In an excercise in control, Unrvl students learn Arduino programming with Ryan McKibbin.

Arduino is an open-source project that created microcontroller-based kits for building digital devices and interactive objects that can sense and control physical devices. We learned how to write code using the a programming language called Processing that tells wires on our control boards to connect, triggering LED lights to turn on and off in various patterns.

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On Sept 21, Mathematician and Origami master, David Kandel shared with the class what seemed like over one hundred different types of origami styles and configurations. From Modular Origami to Origami Tessellations.


The goal, we learned, is to transform a flat sheet square of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques. Modern origami practitioners generally discourage the use of cuts, glue, or markings on the paper.

The sculptural possibilities are endless, as Kandel showed us.


After absorbing the myriad of examples, we took to creating our own origami figures.



After the hands on Origami workshop, students learned how to generate code through the Rhino plug-in Grasshopper which could eventually be laser cut to produce a 3D dFab Origami figure.


Wefts and warps and twills, oh my!

Today in class, Unravel the Code students explored traditional weaving on a loom and algorithmically generated digital weaving on the computer software Grasshopper.

The brilliant weaving-extrodinaire-teaching-artist Mary Smull visited to share the history of traditional loom technology and its evolution throughout the ages. Most notable, The Jacquard loom, power loom, invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in the early 1800’s that simplifies the process of manufacturing textiles with complex patterns. One of the first “computers” the loom was controlled by a “chain of cards”, a number of punched cards, laced together into a continuous sequence. Descendents of these punched cards have been in use ever since.


Smull lead a weave drafting workshop that gave our brain a workout in all of it’s mathematical complexities. We learned the “programming” of the weaving grids to help up understand the woven structure that we’d execute.



Then we took our learning to the loom!





While one group was learning about traditional weaving techniques, the other half of our crew was in the computer lab creating an algorithm with Ryan (using Grasshopper as platform) that would work as a loom machine to weave virtual textiles. Using similar structures, the students plugged in digital codes for warps and wefts to create woven “fabric”.





We’re excited to see the application of these new skills in students’ work!