New SMARTlab student Pierre Jolivet, who has joined SMARTlab to explore Brainwave & Sensorial Perception, has produced his latest compositional contribution under the moniker of ‘Pacific 231’ for a limited edition book and CD entitled Coupling.

Coupling is a compilation of work from 26 artists that celebrates the life and work of experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage. Silent Media has released a limited edition run of 500 books and CDs containing a collection of sound, word and image compositions by various artists, comprising video stills, photography, oil and mixed-media images. The CD and booklet are housed in a letterpressed 14pt. card stock envelope currently breathing life into the gears and pistons at Starbage Hands Press. (more…)

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Older people are often marginalised by technology. Younger people are not. Active Energy is a project developed by SPACE which uses imagination, digital technology, engineering and the spirit of invention to bridge rather than divide a group of older men and younger boys.

Read an article on Active Energy, Unique collaboration brings alternative energy to local community here

Students at Bow Boys Secondary School worked alongside a group of East London senior men, The Geezer Club, with support from an artist, engineer and ex-rocket scientist, to create designs for wind and water turbines. Small scale working prototypes were developed under expert guidance through a series of workshops. The most successful design was chosen to power a temporary public artwork aimed at drawing attention to potential applications of renewable energy sources. ‘Geezer Power’, a wind powered light installation, was exhibited on the roof of Age Concern in Tower Hamlets for three weeks and will tour Tower Hamlets, going next to Bow Boys Secondary School.

The Geezers are currently developing ideas they have for a water turbine that will drive another temporary lightwork, harnessing the tidal power of the Thames and using facilities at University of East London’s MAGICbox.

In addition to its technological and artistic outputs, the Active Energy project takes an intergenerational approach to addressing a number of key issues facing local communities in one of London’s poorest boroughs. Underachievement amongst boys has been addressed in two ways that would otherwise not be on offer through the school curriculum. Firstly, participating young people were mentored by senior men from their own community, who were keen for their voices to be heard on issues that mattered to them, using their lifetime experiences to feed back into society. At the same time master classes at the university with one of the country’s leading control engineers and an artist provided inspiration and fostered skills, creativity and innovation.

Renewable energy is often seen as the remit of statutory institutions or those wealthy enough to afford the significant cost of the equipment involved. However, there is growing interest in the technologies involved amongst ordinary people living in East London. In focusing public attention on these issues, Active Energy aims to address local authorities and housing developers to encourage greater incorporation of renewable energy into residential accommodation in this area.

Part of SPACE’s Learning and Participation programme, Active Energy has involved a multi-discipline collaboration between artist Loraine Leeson, Stephen Dodds, Professor of Control Engineering and Toby Borland, design engineer and manager of the MAGICbox prototype lab at the University of East London.

Geezer Power
Phase 1 – Wind powered temporary public light-work
April 2010 Appian Court, Parnell Road, Bow, London E3 2RS
May – June 2010 Bow Boys Secondary School, Paton Close, London E3 2QE

Phase 2 – Tidal powered temporary public light-work
River Thames

Active Energy is funded by:
Arts Council, England
Leaside Regeneration Ltd
The Woodland Trust.

With thanks for their kind support:
Gateway Housing Association
Age Concern Tower Hamlets
University of East London SMARTlab
Environmental Sustainability Team, London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Programme collaboration contents from SPACE here


129 — 131 Mare Street
London E 8 3RH

SPACE supports over 600 artists in 17 studio buildings across London as well as providing dynamic environments where individuals and communities can engage in creative processes. SPACE provides ‘space to create’: supporting the creation of art through the provision of creative environments; ‘space to engage’: programmes that widen engagement in artistic practices; and ‘space to develop’: supporting the development of creative individuals and communities.

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SMARTlab is featured on Becta’s Emerging Technologies website with a project video demonstrating the potential of new interface technologies such as eye tracking to improve curriculum access for all. Dr Mick Donegan is planning to introduce such technologies at schools across the UK. If you are interested in this technology, you can get in touch with us at

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Toby Borland and the MAGICbox team have been busy yet again facilitating and enabling students from across UEL – especially the AVA students in product design, architecture and fashion – to create their graduate prototypes and final collections.

The MAGICbox, SMARTlab’s rapid prototyping research and development centre, is located in the MAGIC PLAYroom at UEL. It explores the capabilities of desktop manufacturing, with its directive specifying R&D around access to design tools, and equipment availability to a wider cross-section of communities.

MAGICbox is widely used by the UEL student community and the centre has been instrumental in facilitating the development of students work.

Take a look at some of the creations that have been facilitated by MAGICbox located in the MAGIC PLAYroom at UEL:

Catwalk shows can be viewed as follows:

Shireen Erfani-Shomaly – East London Fashion BA graduate 2009:

Sam Hoy – East London Fashion BA graduate 2009:

Lucy Bryan – East London Fashion BA graduate 2009:

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As part of InterFACES’ pilot project work, SMARTlab PhD students Will Pearson and Robbie Perry are experimenting with ideas to provide a range of opportunities for creative expression by people with severe disabilities.

In collaboration with Stephane Noel, Will Pearson has developed the “Angel Wings” AR application, that can be seen on the following link.  This and the other applications need to be run on a Macintosh.

Meanwhile, over in Ireland Robbie Perry is exploring the potential of instruments that can be played using Assistive Technology devices.  The following videos illustrate a range of midi-driven instruments that he has created which, it is planned, will link to a range of control devices that will enhance the opportunities of people with disabilities to create and perform music in real time.


The Sweeper:

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When: Friday March 20th, 2009

Where: MAGIC PLAYroom, SMARTlab Digital Media Institute, University of East London
Cost: Free! (pre-booking essential) RSVP:

Monday 16th February 2009, 3-8pm
This informal event brings together leading designers, scholars and artists to explore artist-created non-verbal communications, sensory, visualisation and performance based technologies that encourage creativity in new ways.

Dr Diana Domingues (Brazil), Sara Diamond (Canada), Elena Corchero (Scotland/Spain), Dr. Daria Dorosh (USA) and Camille Baker (Canada) will join Professor Lizbeth Goodman (SMARTlab/Futurelab) to present and discuss some of their highly progressive work. Keynotes will be followed by a wearable technology/fashion show & tell with some of the SMARTfashion team who will demonstrate some work in progress. This is very informal and should be great fun!

The evening session will be preceded by a BBC R&D sponsored MINDtouch workshop in the afternoon, open to all and led by Camille Baker. Bring along your mobile phone to take part in a relaxing and meditative global art project which will help generate imagery towards a larger, mobile networked, performative and collaborative and non-linear montage!

WORKSHOP 3 – 6pm:

BBC MINDtouch workshop with Camille Baker: Mind Media & Mobile Sensory Experience
Sponsored by BBC R&D, MINDtouch is led by Camille Baker and explores the concepts and sensations of ‘liveness’ and ‘presence’ in uncovering new applications for mobile technologies and wearable devices. The research involves the use of biosensor devices, interacting with mobile phones as the main computing technology, while studying performers and other participants with the device, in order to understand which interactions and bodily sensations are meaningful and when they occur. Read More (PDF)>>

(Bring your own mobile phone to take part in this relaxing and meditative experience)



Keynotes by Dr Diana Domingues (University of Caxias do Sul, Brazil) and Sara Diamond (Ontario College of Art and Design, Canada), followed by a wearable technology/fashion show & tell with Elena Corchero (of Distancelab, Scotland), Dr Daria Dorosh (Fashion Institute of Technology, New York) and the SMARTfashion team at UEL. Chaired by Professor Lizbeth Goodman.

Dr. Diana Domingues is an artist, professor, senior researcher and coordinator of the NTAV Laboratory New Technologies in Visual Arts – University of Caxias do Sul, Brazil. Diana is developing art/science collaborative practices, focusing on the biological and artificial systems potentials in order to create artistic projects. She explores interactive and immersive environments and complex living systems, caves, networked installations, augmented reality, multilocal and mobile connections.

Sara Diamond is President of the Ontario College of Art and Design and was the Founder and Artistic Director of Media and Visual Art the Banff New Media Institute. Sara has developed the CodeZebraOS conversation visualisation tool to serve as a bridge technology between online social interaction and live events, including the use of wearable technologies in performance, club experiences and fashion. She will discuss screen-based, wearable and multi-modal interaction projects inspired by CodeZebraOS as well as future research.

Keynotes will be followed by a wearable technology/fashion show & tell with established designer Elena Corchero, fashion design professor Daria Dorosh of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, and current work in progress with the SMARTfashion team and MAGICbox. Read More>>

(Cheese and wine will be served)


For full details about this event and for further information about speakers and presenters

Download Event Flyer (DPF)

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Download for full flyer PDF

EyeLight Music – Music and Dance Performance
Science Gallery LIGHTWAVE ’09

WHEN: 7pm, Saturday 7th February 2009
WHERE: Paccar Theatre, Science Gallery, Dublin
COST: FREE (pre-booking essential)

EyeLight Music is a music and dance performance using groundbreaking Eyegaze technology to show the possibilities for movement vocabularies controlled by eyes. LIGHTWAVE: Defy The Darkness is a new event running at the Science Gallery from 23rd Jan – 20th Feb, highlighting experimentation with illumination within the Art-Sci domain.

EyeLight Music is part of the Science Gallery ‘LIGHTWAVE: Defy the Darkness’ event, highlighting experimentation with illumination within the Art-Sci domain.

Seven world-renowned musicians (Colm and Ronan O’Snodaigh, Dee Armstrong and Martin Brunsden of Kila, Robbie Perry of Dead can Dance, Juliet Turner, and Steve Cooney of the Sinead O¹Connor band) will perform live with James Brosnan and Katy Gilligan (two creative collaborators with severe Cerebral Palsy) who will take an equal part in this big music and dance jam. James and Katy will use their eyes to operate a musical system using four infrared red light sources to enable the computer to interpret eye movement as an interface to musical engagement.

Professor Lizbeth Goodman, Director of SMARTlab and Futurelab, and Bobby Byrne of Counterbalance Dance will perform with James and Katy to show the possibilities for movement vocabularies controlled by eyes.

This thirty minute show will include two original songs written with and for James and Katy, both of which will feature on the forthcoming album, Soshin, recorded by members of 5 (to be released in the Spring of 2009).

EyeLight Music will begin with a brief lecture/introduction by Professor Goodman and Dr. Mick Donegan, co-PIS of the InterFACES project, which aims to put a human face on technology for sustainable creative futures.


Audiences at the show will see how the Mytobii eyegaze system enables musical and movement-based interaction for people with severe physical disabilities. The installation will remain in the gallery for the duration of LIGHTWAVE ’09 with looping video streams of the performance for the exhibition month, and with weekly hands-on and eyes-on workshops with the Mytobii for people interested in learning more about this groundbreaking new light-based technology.

Workshop in March ’09 – Register at the Science Gallery (two people per session).

Download for full flyer PDF

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Toby Borland, MAGICbox Researcher/Manager has linked-up with ecoLogicStudio this autumn to support their project ecoMachines: “the making of artificial ecologies” for the 11th International Architecture Exhibition ‘Out There: Architecture Beyond Building’, running in Venice from September 14th to November 23rd.

About ecoMachines: “the making of artificial ecologies”:

“In an age of unprecedented interaction between the natural and the artificial realms we are confronted with the necessity to develop instruments of transformation equipped with an embedded capacity of constant adaptation and self evaluation. As nature is becoming more and more hybridized with embedded artificiality, the ethical paradigm of natural conservation is progressively losing its value and needs to be replaced with more adaptive mechanisms of management and direct evaluation of the effects of human transformation of natural ecosystems; we call this mechanism ecoMachines.

ecoMachines provide a material and operational framework to deal with change and transformation, the two main defining qualities of our new understanding of urban ecology; moreover they support interaction between heterogeneous systems, such as social, infrastructural, architectural and environmental ones; they allow us to sense, register and manipulate in our daily life the unfolding processes defining our cities, our houses and our artificial environments.

ecoMachines turns us all into ecologists in the most operational sense of the term.”

Project by ecoLogicStudio with support from MAGICbox.

For further information on MAGICbox visit:

For further information on ecoLogicStudio visit:

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RITSEC – The Regional Information Technology and Software Engineering Centre – is the Middle East’s leading centre for technology and innovation and has announced sponsorship of SMARTlab international research projects and the Genius Scholarship Award.

RITSEC, located in Cairo, is a joint project between the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) and is hosted by the Government of Egypt’s Cabinet Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC). Created as a regional, non-profit organisation, RITSEC provides technical, professional and developmental services to the agencies, institutions and governmental organisations in the Arab Region.

Dr Hisham El Sherif, RITSEC Director, has announced his plan to collaborate on a number of SMARTlab research and activities including MA and PhD education projects, and local SMARTclubs and InterFACES initiatives within the region. Dr El Sherif is also the Genius Scholarship Award benefactor.

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