School of machines, making & make–believe


The deadline for diversity scholarships for 2019 has passed. Announcements will be made by the end of January!

2019 Program List

1 - 26 April Made In China

6 - 31 May Future Landscapes

3 - 28 June Data and Society

1 - 26 July Physical Computing for Beginners

1 - 26 July Bots & ML

This program is about machine learning for web browser applications, generative chatbots, and the exploration of ArtBots and what might happen if we imbue them with machine learning intelligence. Already pretty interesting interactive and creative artworks are being created online. What can machine learning add to these works to alter their behaviour in more autonomous and interesting ways?

5 - 30 August Money

This program is about money! Whether we have it or not, money rules the world, or so it seems. In recent years, technologies like crypotocurrency, bitcoin, and blockchain have come to the fore offering alternatives to the current system but we need to know more! What’s the history of economies and money, what are the current financial systems that plague us, how does money laundering and tax evasion work, how might we create new systems and alternatives that can help bring about justice and level the playing field?

5 - 30 August Coding for Beginners

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.

2 - 27 September Evidence

This program delves into the topic of citizen forensics. We’ll take a deeper look into projects that have stemmed from a new movement of citizens taking action in the name of justice and human rights. From Forensic Architecture and VFRAME to Bellingcat and Tactical Technology Collective, we’ll learn how to gather information, problem-solve with the latest tools, and use critical techniques for safely navigating and investigating the world as a means of bearing witness.

30 September - 25 October Waiting Room Design

To be alive is to be waiting for something. What are we waiting for and why are we waiting for it? With the onslaught of new technologies, we find ourselves waiting even more, often for experiences (AR, VR, etc.), the likes of which are often less than ten minute encounters. With these questions in mind, this program is about waiting and waiting room design from a practical and future perspective. How can we begin to create meaningful designed experiences for waiting rooms? Let’s explore this together!

How can we create meaningful interactive experiences and tell stories through sound, light and movement? What parts of the physical world around us can be turned into an interface through which we can express our creative ideas?

  • / 1. July - 26. July 2019

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

  • / Up to 18 participants accepted

  • / Based in ACUD

Physical computing is a subject area that brings hardware and software together, usually through the application of microcontrollers, to make interactive things using a combination of sensors and outputs. The course will focus on physical computing and interactivity, exploring the creative intersection of emerging technologies, and how they can work seamlessly together to create unique prototypes, products and experiences. Complex fields such as electronics, engineering and computer science will be demystified and explored as creative tools of endless possibility!


What new understandings and perspectives can be brought about by making data physical?

  • / 3. June - 28. June 2019

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

  • / Up to 18 participants

  • / Based in part at Awesome Productions

Data is everywhere. From our physical environment to surveillance mechanisms by Facebook and Google, we interact with data increasingly on a daily basis often without knowing it. Large entities such as corporations, governments and high-end investors leverage it for profit and control. The reality is, data also has physical consequences in the real world, and representing it with materials instead of pixels can create a meaningful real-life experience for ourselves and others.


How can we take agency over the seen and unseen landscapes that surround us?

  • / 6. May - 31. May 2019

  • / four weeks, full-time in Galway, Ireland

  • / Up to 18 participants accepted

  • / Based in National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway

Future Landscapes is intensive four-week program created in collaboration with the Moore Institute at NUI Galway and Galway 2020.

Compelling us all is an interest in creatively exploring vast landscapes in the physical world and of the mind while gaining an understanding of the potentials of augmented-, virtual-, and mixed reality through a myriad of critical, conceptual, and hands-on approaches.

Using technology to imagine unknown realities can inspire new ways of looking at the world. In designing new forms of interactive and tactile experiences, artistic creation and storytelling, what could we add or augment to our surroundings to develop new narratives about landscapes, be them physical, social, or mental, that permeate our lives? What forms of play and togetherness might we be able to create and sustain? Could thoughtful discourse on landscapes and realities empower us to making impactful change?


How can objects take on intelligences of their own? How can these intelligent objects in turn be used to create and critique how the future will be?

  • / UPDATED 1. April - 26. April 2019

  • / Four weeks, full-time in Shanghai/Shenzhen, China

  • / Special two-week option available

  • / Up to 10-15 participants accepted

  • / Program held in English

  • / With support from Seeed in Shenzhen

Made In China is an intensive four-week program led by artists and creative technologists from London-based VVFA and Automato Farm based in Shanghai, China.

The aim of this program is to enable a hands-on creative exploration of digital fabrication and Internet-of-Things connected devices, while gaining deeper insight into China's cultural surroundings from an inside perspective. What are the implications of a society that can manufacture any new product on demand? What can we learn from such an approach to society and to life?

Throughout the workshop we will explore critical and speculative design processes, enabling us to develop narratives, and tangible, accessible artefacts, experiences and environments with which to communicate and engage wider audiences with new possible futures.

Note: This program will be taking place in two cities. The first two weeks will be in Shanghai, China, while the third and fourth weeks of the program will take place in Shenzhen, China. This is in order to utilise Seeed fabrication facilities located in Shenzhen.


We've run programs thus far on responsive spaces, physical computing, social activism, connecting human emotions and outerspace, facts and fictions in the age of data visualisation, connected devices, design fiction, computer vision, machine learning for artists, virtual reality, 360 filmmaking and more. Click below to have a look at our previous offerings.