YC, Jenna, Dave, Derek

Yicheng "YC" Sun is a design director at IDEO, leading the firm's efforts in health digital product and emergent technologies. YC is a core member of Foldhaus Collective, a large-scale kinetic sculpture art practice that blends nature and technology into massive demonstrations of mechanical, electrical, and software engineering. In Oakland, CA he runs a creative community and maker space called Planetarium.

Jenna Fizel is a software and environments director at IDEO Cambridge. Jenna's work explores the intertwined digital and physical realities we all experience every day. They are inspired by the unexpected ideas that arise when translating the abstract world of the computer into the tangible world we can see, touch and taste.

Dave Vondle works at the intersection of hardware and software at IDEO. Recently he led the technical effort creating IDEO’s reactive “Butterfly wall” comprised of 652 individually addressable animatronic butterflies that react to visitors. Animatronics remains a passion; he's worked to retrofit a life-size animatronic band to be a dog-based Misfits band called “the Biscuits.”

Derek Olson is a software designer and developer who thrives in the spaces between creativity and technology. As a design lead at IDEO, Derek approaches challenges with strong ideas about technology, processes, and what it takes to make something real. Specializing in interactive experiences, robotics, and embedded hardware - he aims to fuse art and design with electronics, code, sensors, wires, and solder.
WORKSHOP: Creating Kinetic Flora


Explore the process of creating digital-physical life and build a unique kinetic flower that responds to stimuli!


This workshop takes participants to a speculative future where flowers don’t just come from the soil, they are crafted by hand and animated with our intentions. Participants will design and create their own living flower kinetic sculpture using paper, nitinol wire, sensors, and a microcontroller. Each will be unique and respond to stimuli in their own unique way.

We'll world-build together and present our creations, highlighting the origin, function and native ecosystem of their discovery. At the end, the flowers will be transplanted into a collective garden where they’ll respond and dance together.

SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate

- CONVERGENCE: Context setting, inspiration, and forming explorer teams

- BIOMIMICRY: Modify and cut origami flowers

- BIOPOIESIS: Assembling the electronics kit - nitinol, sensor and prototyping boards

- INTELLIGENCE: Programming the movements of the flower

- TROPISM: Connect sensors (microphone) to trigger the flower’s movements

- SPECULATION: Futuring exercises to world-build around the new flora and its ecosystem

- PRESENTATION: Presenting your discover to the Academié

- Laptop to program Arduino based microcontroller

- USB A port or adapter

- Latest version of Arduino

Material fees will include a full kinetic flower kit that includes:

- custom PCB board

- breadboarding and prototyping material

- origami flower kit

- nitinol wire assembly