Welcome to the Un-University!
ITP Camp is a crash course/playground for creative and techy people who want to shake things up. Every June, we invite non-student makers, artists, musicians, programmers, fabricators, and creatives of all sorts, to join the ITP community to make stuff, hear speakers on the cutting edge, and collaborate with people from diverse disciplines.
Camp activities and events in the afternoons, evenings, and weekends, NYC-time. Some people take the month off and immerse themselves fully in the culture and experience of ITP Camp. Others freelance or work remotely part-time while attending sessions in between. And many of our participants maintain day jobs outside of ITP Camp and join us for the evening activities.
ITP was founded and is grounded in the belief that making is fundamental to thinking. Like any summer camp, the atmosphere is playful, cooperative and collaborative but there’s a serious purpose. We’re looking for people who are seriously motivated… to save the world, their industry, their career or just their sanity by being creative; who are dying to make something or just make sense out of what they are doing.
The creative charge of ITP Camp comes from the community of participants sharing their ideas, skills, criticisms and passions with each other in small, informal groups. We’re creating a flexible structure, an Un-University, that is responsive and supportive to the group we select. The structure is based on “unconferences" such as foocamp or barcamp, where presentations and discussions form in response to participants’ interests and projects.
Here is an article about what it's like to be at ITP Camp: Unbreakable Makers by Anthony Bui and Roland Arnoldt in NYU Connect
Campers are experienced, motivated and generous people. ITP is a “hands on" place, but prior technical skills are not required. More important than technical skills is the diversity of people and project ideas. Connecting to people outside your field and comfort zone is always a boost for creativity. We think the ITP Camp environment will benefit projects spanning a wide range, including sociological experiments, art installations, new advertising models, health technologies, DIY biology, automatic window shades, cell phone games and dance performances. This is a non-credit program; it’s not designed for full-time students.
Session Leaders can be pretty much anyone. Campers lead sessions. Invited experts lead sessions. ITP faculty lead sessions. Counselors lead sessions. The Un-University provides the opportunity to learn bottom-up, top-down, and side-to-side.
Counselors are your new best friends. The Counselor HQ (available in-person and online!) is a cross between Lucy’s Advice Booth and the Apple Genius Bar and is staffed by knowledgeable recent ITP graduates whose superpowers include electronics, programming, digital fabrication, mechanics, materials, and beyond.
The sessions reflect the interests of the members of the camp. You can see the ideas for sessions starting to form on the schedule. Once you’ve registered, you can suggest ideas for sessions you’d like to see included (for ITP staff to organize, if possible) and schedule a session or two you’d like to lead.
ITP camp is intended for busy, working professionals, so you don’t have to come to every session– come to as many or as few as you like. You are asked to RSVP in advance for the sessions that you want to attend because sessions will be added or dropped based on enrollment.
Because of its experimental structure, the content of camp changes every year. We don’t yet know what will be on the 2023 calendar, but here are some examples from the 200+ sessions that happened in 2022:
- Artists in Laboratories
- Augmented Reality Poster Design
- COVID-19 Impact Project: Extracting Stories from Data
- Crash Course in Blockchain and NFTs
- Cultural Appropriation vs. Appreciation
- DIY PCB and SMD Soldering
- Fabricating and Ideation with Unconventional or Living Materials
- Lighting for Performance and Immersive Experience
- Make A Small Game World: Procedural Generation for 2D
- Motion Prototyping with Digital Tools
- Open Source Software for Textile Design
- Power Walking: create your own power generating shoes
- Sci-Fables: a speculative writing workshop
- Sensing Muscles, Pulse, and Stretch
- Thermochromic Ink Workshop
- Voice: Talking to my machines
Some may develop a fully functioning prototype. Others will come up with new ideas and start to identify tasks and acquire skills for longer-term projects. Your idea might come from your job: for example, your media publishing company is looking to develop ideas to survive technological change. You might already be in the thick of managing new technological possibilities for corporate clients and want a summer camp to apply some of this new thinking to other projects of more artistic or social benefit. In all cases the project is owned by you, we only ask that you be completely open about your work with fellow campers while participating.
ITP is a two-year graduate program located in the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University whose mission is to explore the imaginative use of communications technologies — how they might augment, improve, and bring delight and art into people’s lives. Perhaps the best way to describe us is as a Center for the Recently Possible. For over 30 years ITP has been a hub of experimentation in art, media and technology.
ITP Camp is like ITP Classic put in the blender and squeezed into a month. It is ITP’s test kitchen, its R&D arm, its back of the napkin. It’s the place were we encourage you, our faculty, former students, colleagues, and community to experiment, challenge, and play.
ITP’s community will be made accessible to you through Camp activities. The creative atmosphere will help you generate ideas and implement projects and possibly broaden your own network and community of innovators and thinkers.