AZ Residency Day 1 — We Have Arrived!

After many months of plan­ning and plot­ting and con­ju­ring evil dark for­ces with a few selec­ti­ve fri­en­dly con­tacts of the Audi­ên­cia Zero col­lec­ti­ve, the day finally arri­ved whe­re we head out for 1 week resi­dency with mem­bers form all of our three hac­klabs: LCD from Por­to, AltLab form Lis­bon and our very own xDA from Coimbra.

I mana­ged to setup a ride with a cou­ple of the big bos­ses from LCD, mis­ter Ricar­do Lobo and Pedro Ange­lo. I wai­ted for them the enti­re mor­ning, still sligh­tly reco­ve­ring from Satur­days pho­to exhi­bit ope­ning at Gale­ria Icon (whe­re xDA cola­bo­ra­ted with Sue doing some dj’ing and pro­jec­ti­on map­ping). Pho­ne­call reve­a­led they were alre­ady run­ning late and suf­fe­ring a major set­back, a for­got­ten wal­let, for­cing them to go back to Porto.

Long story short: The northern comi­ti­ve arri­ved a few hours later than sche­du­led to our des­tiny: Con­ven­to da Sau­da­ção, Montemor-o-Novo.


Peo­ple from the other labs were alre­ady moving around wor­king on some of their own pro­jects: Móni­ca gre­e­ted us out­si­de whe­re she was tes­ting the wifi access dis­tan­ce for her tree pro­ject. And insi­de we unra­ve­led the AZ room whe­re Gui­lher­me was bot­ching latest robo­tic cre­a­tu­re and Cata­ri­na gre­e­ted us with a handsha­ke using her latest spe­ed­pro­ject, a glo­ve with a led that lights when you sha­ke hands. Fili­pe was set­ting up his fish trac­king sys­tem in a cor­ner. Mau­ri­cio, Sér­gio and Tara were also around doing their own thing and others are sche­du­led to show up through the rest of the week.

Quick tour of the loca­ti­on reve­a­led it to be pretty cool. A reha­bi­li­ta­ted con­vent insi­de a typi­cal Por­tu­gue­se cas­tle with an over­vi­ew of the enti­re city. Plans for sight­se­eing abit aren’t enti­rely out of the ques­ti­on but we are mos­tly all really eager to get down and dirty with the technology.


Sit­ting down we finally start to assi­mi­la­te all the poten­ti­al: We have a Maker­bot table for 3d prin­ting. A microwa­ve oven, some star­ch, vine­gar and gly­ce­ri­ne to do some secret bio stuff (not bre­ak­fast pan­ca­kes). Tool­bo­xes, com­po­nents and PCBs for elec­tro­nics fun and non pro­fit. Plenty of pro­ject ide­as invol­ving data visu­a­li­za­ti­on, and fabric inter­fa­ces. And a very evil plan for col­la­bo­ra­ti­ve sound synthe­sis that will hope­fully invol­ve the PA, some con­tact mics, ran­dom MIDI/OSC valu­es from the run­ning pro­jects and plenty of laptops.

We can alre­ady pre­sent the first pro­ject, the Whi­te LED Red Glo­ve quick pro­ject by Cata­ri­na and Isa­bel. Whi­ch it’ll be easi­er to des­cri­be by quo­ting her own description.


This mit­ten lights up when its wea­rer sha­kes hands with some­o­ne. It has two expo­sed soft con­tacts around the thumb and across the palm whi­ch, when brid­ged by bare skin, turn on the LED embed­ded on the flower. The mit­ten itself was cre­a­ted by fashi­on desig­ner Isa­bel Tomás, and we then sewed a tou­ch swit­ch cir­cuit onto it using con­duc­ti­ve fabric and thre­ad. Isa­bel and I desig­ned this as a soft cir­cuits exer­ci­se for some upco­ming mate­ri­als workshops, and we’ll post some ins­truc­ti­ons soon.