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git-physical : workshop 1

In this workshop you will respond to a creative challenge which will engage you in a simplified version control exercise of image and text. In the process, you will be introduced to git's architecture and basic workflow. No technical skills or advance preparation is required. The challenge can be tackled by any number of participants.

Creative challenge

Design a greeting card about your summer.
Use the basic git workflow to execute your design.
You have 30 minutes.


The workspace is physically divided into different areas, each of which plays a specific role in the basic git workflow. You will be introduced to them as you take your design through the workflow.

The two main areas are local, representing your project repository on your computer and remote, representing a copy of your project repository hosted on a platform such as GitHub.

The local repository consists of a working directory, staging index and version database.

The working directory is where you create your designs. working-directory

  1. Here you will find a six-page blank paper pad, layered with carbon paper, on which you can sketch your design.
  2. Using a colour pen, draw for 3 minutes.
  3. Tear off the last page of your pad and move it to the staging index. Put away the spare carbon paper from the bottom of your pad in the tray provided.

The staging index is where you need to fill in a commit note (simply referred to as a "commit") for each sketch. staging-index

  1. Complete the provided commit note over carbon paper to make a second copy.
    The information contained in the commit includes a unique identifier, author name, date, time and commit message (which gives context to the changes you have made to your sketch). Use two of the same stickers to assign an identifier to both copies of the commit.
  2. Move the sketch and the two commits to the version database.

The version database is where commits are stored locally. version-database

  1. Put the original commit in envelope with your name on.
  2. Move the sketch and the carbon copy of the commit to the remote repository.

The remote repository is where your sketches are publically presented on a project timeline. remote

  1. Add a node on your project timeline and display the sketch and commit under it.

Each loop through the basic git workflow is considered one round.

Repeat for 4 more rounds, using different colour pen each time, until only the top page of your paper pad is left in the working directory.

Workflow recap

Using basic git workflow all changes to your sketch are made locally in the working directory. They are added to the staging index, commited to the version database and pushed to the remote repository.



Slides in repo.


License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0


A series of workshops to help non-technical audiences learn git in a creative way.







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