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UAL CCI sponsors Peckham Digital: a new creative computing festival in SE London

A dark green background with computer-generated pink teal and orange 3D shapes
  • Written byKat Smith
  • Published date 27 August 2021
A dark green background with computer-generated pink teal and orange 3D shapes

Peckham Digital will be running a 4-day festival to help raise awareness and make creative computing more accessible, sponsored by UAL’s Creative Computing Institute.

The festival will be taking place from the 9 until the 12 of September at Peckham Levels and features workshops, performances, talks and more across the 3 days. It’s a chance to experience some exciting and interactive artwork, create your own, learn from great artists and meet like-minded people in the community.

Bea Taylor Searle – one of the co-founders and co-organisers of the festival, alongside Matt McDonnell – recently graduated from BA (Hons) Fine Art (with Creative Computing) at Central Saint Martins.

UAL alumni and staff are involved in 3 of the programme events:

Tech Yard - Thursday 9 September, 4 – 6pm

Acting as a playground for creative computing, the 2-hour Tech Yard session is run by Jazmin Morris, who has been running accessible, fun virtual programmes in creative computing throughout the pandemic for young people based in Southwark.

Whether you’re new to computing or have written code before, Tech Yard is open to all young people aged 10-16. 

The session at Peckham Digital is the first in-person version of Tech Yard. The drop-in, casual format means young people can come and experiment across 2 stations featuring different elements of creative computing - 3D modelling and creative coding – in this accessible and playful environment. Attendees can join for the whole session or come and go as they please.

Tech Yard inspires young people to have agency over how they interact with computers. “We empower young people to think: ‘I can make this’ rather than ‘this has been made for me’,” says UAL lecturer Jazmin Morris, the founder of Tech Yard and a creative computing artist and educator based in London. Her practise and research explore representation and inclusivity within technology. “I hope this has a knock-on effect for future generations, building more accessible and diverse platforms.”

The in-person element of the session at Peckham Digital means that young people who may not have access to a computer are able to experiment with creative computing and gives them the chance to interact with others.

From the beginning, Tech Yard has been for all young people – whether they have an existing interest in tech or not. It helps to provide a genuine sense of community and confidence, along with building up skills through accessible, enjoyable training in creative computing.

“For someone that's already engaging with it, if it's at home on your own, that's not the same as using your skills and getting involved in a community and speaking to other people that are doing the same thing,” Jazmin says. “And seeing someone that wasn't interested in it, and isn't a gamer at home, and has never coded before… reaching those young people is really meaningful.”

Book here
A black and white photo of Jazmin Morris smiling and leaning on her hands, with the words 'Festival of Creative Computing' in the corner

Artivive workshop – Ricebox Studio – Saturday 10 September, 2 - 4pm

Created by UAL alumni Safiya, Maria, Bristy and Anna, Ricebox Studio is a design practice using creative technology and visual communication for social good.

In this beginner-friendly workshop, Ricebox Studio will show you how to create augmented reality using your own images. What is augmented reality (AR)? How can it be used to trigger conversation in digital and physical spaces?

“We want people to be intrigued and to learn about augmented reality through a hands-on session! Our goal is to demystify the technology to get people to create their own AR artwork and hopefully use AR as a starting point to explore other forms of creative technology in general. We want folks from underrepresented communities to use AR's full potential as a platform to tell their own unique stories."

"Creative tech can often trigger a conversation about the issue you're trying to raise, since you're piquing your audience's interest with a new form of communication. That alone is a powerful form of activism, which can be often overlooked as it is less visually impressive than a physical demonstration but still very effective in its own way.”

— Ricebox Studio
A black and white picture of four women from Ricebox Studio, smiling at the camera. The border is green and says 'Festival of Creative Computing' on it.

Joel Gethin Lewis - Introduction to Creative Computing talk – Saturday 10 September, 4 – 4:30pm 

Joel Gethin Lewis is Lecturer, UAL Creative Computing Institute - his research is centered around solar-powered sustainable computing, the history of weaving and global scale augmented reality sculpture. His talk will cover introductions to binary and other things I've learnt along the way.

“Creative Computing is a great skill to learn as it allows you to be critical and creative with one of the most dominant technologies of our time: computing,” says Joel. “I love using the lens of computing in my teaching, art practice and commercial work."

A black and white picture of Joel Gethin Lewis smiling at the camera, with the words 'Festival of Creative Computing' in the corner


To attend Peckham Digital, or for more information, see Peckham Digital's Twitter.

They will be posting EventBrite links

You can contact Matt & Bea on email or visit the website

Full programme

Thursday 9 September

4 - 6pm: Tech Yard - Jazmin Morris

6.30 - 10pm: London Creative Coding Meetup

Friday 10 September

2 - 4pm: Build a Website with The Digital Garden

5 - 7pm: Generative Music with Sonic Pi – George Ash

7:30 - 10pm: Live performances: George Ash, Lizzie Wilson, Spatial

Saturday 11 September

11am - 12pm: Intro to Generative Art - Jonathan Thaw

2 - 4pm: Artivive workshop - Ricebox Studio

4 - 4:30pm: Intro to Creative Computing - Joel Gethin Lewis

4.30 - 5.30pm: What is Looop? Dan Voyce

6pm - 7pm: Collaborative Coding – Andor Merks/Webremixer

7:30 - 11pm: VJ London

Sunday 12 September

11am - 12:30pm: Datasets for Artists - Veera Jussila

2 - 3pm: Myths of AI - Haunted Machines

3 - 3:45pm: Smart City: Connected Communities – Mark Martin MBE, UKBlackTech

4 - 5pm: Improving Accessibility with Wearable Tech - Hadeel Ayoub, BrightSign