2007 – July – Florence – DIY game controllers workshop



18.19.20 July 2007: Three extreme days to analyze, design and prototype alternative controllers for videogames. touchdown! is a BIP – building interactive playgrounds workshop.

“Games are played for no other reason than for the experience of playing them – unlike a software application, in which the experience or enjoyment of the user is a by-product. If the experience of the interface is not pleasing, players will walk away.” – Peter Hall


If you spent countless hours playing videogames you know what we are talking about. Works of wonder forced into interaction clichés: pressing buttons, shaking mice, holding joysticks and gamepads, tiny obsessive movements of fingers.
All this is old school. Now we invite you to advance to something new: Touchdown! is an intensive workshop to re-think and expand the language of physical interaction for gaming.

Workshop attendees will gain experience in basic Electronics and Computer Games interfaces extreme prototyping methods. Skills learned during the workshop can later be used to design a broader range of physical interfaces for interactive installations and prototypes.


We are not interested in the design of new hi-tech products but rather in the misuse and repurpose of existing technologies in order to hack them into meaningful gaming experiences through interaction design.

You’ll learn some basic Electronics to hack and to tinker with keyboards, mice and all sorts of USB input devices.

The best project to come out of the workshop will gain public attention by interacting with the Elettrowave/BIP crowd in Florence at the Stazione Leopolda during the night of july 20. There is no greater satisfaction than having your videogame controller used by a massive crowd…



Illumination of the “dark side”


Attending the workshop is free. The maximum number of participants is set to 20. The selection criteria for the candidates are: motivation, professional experience and the overall quality of the candidate’s portfolio. There’s no age limit.
We’ll be very happy if the variety of the participants’ backgrounds could match students, designers, artists, musicians, psychologists and choreographers, etc.
We don’t require any particular experience with programming or electronics. If you have a laptop, bring it along.


Download Touchdown! poster graphic – 9.1MB

The workshop is hosted by ItaliaWave. That means that the workshop’s context will be concerts, clubbing and much more.


Giorgio works as a designer in the field at the intersection between communication and entertainment. His interactive installations, visual landscapes and smart-spaces can be found at events, galleries, theaters, museums, festival and clubs. He received a Masters from the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea and he’s the co-founder of the interaction design studio TODO and the curator of the BIP – Building Interactive Playgrounds festival.

Yaniv Steiner –
Enchanted by his first computer in 1985, Yaniv has a long and proven background in Development and Programming. Coming from the world of gaming, his focus is to connect the computer with the physical world using electronics and popular software tools. He has mastered a wide range of programming languages and has insight in to the development and application of new technologies. He has been teaching at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, at IUAV in Venice and at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design of Jerusalem.

Yaniv and Giorgio were the core of the team that developed InstantSOUP for the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea. InstantSOUP is a cookbook to teach designers, artists, students and wannabe geeks how to tinker with electronics.



The workshop is organized by ARSNOVA within the Bip Festival – Building Interactive Playgrounds, in collaboration with Elettrowave and Associazione Culturale Nada.

ARSNOVA, Academy for Digital Arts and Sciences, is a joint-venture between the Municipality of Siena and the University of Siena. The Academy was established in 1998 and it is primarily devoted to the research and investigation in the the fields of New Media and ICT, paying particular attention at their intersections with Visual Arts, Architecture and Design. The activity of ARSNOVA aims at a development of the New Technologies within the discourse of the Global Sustainability.


ARSNOVA Accademia per le Arti e le Scienze Digitali
via di Città 126 – 53100 Siena, Italia
Tel. +39 0577 226517 – Fax +39 0577 219564