CI Studio #14: An Introduction to Creative Coding

3 November 2021 (Eventbrite link)

This interactive CI Studio provided an overview of different DIY approaches to computer programming for creative projects.


Ingi Helgason, Edinburgh Napier University Introduction with examples of projects and artworks built with physical computing.

Clare Duffy, Artistic Director, Civic Digits Theatre Company Clare will talk about Civic Digits’ ‘motorised emoji’, which is currently being developed into an expressive ‘data driven actor’: a Vizblocks (tangible data visualisation kit) robot that can be fed with data, potentially live, as part of a performance.

Susan Lechelt, University of Edinburgh Creative Informatics Research Associate Susan Lechelt will lead a hands-on coding activity for participants to try out in their own browsers.

Martin Disley, Artist, Researcher and Creative Technologist. Martin will demo the Google Colab platform, a tool for interacting with the Python programming language in a browser, with a text to image notebook that generates images from text prompts using AI.

Luci Holland, Composer and Sound Artist, Tinderbox Collective. Luci will talk about Pianola Nova, a Creative Informatics Challenge Project collaboration with Pianodrome, which uses microcontrollers to link Pianos in two different geographical locations, enabling players to engaged in a distanced duet.

Michael Smyth, Edinburgh Napier University: presenting The Techno Shaman 

Links and Resources covered in the Studio event


VizBlocks is a tangible, modular and hackable toolkit for exploring data visualisation and the internet of things. VizBlocks is a dynamic data visualisation kit which offers public audiences new ways of physically representing data using a modular kit. With a range of materials, mechanisms and tools, VizBlocks can be used to translate data into playful and engaging physical data displays. VizBlocks is a project by The Centre for Design Informatics at The University of Edinburgh.


Autodesk Tinkercad

The Raspberry Pi Foundation

Micro:bit Make it Code it

Scratch With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community. Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century. Scratch is designed, developed, and moderated by the Scratch Foundation, a nonprofit organization. It is provided free of charge.

The notebook shared by Martin Disley in the session. Generates images from text prompts with CLIP guided diffusion. By Katherine Crowson.

Pianola Nova is an interactive sculpture that links two acoustic pianos in different locations. Each piano will play the other in almost real time so as one piano plays, the other re-creates the performance. Perform to people in one city while playing in another. Play live duets remotely, with a friend or a complete stranger. And explore other possibilities opened up by the new technology behind the Pianola Nova. It is a work in progress – an R&D project designed and built by Tinderbox Collective, in response to a Creative Informatics Challenge Project set by Pianodrome. The lead artists are Luci Holland and Martin Disley from Tinderbox Collective, and we’ve worked with a great team including Ted Koterwas, Sam Healy, Yann Seznec, Alasdair Anderson, Lewis MacDonald, Dominika Jackowska, Oliver Entwisle and Old School Fabrications to help us along the way.

The Techno Shaman made by Michael Smyth and Ingi Helgason, inspired by the original Techno Shaman project from the UrbanIxD summer school.

Examples of Creative projects:

Talk to Me, Exhibition, 2011, MoMa

Niklas Roy. Through my work, I explore art, science and technology, often in the form of humorous installations and machines.

From early computer art to current Museum residencies and innovative uses of the latest 3D printing technology, explore the V&A’s relationship with digital art and design.

In February 2017 Kinetica marked its 10 year legacy as a leading platform for international new media art with an anniversary show featuring an experiential exhibition of performative and immersive artworks and a programme of mind-blowing holographic performances.