Week 12: Motion, Part 2 (Flip Dots)


In this workshop, we unpacked the word “binary” in a Collect and Clustering post-it exercise, then observed flip dot examples in action. We learned about the nature of magnets and electromagnetism as a mechanism for creating motion, then constructed our own flip dots.


  • Finish your 1-bit swatch. (Optional: Place it in a narrative context based on our mapping exercise)
  • Post your ideas and any inspiration/precedents for your final project. (SEE EMAIL)


Key moments:

  • You need an additional power source for activating nitinol – Arduino alone will not get the job done. It cannot output enough current.
  • Simplicity is beautiful. Elegance, delight, and complexity can be found without all the trappings and features.
  • Binary mapping themes / takeaways:
    • Duality stands alone.
    • Reality vs the ideal.
    • Most binaries are human constructs.
    • Systematized mystery is universal.
    • Groupings feel close, but far. Spectrum unites them.
    • Overall, the process was energizing.
  • Water needs to be extra hot for polymorph to change states.
  • The number of coils counts.
  • Be sure to leave extra wire to solder to.
  • Crocheting is always hard at first 🙂



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