Scrapyard Challenge Workshop

Prepared By Golan Levin

Scrapyard Challenge Workshop

Scrapyard is about technology made accessible. It provides the opportunity for the public to participate in interactive design through intensive workshops in which participants transform discarded junk into innovative electronic projects.

Parson School of Design's Scrapyard Challenge


Katherine Moriwaki is an assistant professor of media design in the School of Art, Media, and Technology at Parsons/The New School for Design in New York City. Jonah Brucker-Cohen is a researcher, artist, and writer with a Ph.D. in networking and telecommunications research from Trinity College Dublin. Together they run Scrapyard Challenge Workshops, intensive workshops in which participants transform discarded junk— maligned electronics, computer equipment past the point of its planned obsolescence, and so on—into innovative electronic projects. In short, hardware hacking. To date, these workshops have been held thirty-seven times in fourteen countries across five continents. With themes ranging from the “MIDI Scrapyard Challenge” to the “DIY Wearable Challenge” (in the latter participants were defied to make wearable tech projects out of used clothing), Moriwaki and Brucker-Cohen’s Scrapyard Challenge Workshops provide people with all levels of experience the opportunity to participate in interactive design. Scrapyard is about technology made accessible. As Moriwaki and Brucker-Cohen write, “The use of cast-off and cheap materials demystifies the idealized ‘clean’ aesthetic associated with technology...the explicit reference to the DIY and Hacker communities, as well as pop-cultural phenomenon, couch design practice in familiar layman terms.”

Scrapyard Challenge with children

Further Reading

Main Website:

Liza Stark Portfolio:

Scrapyard Challenge Workshop Archive:

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Acknowledgements & Credits

Jonah Brucker-Cohen and Katherine Moriwaki

Scrapyard Challenge Workshop



Adapted from the 'NEW ART/SCIENCE AFFINITIES'. Published by the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University and the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry and available at

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