Atmel-based Arduino boards fuel artistic expression

Although some schools may be cutting back on arts education, young people are continuing to follow their artistic passions outside of traditional programs. This trend is fueled by a wide range of DIY hardware and software, including Atmel-powered Arduino boards.

“Young people are producing this art solely because they want to and are motivated by their own pride in their work and curiosity, not because of what others think or want,” explained Kylie Peppler, an Indiana University assistant professor of learning sciences, and author of New Opportunities for Interest-Driven Arts Learning in a Digital Age, a recent report commissioned by the Wallace Foundation. “These interest-driven arts projects offer valuable insights about what make youth engage and persist in arts activities.”

According to Peppler, new technologies are expanding the possibilities for creative production. For example, Atmel-powered Arduino boards are being used to help artists and designers create their own robotic sculptures or interactive environments.

One specific permutation of Arduino is the e-textiles community built around the versatile LilyPad kit. As previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, electronic textiles enable artists to integrate sensors and LED lights into clothing, which can be programmed for informative feedback and artistic purposes, such as interactive dance costumes capable of controlling electronic music software in real time.

Interested in learning more? The full text of New Opportunities for Interest-Driven Arts Learning in a Digital Age is available here.

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