1. 20 Pixels of Data


Artur Vasconcelos Cordeiro – Universidade de São Paulo / FAPESP, Brazil


The Workshop 20 Pixels of Data is a proposal to build a LED matrix of 4×5 pixels in a human scale, and to work collectively to create data visualization related to the local environment. The goals of the Workshop are to make an open source hardware of media device, and to create visual representation that could be meaningful to the local context.

The construction activity aims to facilitate the appropriation of the technology by the participants, enabling them to manufacture and develop an urban media device with a collaborative approach. Unlike available LED matrices, besides the high cost are closed structures with proprietary software, the proposed matrix is low-cost, easy to make and open source technology. The pixels are made of cardboard boxes using LED strip, covered with tracing paper, and controlled by Arduino. Each pixel measures 40x40cm and the size of the LED matrix is160x200cm.

From discussions with the participants about the local issues, it will be defined what and how it will be displayed. The resolution of 4×5 pixels allows displaying letters and numbers, that could be used for textual messages. The purpose to discuss what it will be exhibited and if it is relevant locally is to work critically with space perception and appropriation, and with the concept of placemaking. The open source led matrix is an empowerment tool for communities to build their media device and to display graphical visualization and data representation.

Interdisciplinary students, architects, designers and general public interested in DIY Media Architecture projects are welcome to join in a day-long hands-on activity to build the LED matrix and to develop visual representation. There are no prerequisites, and participants are expected to bring their own laptop.