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Bottom-up vs Top-Down:

  • Everyone does learn differently
  • Bottom up can be too detailed without the big picture (boring implimentation)
  • Top-down lacks flexibility and the student never really understands all they are doing(lots hidden in abstraction)
  • High-level abstractions that are made to play with and easy to connect. These should be designed to "feel" similar to low-level PD objects. They are so well patched that they also serve as patch examples.
  • We should jump between top-down and bottom up. Each tut has two parts, a high-level part (play video) and a low-level part (metro sending messages to [play video]?
  • Don't use an object without explaining it. Ideally don't use an object without hinting for its need in a previous page/tutorial.
  • Each tutorial page should end with a question which a new object/concept on the next page answers.


  • Image (video, still image, even canvas animation)
    • frame (still image or video frame, Load &&|| play)
    • effects (altering images)
    • generating images from scratch (graphics)
    • arrangement (placing media in time/space)
  • Sound (audio signals)
    • sample (load and play)
    • filtering (change sample)
    • synth (sound from sratch)
    • arrangement (combination of sounds, placement in time)
  • Networks (communication, OSC, MIDI, internet etc..)
  • Physical Media (MultiIO?, AID, Aurduino)

Project Based:

  • If the students are working towards a concrete goal then they are more likely to remember and be invested in the workshop content.
  • Should the students come up with a project idea first? or during the workshop? Maybe a short survey meant to inspire the students, see primer below.


  • Inspire Students creatively
  • Show them what is possible with PD (lots of examples)
  • Start to shape the examples of work into the workshop structure
  • Give time before the first class for them to propose an idea.
  • History (of electronic music, electronic art, electronics, free software?)
  • What kind of tool is PD?

Creative Process: (only in the primer, or an ongoing thread?)

  • Conceptual development of projects
  • Why PD?
  • Relationship between the tool and the concept metaphorical networks
  • There are always multiple ways of approaching a problem or process
  • Any technology embeds culture. It is made under certain assumptions.


  • Respond to the students' need. (every group will have different interests)
  • Make the curriculum modular so that each piece fits with a particular audience. Then the students and the instructor choose which modules they want to cover.


  • Students should be encouraged as much as possible to play after, during and before the workshop. Play with ideas and implemnentation of those.
  • The workshop should not assume homework will be completed, but it should be made clear the students best change of learning is by doing.


Final Note from Hans

"I just wanted to say one last thing, in case it wasn't clear, and that is that my main focus in this project is the idea of applying the ideas of open source development to the workshop materials so all of us can do less work and come up with better materials. I don't think its anyone's intention to force people to teach Pd in any certainway, we just need to be on the same page in order to cooperate"

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