Workshop on RFID and other kind of spimes 2010

The Workshop on RFID and other kind of spimes* which explored the topic of the 'Internet of Things' took place at Kitchen Budapest in June 2010. The workshop was led by Rob van Kranenburg and Pawel Pokutycki, and co-organized by MOME.

See call for participation and list of participants here.


After theoretical introduction of Rob and presentation of reference projects by Pawel we collected keywords around the topic of Internet of Things. Afterward, these many keywords were grouped and divided among groups of participants. The groups discussed the fields defined by these keywords, mapped the occurring dilemmas which are found in the fields. These thinking and the list of dilemmas were then reported back to the whole group. Afterwords, solutions were proposed to give answers on specific dilemmas.

The three projects: HitchLike, Sustain-o-meter, Doggr

Interview with Rob van Kranenburg

Interview with Pawel Pokutycki

The development of ideas into projects followed the steps described in Usman Haque’s ‘Notes on the Design of Participatory Systems - for the City or for the Planet’ (just published recently).

Project proposal #1: HitchLike

Our group took the following keywords:

us, paying less tax, personal, education, feedback, solidarity

After discussing in small group we came up with the following dilemmas:

  • arguments for economic efficiency eliminate personal/social interaction
  • personal interest vs. community interest:
    how can you judge? how can you evaluate? how can you measure? what can you get in return?

  • logics of per-usage payment methodologies and generic forms of spenditures (solidarity in tax paying). how can you calculate these things? should this be opened up?

As a result, we proposed an urban hitchhiking network, HitchLike.

Project proposal #2: Sustain-o-meter

We designed an application which allows you to set your consumer priorities and according to these priorities it helps you to make a decision.


energy, garbage, ethical, abundance, sustainable

Sustain-o-meter is a small device that makes use of RFID technology. It helps us in making conscious consumer decisions while performing our daily shopping. The application - together with the system of physical devices - that we envisioned enables us to gather background information about products that we grab on grocery shelves. The data it shows us is different from what we read on the labels as they refer to previously set individual preferences (like their impact on the ecology, our health, or what we prefer price-wise). Our device not only shows, but also compares the given data for us so that we won't have to do it ourselves each and every time we try to make decisions. It tells us whether the product meets our previously set preferences and in case it does, it gives the green light.

Project proposal #3: Doggr


hidden, presence, in-between layers, inframince

Social Dog Network project is an RFID building project where we plan to introduce tools and instruments to make hidden layers present. Dogs are social beings. Dogs are tagged with RFID chips already. The hidden world of data all around us. We all use it. We want to know more about it. We should know more about it. With the visualization and structure built upon an already existing system we show a new level of social RFID. We visualize the transition of going into a world where everything talks to everything. Where dogs talk to dogs. Where owners talk to dogs. Where connection can be made in a new level. This is the revolution of the hidden layer. In the park.

NEHRU PART, Budapest

Doggr - Internet of things workshop

Doggr - Internet of things workshop

Workshop on RFID and other kind of spimes*

Kitchen Budapest, July 7-9, 2010

RFID is part of the ecology of IPV6, barcodes and all kinds of wireless which make up the linking up of people, things and the environment.

If we look at it from our analogue point of view and in our current economic and democratic systems of fear, crisis and control it does not show great promise for more balance, more joy or more happiness. However, if we are able to look beyond ourselves, the real profit may lie in getting to know ourselves and our friends and enemies better and being able to live up fully to our potential if everything becomes a bit more transparent.

Rob van Kranenburg and Pawel Pokutycki, the head kitchen chefs of the workshop will cook a delicious radioactive soup tastefully tagged with a flavour of sweet do-it-yourself electronics and spime* spices. Fresh food for thought, unforgettable recipes and the best ingredients served straight on the plates of hungry creatives.


Rob van Kranenburg (NL/BE) is an innovation and media theorist involved with negotiability strategies of new technologies and artistic practice, predominantly ubiquitous computing and RFID, the relationship between the formal and informal in cultural and economic policy, and the requirements for a sustainable cultural economy. He wrote the ‘The Internet of Things’ and co-organized the DIFR (a broad range of pro and anti RFID positions)
network in the Netherlands. He founded Council, a thinktank for the Internet of Things. He works one day a week for Professor Ben Schouten at Fontys Ambient Intelligence in Eindhoven as projectmanager of SHAREIT and member of the Lectoraat.

Pawel Pokutycki (PL) is an interaction designer, thinker and lecturer at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague, The Netherlands. In 2005 he initiated early activities of the RFID Lab, later called the AR+RFID Lab, an experimental interdisciplinary platform doing research in the application of emerging Augmented Reality (AR) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies in the field of art and design. His main interests as a scholar and designer are in the methodologies of creative, surprising, unexpected, critical and artistic concept development for new media and interactive technology, both on the level of hardware as software. His recent educational project Design Spam explores the possibilities of innovation in on-line communication emerging from noise, failure and non-sense, rather than predictable, debugged, well-thought-out processes of information exchange. See also the weblog of the students and teachers of the Interactive/Media/Design programme.

The workshop is co-organized by KIBU (Kitchen Budapest) and the MOME (Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design).