We broke out our “maker hats” and toolkits first thing this morning, and got our hands dirty with some cool technology workshops: Antenna Making and Arduino for Beginners. The rest of the day was also full of capacity building, with a little art-filled lunch break in between.
Antenna Making Workshop
With just $5 worth of materials, Karkhana’s Irina Sthapit taught us to make the classic Yadi-Uda antenna, best known today for its as a TV antenna.
Building these from scratch was literally a nuts and bolts affair, involving precise measuring, drilling, sawing, soldering, and coaxial cable stripping.
Arduino for Beginners Workshop
Shams Jaber, founder of the Bangladesh-based design and education school Tech Academy, gave us lessons in both technology and pedagogy. This is a class he has given many times to his students, and we learned some great techniques to keep us engaged in the process.
After a brief orientation, we got hands-on with the Arduino board and started playing with wires.
There was a quick payoff for our basic programming efforts by making an LED light flash on and off via our own laptops. It was so satisfying to connect the virtual world to the physical world.
Another effective method was personalizing the experience. Our challenge was to feeling our own heartbeats and try to match it in the Arduino program, first with lights, then with a buzzer. Soon the class was listening to each others’ heartbeats, and comparing our current emotional states.
Designing a Rotary Payload Recovery System for Amateur Rockets
As a designer of educational robotics kits for kids, Leo Jofeh has gained a wealth of experience in 3D modelling. He gave a deep tutorial on his go-t0 software for beginners, 123Dcatch. He expressed regret that it was not an open source software, but this powerful tool is available for free, which somewhat eased his pro-collaborator conscience.
Nepali Contemporary Art & Tech
In a captivating lunch talk with Nischal Oli, we learned about the local art scene in Nepal, and how they have collaborated with local communities and technology makers (including Karkhana) on past projects.
Nischal is one of the organizers of the upcoming Kathmandu Triennale, which is drawing artists from all over the region … and perhaps even one of the participants.
“I think that’s something we could venture into,” said Ayisha Rahman, an intermedia artist and current animation lecturer at Malaysia’s National Academy of Arts, Culture & Heritage. “We are basically looking for international collaboration. So when it comes to dancer, theater and animation, we try to convert every discipline into one performance. The Nepali art scene seems to be really emerging, and really explosive! It’s similar to the art scene in Malaysia. We have an young indie DIY community, which I am also into.”
Group work continued…