High school students at Riverview High School (Riverview, New Brunswick) led by Ian Fogarty are working with LASG members Rob Gorbet, Matt Gorbet and Philip Beesley for the 2020-2021 school term to explore the fabrication and construction of experimental interactive prototypes that could be used within new kinds of smart buildings and furniture. The group is designing and fabricating a series of digitally fabricated lightweight basket-like column forms, supporting active electronics and microprocessors controlling vibrating mechanisms and lights. Custom software configured by the students is being used to control the responsive behaviours within these columns.
This cross-country Tech-Art collaboration challenges both students and a school system to rethink the labels they put on themselves, as they explore the transdisciplinary connections between art, coding, psychology, sociology, and electronics. Can students build a professional-quality art installation that will reside outside the RHS theatre, able to respond to stimulus from observers? Can this art installation draw people from different social groups together and encourage discussions about art and education? Can this art installation serve as an example of transformed, integrative education that helps open doors for high-school level students to directly explore and learn about complex innovative technology?