This workshop will explore new ways to use technology, and to tinker with all kinds of materials. We will create dynamic visualizations. The workshop will involve exploration and rapid prototyping with a variety of graphical and text-based programming languages for generating and analyzing sound and image, and sensing systems for connecting the physical and digital worlds.

Trainer Peter Torpey (MIT Boston) thinking hard about forming project groups for the hackathon.

The bootcamp is a one-week workshop designed by Peter Torpey (MIT Boston) and Peter van Kollenburg, and is organized by Harold Benten. It brings together students of various backgrounds and studies to explore different ways of thinking, problem solving and creating in order to learn to work together across disciplines. In a sense, the workshop is a kind of “Collision”.

What is “Collision” and what does it mean? A collision is not merely a moment of destruction. Think for instance of the moment you (engineering student) and your friend (art student) were having that brilliant idea that turned out totally wrong. Each of you thought the idea must have been bad….. Was it? Or was it the approach? Or didn’t you recognize the outcome as valuable because both of you expected something else? Did your study/background (domain language, convention) interfere?

When ideas and methods collide, something new emerges that is both a combination and yet wholly different. Like the particles tracks emerging from the meeting of protons, new material and new directions fan out. When the approaches of different disciplines collide, beautiful ideas can emerge. However, this  process is not without friction or conflict, but these tend to be obstacles of the already mentioned domain language and convention rather than true barriers to interdisciplinary innovation.

In this week-long masterclass, students will be challenged by an in-depth, thought-provoking program around the theme of “Collision” – and by each other. We’ll merge the analytical and the creative, the technical and the emotional, engineering and design headlong and see what emerges….

Students will work together, learn from each other, and complete exercises and project that combine skills, stories and approaches in ways they would never have previously thought of. We are sure these projects will surprise, entertain, and illustrate just how working together across disciplines, without boundaries, can lead to amazing experiences and a bright future.

After an intense week of thought, discussion and  collaborative creation the results will be presented to the larger university community, friends and family. The workshop is a full time workshop that takes place in the first week of February.


Peter Torpey creates unique artistic, performance and media experiences by integrating new technologies into live performance in meaningful  and essential ways in order to enhance the expressive power and immersive resonance of storytelling media. Peter Torpey received his PhD at the MIT Media Lab in the Opera of the Future group.

Sean Hickey is a researcher and graduate student in the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab.  His work focuses on designing tools and contexts for people of all ages to learn through artistic creation process.

Harold Benten is lecturer in Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Fontys School of Engineering, and coordinator of the BeCreative Minor. Before joining Fontys, he worked for over 20 years as a designer and project manager in the electronics and semiconductor industry.

Student expectations

A collection of expectations of students at the start of the bootcamp:

Create something unique
Exercise creative thinking
Presenting skills
A fun project
How to put emotion in a thing you make
Coming up with a solution for a problem that no one has thought of
Thinking outside the box
Problem solving in a different way
To be pushed to think in new and creative ways
Learn new ways of problem solving
Discover in what direction I would like to go
Learn how to work together, find interdisciplinary strengths
Think about unconventional solutions
Improve leadership and teamworking skills
The hackathon will become hectic, but instructive
Not to take the most obvious solution
Improve my English and communication

Student testimonials

A collection of reflections from students after the bootcamp:

I liked the Hackathon. And the guys from MIT were fun to work with. It is a cool concept. (Tycho)

The B&B was nice. I learned a lot about brainstorming. Also the Hackathon was nice; in this way you can see the different qualities of the people. (Harm)

An interesting week for getting inspiration and new tricks for solving problems. (Jessy)

It was an amazing experience. It was interesting to learn different tools for brainstorming, as well as different approaches that can be used to tackle a problem. (Borislav)

The bootcamp helped me to out of my comfort zone and try to think out of the box. During this week I met people from different domains that allowed me to see and solve a problem from another perspective. I really liked being in contact with people from artistic domains. I also liked the dinners in the evenings. (Bianca).

It was an unexpected journey, full of all kinds of different people. This journey changed my view on art and what to call art. (Ben)

During the Hackathon each team can implement crazy or creative ideas in a really short time, and everyone needs to figure out problems really fast. The results surprised me in the end. (Wen)

The bootcamp inspired me to work on more creative projects and also introduced me to some new methods of creative thinking. Overall it was a lot of fun. (Jack)


A photo impression of the bootcamp:

Article in “De Bron” (in Dutch):

More info