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Computational Craft

WEEK 1: Cool project

Here are a few projects which have inspired/interested some new directions:

EL woven Wire 
I did not find any documentation for this project by Emma Hutchinson besides this video, but from it I can see the artist has used a loom and woven EL wire into her woolen design. I really love the mix of traditional fiber arts with the anachronic EL wire, used in modern day decorative light art or in costumes. Having recently learned to weave, this seems like a really interesting way to make your woven piece visible at night. The el wire is powered at the end by a pesky battery package that I would want to be embedded/hidden.

fold Loud by: JooYoun Paek
This piece is so cool- it invites the viewer to fold origami shapes out of a pre-pressed paper equipped with capacitive sensors, made of patches of conductive fabric. With the paper folded, the circuit is complete. Although she does not list conductive thread as one of her instruments, I wonder what these threads are attached to that produce the sound for this piece.

Project-Para : Jennifer Jacobs: Adobe + MIT Media Lab

Project Para is a program that allows designers to easily create & alter procedural designs most regularly created by computers, currently. This seems like a cool outlet for animation & for creating fractals and laser cut designs. It doesn’t involve any conductive materials though (yet).
Para, as a word, is a prototype programming model that can be expressed/represented through illustration.
From reading the articles about this project I learned about actionscript, a code which allows users to program web animation.
Demo it at : http://paradrawing.com/  —   code on- https://github.com/mitmedialab/para
Jennifer Jacobs also created the Codeable Objects library for Processing which allows the user to design beautiful lamps and export laser-cutter ready designs. –I finally got the library to work! Yay!


Thermo-chromic inks change color?



1) Post all circuits you made in class to the blog.
Be sure to include images, materials used, any problems you encountered and a brief description.

2) Illustration project
Pick sentence or passage from a story that you like (children’s storybooks work VERY well). Illustrate one scene from that book and integrate a circuit into it using the materials we discussed in class.


This first was was just an experiment messing around. I painted with ink and added some LEDs and put some cotton over the main ones.img_0827-jpg

The image was inspired by these words from William Blake’s Book of Urizen:
The image is meant to look like a skull from afar with a glowing red mouth, but up close is made up of two girls walking. The net over the skull’s head is net of infection creeping towards the inhabitants.


1) Create a swatch. It can be a switch or a sensor. You can use any materials you like. Document it on the blog using the same format as the post you made in class:

  • Title. Give it a name
  • Description. What does this swatch do? How does it work?
  • Materials. What materials are used? (cardstock, copper tape, conductive yarn, LEDs, etc)
  • Techniques. How was this swatch constructed? (e.g. folding, sewing, knitting, soldering, etc)
  • References. Where have you seen it before? What inspired you?

WEEK 4: craft: Ukrainian Embroidery & Loom

This week I went to classes at the Ukrainian Museum. On saturdays they host embroidery circles and classes for beginners. I learnt that Ukrainian embroidery doesn’t use knots ( the threads remain loose and free- its has a metaphorical/spiritual meaning) & they also do not use hoops for even tension. The work reflects the maker very much so in that it can get bunched up or unravel if not done with care.  They count stitches to create even patterns.

img_0921-jpg img_1050-jpg

On Sunday I took tapestry weaving, & learned how to weave on a lap loom. Weaving is so fun! Both of these crafts remind me of coding a lot because the threads are like attributes passing over pixels ( stitches).


1) Choose a control structure to change LED behavior. Construct a circuit with one sensor and 3 LEDs. Turn the LEDs on and off in sequence as the values you get increase using one of the control structures below and the functions we discussed in class (map and constrain – you can also try playing with smoothing and calibration). Post your code and any challenges or insights you discovered.

  • if/then
  • Case switch
  • while()

WEEK 9: Speakers

WEEK 10: Thermochromatic Swatches


WEEK 11: Muscle Wire / Flexinol

Unfortunately I never got my heat- controlling circuit to work, so my muscle wire did not react.
WEEk 12: Flip dot

Because of a badly soldered connection and lack of time to fix it, I did not get a chance to repair or revisit my flip dot. I did present the progress in class though!






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