Critical Playshop - Ubiquitous Sensing

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Critical Playshop - Perception is the first of a series of [Critical Playshops] Bloominglabs is hosting in partnership with the Cultural Research In Technology (CRIT) research group at Indiana University Bloomington's School of Informatics and Computing, and with Intel's ISTC-Social Computing program.


This playshop primarily serves as a way for Bloominglabs to reach out to the Bloomington community through a fun and engaging event. Secondarily, this playshop functions as an opportunity for the Cultural Research In Technology (CRIT) research group to further their research on Making, Maker Culture, and Critical Designs.

Playshop Information

  • Cost
    • FREE!
  • Dates
    • April 12th and 13th, from 1pm to 5pm each day
  • Location
    • Bloominglabs


We want an even mix of Bloominglabs members or affiliates and non-members from the community. If you are interested in participating, please contact Austin Toombs at altoombs [at] indiana [dot] edu. (We will try to set up an eventbrite listing for this event as well).

Due to space limitations, we are limiting signup to around 10 Bloominglabs affiliates and 10 non-Bloominglabs affiliates.

Age Limit

At this time we ask that only those age 18 or older participate. Future [Critical Playshops] will try to be more inclusive of younger audiences, but current limitations prevent us from doing so at this time.

Technology Consultant Volunteers

The Bloominglabs affiliates who are participating in the event will be working on their own projects, and will not necessarily be available for project consultation. We are, however, looking for volunteers who are willing to help consult other's projects. Please contact Austin Toombs at altoombs [at] indiana [dot] edu if you are interested in participating as a technology consultant volunteer.


Attendance is not mandatory for both days to be able to participate in the playshop. Those who want to finish the playshop all in the first day are welcome to do so, and those who wish to skip the first day can be brought up to speed on the second day. However, projects for this Playshop can only be worked on IN Bloominglabs and DURING the playshop time frames (1pm to 5pm each day).


The final prompt will be presented at the start of the playshop. It will focus on an aspect of persuasive anxiety in the context of technological surveillance and personal informatics and the quantified self movement.


We will be asking participants to build projects that follow the prompt during the playshop time at Bloominglabs. Participants are encouraged to make use of the materials we provide, but are also welcome to bring in their own materials, as long as these "materials" aren't half-finished projects. These projects must be started at the beginning of the workshop to give everyone equal footing.


The list of materials is currently being finalized, and will be posted here soon!

Documentation of the Event

During the event, we will have several forms of documentation taking place.

  • Video and photography
    • One output of this event will be a short, ~3 minute documentary of the event taking place. To this end, we will have 1-3 cameras collecting video footage and photographs of the event.
  • Note takers


We would like to show off the projects built through this Playshop in a separate showcase event. Details for this showcase are still being worked out, and we will be seeking input from participants for how this showcase should be run.


We will have several categories of prizes to hand out, such as "most innovative project," "best use of materials," "most interesting," etc. The prizes, which are still being worked out, could range from:

  • an opportunity to build a higher-quality version of your project with help from members of the hackerspace or affiliates,
  • a free 2-month membership to Bloominglabs,
  • the chance to keep all of the materials you worked with, even the hardware supplied by Intel.
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