Wi-Fi Router Hacking: E-waste Workshop 12.0
*This workshop is now fully subscribed and bookings are closed*
Required Skills: No previous background in programming or electronics required
Required Materials: Bring your own laptop + some e-waste (old printer, scanner, old home phone, electronic toy, obsolete audio / video equipment…)
Location: Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin
During openhere the e-waste workshop will focus on hacking and interconnecting obsolete devices by repurposing cheap WiFi routers. Our workshops offer participants a chance to become familiar with basic hardware and software design, while at the same time gaining hands-on experience making an interactive art project. The workshops are open to participants of different backgrounds, and no programming or electronic skills are required. The idea is to start from scratch and create a complete project by the end of the workshop, including concept, design, electronics / interfacing, and functional programming.
Deconstructing readily-available, cheap electronic devices into interactive tools is more than a lot of fun; the process offers the same visible, hands-on learning and understanding acquired through dissection. By re-purposing second-hand hardware or cheap toys, a commercial, mass-produced product is transformed into a unique device, with potential for new and original means of expression or communication. The boundaries of a device are set by the manufacturer (planned obsolescence); those limits can be redefined by such creative recycling.
We live in a disposable society. This is most prevalent in large parts of the telecommunications industry. Mobile phones, communication devices, game consoles and PCs have short lifespans. Consumers expect ever-greater functionality from the next generation of each device. Moore’s Law dictates that the complexity of computer chips doubles every 18 months. This causes a rapid decrease in the value of existing electronics. Thus, the dark side of technological progress is the production of endless amounts of electronic waste: e-waste. Although the economic value of obsolete electronics approaches zero, the electronic components themselves can still be useful in other contexts. Hence we need to seek ideas and inspiration for how we can rethink technology and, in particular, communications and ICTs, from sources that are outside traditional engineering domains.