Author(s)Perner-Wilson, Hannah (Hannah Rosamonde)
A kit-of-no-parts : recipes for materially diverse, functionally transparent and expressive electronics
Recipes for materially diverse, functionally transparent and expressive electronics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture. Program in Media Arts and Sciences.
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I demonstrate a new approach to building electronics that emphasizes the expressive qualities of diverse materials as well as the skill and creativity of the builder. I believe that a more insightful and skilled process is also capable of producing more intelligible and personal results. Conventionally electronics that are built from a kit-of-parts have been optimized for speed, efficiency and repeatability of assembly. While this approach demonstrates the power of modular systems that have made many of the technologies we rely on possible, it also constrains us to particular styles of building, influencing what we build as well as impacting how we come to think about electronics. In order to promote a different approach I have developed a series of techniques that allow us to build electronics using a variety of craft materials and tools. A collection of electronic samples showcases the results and the potential of these techniques, and a public website documents these techniques in the form of "recipes". Besides containing instructions on how to build electronics these recipes are also detailed accounts of my development process that aim to promote further exploration and material investigation, instead of straightforward replication. After developing this collection of new techniques, documenting and publishing them, I ran two workshops in order to observe how my approach fared in practice. Workshop participants were invited to build their own electronic projects from a new and diverse set of materials and tools. Observing participants' process led me to reflect on their different styles of building and evaluate to what extent a Kit-of-No-Parts approach supports a building style that is more understandable, and allows individuals to work more freely and expressively with the materials and tools involved. Currently our approach to building electronics is shaped by industrial standards and discrete components. The Kit-of-No-Parts counters this approach by introducing the notion of craft and putting emphasis on skilled use of tools, intimate knowledge of materials, with the aim to produce more diverse and intelligible results.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning, Program in Media Arts and Sciences, 2011.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 95-96).
DepartmentProgram in Media Arts and Sciences (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Architecture. Program in Media Arts and Sciences.