While experimenting with the new OctoStudio app developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, we've been exploring how combining physical materials with code can support whimsical, surprising, and playful tinkering. How can you quickly get people messing with code and support them in seeing code as just another material to express ideas?
For me, an authentic place to start answering this question has been figuring out my own ways into creative coding. I based this particular project on a childhood game: we created collaborative creatures by folding a sheet of paper into thirds. One person drew a monster's head, someone else to drew its body, and another person drew its legs / tail / fins – all without seeing what the others had drawn. Then there’d be a big reveal when we’d open up the paper and see what we’d made together.
So this Monster Mash-Up project invites people to create code + drawn combinations. This is just an initial idea, and I could imagine building on it in a few different ways, like...
- creating a whole environment for these kinds of collaborative creatures that combines devices with drawn elements.
- using the beam block to create collaborative creatures across devices.
- making projects that share parts to construct new creatures.
There's clearly a lot to explore, and these are only a few possible directions! If you want to remix the project itself, you can Download Monster Mash-Up. Or you can pick up these ideas around collaborative creatures that combine code + everyday materials and try them out in your own setting. Please check out more ideas for tinkering with OctoStudio and share using #OctoStudio so we can get a glimpse into what you're trying out!
This project is generously supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 2005764.