Sam Jacoby

Drawing the Electric

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I drew this one myself, giving it that weird kids-drawing-by-grownup vibe.

While TapClip allowed for a general purpose-abstraction of interface design—anything conductive could serve as input. I’d done a fair amount of work with conductive paints, which was a lot of fun, and I wanted to see what happened when the tight constraints of sensor design were lifted. I ran a series of workshops with a variety of participants, who were provided with conductive paints alongside conventional art supplies. It was, to say the least, a challenging experience.

At my Sparkfun workshop, I’d worked with technology educators and makers, a patient lot if there ever was one. Kids are another matter. Fresh-out-of-the-lab tech hasn’t necessarily been made for the kind of abuse that 7-10 year olds heap on it. It made me respect the work of the folks who make toys all the more. Kids expect things to work right.

At any rate, we certainly learned a lot in the process. Ultimately, I summarized what we’d done with the board into a submission for Interaction Design & Children 2013, taking place in New York City. Happily it was accepted. You can download it for your reading pleasure below.

Drawing the Electric: Storytelling with Conductive Ink, Sam Jacoby & Leah Buechley, Interaction Design and Children ’13, June 24–27, 2013, New York City, New York, United States. (pdf)