Category Archives: Week 3 + 4 Assignment

Assignment 3+4: Earn

Swatch exchange: bracelet switch
Using conductive yarns and thread in the middle is a socket for a battery and additional velostat for pressure sensor function.

New craft: rope threading

I think rope threading is a very interesting technique that could be used for giving enclosure to wire or conductive thread for connectors. In the picture the one on top also has a stretch effect which could also be interesting too.

Week 3 & 4 – Neil V. Techapanichgul


I chose Felting because the way you can sculpt an object by poking into a shape looks fun. I never have this kind of experience before but, it is so relaxing and mesmerizing.

So I tried to make a sphere which took me about 3 hours to form the model. Anyway, I achieved the head of my rabbit, and I continue to work on the body.

There we go! We got a little purple bunny!


For the swatch exchange, I’m also trying to make a light bulb by using felting technique to make one. It’s a little bit tricky and hard to put electric components inside a piece of wool.

So I make two parts which a front and a back piece to connect to each other between a battery and a led.

I had fun working on these projects.

Thank you, Liza, 😀


Week 3 + 4 – Lisa Ho

New Craft – Embroidery
I started my homework with learning a new craft which was embroidery. I actually always wanted to embroider but never got my hands into starting one. This homework is my perfect reason to start.

I would consider myself a storyteller, maker, designer, and a craftsperson. I love anything that is hand-made which I feel really gives another aspect of warmth to it. That is why I would say I’m a craftsperson. I love anything physical that you can hold. I also love to tell a good story and hear a good story. I realized that storytelling’s importance from last semester’s motion graphic class in engaging other people to understand your situation or your perspective. I’m also a designer because I love to solve problems or even just noticing an issue and trying to design for or with a specific goal/outcome in mind.

I love hand lettering and embroidery. These two are something that really makes me relieved and relaxed. Although I am not an expert in both of these tools, I love using them to make things. The repetitiveness of these two tools somehow soothes my mind and makes me really clear-headed and satisfied.

Learning embroidery was really fun. I think the most frustrating part for me was that it takes so long and requires precision for it to look nice but hard work always pays off and the end product makes you really happy and satisfied. Therefore, I would suggest beginners give their full attention to it for the first time. I think learning it was not as intimidating as it looked and there are a lot of great instruction videos on YouTube and I would suggest beginners to start searching there.

Swatch – Poki Dots

The inspiration for my swatches was my love for polka dots. I decided to make polka dot push sensors. When you push on my poki dot swatch, you can turn on a LED. The materials I used were felt, yarn, conductive tape, and sponge. I was going to use conductive fabric did not find enough fabric and resorted to tape in the end.

The swatch was made by me cutting same sized circles and sewing them together. Inside I would tape the conductive tape inside with two stripes of conductive tape making a T shaped track and put a sponge in the middle to make the push button. I put the 3-vott battery to try if the circuit is ok and it worked fine.

Continue reading

Week 3&4 – Youchun Zhang

Learning embroidery

I started this week by learning a new craft – embroidery. I always enjoy the texture created by embroidery and how simple but persuasive about the threads that form their own visual language. In this practice, I think I am a maker, learner, and craftsperson. I spent most of the time getting used to the techniques and trying different topics until I get to the current version: plants. My favorite tool inside this process is the needle threaders. I like the mechanism of how it works, smart and helpful. My most frustrating moment during the process is when I was standing at Michael’s and trying to decide what are the right tools. Following a simple YouTube video is definitely an option, however, due to the fact that there are so many tools targeting at so many things, it is better to learn the system first.


Title – Trace the Light

Description – Trace the Light is a set of switches that play with the pattern and the control of lighting up LEDs. It uses a battery pocket, tilt switch or the most simple switch but you will need to solve the puzzle.

Materials – Felt, conductive thread, conductive fabric, yarn

Techniques – The main technique I used is hand sewing. The two key parts are using felt to make a small pocket that holds the battery and using yarn to make pom poms.

References –

I started with thinking about the batteries and then working on positioning different components on different places. I saw this video explaining how to use yarn pom pom as part of the tilt switch, and I really liked it. Although most of the soft circuits were quite similar, I altered the style of the felt and the color of the LED to make it a different piece in the same set. I did see how I gradually have a more mature planning when I hold the felt and start my first thread.


  • Title. “Tight it to Light it!”
  • Description. This swatch (when light and the battery are in place) is to light a LED when the belt is tightened.
  • Materials. conductive fabric & paint & thread are used.
  • Techniques. Conductive threads are hand sewed onto a fabric that is used for embroidery.
  • References. I wanted to be creative with surface contact activated circuit. And thought a way of making two surfaces lock up to light the LED. (the belt!)

I’m using conductive paint spread on the fabric! and the thread.

belt type switch! using conductive fabric also. I liked that even a thin layer of the paint was able complete the circuit. I enjoyed hand sewing experience =].


Week 3,4 – Dario Narvaez

Accordion Switch: A playful push-button made out of paper and foam.


This switch explores a fun way to activate and control a circuit, by using the spring properties derived from forming intricate geometries with paper. The paper and the mechanism derived from the folding have ‘memory’ (return to the original state – usually all kind of elastics have memory), so the button can return to the initial position and state after is released, and therefore, opens the circuit. The key in this exercise is to use the properties of the materials without the need to add mechanisms or extra parts such as a spring. It is interesting how a non-elastic material can become elastic by modifying with various triggers, in this by changing the geometry. Can hard-flat materials, such as wood, metal and plastic become elastic by changing properties?


  • Paper with accordion template – Letter Size
  • Conductive flat surface (I used cooper tape and coins)
  • Foam for touch feedback (There is foam in the push surface and in the inside of the accordion to achieve a better physical feedback)


The switch was made using paper engineering (template and design downloaded from This involves a complex and very persevering process of bending and gluing in different angles, as well as being able to find the right way to form the volumes. I had never worked with paper engineering, it is an exciting field, but one that requires a lot of time and patience (above all patience!!!).

The switch and the mechanism are simple; I used two conductive surfaces that allow the continuity of electricity. I also used different types of foam (at the top and inside) to provide physical feedback that is appropriate with the action of “pressing”.


This project was inspired by the amazing work of the paper engineer and artist Rob Ives. I also was inspired by this visual reference of the popular goofy glasses with elastic eyes. What would be the interaction of a button that is constantly moving and that has a goofy appreciation? Perhaps an answer that goes against the principles of ‘good’ design (maybe?), but that explores affordances and interesting mechanisms for game …


New Craft Endeavor

The craft that I started learning and exploring was embroidery (I followed the tutorial on the basics of embroidery from this youtube video). It is interesting how I was surrounded all my life of this craft for the beautiful work of my grandmother, but I had never tried it. There is an emotional connection with textiles and embroidery that I find motivating to explore. In this particular case, I spent a very good of time doing it, it was not so difficult, and it was definitely relaxing. I want to continue exploring more and more types of increasingly complex stitches. It is amazing to see the work of people who work in this craft, and the potential this field has to be mixed it with other fields.

I consider myself a designer and maker. I am always thinking about exploring materiality and construction methods but having a conscious process that involves constant communication with a specific user. I’ve also been intrigued by hacking processes and materials, as an interesting way convert a design in a sustainable system, where the life of use of a product is not limited to its vital functionality, but to possible and innovative alternatives to revive it.

My favorite tool is the pencil. With it, I can capture and plan what the brain is producing. It is often difficult to represent these ideas, which are often abstract, in the brain itself. They have to validate with reality, and the easiest way is to communicate them through a pencil. I also love calipers. I use this measurement tool in my everyday as an Industrial Designer. It’s always on my side while I’m modeling in 3D or constructing models.


Week 3,4 – Anna

Oh snap! These four swatches use copper thread with a snap switch. When the circuit is closed, the mini LED shines.

** Swatches **

** Swatch materials and process **

** Learn a new craft **

Last week, I did hand sewing for the first time through my swatch-making. I also took a silkscreen printmaking class, and am looking forward to playing with printmaking and conductive ink in a future project this semester.

Week 3 HW – Zhenyuan(Christina) Shi

For this week’s homework, I created a selection switch which allows the user to choose which light to be turned on. I used conductive thread and sewable LEDs.

And I then I made three identical ones, in which I used different materials to achieve the same effect.

For learning a new craft, I learned embroidery.

My favorite tool is X-ecto knife, because I really like working with paper and the knife makes it very fast and precise it could cut paper.

I think I would identify my practice as storyteller, maker, designer, and craftsperson. Since I came from a film background, it is quite important for me that my piece of work carries a story or some kind of narrative. I consider myself as also a maker&craftsperson because I am really into DIY culture and I’m passionate about figuring out how things work and constructing them.

Daisy bud – Week 3 & 4 – Carla

PART 1: Daisy Bud


Description. I used crochet to fabricate the swatch which is shaped like a flower. I wanted to have a flower that could have two different states, open -> bloomed and closed -> bud. When the flower is closed and both sides of the conductive yarn touch, the testing circuit is closed and it lights up an LED.

Materials. Color yarn, crochet needle, conductive yarn. Testing circuit: led, alligator clips, sewable battery holder and 3V battery.

Technique. I used the colored yarn for the base flower using the simple and double stitch, and conductive yarn using the simple stitch to create an attachment to the main flower that could create the connection between both ends.


I wish, one day, I could do something like this:

Make three more identical ones.

I created a series of flowers. The three colored ones are part of the swatch exchange. The white one, slightly different has a little bit more of experimentation using different stitches and materials ( conductive yarn + conductive thread). I can totally tell which one was the first and which one was the last one!

PART 2: Learn a New Craft 

I learned how to crochet. It’s something that I always wanted to do and I decided to use it as the main technique for my swatches too.

I identify myself as a designer, maker, researcher and educator who tries to simplify complexity by making stuff and experiences.

My favorite digital tool is still a Wacom that can work as an extension of my own hand as I’ve used it since I was a child. However, as I’m doing a lot of fabrication stuff I may have soon enough one new favorite tool.

I really liked trying a new technique with a material that wasn’t new at all (yarn) as I’ve knitted before a scarf. I found interesting that what was supposed to work theoretically at the end required a lot more time, and practice than expected. I personally found frustrating not being able to read the crochet patterns even though I was starting to feel comfortable with stitching.

I also decided to try different ways to make the swatch and I choose the one that worked better. Here an example using conductive thread edges.


TIP: I found easier to learn crochet by watching a video with the basics and then going back to the written instructions. The combination of both made me understand everything better.

Week 3 & 4 – Erica

The switch I created is called ‘Fold-n-Twist.’ The switch will turn on the LED when the user folds and twists it back and forth. The materials I used are fabric, yarn, conductive fabric tape, and threads. I bonded two layers of fabrics together first to make it stronger and thicker. Then I place the conductive fabric tape on both sides of the fabric and they have to be uneven. Lastly, I sewed the yarn on top. The LED will not light up when the user is just folding the swatch because the yarn covered the tape, so the twisting movement is needed.

I tried to create a conductive pom pom at first but it didn’t work well, and the LED is really dim. Maybe the yarn is reducing the conductivity of the conductive thread.

The new craft I learned is creative weaving. I’ve tried basic weaving before and I really want to try making creative swatches where I use many different types of materials. I like how the outcome is spontaneous. So I used all the scrap pieces of yarns and ribbons I have at home and I made two swatches. It was harder than I thought because it is hard to line up materials of different thicknesses. My advice will be plan a little bit before starting even though this is supposed to be creative and spontaneous.

I identify myself as a designer(clothing – not fashion), craftsperson, and a semi-artist (lol). I’ve been using these terms to describe my practice for a while now. Working with my hands comes in natural for me and I am usually pretty OCD about the craftsmanship of my work. My favorite tools are my hand and the sewing machine. I am really glad that my hands are somehow pretty ‘tools-friendly’ and they work really well with the sewing machine. The two can create beautiful things together.