & make–believe

Lovely! The admissions process works like this: Once you've applied to School of MA, your application will be reviewed within a few days. You'll receive an e-mail from us and we'll schedule an online call within a week. The call is a chance for us to get to know each other and for you to ask questions about the program. Soon after, you'll know if you're in!

If so, we'll then ask that you transfer a small deposit fee to us (30% of program cost) within one week to confirm your participation. Pretty standard procedure, really.

This rolling admissions process is intended to make it easier for those of you travelling from abroad and needing to make plans such as travel and visa arrangements asap!

The curious and inquisitive kind, creative people or the kind of people who yearn to be creative. We, also really like nice people and those who enjoy helping others and sharing knowledge. Hi-five if this sounds like you!

More specifically, we'd love to find people ready to experiment, to dream up new ideas and to learn the skills to make these ideas come to life. Technology has been advancing quickly. The things we're able to learn now weren't available back in the day. We're excited for people who've already started down a path that no longer fits them to join us, and push their own unique, creative ideas forward into the future.

In short, openness, the ability to work well with others, enthusiasm, and positivity are all traits we look for in potential students.

Our four week programs are full-time which means they run from approximately 10am--7pm each day, with an hour break for lunch. Sometimes we'll have guest speakers and in the afternoons you can take advantage of open lab time.

Lately, we've been encouraging students to use fridays as a chance to share knowledge and skills with each other and it's been brilliant.

In general, our programs are a mix of lectures, labs, artist talks, field trips, plus lots of time to experiment and create. It's intensive but will probably be one of the most freeing, creative, and productive times of your life. How lucky for you to have found us!

No, but you can! For most of our programs, we don't expect any prior knowledge but if you do have some, you may be able to push yourself further much faster. We have some really great instructors and no doubt you will learn a lot from them and from the other students, regardless of your current skill level. This is not about being the smartest, it's about learning to expose your creative innards to the world in your own unique way and working with new tools and people who can help make it happen.

Our upcoming spring and summer programs, which we are taking applications will all be taking place in Berlin, Germany, our home base. We love to take our programs abroad through, and have a course running in Shanghai and Shenzhen, China, this year and also one in Galway, Ireland!

We would like our students to leave the month long courses activated, not only equipped with technical and hands-on tools and skill sets, but also, as more critically-minded and engaged in their local communities and society at large. By commiting to a four week program, you will create space for meaningful engagement with the technologies we will work with, and you will have time for deeper interactions with your teachers and colleagues. There will definitely be ocassions to work collaboratively and learn from one another.

A four week program allows time for expanding your fields of knowledge and build towards a more interdisciplinary practice. We also encourage students without any previous experience to apply, as we believe in more diverse tech communities and in the formative qualities of what makes us each distinctive humans, our unique experiences, beliefs and attitudes.

Currently, our scholarship applications are closed. This year we offered 21 full tuition scholarships for our 2019 programs. We put out a call for all scholarships in December so that we can have enough time to review everyones applications, and let recipients know in good time so that they can make travel and accomodations arrangements.

What we can offer students who've been accepted into one of our courses is a letter of acceptance which can aid in securing grants to help cover the cost of the program. We cannot secure these grants for you, but we definitely encourage you to seek out funding as many previous students have been able to in the past! Key words to look out for: travel grants, government and artist grants, study abroad funding. If you're in a university, you're highly encouraged to ask your administrators if they cover these kinds of costs! Many do!

Most of our programs do require a full-time commitment and we're looking for people who can dedicate themselves to it. We've all taken two day courses and shorter programs. If we learn something but don't have time to use those skills, we easily forget.

At present, we allow a part-time (2 week) commitment option for the first two weeks of the Data and Society program only.

If you have to do some part time work on the side, we completely understand. It's just that you'll be able to get more out of the program if you're able to set your work aside for evenings and weekends. We believe in full-immersion so that the new things you learn will stick with you. Our hope for you is that once you leave, you'll be armed with a new concrete toolset and can quite easily dream up new ideas and actually know how to turn those ideas into tangible reality.

Generally what we do is put the word out to our community to see who has rooms available for rent and that gets us pretty far! At the same time, it's good for you to also be on the lookout that way our chances are better to ensure total housing success! Ha! Most often when we hear about something we put students in touch with people who are renting directly so they can work out the fine details. Rent in Berlin (for a month) generally ranges between €350-€550, depending on location, size, etc. Sometimes you'll find something more expensive (and generally super nice!) but final decisions for what housing you decide on are up to you!

Students send in 30% of the program fee as a deposit within one week of being accepted in a program. Full fee is due a week before class begins. You may cancel anytime before class begins and receive a refund less 50% of your deposit. Note: No refunds once class has begun.

If you're selected to attend the School, we can send you an official letter of acceptance, but we don't have the capacity to help out much more than that. That being said, if you will require a visa, send us an email and we'll make reviewing your application a priority so do get in touch:

Tuition covers tuition fee, in-class material for class exercises, use of space and professional mentorship.

The tuition does NOT cover accomodation or travel costs.

Currently we're funded solely through student fees. All the money we receive goes entirely back into the school to pay for our facilities, brilliant instructors, admin, taxes, etc.

This is a grassroots program driven only by passion and a belief in the power of art, technology, and education as an inevitable force for creating positive social change. While we do have a fiscal sponsor, OpenTechSchool e.V., we're currently in the process of establishing ourselves as a legal non-profit entity.

I'm more than happy to speak with potential sponsors about funding, by all means — give them my number! +49 151 753 74 602

We've tried to keep the costs down as much as humanly possible! That being said, you're not just paying for classes. The money is being used for materials and to allow an amazing community of people to come together, all of whom are passionate about dreaming up ideas and seeing how far they can push the technology, the creativity, and themselves. It's a unique opportunity to collaborate with and learn from everyone participating and to create something amazing from nothing. Even in a parallel universe I think it would cost just as much, if not more than what we're charging! But good luck getting a cheap ticket to that place.

Funny you ask! Soon we'll begin offering more live online classes! Initially, the focus will be on a mix of art, creative technology, and activism. We've had many great instructors come through and quite a few of them are doing important work in these areas. It's quite a critical time in the world and we really want to help get these important messages out into the world far and wide. We hope to announce these classes soon. Sign up for our newsletter and stay tuned!

Well, for the most part that would be me, Rachel Uwa, although lately I've got a lovely band of cohorts by way of former students to experiment and do cool things with via the school.

A few years ago, I participated in some amazing programs in NYC, namely  ITP Camp and School for Poetic Computation. SFPC clarified a lot and gave me direction which I can't thank them enough for! Zach, Amit, Taeyoon, Jen and the first class of SFPC were a huge inspiration and I will always try to live up to that in whatever it is the School of Machines, Making & Make-Believe becomes!

I wanted to bring similar kinds of experiences to Europe and the rest of the world. And I am!

Honestly, I was thinking about something like this even before then. Participating in those programs just helped me solidify in my mind what I want to do for the rest of my life: explore art, creative technologies, and being human while helping others do the same! I'm in Berlin, and easy to find. Come join me!