Code was something we had to rebuild a bit at Fabrica this year. Although there had been a strong code culture at Fabrica in the past, from the likes of Jonathan Harris, Oriel Ferrer Mesià, João Wilbert, Bethany Koby & Daniel Hirschmann and the late Andy Cameron of course, when I arrived the then Interaction department was down to two or three in number, with Aaron Siegel, head of department, had just started.
As I write now, Aaron's team is now up to 10 people and growing, and spread across a lovely, rangy mix of creative code, hardware hacking, electronics, wearable computing, app design, interaction design, architecture, data viz, media arts and more. It's also transforming into a studio called 'Urban codes', focusing on urban cultures in the age of the network.
While we want each studio to have its own code and interaction design capabilities, eventually, Aaron's team have been supporting most other teams, as well as working on major projects for MAXXI gallery in Rome, and coordinating several of our workshops with external research partners (e.g. with Bridle, BERG and others.) It's fair to say that it's the most in-demand internal resource—as Google Creative Lab's Robert Wong said in a Fabrica Lecture this year, "coders are your best friends."
This studio is also where the Sandbox collaboration with BERG resides, developing things like the aforementioned 'FabricApp' amidst other experiments. Several fascinating personal projects are cooking amongst the researchers here (just earlier today, researcher Akshataa Vishnawath held a short lunchtime workshop which pursues her interest in generative typography.)
But I'll pick out two projects. One of which, the News Machine, has been mentioned before, but it exemplified a lot of what would become the transdisciplinary studio approach: an installation created from multiple perspectives and skillsets, such as journalism, interaction design, industrial design, art, code and so on.