Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDyson School of Design Engineering

Chair and Leader in Engineering Design



+44 (0)20 7594 7049p.childs Website CV




Studio 1, Dyson BuildingDyson BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Brand, A and Childs, P},
title = {Gizmo - Arcadia, Theatre, Creatures and Orchestra},
year = {2017}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Gadgets enthral and delight. We are surrounded by the outcome of centuries of invention and associated refinements of machines enabling our lives. Many of these rely in their formation on prior technology and knowledge. It is this prior knowledge that provides a stepping point and foundation for design and realisation of a gadget. This paper reports the long-standing ‘gizmo’ module that has been run on multiple occasions and in various formats each year at Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art. The module provides a foundation in mechatronics, coding and machine design to serve as building blocks for students’ self-generated ideas and prototypes for their gizmos. Exposure to a wide range of sample parts, coding sessions, practical build and integration of circuits and actuators has been found, in combination with a culture of adventure and freedom from a prescriptive brief, to result in significant and accelerated learning for students of diverse backgrounds. The module’s characteristics include a culture of adventure and ambitious builds, intensive activity, serendipity and celebration of failure and success.
AU - Brand,A
AU - Childs,P
PY - 2017///
TI - Gizmo - Arcadia, Theatre, Creatures and Orchestra
ER -