Medialab Prado


Interactivos?'13: Tools for a Read-Write World. Selected Projects

Selected projects that will be carried out within the Interactivos? Tools for a Read-Write World workshop (April 15-27).

>Open call for collaborators. Deadline April 9, 2013.

Real Time Collaborative Font Authoring

by Ben Martin (Brisbane, Australia)

The project is aimed to implement real time font support in libre graphics applications and to open a discussion with type designers, technical writers, and programmers where libre font collaboration should go in the future.

The idea is to add real time collaboration support to FontForge with ZeroMQ.

Like a multiplayer network game, a user can run FontForge as a 'host'  and other users can connect to the host to work on the same font at the same time: When any user edits a glyph, their modifications are instantly applied to all the other collaborating users' copies. A team  can design type without the need of emailing each other intermediate files, or explicitly synchronize who has the "golden copy" with version control systems.

As well as supporting other FontForge instances, I want other libre graphics applications (including web browsers) to implement features for real time font development.

+ info at the Forum



Design with Git

by Julien Deswaef (Brussels, Belgium)



As a designer, we usually think in visual terms. Let's see how we could emulate the benefits of distributed source code in the rich colors of a designer's world.

Git is a distributed version control system now wildly used in the free software world to collaborate and keep track of source code. Since  designers today use more and more code to create their work, they naturally turn to Git as a tool to manage their work in progress. The aim of the project is to work on how Git can be integrated more into a graphical designers workflow and create tools that would give a visual feedback of the design changes and collaborations on a specific project. 

During the workshop, we will work to add an extension to the Inkscape software which will able the user to perform basic Git commands, navigate and manipulate a version tree, and display visual differences between two commits.

+ info at the Forum 


Free Freedom of Speech Kit (F2SK)

by José María Blanco, María Solé Bravo and Anna Carreras (Madrid, Spain)



A portable digital device to show text messages (or even images) in the public space. Developed open free hardware and software, it should be energetically autonomous, light and easy to build. Simplifying the concept it can be thought as a DIY digital banner for demonstrations.

Therefore our proposal comprises the design, development, production  and creation of the Free Freedom of Speech Kit to get a real device and an appropriate open, free SDK control that allows any citizen to  display their opinions in real time,  to use it as a social or even  artistic creation tool.

As additional goals we propose the F2SK as an instrument to empower accessibility for the personal expression in the public space from the private one via internet, social networks, mobile phones, etc.


Yes, No? Maybe,

by Eleanor Greenhalgh, (Rotterdam, Netherlands)

yes, no, maybe

When we create collaborative documents, what does it mean to 'consense'?  This project will prototype an experimental system for curating text publications, which allows for and records users' ambivalence. 

Most tools for curating crowdsourced or collaborative content encode politically-loaded assumptions about how individuals make decisions. We 'like', vote up, approve, or blame the texts of others. The "most  popular" content wins; the "best" of online content gets printed. But our social decisions are not really so simple. This project draws on emerging feminist theories of how we reach consent - as a fluid, ongoing and often ambivalent process. 'Yes' doesn't always mean 'yes'. So how can we encode 'maybe'? 

Writers, editors and programmers are invited to explore how we might allow for this uncertainty in our collaborative editing tools. Rather than treating printed publications unproblematically as edited  "best-of", such tools will produce consensual publications that record and reflect the ambivalent process of decision-making inherent in any collaborative project.


Incoma. Exploting the "collective" of the collective intelligence

by Miguel Arana Catania and Carlos Barragán, (Madrid, Spain)


We are witnessing a unique moment in history in which the collective is  becoming the major agent of change in our society. However, we see how the current tools we interact with are not able to fully exploit the  potential of collective interaction, working only for extremely small collectives or for large groups but implementing far too simplistic actions.

To deal with this, we propose to focus on the collective intelligence and design an internet platform that serves as a space for  thought and discussion, specifically designed to allow massive access and interactions, without it generating the noise and chaos occurring in traditional discussion tools, but real collective thoughts generated  from thousands of contributions. Later on, the tool could be used for  more specific collaborative tasks, such as collaborative writing, graphic design, or other functions developed by its users.

The project requires development through a series of phases, from research on collective thought processes, to research and design of  massive access and interaction interfaces, to the production of the  platform. For this we intend to count on a multidisciplinary team of  people with knowledge in fields like philosophy, social interaction,  group dynamics, graphic design, or free software. 

+ info at the forum


El Recetario

by Makeatuvida (Valencia, Spain)

el recetario is a collaborative platform for research and experimentation on the use of waste to construct furniture and accessories, where people can share what they do and how they do it, learning from that and working with others.

The project combines four variables:
a. research on the waste we produce and its possible reuse as raw material for new objects;
b. creating manuals that can evolve and be shared;
c. interaction and collaboration amongst community members;
d. and continuous feedback between the virtual platform and actions in real life.

The proposal for the workshop is the update of the existing platform to turn it into an open space that allows collaborative work amongst its users to generate shareable materials that encourage DIY and reuse of waste.

The project will be divided in different stages which will include from analyzing the existing platform to extract its potentials, imagining possible ways of evolution, to designing and develop the platform. We think it’s interesting to generate an team which combines developers/programmers free CMS, artists, designers interested in collaborative work, the DIY and the reuse of waste, people with experience in virtual environments of participation and, in a general way, citizens who want to work on alternatives to the 'use and throw' culture.
+ info at the forum


Tau Meta Tau Physica

by Susan Spencer (Madison, USA)



The Tau Meta Tau Physica open source patternmaking software is calling  for collaborators to create an interactive prototype built to HTML5 specifications using Processing.js. Tau Meta Tau Physica replicates  manual patternmaking processes in code.  The project is focused on  generating sewing patterns. The current menu-driven batch application is  written in python and runs only on Linux.  Implementing the software  with Processing.js will allow the program to run on multiple operating  systems and will add an interactive user interface. Collaborators will  be re-designing the software engine, user interface, and project  roadmap. Collaborators will learn how to use Tau Meta Tau Physica to  create design patterns. The resulting code, design patterns, video and  documentation will be posted on the website.


Colaboratorio de Relatos 

by Carla Bosermann (Madrid, Spain)


Learning, building and having fun with stories about free culture.

A platform to construct narrative collages and co-create stories dealing with free culture. Starting with a series of concepts, places, situations, characters and a synopsis full of rhythm, we will look for words, stories, persons, images, games, songs, puns, humour and irony. We will be searching for sensations, subtle intuitions or amusing metaphors that move us, inspire us… The idea is to build stories that can transport the great adventure of free culture and hacker ethics to the youngest minds. We want to reflect on and display current cultural production, distribution and access dynamics; and, above all, we would like to remix each step, assemble collages and co-create with you.

+ info at the forum


Prometeo: Libre copia

by Enrique César (México DF, México)


In a time of transition from print to digital, from copyright to free culture, it is of capital importance to build bridges that further the debate on the access to and appropriation of culture; the photocopy has sustained such bridges since the mid 20th century. And, in addition, it can be seen as an important forerunner both of computation and of the democratization and distribution of information.

The aim of this project is to research the existing relations between digital publishing and free culture, and more specifically how to work with the digital "photocopying" of books within the context of education. We will discuss and work with digitalization and editing tools, we will distribute content using FLOSS tools, and we will research and debate the legal implications these practices have in different local contexts, especially in Latin America.

+ info at the forum

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