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  • A Kit-of-No-Parts at Weissensee
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  • Card Weaving Workshop
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  • connecting bubbles
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  • Electronics as Material I
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  • Electronics as Material III
  • Electronics of Materials IV
  • Electronics Surgery
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  • Engineers for Social Impact workshop at Mumbai : e-Diwali
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  • fabric meets electronics
  • Fabricademy: Soft Circuits and Textiles Sensors
  • - faser - faden - fiktion -
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  • from SPACE to SPACE
  • From Swatches to Pockets
  • FT1 - Material Mechanisms for Utopian Uniforms
  • FT1: Moving Fabrics with Electrons
  • FT1: Tailoring with Electronic Textiles I
  • FT1: Tailoring with Electronic Textiles II
  • Game controller hack
  • Games Workshop II
  • Handcrafting a textile sensor from scratch
  • Handcrafting Textile Mice
  • Handcrafting Textile Sensors from Scratch
  • Handcrafting Textile Sensors in Vienna
  • Handedness
  • Human Hacked Orchestra
  • I <3 ATtiny
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  • Knitting, hacking, hanging, sound
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  • KOBA School of Wickedfabrics: TAILORING
  • KOBA Winter School of Wickedfabrics
  • least likely
  • Light Dependent Relationship
  • LilyPad Arduino Programming
  • Sewing an electronic circuit
  • Make your own multi-touchpad
  • Making and Animating Dioramas
  • Making Textile Sensors from Scratch at TEI
  • Animating Textiles
  • Material_Adventures
  • Meet the Materials Workshop
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  • Nature's Wearables
  • #paper-adventures
  • Physical Computing Stammtisch
  • Piano T-Shirt
  • PIFpack Workshop
  • Playing with electronic textiles
  • Pulp in Motion
  • Relief Embroidery Workshop at Summercamp
  • School of Wicked Fabrics: FOUNDATION /01
  • School of Wicked Fabrics: FOUNDATION /02
  • School of Wicked Fabrics: FOUNDATION /03
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  • Soft Interactive Technology Course at KHB
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  • Soft Interactive Technology 1 at KHB
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  • soft soft
  • Soft Sensors for Soft Bodies II
  • Soft & Tiny Arduino Workshop
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  • Stitching Electronics | Woolly Noise
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    Content by Mika Satomi and Hannah Perner-Wilson
    E-Textile Tailor Shop by KOBAKANT
    The following institutions have funded our research and supported our work:

    Since 2020, Hannah is guest professor of the Spiel&&Objekt Master's program at the University of Performing Arts Ernst Busch in Berlin

    From 2013-2015 Mika was a guest professor at the eLab at Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee

    From July - December 2013 Hannah was a researcher at the UdK's Design Research Lab

    From 2010-2012 Mika was a guest researcher in the Smart Textiles Design Lab at The Swedish School of Textiles

    From 2009 - 2011 Hannah was a graduate student in the MIT Media Lab's High-Low Tech research group led by Leah Buechley

    In 2009 Hannah and Mika were both research fellows at the Distance Lab

    Between 2003 - 2009 Hannah and Mika were both students at Interface Cultures
    We support the Open Source Hardware movement. All our own designs published on this website are released under the Free Cultural Works definition

    Electronics as Material II

    9-13 March 2015, taught by David Gauthier and Hannah Perner-Wilson at the Copenhagen Institute for Interaction Design in Copenhagen, Denmark

    How might we imagine and build electronics differently, if instead of thinking about electronics in terms of discrete components, we learn to control the flow of electricity through different materials?

    Why are electronic devices all so similar? Buttons round, screens square, LEDs red, sounds beeping. As an interaction designer it does good to imagine far-out ways in which humans and computers will interact in the future. But when it comes to prototyping these phantasies, one reaches for off-the-shelf components: tested, ready-made solutions for anything from a power switch to a numeric display or a motor. What if building electronics entailed re-designing even these fundamental components? Sounds strenuous? Not at all, it’s liberating! Building your own components gives you control and creative freedom.

    By showing how to create electronics from scratch, we hope to bring designers closer to realizing their far-out phantasies so that they can fill the world with more diverse and unique electronic devices.

    In this introductory course, electronics are presented as materials. Students will dismantle and probe an existing electronic device to investigate what parts it is made of and how the parts themselves work. After grasping some basic electronic principles, students will build their own electronics from materials such as copper tape, carbon paint, pencil graphite and metalized threads and fabrics. The goal of the class is to empower students in devising their own circuitry and to treat electronic components as materials and materials as electronic components.


    Five areas of exploration will be covered during this course: (1) Hacking open existing electronic devices, (2) Paper electronics, (3) Soft circuits and textile-based sensors, (4) Amplification of electronic signals, and (5) Capacitive sensing.

    Each aforementioned area of exploration will be composed of multiple small exercises in which participants create electronic artefacts reflecting their learning as they go along. Our intention is to present the students various ways of crafting electronics using conductive materials such as copper tape, carbon paint, pencil graphite and metalled fabrics that will be used to cut, fold, paint and sew functioning electronics.

    This course focuses not only on tools and materials, but on how these can become a part of the way students work, think, and design, enabling them to prototype and explore emerging ideas more quickly and more effectively using electronics.

    “This example illustrates a frequent designer’s quandary, namely a choice between a complicated circuit that meets the strict worst-case design criterion, and is therefore guaranteed to work, and a simple circuit that doesn’t meet worst-case specifications, but is overwhelmingly likely to function without problems. There are times when you will find yourself choosing the latter, ignoring the little voice whispering into your ear.”
    – Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill, The Arts of Electronics

    Following the ethos of this course, the central exploration of the course is based on developing electronics in an unconventional way. Using the various materials presented and knowledge acquired during the week, students are asked to devise their own brief and to work towards exemplifying a problematic or application of their own. This may include an exploration into certain electrical aspects of a specific material, devising a new method in developing circuitry, or composing a device with an heterogeneous set of components, etc. The goal is to have students develop an intuition in designing and experimenting with electric reactive materials.

    Day 1: Hacking open a toy piano and re-making it in paper

    Day 2: Introduction to electronic textiles, making soft circuits and textile sensors

    Day 3: Free exploration and presentation of process

    Day 4: Amplification and 555 timer sound circuit

    Day 5: Project and presentation of process

    Materials and Tools

    Following are links to some of the more specific materials and tools used in this course.

    Conductive Materials

    * Karl-Grimm copper conductive thread (solderable)
    * Silver plated nylon thread by Statex (not solderable) 235/34 dtex High Conductive
    Stainless steel thread by Bekaert (not solderable, good for heating) sold by Sparkfun
    * Silver plated lycra (knit stretch conductive fabric) by Statex, sold by LessEMF
    * Silver plated rip-stop fabric (woven conductive fabric) by Statex, sold by LessEMF
    * Copper tape (Amazon or some electronics shops)

    Resistive/Piezoresistive Materials

    * Eeonyx fabrics are not yet for sale in small quantities, but hopefully soon Sparkfun and Adafruit will be retailing them.
    * Instead of Eeonyx fabrics you can use Velostat by 3M sold by LessEMF, Plug and Wear and many other online shops
    * Stainless steel yarn (short stainless steel fibers spun with polyester) Nm10/3 sold by Plug and Wear
    * Bare Conductive carbon paint (for painting sensors and heating elements) sold by Sparkfun


    * Toy pianos >> http://www.amazon.de/dp/B0009JKDUO/ref=pe_386171_37038021_TE_M3T1_dp_1
    * Neodymium magnets >> http://magnet-magnete.eu/
    * Audio amp >> http://www.adafruit.com/product/2130
    * Heat n Bond fusible interfacing (iron-on heat glue for sticking fabrics together)
    * Thermochromic pigment (becomes transparent when heated)
    * Fabric medium for mixing thermochromic pigment (local craft shop)

    Shop Links

    LessEMF >> http://lessemf.com/
    Plug and Wear >> http://plugandwear.com/
    Sparkfun >> http://sparkfun.com/
    Adafruit >> http://adafruit.com/
    Arduino store >> http://store.arduino.cc/
    Arduino distributors >> http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Buy


    Circular knitting machines (Amazon or local yarn/knitting shop)
    Spool knitters (Amazon or local yarn/knitting shop)

    References and Links

    Horowitz and Hill (1989). The Arts of Electronics (2nd ed.). Cambridge UP.

    III, Forrest M. Mims. Getting Started in Electronics. 3rd edition. Lincolnwood, Ill: Master Publishing, Inc., 2003.
    >> https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5jcnBPSPWQyaTU1OW5NbVJQNW8/edit

    How To Get What You Want >> http://www.kobakant.at/DIY
    High-Low Tech >> http://hlt.media.mit.edu/
    Jie Qi’s work >> http://web.media.mit.edu/~jieqi/
    Open Materials >> http://openmaterials.org/
    Fashioning Tech >> http://fashioningtech.com/
    Talk2MyShirt >> http://www.talk2myshirt.com/blog/
    >> piezoresistive effect

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