Tuesday, April 20, 2010



As my first DIY project intended for the public, I have struggled quite a bit with what it was I wanted to put forward—both in terms of the physical project itself and how I would contextualize my work in the form of a $25 DIY kit meant to create social space. My background is primarily in making work that is screen-based and computational, so I spent a great deal of time in the ideation phase for this project. Since it is theme-specific, and as the final kits were required to be under $25 to build, I initially felt severely limited in any project I wanted to create.

In the end, I decided to perfect a simple momentary switch I had built for a few projects in the past. It is an extremely simple DIY electronics project, but I feel that it is one that beginning makers might wish to try. It is easy to integrate into a variety of projects, and has myriad uses. Parallel to this process, I had been experimenting with trapezoidal pleating, particularly for folded paper forms. After a few weeks of research and trial-and-error, I came up with a pattern and methodology to fold diamond pleated paper forms that were suitable for my piece. I created a template in Adobe Illustrator that anyone can download to create a similar paper form—with additions or subtractions to the fold intersections, the template can be modified to make many different shapes. In an effort to show how flexible this basic switch was to make and implement, I incorporated the switch into floor tile and a simple circuit (which was housed within the paper form).

I consider this my first effort at contributing to the DIY community. I found the entire process of framing the work for an anonymous person to recreate to be very interesting, and plan to continue to publish aspects of my future projects in this manner. The DIY art/makers movement is very similar to the Open Source software movement, in that it lays bare all processes and material used to make a certain thing—by doing so, one not only exhibits his or her work, but gives others insight into their process and enables them to recreate or modify this work as they will.

link to PDF of final instructions

link to instructables.com project

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.