Less Color
Sketching in Hardware 2020

Three day virtual conference
September 26-28, 2020

Sketching in Hardware is an annual summit on the design and use of physical computing toolkits. Participants from a wide variety of disciplines and backgrounds will discuss tools for creating digital products, environments, and experiences: how to make them, why to make them (and why not), how to use them, how to teach with them, and how to understand their impact.

The summit will be held online (see below for details).

Magical Thinking.

When we wish, suspend disbelief, and choose to ignore our doubts and knowledge, we simultaneously create multiple contradictory effects. Ungrounded optimism can carry our hopes and projects through adversity, and it can also keep us grinding down paths we should have long abandoned. Imperfect analogies create conceptual breakthroughs where there were only impasses, and they misdirect when treated too literally. Yet our inherently limited knowledge means we regularly engage in magical thinking.

When we make a tool we create a possibility space that we will never completely explore. We only have a hazy idea of how the tool can be used, and how it can expand, or confine, the thinking that someone else will do as they apply it. We wish for the tool, whether it’s a new sensor, a new software library, or a new metaphor, to help translate thoughts into digital objects, and for those digital objects to change in the world for the better. We often wish for our tools to let people create things that feel like technological magic, and we apply magical thinking to our tools as we make them. In this year of disruption at micro and macro scales, of vulnerability at the cellular level and resistance to injustice at the global, of individual exhaustion and social strength, many would say we cannot afford more magical thinking -- but can we afford to be without it?

Being Virtual

For the conference this year, we will be using Remo. Why did we choose this platform? After searching and testing out a few options Remo seemed to fit our needs the best. Our two main goals were encouraging conversations/connections between attendees and allowing attendees to present while not feeling like you're just talking into a void.

In Remo there is a map of little tables. Each table is a conversation between the people “seated” at that table. (If you’re used to Zoom, think of each table as a pre-made breakout room.) But unlike Zoom, you can move from table to table at your leisure and thus jump from conversation to conversation easily. But also, we as hosts can make announcements and broadcast presentations to every table at the same time to focus attention towards each attendee over the weekend.

Confused? Not to worry. As part of your Welcome Packet, we will have more detailed instructions to help everyone be as comfortable as possible, but in the meantime here is a link to their page to begin familiarizing yourself if you are interested : Remo 101


Times are listed below for multiple time zones, be sure to double check on where you will be joining in from to plan accordingly. A more detailed schedule around speaker timeslots will be shared with attendees later. If you have any questions or need more clarification please feel free to contact us.

Donors & Sponsors

Arduino is the world’s leading open-source hardware and software ecosystem. The Company offers a range of software tools, hardware platforms and documentation enabling almost anybody to be creative with technology.

ThingM is a device studio. We design and manufacture ubiquitous computing / Internet of Things products that combine user experience design expertise with a deep knowledge of cutting-edge technologies. We create useful tools for designers and innovative products for everyone else.