Philomathia - An Interactive Painting to Help Learn Greek Mythology

Philomathia - An Interactive Painting to Help Learn Greek Mythology

Have you ever studied Classics, or just been fascinated by Greek Mythology and the 12 Gods of Olympus? With so many stories and characters, how could you possibly remember them all?

Art and Technology student Rania Zouganelis from Saxion University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands decided to solve that problem and created an immersive experience, where people could learn about Greek Mythology and history through an interactive installation.

Rania believes that by using experiences to retain and apply knowledge, you can achieve more effective learning. To explore this concept, she's keen on creating dynamic learning experiences both in and out of the classrooms using interactive activities.

The idea of creating an interactive way to learn history came from her personal experience of struggling to memorise all of the Greek myths, Gods' names and historic events.

Inspired by an Arduino project named “globe trotter”, which uses a globe to triggers actions on the computer, showing pictures of the world according to which country one touches. Rania used this idea as her starting point, for the creation of an interactive learning machine.

After lots of discussions and thought, she decided to combine two ideas, interactive painting and interactive learning as a way to make education more pleasant.

She began her technical research and found that with Bare Conductive's Electric Paint you can create painted or printed sensors and thus make any surface interactive.

To make the sensors come alive, she used our Touch Board, which has 12 electrodes*, so providing one for each of the 12 Olympians in Greek mythology. At this point, she decided to name the project "Philomathia", meaning love of learning, which Rania believes is an essential trait to have! She was ready to begin making her machine that combines art, technology and education, by bringing objects such as drawings to life and making the process of learning fun.

Rania used our tutorials and our other handy resources to learn more about how Electric Paint works and to help decide how she'd use the Touch Board to represent the 12 Olympians.

After more research, she decided to include only 6 Gods instead of 12, to make sure that her canvas wasn't so big that it affected the visual aesthetic she wanted to achieve.

At first, Rania wanted to program the Touch Board with processing in order to trigger actions on the computer. However, she decided that she didn’t want to make the integration of the technology into her art obvious by using a computer that people would see.

Therefore, she started experimenting with sketches in Arduino and eventually combined our Random Touch MP3 sketch with the HID keyboard sketch, in order to have both simultaneous sounds and a variety of random sounds. For the prototype which she presented, she chose the Random Touch MP3 sketch only. These sketches and more are available for you to use for free, when you use our Arduino installer to set up your Touch Board!

The final artwork is a prototype which demonstrates a way in which Philomathia can be used. Rania made a digital painting using Photoshop, which she printed onto a canvas and then painted with Electric Paint.

This is how she created an interactive painting, which helps people to learn about Greek mythology by listening to sounds and stories! When one touches the gods, they can listen to both sounds associated with their symbols and the myths about them. Conductive paint provided the technology which gave her the opportunity to teach and educate others in an enjoyable and interactive way.

Thank you for sharing your work with us, Rania!

Images & Video: Rania Zouganelis

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