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Unravel the Code VI - The Face Of Things


The face is a valuable feature—in corporeal terms, but also as extracted data. In an age where facial recognition and machine learning are being designed into everyday objects, new forms of interactions are being written over our face. What will it mean when our ‘things’ begin to identify who we are, speculate on how we are feeling, what we desire, and grant or deny access based on what face that we present? Could these developments lead to a more compelling way to craft materials, objects, or environments with empathy? Or will we face a discord when our hybrid things only magnify existing patterns of bias?

On the Face of Things is the 6th Unravel the Code International Workshop where Unravel the Code students of the Maryland Institute College of Art meet face to face with Digital Craft students of the Willem De Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. Through a three day exchange and 12 hour prototyping marathon, the students craft ideas and make materials that interface with the face.

About the Collaborating Progams

MICA http://unrvl.net

WDKA Digital Craft


Awkward FaceTime

5/10 - 11/10 Bits of Rotterdam - bits of Baltimore - through the magic of the internet
time and date student arranged MICA and WDKA Digital Craft students try to sustain a 5 min awkward conversation, knowing that it will make the week much smoother knowing at least one partner student on a face to face basis. There is a strict format for this talk, which can be found below.

FaceTime Format

To identify your FaceTime partner, please sign up for one of the four projects (as participant 1-6) and contact the corresponding student (i.e if your #1 in Its Complicated on the MICA list, find out who is #1 on the Its Complicated WDKA list…..its a bit complicated, i know).

Please prepare the following to discuss:

  1. share a love/hate about your current program (of course no bad talking about UTC ;)
  2. share a memorable photograph where the look on your face fits under the title  “ the moment I knew what I wanted to do”.
  3. show via the webcam a distinguishing facial feature
  4. take a screenshot of each others faces and upload it to project participant lists on the wiki

The purpose of this pre-meeting is to have the first exchange to be on a peer to peer basis and break the ice before the marathon begins.  

Monday 23 October - Meet, Greet, Eat, Show, Tell

Time / Place Activity
~17:00 (exact TBC) / Blaak Station / Markthall Entrance Show your face WdKA Students meet MICA
17:00 – 17:30 / de Appie BYOB WdKA students have brought the food. MICA brings the drinks? For those of you who want check if non-imported Heineken still tastes horrible, its advised to conceal your bottles “American Style” upon entry to the school (ask WdKA students for advice).
17:30 – 18:00 / 3e Inberieding Word of Welcome / A Few Works Jeroen (our super chatty / semi-professinal tap dancing / Digital Craft student) says a few words of welcome, talks briefly about the the Digital Crafters have been doing and show a few mini-projects from this semester.
18:00 – 19:00 / 4e Inberieding (or in case of a warm sunny miracle — the roof top terrace) Zes uur! Etenstijd! Vera’s in the kitchen and better not be late
19:00 – 19:30 WdKA tour within your workshop groups, explore the school's stations
after hours Bitterball’n? Tap-dancing Jeroen also happens to be registered party planner (many talents). He’d be happy to suggest any nighttime activities whatever your scene may be.

Tuesday 24 October - Strictly Business

Time / Place Activity
9:30 – 9:45 / De Willem COFFEEEEEEEEE
10:00 – 10:30 / Interaction Station The Briefing Jon what we are doing and why he’s so happy about it.
10:30 – 11:15 / Interaction Station Brainstorm Round 1
11:15 – 12:00 / Interaction Station Brainstorm Round 2
12:00 – 14:00 / ???? Mini-Excursion WDKA & MICA students break into groups, lunch somewhere in Rotterdam, and visit a ‘selfie’ worth place. #facesofrotterdam
14:00 – 14:30 Interaction Station 20 min foreshadowing w/ Javi - explaining the ins and outs of what comes next
14:30 – 15:30 / Interaction Station 20min Foreplay - round-robin practical/unpractical instruction
  • Sensitivity Training w/Mike or Ryan
  • Face-Inter-Facing w/Javi
  • Micro-controling w/Ryan or Yoana
  • Photo-Boothing w/Tim
15:30 – 18:00 / Interaction Station Confidence Building - production of a pre-marathon proof of concpet
18:00 – 19:00 - De Willem / School Cantine Lekker Borrelen

Wednesday 25 October - The Face of Things Marathon

Time / Place Activity
9:30 – 10:30 / De Willem Upping the Anti students evaluate their concept prototype sketch out a plan of action
10:00 – 11:00 / Interaction Station Face your Mentor Students discussing concept, feasibly, required tech/materials with workshop mentors.
11:00 – 12:00 / Interaction Station Facing the Facts Is the idea ideal? Are all parts of your plan ready for production? 1 hour or fact checking, script writing, or resource finding before lunch.
11:00 – 12:00 / Interaction Station About Face? A working lunch dedicated to the second thoughts and the doubting thomases.
13:00 – 16:30 / Interaction Station FACE OFF MAKE MAKE MAKE MAKE MAKE MAKE MAKE
16:30 – 17:30 / Blaak Foyer Drawn out Critique draw out your process, critique your current outcomes, plan for the last push
17:30 – 20:30 / Interactionstation Laatste Loodjes
20:30 – 20:45 / Blaak Foyer & Basement Exhibition Space Project Delivery bring your project to the exhibition space

Thursday 26 October - Document

Thursday 26/10 Blaak Foyer & Basement Exhibition Space
9:00 – 11:00 Photo/video documentation of results
11:00 – 12:00 Walk through of results to WDKA managers/coodinators

Participating Students

MICA Students

  • Chase - cbody@mica.edu 314507@edu.nl - qfodk
  • Claire - ccho02@mica.edu - 314506@edu.nl - eafdt
  • Jihae - jchoe@mica.edu - 314505@edu.nl - ktflh
  • Wan-Ting - wkao@mica.edu - 314504@edu.nl - njgad
  • Stefon - skelly05@mica.edu - 314503@edu.nl - umwne
  • Catherine - ckhamnouane@mica.edu - 314502@edu.nl - mabwp
  • So-Hee - skim17@mica.edu - 314501@edu.nl - yefll
  • Jenna Lane - jklein01@mica.edu - 314500@edu.nl - dtqdd
  • Dione - dlee04@mica.edu - 314499@edu.nl - hkitq
  • Yunzi - yliu03@mica.edu - 314498@edu.nl - jhmwg
  • Emary - eparisi@mica.edu - 314497@edu.nl - ccwle
  • Rachel - rrusk@mica.edu - 314496@edu.nl - wixsb
  • Durba - dsamanta@mica.edu - 314495@edu.nl - jckwk
  • Nilam - nsari@mica.edu - 314493@edu.nl - ujgtm
  • Sydney - ssiehtakata@mica.edu - 314494@edu.nl - rejir
  • Daniel - dspurgin@mica.edu - 314492@edu.nl - mjkdm
  • Sallie - lxu01@mica.edu - 314491@edu.nl - jdylh
  • Huijun - hzhu02@mica.edu - 314490@edu.nl - lxchl
  • Miles - mbarnett01@mica.edu - 314489@edu.nl - utfwy
  • Taylor - tpestorius@mica.edu - 314488@edu.nl - wvbvg
  • Margeaux - mabeyta@mica.edu - 314487@edu.nl - chtlb

WDKA Minor Digital Craft

  • Kenah - 0851671@hr.nl
  • Jeroen - 0873511@hr.nl
  • Jeanine - 0889920@hr.nl
  • Jochem - 0891362@hr.nl
  • Suzanne - 0891866@hr.nl
  • Tim - 0891980@hr.nl
  • Sanne - 0894723@hr.nl
  • Timoteo - timoteocarbone@gmail.com
  • Vera - 0901062@hr.nl
  • Alexander - 0901319@hr.nl
  • Tharim - 0901344@hr.nl

WDKA 3rd Year Digital Craft

  • Chiara - 0883941@hr.nl
  • Laura - 0889852@hr.nl
  • Pepijn - 0894710@hr.nl
  • Stephanie - 0900998@hr.nl
  • Mans - 0901281@hr.nl
  • Sjoerd - 0902887@hr.nl
  • Koen - 0910747@hr.nl
  • Tom - 0912919@hr.nl
  • Thijs - 0917912@hr.nl
  • Nomi - 0919394@hr.nl
  • Dieke - 0919883@hr.nl
  • Marielle - 0919897@hr.nl
  • Tutu - 0921248@hr.nl
  • Daniela -0925857@hr.nl
  • Emanuela - 0956193@hr.nl

Participating Faculty


  1. Alan Grover, awgrover@gmail.com, technical assistant volunteer - 314508@edu.nl - rmzja
  2. Ryan Hoover, rhoover@mica.edu, instructor - 314509@edu.nl - bhiqj
  3. Annet Couwenberg, acouwenb@mica.edu, instructor - 314510@edu.nl - zisxw


  1. Tim Knapen, tim@indianen.be, digital craft practice mentor
  2. Jon Stam, jon@commonplace.nl, digital craft research mentor
  3. Javi Lloret Pardo, j.a.lloret.pardo@hr.nl, interaction station
  4. Mike 'MJ' Pelletier, m.j.pelletier@hr.nl, canuk
  5. Yoana Buzova, yoanabuzova@gmail.com, interaction station
  6. Brigit Lichtenegger, b.lichtenegger@hr.nl, station chief

Workshop Projects

Group 1 - Anthropomaterials

What if a crafted material could show its true face and react in reciprocity to yours? This group of students explore how to animate the inanimate and how materials might move to human emotions.


MICA Students (sign up below)

1. Claire Cho

2. Nilam Sari

3. Durba Samanta

4. Rachel Rusk

5. Stefon Kelly

6. Miles Barnett

WDKA Students (sign up below)

1. Tim Reuser

2. Koen Dekker

3. Jochem Walboomers

4. Vera Castelijns

5. Jeroen Rijnart

6. Sanne Schilder


Group 2 - Keeping Up Appearances

What if materials and objects impose social standards from their users? This set of students explore the issues of presentation culture in a world of pre-programmed interactions.


MICA Students (sign up below)

1. Jenna Klein

2. Dione Lee

3. Daniel Spurgin

4. Sydney Sieh-Takata

5. So Hee Kim

6. Catherine Khamnouane

WDKA Students (sign up below)

1. Suzanne Guitjens

2. Jeanine Verloop

3. Timoteo Carbone

4. Chiara Ermers




Group 3 - Discriminant by Nature

What would it mean if more things could accept or reject you based on the image it sees. This group of students explore recognition from the object’s point of view.


MICA Students (sign up below)

1. Wan Ting Kao

2. Huijun Cynthia Zhu

3. Jihae Choe

4. Yunzi Liu

5. Luying (Sallie) Xu

WDKA Students (sign up below)


2.hizkia pepijn





Group 4 - It’s Complicated

What if you and your objects formed deeper relationships by learning how to deal with each other?  This group of students explore the concept of user unfriendly human computer interaction.

MICA Students (sign up below)

1. Chase Body

2. Margeaux Abeyta

3. Taylor Pestorius

4.Emary Parisi

WDKA Students (sign up below)

1. Dieke Berkhuizen

2. Alkenah Wansing

3. Tharim Cornelisse

4. AlexLaman

Tools & Tech

- To Be Updated-

Workshop Documentation

Fill me with images!!!!!!!


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Anthropomaterials 1.jpg Anthropomaterials 2.jpg Anthropomaterials 3.jpg Anthropomaterials 4.jpg Anthropomaterials 5.jpg Anthropomaterials 6.jpg Anthropomaterials 7.jpg Anthropomaterials 8.jpg Anthropomaterials 9.jpg Anthropomaterials 10.jpg Anthropomaterials 11.jpg Anthropomaterials 12.jpg Anthropomaterials 13.jpg Anthropomaterials 14.jpg Anthropomaterials 15.jpg Anthropomaterials 16.jpg Anthropomaterials 17.jpg Anthropomaterials 18.jpg Anthropomaterials 19.jpg Anthropomaterials 20.jpg Anthropomaterials 21.jpg Anthropomaterials 22.jpg Anthropomaterials 23.jpg Anthropomaterials 24.jpg Anthropomaterials 25.jpg Anthropomaterials 26.jpg Anthropomaterials 27.jpg 28.jpg Anthropomaterials 29.jpg Anthropomaterials 30.jpg