Category: Education

Dorkbot 79

I’ll be talking about ants, machines and ballet at dorkbot 79 next week.


19:00-21:00, 28 March 2012


MAT Lab, Room G2 Engineering Building, Queen Mary, University of London, 327 Mile End Road, London E1 4NS
Nearest tube: Stepney Green / Mile End
Walk up or down Mile End Road until you’re between Bancroft Road and The Queen’s Building. There’s a glass storefront with orange benches and people milling about looking studious. That’s the entrance. There should be a ‘dorkbot’ sign there.


See you there!

Facebook event

Animating Environments

I recently taught on the Bartlett School of Architecture UCL’s joint workshop for the Graduate Architectural Design and Advanced Architectural Computing courses. The workshop ran for one week, and had around 30 students. The focus was on non-verbal aspects of human-architecture interaction. This was many of the students’ first experience of physical computing.

Here are the videos the students made of their projects.


By Norraniti Prougestaporn, Ami Kito, Young Jin Sunwoo, Ryan Mehanna, Hiromi Mikuriya, Martin Traunmueller, Ana Moutinho

No Strings Attached

By Hussnein Amin, Sicong Wang, Xun Zhou, Eleni Georgiadou, David Belzinger, Anna-Klara Veltsista, Dane Virk

Re_Acting Bins

By Maria Hadjivasili, Wei Chang, Nikola Kovacevic, Seungchul Jang, Chrysanthi Karagkouni, Petros Koutsolampros, Stefanos Gkougkoustamos

A Toast to Observation

Students: Norraniti Prougestaporn, Ami Kito, Young Jin Sunwoo, Ryan Mehanna, Hiromi Mikuriya, Martin Traunmueller, Ana Moutinho

Kinetic Leaves

By Gennaro Senatore, Sahar Navabakhsh, Christos Chondros, Lida Theodorou, Theodoros Themistocleous

Workshop details

Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London
9-16 January 2012
Organised by Ruairi Glynn

Ruairi Glynn
John Nussey
Ollie Palmer

with support from:
– Ciriaco Castro Diez
– Chiachi Yeh
– Huajing Liu

DorkBot Cardiff

I’ll be talking about Ant Ballet at Dorkbot Cardiff as part of the Cardiff Design Festival on the 13th October 2011. Anybody with a curious sort of a nature is welcome – it’s free! If there’s any more incentive I can offer, it’s that they do a mean cocktail and probably the best selection of bottled beers in Cardydd.

More information about the roster of speakers available at the Dorkbot Cardiff website. The Facebook-inclined may also like to click here.

Talk – Camden School of Enlightenment

Ant Ballet

An entomological adventure coalescing choreography from (somewhat) obstinate insects

On the 13th September, I’ll be giving a 20 minute talk on the Ant Ballet – the madcap road trip to Barcelona to shoot a film about tiny ants following suspicious-looking trails. It will also be the first public outing of the Ant Ballet film. What’s more, it’s free, and the other people talking are pretty interesting too.
More details here

ZSL Teachers and Biodiversity Day

I gave a talk on ants and ballet at London Zoo‘s Teachers and Biodiversity Day in October 2010.

This involved a few conversations about pheromones, a demonstration of bug-tracking software I’ve built (using a very passive cockroach), and an adaptation of this experiment for classrooms.

Thanks to Seirian Sumner and Ruth Desforges for inviting me, the ZSL staff for being welcoming and accommodating, and all of the teachers for engaging and showing patience with a passive cockroach!

Plymouth University

Along with my friends Ian Laurance and Cristiana Camisotti, I ran a workshop for 50 Plymouth University Masters Architectural students, including rapid prototyping of devices to enable a non-visual mapping of a series of spaces.

The workshop was called “Mapping space with augmented perception”, and involved students designing and building devices to augment their perception, then using these new prostheses to map spaces they already knew – e.g. areas of the university campus. The point of the workshop was to explore the subjective nature of perceiving space.

Video by Ollie Palmer | Music by Lucky Dragons| CC BY-SA 3.0 License


Run by Ian Laurence and Ollie Palmer with Cristiana Camisotti
Invited by Krzysztof Nawratek
Plymouth University Architecture Programme, Masters level
5-6 November 2010

Tracing Mobility Symposium

I will be presenting Open_Sailing at the Tracing Mobility Symposium, held at Nottingham Contemporary on 15 May 2010. There is a very interesting line-up, inclusing:

  • Frank Abbott (UK)
  • Active Ingredient [Rachel Jacobs] (UK)
  • Robin Bhattacharya (UK/CH)
  • Heath Bunting (UK)
  • Simon Faithfull (UK/DE)
  • James Kennard (UK)
  • plan b [Sophia New & Daniel Belasco Rogers] (UK/DE)
  • Katarzyna Krakowiak (PL)
  • Krzysztof Nawratek (PL/UK)
  • Kate Rich (UK)
  • Michelle Teran (CA/DE)
  • Open_Sailing (Ollie Palmer) (UK)
  • Gordan Savicic (AT/NL)
  • Trebor Scholz (US); B
  • Basak Senova (TR)
  • Société Réaliste (HU/FR)
  • Joanna Warsza (PL)
  • Mushon Zer-Aviv (IL/US)

The entire symposium details are available on the Nottingham Contemporary and the Tracing Mobolity websites.

Talk at Art + Architecture

Ollie’s latest ant project will see its first public airing in a panel discussion at “Reclaiming Space”, hosted by Sinta Tantra and Art and Architecture, on the 29th April 2010.


Zoe Schoenherr, Nick Brown, Marina Chang, Ollie Palmer, Sinta Tantra

Art & Architecture will travel to Camley Street Nature Park to see the work of a number of artists participating in the Reveal Festival. Join us for a guided tour of the new works by Nick Brown and Zoe Schoenherr, accompanied by the artists. Afterwards, we will return to the visitor centre and join the urban researcher Marina Chang and architectural designer Ollie Palmer for a panel discussion.

  • – Zoe Schoenherr is an artist who investigates strategies of site intervention, in the context of public space. Zoe explores the social and psychological impact of the designed environment, through work that blurs the traditional boundaries of painting, sculpture and architecture.
  • – Marina Chang is coordinator of UCL Food Junctions, a festival within a festival that brings together people from different disciplines and cultures and challenges us to rethink our relationship with food (24th, 25th & 28th April + 1st-2nd May.)
  • – Nick Brown has a history of working in community-based, natural settings and in the public realm. His central interest is the relationship between the artist and the site and the production of work that engages the viewer with that site.
  • – Ollie Palmer is a multi disciplinary designer. He is director of Hoog Design and collaborator with Open_Sailing. Ollie will present his current project, an artwork that investigates of the social behavior of ants.
  • Sinta Tantra is an artist and independent curator. Sinta curated the Camley Street Project in 2008: a sculpture by Nick Hornby, inspired by Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle. She is currently exhibiting at the Stanley Picker Gallery.

Entrance: £4 Members – £2 Students (includes a glass of wine)
Nearest Tube: Kings Cross
Advance booking: / tel 07950 933391
For more information, click here