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Creative Tech Week Hub Workshops

May 12, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm


Our 5 Rainy-Day Workshops will cure your bad-weather blues!


– $35 – Make Your Own Generative Drawings with AI  by Cynthia X. Hua (1pm-2:30pm)
– FREE: Sense Circuit  by Jackie Neon (1pm-2:30pm)
– FREE: Creative Coding for Software Engineers  by Xiaohan Zhang (2:30pm-4:30pm)
– $35 – Large Scale Object Tracking for Augmented Reality  by Peter Locharernkul (3pm-4:30pm)
– $35 – Design Thinking: Creating Code-Dependent Creative Solutions to Business and Social Challenges by Maryam Daryabegi (2:30pm-4pm)

Make Your Own Generative Drawings with AI by Cynthia X. Hua

Room 927, 1pm-2:30pm.

This 60-minute workshop will introduce artists to image generation using artificial intelligence; artists with no more than basic programming experience will leave with the tools to generate images using a variety of publicly available code. My goal is to link creatives with a diverse background to programs for image generation from companies and universities, introducing diverse perspectives to the field of computer-generated art. This workshop was designed based on my prior art projects in AI, my graduate-level coursework in AI at Stanford, and my time with the Machine Learning collective at the School of Making.

The workshop will consist of (1) Background (2) Datasets (3) Network Models (4) Practice. Attendees should know how to run a basic Python program via terminal.

In (1) Background, I will give a 10-15 minute presentation on the high-level concepts of generative artwork, a 6-8 slide overview of what it means for a computer to “learn”. I will run a demo program using sketch_rnn. In (2) Datasets, I will introduce attendees to three public datasets that provide large pools of hand-drawn images: the MNIST dataset, the Google Quickdraw dataset, the KanjiVG dataset. In (3) Network Models, I will introduce attendees to publicly available neural network programs, focusing on the sketch_rnn model from Google Magenta. All models can be downloaded and can be run by entering a few argument parameters with no code modification. In (4) Practice, I will provide attendees with over a dozen pre-trained models they can play with. A pre-trained model means that the computational work of learning to generate the images is done already, and the attendees will be able to generate images right away with no loading/training time. I will conclude by discussing resources for further learning.

Cynthia X. Hua is a researcher and artist interested in how algorithms impact creative production. Currently, she is an Incubator Member at the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, and a Public Imagination fellow with the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Previously, she has conducted new media art and research residencies with Signal Culture, The Lab and the Nieman Foundation at Harvard. She has shown works in LA, Berlin and San Francisco, and been involved with communities including NYU ITP and the School of Making. Her professional background includes research at, Hulu, BuzzFeed Motion Pictures and Facebook, with a focus on understanding how algorithms shape cultural aesthetics. She has written and spoken about media ecosystems for outlets like Theorizing the Web and Real Life magazine.

Creative Coding for Software Engineers by Xiaohan Zhang

Room 927, 2:30pm-4:30pm.

This FREE workshop will be a 2 hour headfirst dive into introducing creative coding libraries, communities, and opportunities, aimed at folks with an existing software background. The workshop will begin with 15 minutes of introduction to what creative coding is, the different high-level types of work and their associated tools. Following that, we’ll focus on p5js. p5js is chosen for its built-in online editor, web-native for easy sharing and cross-OS support, and standard API so people don’t need to be familiar with web in particular. We’ll start by teaching the basics of the 2D API (drawing basic shapes, colors, adding interactivity with mouse and keyboard), walking through a simple tutorial together (this should take about ~30 minutes total). We’ll follow with 30 minutes of self-guided exploration of the API in pairs, and have folks do a quick demo to each other or the class. Then depending on time we’ll introduce the 3D API (transforms, cameras, lights, 3D primitives) with a guided tutorial, and do another round of self-guided exploration. We’ll end with a set of links and tutorials to other tools and resources to explore if users are interested.

Xiaohan Zhang is a New Media Artist specializing in real-time, interactive, audio-visual digital art installations and web experiences. His work is inspired by physical, chemical, biological and ecological processes of the natural world, combined with aesthetic polish and form. His work quickly changes in response to user input, creating an iterative feedback loop of play that conveys an intuitive understanding of how the system responds. He hopes that in doing so the viewer may find insight, wonder, and an appreciation of the underlying forces that govern our lives.

Sense Circuit by Jackie Neon

Room 924, 1pm-2:30pm.

A fun FREE workshop geared for beginners and those who like to geek out to learn about signal flow and switches by creating a circuit using a 3v battery, mini vibrating motor, reed switch, LED and a magnet.  Children over 10 and all grown up  kids at heart permitted to attend. The circuit can be made using conductive thread and fabric or use solder and wires. Participants create the circuit and use a magnet to activate the reed switch and turn on the LED and Felt and googly eyes can be used to make the circuit more fun for decoration at the end. The workshop can be simplified so participants clip all the parts together.

Jackie Neon is a New York City native. She is exploring user experience design, technology, and art to better create interactive work that is fun and conceptual. Her aim is to infuse art and artistic thinking back into the everyday environment. Her goal of creation is to spark positive thought and try new things.

Large Scale Object Tracking for Augmented Reality by Peter Locharernkul

Room 924, 3pm-4:30pm.

The applications for 3D Object Tracking are varied. It could be applied to many disciplines such as art, gaming, architecture, education, entertainment…etc.

Creating large-scale object markers for Augmented Reality has recently become possible with the latest updates for the Unity AR Plugins such as Vuforia and Wikitude. In Fall 2017, we were tasked to track 2 meter high statues for the Terracotta Warriors currently on display at the Franklin Institue in Philadelphia. The warrior statues were augmented to show them holding weapons they had initially held in their hands, which had disintegrated over the course of time. Creating the point cloud data for these objects was difficult. Most 3D Object tracking at the time was limited to tabletop scale objects. And online documentation for 3D Object Tracking for AR is still sparse. This required us to develop a custom workflow that would be able to capture the object tracking for these Terracotta Warriors.

This will be a hands-on workshop outlining the steps to generate the AR Object Tracking data. Breaking down each step of the workflow. The digital materials will be prepared and distributed via USB memory sticks and downloadable URL’s. You will be able to follow along with the speaker through each step of the workflow (a laptop with Unity 3D installed is required) or  to take the pdf slides and asset files to try the workshop at home on your own.

Peter Locharernkul has been developing interactives for a variety of audience, ranging from museum exhibits to trade shows to experiential marketing events. He embraces the complex discipline of testing and overcoming the limitations of hardware devices and software platforms while continuing to deliver intuitive and compelling user experiences. His most recent projects have involved innovative augmented reality applications that pioneers the use of large scale 3D object tracking. An avid game developer, he has released dozens of online games for ESPN.com and MTV Games. He has implemented various activations for brands such as Reebok, Nike, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, ABC TV and Nabisco. Many of his projects are currently on display at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, the WWII Museum in New Orleans, the Museum of Natural History of Los Angeles and the Kennedy Space Center.

Design Thinking: Creating Code-Dependent Creative Solutions to Business and Social Challenges by Maryam Daryabegi

Room 721, 2:30pm-4pm.

In this interactive workshop, participants will be introduced to the design thinking methodology and apply it to discover ways to leverage disruptive technologies in the Algorithm Age to create a better future by 2030. We live in a code-dependent world where most of what we see and do is a product of algorithms. Algorithms are essentially instructions for solving a problem, whereas design thinking is a methodology for creative problem solving. This workshop combines the two, using the design thinking framework to reach creative, algorithmic solutions to current global challenges. The workshop will provide a snapshot of different technologies that are rapidly changing our world and introduce current challenges on the customer, brand, and social levels in the digital space. This will help participants divide themselves up thematically to tackle the problem they would most like to work on and learn how to use these to shape a better future. Next, they will visualize the world in 2030 with group activities. Different possible technological, social, environmental, economic, and political circumstances will be provided to choose from and create their future world scenario. After sharing, they will be given examples of future personas as inspiration for each of them to create their own future persona and imagine what their occupation would be given the rapid changes in the future of work, their lifestyle, pursuits, interests, and challenges. They will then transition to group deliberations to ideate on opportunities for the group’s problem area given their own role. They will assess what they would need to start or stop doing NOW to prepare for this future, their current readiness for it, and define actions to be successful. They will come up with detailed key concepts for the opportunity area they’re working on, the challenges it solves, and craft a timeline with key actions from now till 2030 to move forward on individual, organizational, and societal levels.

Maryam Daryabegi  is a proactive data-driven Digital Strategy and Innovation Senior Manager with a stellar international career history, advising Fortune 500 entities across multiple industries. A visionary leader, with vast experience in design thinking, experienced facilitation, technology, analytics, brand strategy, and developing innovative ideas for such companies as IBM, Bank of America Merrill, First Republic Bank, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nars, Armani, Mark Giusti, and Glencore. Maryam’s focus is in driving business growth and improving the customer experience through leveraging disruptive technologies and creative meaningful human-centered solutions.

Many thanks to our sponsor NYIT for providing classroom space for these workshops!


May 12, 2018
1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
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Creative Tech Week


16 West 61st Street Room #924 and #927
New York, NY 10023
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