Jack Armitage

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Jack Armitage is a musician, designer, technologist and researcher based in the UK. Currently he is a PhD candidate researching craft in digital musical instrument design in the Augmented Instruments Lab, Centre for Digital Music (Queen Mary University of London), where he has collaborated with the open source Bela.io project for making interactive audio projects. In the live coding community, he is known as Lil Data, a PC Music signed experimental pop project.


His project seeks to create a technical, pedagogical and creative foundation for music making with MicroBlocks, a not-for-profit blocks programming language for physical computing inspired by Scratch. It runs on microcontrollers such as the micro:bit, Calliope mini, AdaFruit Circuit Playground Express, and many others. While many in the live coding community note the monopoly that text-based programming has had, attempts so far to develop non-textual live coding tools have been largely restricted to graphical user interfaces. The MicroBlocks platform has all of the required features to enable entirely novel, non-textual, non-graphical programming experiences. These could include programming experiences based on audio, tactility and tangibility, using novel materials such as e-textiles, and inspired by a wide variety of non-Western writing systems.