Walthamstow girls celebrate ‘mother’ of modern computing

Walthamstow girls celebrate 'mother' of modern computing

Mothers and daughters who helped create the Share UK exhibition at Gnome House as part of Ada Lovelace Day

A new exhibition is opening in Walthamstow that celebrates the unique contribution women have made to computing.

Share UK, a leading digital arts group, brought together eight mother-daughter teams from Walthamstow and taught them traditional crafting skills, such as embroidery and appliqué, alongside tech skills such as circuity and coding.

The results were eight ‘conductive cushions’ that embedded wearable tech, such as LED lights, sensors and more. The cushions were designed along the theme of inspiring women, and are being exhibited at Gnome House as part of Ada Lovelace Day on Tuesday, 13th October, and will be on display until the end of the month.

Ada Lovelace was a computing pioneer, cited as being the world’s first computer programmer. As early as 1843 she conceptualised using digital technology to create music.Share UK’s project manager, Esther Freeman, said: “During Ada’s era women were often discouraged from engaging in science and maths because their brains were considered ‘too fragile’.

“While most people would consider that ridiculous today, many still hold a view that women and girls don’t like, or aren’t very good at technology. Our project shows that given the right opportunities they can in fact flourish.”

The Conductive Cushions exhibition will run between 13th and 31st October at Gnome House, Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow. The women celebrated include suffragettes, Taylor Swift, JK Rowling, and Aphra Benn, a 17th century playwright and spy for Charles II. The project has been funded by Awards for All.

Conductive Cushions is part of Share UK’s hackjam.it initiative, which aims to improve the digital skills of young people in Waltham Forest www.hackjam.it. Share UK is Walthamstow based non-profit organisation that shares stories, skills and ideas. www.share-uk.org. For further information email Esther on esther@share-uk.org.

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