Category Archives: Newtown

DIY Portable Augmented Reality Headset « Tailor Made Toys

Okay. I’m madly wanting to hack this for halloween at the kid’s school. Toy lust. I know I have deadlines… but with a little help from my friends, we can do it, right? It would be so cool… sexy… whatever. I am starting to feel a need to write a paper on the use of the word ‘sexy’ when coupled with technology. Speaking of which, is there a ‘hot or not?’ for technology? If not, why not?

Feral Art of Newtown | Is it a Banksy?

Is it a Banksy? At the corner of our street, this insouciant cat saunters through the garbage in the headlights passing glare.

Banksy was here for the recent launch of Exit Through the Gift Shop at the Sydney Film Festival. Could it be?

Either way, it’s a joyful thing.

Mark Hood Exhibition opens Thursday June 11

a short history of roomies artspace

ROOMIES ARTSPACE started as a series of art workshops in Inner West boarding houses conducted in 1996 and 1997 by KANCAM (later Inner West Cultural Services). In 1999, this developed into fortnightly workshops at the Tom Foster Community Centre in Newtown under the aegis of Newtown Neighbourhood Centre’s Boarding House Project.

This award winning art group has had several sell out exhibitions since 1999 and it has long been a dream of the artists and art workers (many of whom are volunteers) to have a space of their own. ROOMIES are people with mental illnesses or disabilities who live in the community in a boarding house. ROOMIES have very little money, they share rooms and often clothing and personal possessions. They have very little privacy and no space to themselves.

With the assistance of Addison Rd Gallery and Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, ROOMIES ARTSPACE was founded at the Addison Rd Community Centre in an old army hut. ROOMIES ARTSPACE was officially opened in October 2005 by Archibald prize winning artist Cherry Hood, with a sellout exhibition and a highly enjoyable opening party.

TEDxSydney – warmup event for TEDxNewtown?

I have a choice. I can write up the draft intro for our local TED Talks @ Newtown Kids Science Club or I can shower and change before attending the big TEDxSydney in half an hour.Or I can be optimistic and attempt both… probably badly. This is for an audience of primary school children and parents:

Tonight’s TED Talks are going to be about video games. We will have some great games for you to play and we also have some very interesting videos from TED that describe the development of video games and show something about their future evolution.

Dr Michael Harries is going to chair the discussion after the videos. As well as being a parent at the school, Michael is a futurist who knows a lot about computers, robots, artificial intelligence and iphones.
Our world is in a state of rapid change. Sometimes we’re so caught up in today that we can’t see tomorrow coming and we can’t remember our yesterdays.

What was it like when your parents were at school? Way back then, thirty odd years ago, only universities and big companies had computers. A computer took up an entire room and cost a lot of money. Lots of people shared each computer.

By the time your parents went to university, computers were getting smaller. Public computers were becoming popular and some of us even had our own personal computer. Not that we used much of their computational ability. They were largely fancy typewriters. And as well as writing assignments on them, we played games on them. Can you imagine Runescape without pictures? Just writing?

Stage 3 students, you have entered a whole new instance. When you go to high school next year, you will probably have your own computer at home or at school. And it will be connected to the internet. All of the information in the world is going online and you’re being encouraged to wiki or google it.

Stage 2 students, you can expect more. Your teachers will be using electronic whiteboards and you’re looking forward to having your own touch screen device. Soon you won’t be able to open up a book without trying to double click on it. You might laugh, but I’ve tried to eat with my mouse. I was so busy watching something on the screen that whenever I wanted to take a bite of my sandwich I moved my mouse. I started wondering if my mouse was broken because I wasn’t getting any food in my mouth. Duh.

But I’ve saved the best for last. Kindy and Stage 1 students. By the time you go to high school, you won’t be putting your computer in your pocket. You’ll be wearing it all the time. It might look like…. this (my hat) or maybe this (necklace/earrings/glasses). There will no longer be any difference between a computer, a phone, a game, or any other device. You will not be tied to a box, with a screen and a keyboard because you will be able to make one anywhere out of almost anything. Everything can be connected.

If you haven’t all used a Wii yet, then you will tonight. And imagine what is coming next. It’s going to look like Minority Report. It’s going to look like magic. When you go to high school and your teachers tell you to take off your hats because you are inside now. What they will be really saying is, it’s time to turn off your mobile phones, switch off your computers and stop playing games. But that’s ok because by the time you go to high school, your teachers will also have some pretty cool games for your classroom.

Tonight’s TED talk is about video games. We have videos from Brenda Laurel a virtual reality pioneer who has studied games and girls, David Perry who has designed famous games like Enter the Matrix and Patti Maes from MIT who is designing the sixth sense, your future computer. Or your new hat.

TED Talks (Newtown Kids Science Club PLUS)


TED is a global phenomenon. Originally a conference bringing together people from Technology, Entertainment and Design, TED events now bring together the best thinkers in every walk of life and every part of the world and share their ideas. For free. Each TED Talk at Newtown Public School will start with an interesting TED video selection followed by a discussion chaired by a local expert. 

6 to 7.30pm Thursday evenings at Newtown Public School.

NEXT: Thursday 4th June 2009 “Who Makes the Games Our Children Play?”
featuring video from Dr Brenda Laurel (Virtual Reality pioneer) “Making Games for Girls” ; 

David Perry (Enter the Matrix etc) “Game Design for the Future”
and Dr Patti Maes and Pranav Mistry (MIT Media Lab) “The Sixth Sense”

chaired by Dr Michael Harries PhD Artificial Intelligence

Please come along and promote at schools in the Newtown area!

We Wee – short kids film for Eureka Primary Science Prize 09

This was put together rather quickly but when girls are motivated they can achieve a great deal! It still makes me laugh whenever I watch it. I don’t know if the video is going to be deemed suitable for school assembly although I don’t see why not!

The web version has poor sound quality, so if you’re wondering what is being said at the end, it’s…. “what’s all this paper doing round the toilet?”

All said, this was a great exercise in going with the flow.