Push the little red button and I belong to you: electronics for wearables workshop

“Push the little red button and I belong to you” is a practice based workshop to design wearables.

The workshop theme is Rebel Machines / Subversive Bodies to Unlearn automated behaviors, wearable systems that give the superPower of teaching the sensory system to regain the confidence to trust itself. 

Workshop sections:

  • Basics of electronics
  • Programming logic
  • Wearable design idea conceptualization
  • Crafting tools for physical movement data analysis
  • Wearable prototyping

Workshop tools

Students will use the Microbit BBC board to create prototypes of interactive wearables.
The Microbit BBC board is a compact, programmable microcontroller equipped with:

A 25 LED matrix that can display simple images and text.
Two programmable buttons for user input.
Input and output rings that can be used to connect the micro:bit to other devices or sensors.
An accelerometer and compass, enabling movement detection and orientation.
Bluetooth and USB connectivity for interaction with other devices and the internet.
A range of sensors for temperature, light, and sound.


To design interaction codes for the microcontroller students will apply physical and choreographic techniques to

  • study and explore the human body physical structure and dynamics,
  • build measuring tools to visualize, segment and extrapolate data of interest
  • learn to capture, filter and calibrate data, to map physical movement to algorithmic action triggers

Attendants will work in teams to learn from each other and together extrapolate the necessary data to prototype their wearable ideas.

Motivation first, technology follows

Designing consists in the formulation of rules and limits based on a meaningful goal.
The strength of a design lies in its underlying idea, not necessarily in the complexity or sophistication of the materials or technology used. While the use of digital machines in the designing process is handy, the difference between a design that has a solid idea behind and one that does not, is that the former can be prototyped for testings with basic elements like paper, pencils and tape to be scaled afterwards. 

What Students will Learn:

  • Critical awareness of useful data collection to inform, code and test effectively their prototypes ideas.
  • Skills to design custom made data detectors
  • Techniques to attentively listen and understand the workings of the body.
  • The importance of multidisciplinary teamwork and interaction, particularly in wearable technologies, where diverse expertise must collaborate effectively for achieving meaningful results.