Week 3 + 4 Assignment

Below is your assignment that is due 9/27. Remember: there is no class next week. Please make sure to bring your soldering iron to the 9/27 class.

PART 1: Computational Craft Swatch Exchange


~MFADT style ~

The exchange wishes to emphasize the importance of physicality and quality workmanship in an increasingly digital world.

~ e-Textile Swatch Exchange

A swatch is a microcosm: a small insight into a much bigger picture. It is the tip of the ice-burg, and it holds a world of potential inside. In creating a new swatch we are simultaneously cataloging knowledge and developing skills.

~ Definition from Swatch Exchange participant Becca Rose

A) Create a swatch. Design 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?

D) Make three more identical ones. You will give these to three classmates next class. (You will have 4 total swatches). They do not have to look exactly the same – you can play with color and aesthetic properties.

PART 2: Learn a New Craft 

Before next class, I would like you to try learning a new craft. That’s it. NO electronics. Make a swatch (small example) that comes out of your learning. This could include any of the following:

  • sewing (by hand or on the machine)
  • embroidery
  • knitting
  • crocheting
  • draping
  • paper engineering
  • woodworking
  • silkscreening
  • surface design / fabric printing
  • etc, etc, etc

Here are some tutorials from last year as inspiration (also, this was a much longer project last year – you do NOT need to go into this depth). There are also a TON of tutorials if you hit the Googles.

Next, create a post with an image of your swatch and reflect on the following questions.
After doing all of the above, write a blog post that answers the questions below. It doesn’t have to be long, but I would like you to spend a good amount of time reflecting on these:

  • How do you identify / classify your practice? Choose as many as you would like from the following and feel free to add to it. Briefly explain why you chose them.
    • storyteller
    • maker
    • engineer
    • coder
    • designer
    • artist
    • learner
    • hacker
    • research
    • educator
    • gamer
    • craftsperson
    • [other?]
  • What is your favorite tool and why? Yes, again ? (I’m going to put one restriction on this – you’re not allowed to say computer ?
  • Reflect on your experience trying out a new craft. Some questions you could address: What did you like about the process? What was frustrating? What insight did you gain? What advice would you give to someone?

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