Tools in Leiden

On February 27 and March 13, 2007, For Inspiration Only offered a Workshop on Tools at Leiden University’s Mediatechnology. The goal of the workshop was a further exploration of the notion of tools; an important subject in Ianus Keller’s research thesis and Pecha Kucha presentation in Rotterdam.


The workshop consisted of two half-day sessions, for which the students had to prepare themselves. In the first workshop Ianus Keller gave a presentation and had a discussion on what it means to think from the tool perspective. Much of which was a further explanation of the Pecha Kucha, but with some more background on tool development and tool thinking.

The true climax happened during the second workshop in which all the students were asked to present their takes on tools, the tool perspective or a specific tool using the Pecha Kucha format. The students took on the challenge and enthusiastically worked their ways through the out-of-control slideshow with applause, laughter even some serious discussions.

I could find three levels of discussions. The whole notion of what it means to be a tool, which included the ethical discussions on using animals (or even people) as tools, the use of tools by animals and a conversation on what makes a tool. Secondly there was the playful, explorative use in tools, with topics such as beermats as brainstorming tools, other uses for tin cans and Circuit bending. Finally there were the examples of tools and related issues, such as exergaming, input devices, Lego and Case modding.

Photos of the presentations can be found on this Flickr set or in the Scrapblog.

Most importantly though, the atmosphere was great, the students enthusiastic and their feedback positive.