A preview of Milieux’s presence at the Open Hardware Summit 2024!

On May 3rd and 4th, Montreal will host the 2024 edition of the Open Hardware Summit! Organized by the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) and long time Milieux collaborator Lee Wilkins, this year’s edition will be hosted at Concordia University and LESPACEMAKER, a makerspace and community workshop based in Hochelaga, Montreal. Since its creation in 2010, the Open Hardware Summit aims to create a space where the community can meet, share ideas and draw attention to the Open Source Hardware movement.

This year’s edition will bring together more than 50 leaders from the industry, the academia, the arts and the maker community and will be featuring 2 days of talks, workshops, and networking activities. No need to say that if you’re planning on going you will most probably bump into some friendly Milieux faces!

Designing the afterlife of objects: a mini reuse make-a-thon (Thrusday, May 2)

As part of Open Hardware Summit pre-event activities, Media and Materiality member Janna Frenzel, along with Christine White, Cyrus Khalatbari and Juan Gomez, will host a mini make-a-thon at Concordia University’s Centre for Creative Reuse (CUCCR). The workshop will give participant a quick tour of the facilities and create a space for them to explore the afterlives of objects by experimenting with epoxy resin to preserve and transform them into ornemental objects like keychains, necklaces or bracelets.

Dust off your old Game Boy and learn about modding!

Members of the Technoculture, Art and Games Research Center (TAG) Alex Custodio and Michael Iantorno will be presenting their project “Handheld Hardware Hacking”. As researchers from the Residual Media Depot (RMD) at Concordia University, Michael and Alex have spent a lot of time deconstructing videogame hardware design from the RMD collection in order to maintain and modify them. Because videogames hardware are not open-source, hackers, modders and tinkerers from all round the world have spent the last 30+ years repairing and modding devices from our childhood from the Odyssey to the Super Nintendo, but also the Mega Drive, the Playstation and more!

On May 3rd, Michael and Alex will demonstrate a number of modding projects they have been working on using probably the most popular handheld console: the Nintendo Game Boy!

They will showcase different types of mods designed to repair or improve the famous device including a solar-powered game boy pocket and a modified Game Boy Advance transformed into a standalone console!

The event will also give participants the opportunity to replace their Game Boy cartridge batteries following a tutorial to guide attendees through all the steps no matter their familiarities with modding protocols.

In addition to the hacking dimension, those projects are also a way to act against planned obsolescence, question our consumption habits and raise awareness about e-waste. 

More about this project:

How well do you know the STM (Société de Transport de Montréal) network?

Focusing on accessibility of the STM network, TAG member Hanine El Mir will demonstrate her ongoing project called “Stichting Accessibility: An Illuminating Metro Map Embroidery”. Using traditional embroidery thread and conductive sewing thread to reconstruct Montreal metro map, this project aims to raise awareness about how inaccessible some metro stations are.

Thanks to conductive thread and lights, individuals engaging with the map can identify stations where elevators are available, making them visibly accessible for people with various levels of mobility.

In order to collect data, Hanine visited every station of the network, taking notes about elevators, escalators and stairs. Despite the recent modernization of some stations, stairs are still an almost inevitable obstacle for the 80% of Canadians who suffer from knee discomfort, a chronic injury or a disability.

This embroidery project which aims to draw attention to how certain disabilities are taken into consideration will be part of a more extended study and will be showcased in a paper alongside a comprehensive ethnographic study of the STM.

The second part of the event will be hosted at LESPACEMAKER  and devoted to workshops, unconferences and discussion groups. Here is a quick overview of the activities hosted by Milieux members:

Making Paper Interfaces for Interactive Musical Sculpture (Saturday May 4, at 10:30 a.m)

Speculative Life member Don Undeen will lead a workshop where participants will contribute to the crafting of an interactive sculpture. Attendees will learn how to create folded paper objects integrated with conductive materials and musical Arduino circuitry. The paper sculptures created will then be integrated into Don Undeen’s ICanMusic system, which translates sensor input into harmonious chord progressions, facilitating interaction between humans and the sculptures themselves!

Handmade Paper as an Amorphous Material for Experimentation (Saturday May 4, at 4 p.m)

Member and Coordinator of LePARC Research Cluster, Tricia Enns, will guide attendees through the traditional craft of papermaking, exploring ancient techniques while also showcasing its versatility using various materials. Participants will embrace the ethos of open-source not only in methods but also in materials, experimenting with a wide range of organic and human-made substances that can be used to create pulp and be embedded within the paper. Attendees will have the opportunity to try their hand at papermaking and leave with their unique creation!

🎟️ Special pricing for students are offered and free admission for indigenous attendees! You can RSVP and get tickets to the summit here.


📅 May 3rd-4th

📍The Summit will take place at 2 locations :

Concordia University
1455 Blvd. De Maisonneuve Ouest,
Montreal, Quebec
H3G 1M8

2875 Rue Hochelaga,
Montréal, QC
H2K 1K7

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