Posts Tagged ‘Omniversity’

Bid Writing

Monday, September 2nd, 2013
Bid writing at the Omniversity

Bid writing at the Omniversity

Title: Bid Writing
Location: MadLab
Description: Omniversity bid writing course, led by Laura H. Drane
Date: 27-09-2013
Start Time: 10:00
End Time: 16:00
Booking: Book a seat

If you’re an individual or small-to-medium enterprise aiming to raise funds for projects or operations, whether you’re new to the bid-writing process or want to power- or scale- up your applications, this course will equip you to win. You’ll understand every stage of the bid-writing process from identifying funds to delivering a winning bid, both in the wider strategic and policy contexts and at the nitty-gritty level of practical dos and don’ts. After completing this course, you’ll be fully-prepared not just for filling-in the form, but for the whole journey.

Who will benefit from this class?

Individuals to small-to-medium enterprises aiming to raise funds for projects or operations. The course is suitable both for those who have not been through the bid-writing process and those who have some experience and wish to improve their skills or increase the scale of their applications.

For those with existing bids in mind…

Laura will tailor the course for attendees who are targeting specific bids if they send supporting materials in advance. This is an incredibly valuable addition to the course for those working towards a specific fund, although it is not a requirement and does not affect the core content and activities of the course.

Course syllabus


10:00 – 11:00 Strategic and policy context
Basic introduction to types and sources of funds
11:00 – 11:15 Break
11:15 – 12:45 From application to aware to “doing it” to evaluation
Dos and don’ts, tips and tricks


12:45 – 13:30 A light lunch will be served


13:30 – 13:45 Trying your hand
15:00 – 15:15 Break
15:15 – 16:00 Plenary and finish

Equipment you’ll need

  • Please bring a computer, tablet or your preferred writing medium to take notes and complete exercises.

Learning outcomes:

  • Knowledge of sources and types of funding available
  • Understanding of the bid and award process
  • Understanding of the use of language in bid writing
  • Experience in addressing common questions in bid applications
  • Awareness of broader considerations beyond filling in the form
  • Confidence in completing bids

Your tutor: Laura H. Drane

Laura is a producer and consultant specialising in public engagement across the arts, cultural and science/technology sectors. She’s a veteran bid-winner on all scales from from £500 to £500,000, and for organisations large and small. This course is based on training provided in-house to the RSA, Clore Leadership Programme and British Science and this is the first time these materials and exercises will be available to the public and smaller organisations.

Beginning VVVV

Monday, September 2nd, 2013


Title: Beginning VVVV
Description: Omniversity course introducing VVVV, a powerful toolkit of media technologies, boasting a glut of built in functionality, tools and examples.
Start Date: 09-11-2013
End Date: 10-11-2013
Start Time: 10:00
End Time: 17:30
Booking: Grab a spot here, or drop us an email at

From projection-mapping to interactive environments, VVVV is the code-free programming toolkit that opens up a world of creativity with video.

Whether your canvas is a whole building, your bedroom wall or something… stranger, VVVV will extend your creativity into the third and fourth dimensions. You’ll learn to create with motion, audio, shaders, and interaction, and be confident working with projectors and the Kinect. After completing the course, you’ll be able to take your ideas off the screen and out into the real world.

Who is the course for?

  • Artists
  • Designers
  • Creative technologists
  • Interactive architects
  • Live visualists

VVVV is a powerful toolkit of media technologies, hosting a glut of built in functionality, tools and examples. Using a real-time interface you can create generative, aesthetic and functional systems without using code, but also without constraints. It can interface with almost anything you want, it can generate almost anything you want. There aren’t any other media toolkits that can perform so much ‘out of the box’, having you projecting Kinect tracked video onto buildings or controlling robot arms from Twitter in days rather than weeks. The true power of the tool lies within the elegance within which it makes its features available. In the opinion of this author, it can usurp all other platforms in terms of development speed, power and flexibility.

Real World Examples

Kimchi and Chips’ installation at Design Korea, December 2010 used VVVV for:

  • Integrated database driven mapping system that communicates with MySQL to store mapping data / remotely controlled from custom iPad software
  • Threaded video playback of up to 80 videos at a time (written in custom C# plugins)
  • Threaded video recording of two videos at a time (written in custom C# plugins)
  • Management of videos
  • Management of projectors
  • Playback of motion graphics
  • OSC communication with iPad interfaces for people to record their own videos

What you need to be familiar with

You should be proficient with computers (know how to operate, set up, fix your mum’s).

Any experience with coding or visual based development environments will come in super useful (Flash/ActionScript, Javascript, C/++, C#, Visual Basic, Objective-C, Python, Arduino, Max/MSP, etc) but is not necessary.

The main thing you need is a desire to create a project using this tool. As with all forms of technical learning, having an idea of what you want to create makes your brain start working on how to realise your idea. When your brain is in this state, it is much easier to identify a purpose for everything that you learn, which makes the learning process work. Without the passion to use the tool, it becomes impossible to absorb the new technical paradigms involved.

What we won’t cover

  • The fundamental elegances of coding in VVVV (this is something that will slap/kiss you in the face lots of times through experience. Expect to sit down afterwards and enjoy these moments to yourself)
  • Programming dynamic plugins in C#
  • Programming shaders in HLSL
  • Advanced patch logic (but we’ll point you in the right direction)

Software and costs

All software is freely available for learning/non-commercial purposes, and copies will be distributed with the course materials on the day. We will be using the latest version of VVVV at the time of the workshops (currently 26, which can be downloaded from

Equipment you’ll need

You will need to bring a PC Computer (ideally a laptop) with:

  • Windows XP/Vista/7 installed
  • Latest Windows Service Packs / latest updates to DirectX 9/10/11
  • A GPU within the top 200 of this list (or better/equivalent) (e.g. Geforce 8600 or better, ATI Radeon HD 5450 or better). If your GPU isn’t up here, then please get in touch on, and I’ll let you know if your graphics chipset is really good enough to get cracking.
  • WIFI or wired ethernet
  • A VGA or DVI port (or adapters to get to one of these, ideally VGA)
  • A mouse with at least 2 buttons (left and right mouse buttons)

Intel Apple Macs are fine, but you must use Bootcamp. You CAN NOT use virtualisation e.g. Parallels, VMWare, VirtualBox.

Equipment you might want to bring

  • Projector
  • Webcam
  • USB gamepad
  • MIDI controller
  • Second monitor (as long as its small and light)
  • Kinect

We can’t promise we’ll have time to go through working with all or any of the things that you bring. But we’ll do our best!

Suggested preparatory work

Download and install the latest version of vvvv from

Run ‘crack.exe’ included in the vvvv download, and install all the bits that it asks for (e.g. .NET, DirectX runtime, etc)

Brief notes on installing are available at

Course Syllabus

Day One

  • Examples
  • Getting VVVV running on your machine
  • Simple animation patch
  • Introduction by example to:
    1. The VVVV interface
    2. Spreads (hidden weapon of VVVV)
    3. DirectX objects
    4. VVVV data types
    5. Shaders
    6. Transforms
    7. Textures
    8. User Input
    9. Logic
    10. Audio analysis

Day Two

  • Using video projectors with VVVV
  • Projection mapping essentials
  • Kinect interaction
  • Open workshop time

Learning Outcomes

This is a two day course, run on Saturday and Sunday.
You will learn after Sunday:

  • A hands on ‘by the seat of your pants’ tour of VVVV’s features and how to get started with each bit. Create a mental map of the vvvv landscape through experience, so every bit of new learning can be hooked onto an explained element of the system
  • Be able to work with VVVV and a projector
  • Be able to map content from inside your computer onto real world objects using a projector
  • Understanding of VVVV fundamentals

Course Delivery

You are encouraged to confer with other participants on the day for support and to develop your learning. There is no coursework or assessment on this programme. A teaching assistant will be on hand to assist with any difficulties participants may face.


£200 for the full two days. Included in this price is a hot lunch, with vegetarian options (please notify us in advance if you are vegetarian or if you have other dietary requirements). Additionally, you will receive an electronic copy of the teaching materials, software, and patches for the course on a USB stick.

Your Tutor: Elliot Woods

Elliot is half of Koreo-Brittanic interaction design studio Kimchi and Chips, as seen in Wired, Endgadget and the BBC. He’s a leader in the international projection mapping scene, creating the tools and techniques used from experimental art projects to multi-million dollar marketing campaigns. Elliot has taught professionals, students, children and led the professional projection mapping course at VVVV’s own digital arts forum.

Autumn Courses at MadLab

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Fancy learning WordPress, how to write a short story, the first step you need to create a robot army or the best way to stuff a bird?

We've got a brilliant line up this Autumn:

WordPress co-founder Mike Little will be leading two-day beginners', intermediate and advanced courses.

Dr Sam Bail will be teaching coding newbies how to get to grips with Python.

Laura H Drane is back leading not one, but two Bid Writing sessions.

Award-winning short story publisher Comma Press will be hosting a six-part writing course, led by Anneliese Mackintosh.

We'll be stuffing birds with Shannon Harmon in a two day taxidermy course.

Want to build a robot army? Then your first port of call should be to sign-up to the Arduino & Physical Computing course led by MadLab's Dave Mee.

Kimchi & Chip's Elliot Woods will be back at MadLab to run two VVVV courses.

For more info, and to sign up – visit


Beginning WordPress

Friday, August 16th, 2013


Title: Beginning WordPress
Location: MadLab
Description: A hands-on introductory course to building a website or blog with WordPress.
Start Date: 19-09-2013
End Date: 20-09-2013
Start Time: 10:00
End Time: 16:30
Booking: Sign up here.





A hands-on introductory course to building a website or blog with WordPress

We’re thrilled to tell you that WordPress co-founder Mike Little will be leading our two-day introduction to the site.

WordPress is the publishing platform of choice for more than 73 million websites and blogs – including some of the most high-profile sites in the world. It has a Content Management System (CMS) market share of 54%. WordPress is quick to install, and simple to get started on, with little configuration and setup.

But, as an incredibly powerful web publishing platform, it takes some knowledge to truly get the best out of it.

This course will give you a great start. It will take you from the installation of the software, adding content (including multimedia), interacting with your reader, through customising the look and enhancing the functionality of your site.

Who will benefit from this class?

This class is ideal for someone who wants to set up their first website, whether you have heard of WordPress or not. If you have heard about blogging and want to start your own blog, this course will get you started.

If you have a small business – maybe, for example you’re involved in a scout group or local church and you want to get started with a web site – this course will be ideal for you.

You might be a freelance journalist wanting to show off some of your writing, an acupuncturist hoping to attract more clients, or a gardener finding small ads in the free paper less and less effective.

You may have already tried to set up WordPress but got lost in the technical stuff.

This course will set you back on the right track.

Who uses WordPress?





More examples of WordPress powered sites

Course syllabus

Day one

  1. Introduction To WordPress: What is WordPress? A little history
  2. Installing WordPress: Demonstration
  3. Anatomy of a website: Headers, footers and sidebars
  4. Exercise: Sketch your site layout
  5. The WordPress Dashboard: Logging in and looking around
  6. Content types: Posts, pages and more
  7. Publishing your first content: It’s that easy!
  8. Exercise: Adding content to your site
  9. The look of your site
  10. Exercise: Changing things around

Day two

  1. Settings: Configuring WordPress just how you want it
  2. Comments: Engaging with your readers
  3. Exercise: Commenting and moderation
  4. Plugins: Playing with plugins
  5. Exercise: Logging in and looking around
  6. Installing themes
  7. Exercise: Trying some themes
  8. Multiple users: Let someone else do some work
  9. Exercise: Co-authoring, editing, and workflow
  10. Free for all, Q&A, show & tell

Equipment you’ll need

  • Please bring a laptop computer with Windows, Linux or Mac OS installed (if you do not have your own laptop and would like to borrow one from a friend or family, that’s ok, too! You will not need to install any software, but you should have a modern web browser installed. Our preference is for the latest version of Firefox or Google Chrome, but the latest Internet Explorer or Opera will be fine too).
  • You may want to bring some sample images that you will be able to upload to your website as you follow along on the course.
  • If you feel more comfortable using an external mouse, please bring one, too.

Learning outcomes

After completing the class, you will have:

  • The ability to install and configure WordPress on a hosting account
  • An understanding of the main content types of WordPress and their differences
  • The ability to configure WordPress to your preferences
  • An understanding of how to tweak your theme settings and alter the look of your site
  • The ability to install new themes and plugins in to your WordPress site
  • An understanding of how to make your site more secure

Costs and times

£200 for the full course. You will receive an electronic copy of the teaching materials. You will also receive one month’s free hosting courtesy of MadLab to test and refine your site. Lunch and refreshments are provided.

Short Story Writing

Friday, August 16th, 2013
Short Story

Short Story

Title: Short Story Writing
Location: MadLab
Description: Omniversity course exploring the short story.
Dates: Tuesday evenings: 8 October, 12 November, 10 December, 14th January, 11th February, 11th March
Start Time: 19:00
End Time: 21:00

Over the course of six workshops, you’ll get a handle on the predominant narrative structures used by short story writers and learn how to apply them in your own work. Completing set writing tasks – and receiving structured, peer-driven feedback – you’ll develop three stories to completion. You’ll receive tailored advice on how to shape the story and how to improve characterisation, dialogue and narrative voice.

Course Syllabus

  • Workshop 1: Introduction & Voice
    Introduction to the short form. We’ll be looking at what the short story can do that the novel can’t, and examining some archetypal short story structures. There’ll also be a writing exercise to help you generate some new ideas, and a set task for the next session.
  • Workshop 2: Character
    We’ll look at the ‘lyrical’ short story structure and set your second writing task. There will be a discussion of the use of language and imagery in a couple of examples of lyrical stories. We’ll also be critiquing your first short story, with feedback from the tutor and the other group members.
  • Workshop 3: Setting
    We’ll look at the ‘reveal’ story structure, discuss examples and set your third writing task. We’ll also be critiquing your second short story.
  • Workshop 4: Conflict
    We will discuss how character works differently in the short story in relation to structure in two examples. We will critique your third writing task and set your fourth.
  • Workshop 5: Structure & Style
    The anti-story. We will discuss some examples of short stories that reverse, subvert or play with the above structures. We will critique your fourth task. You can do a fifth task or redraft one of the previous tasks.
  • Workshop 6: Editing & Publishing
    We will look at how to increase your chances of having your stories accepted for publication, where they can be published and discuss and critique the fifth task or redrafts.

Your Tutor: Anneliese Mackintosh

Anneliese was selected for The Best British Short Stories of 2013, and her work has appeared in The Edinburgh Review, Gutter, Causeway/Cabhsair, Valve Journal, and broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and Radio Scotland. In 2012, she was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, and won first place in the Unbound Press Short Story Award. Her first collection will be published by Freight Books in 2014.