Movie: integrating programming and design will "change the world"

Integrating programming and design will "totally change the world"

Dezeen and MINI Frontiers: teaching young designers computer code will have profound consequences claims Technology Will Save Us, whose DIY Gamer Kit was acquired by MoMA last week. 

Bethany Koby of Technology Will Save Us
Bethany Koby, co-founder of Technology Will Save Us

"Programming is really important for designers, so they can work cross-disciplinary and collaborate with other people," says Bethany Koby, director of east London start-up Technology Will Save Us.

Daniel Hirschmann of Technology Will Save Us
Daniel Hirschmann, co-founder of Technology Will Save Us

"In the UK the curriculum has just changed to put programming very much at the core of what all schools have to teach," adds head of kit experience Daniel Hirschmann. "You'll end up having a really inspiring group of young people who are totally going to change the world. That's what I'm excited about."

DIY kits by Technology Will Save Us
DIY kits by Technology Will Save Us

Koby and Hirschmann's start-up Technology Will Save Us produce self-assembly kits designed to help people of all ages learn the basics of electronics and programming.

"We help people to make, play, code and invent using technology," says Koby.

DIY Gamer Kit by Technology Will Save Us
DIY Gamer Kit by Technology Will Save Us

The company's DIY Gamer Kit was this week acquired by New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Koby believes the acquisition demonstrates the increasing importance of technology in design.

"The way technology is feeding into design practice is really interesting," she says. "What do designers need to know? What kinds of skills do they need to have?"

DIY Gamer Kit by Technology Will Save Us
DIY Gamer Kit by Technology Will Save Us

The DIY Gamer Kit teaches electronics and programming by enabling users to design and programme their own basic computer games.

"The kit comes in a box with all the components separately," Koby explains. "You go though step-by-step how to actually solder the components to the circuit board. Then you can play two games it comes with, Pong and Snake. Once you learn how the inputs and outputs work, you can map, plan and programme your own games."

DIY Gamer Kit by Technology Will Save Us
DIY Gamer Kit by Technology Will Save Us

As well as learning about electronics and programming, understanding the mechanics of computer games can teach valuable lessons about design, Hirschmann says.

"It's not just about the game and the fact you can play something, it's about interaction design," he says. "It's about understanding how you build a system that interacts with the people that play it and inspires them to continue to want to play it."

He adds: "There are so many opportunities to explore from a design perspective by how a game should unfold to the user."

DIY Gamer Kit by Technology Will Save Us
DIY Gamer Kit by Technology Will Save Us

Dezeen and MINI Frontiers is a year-long collaboration with MINI exploring how design and technology are coming together to shape the future.

The music featured in the movie is a track called Jewels by Zequals. Listen to the full track.

Dezeen and MINI Frontiers