Brandon Klevence

Camp begins at the Village

This past week has been pretty rad for us up at the Village! Earlier in the week Camp started so we had a few Squishy Circuitry tinkering sessions. It was awesome to watch the new makers (camp kids) testing the limits of the play-doh and insulating dough. All mixed in was the comic relief that the insulating dough could be used as snot balls to startle Ms. Brenda and some mischief around the second floor with the Piezzo buzzers.

What spawned from our exploration was a combination of our Magnet-Maze Game and Squishy Circuits! More fun, anyone can make something, and less gnarly foil paper-cuts. Jacob and a few of our morning kids have been hanging around after camp to work on these little Mazes.


Just observing the makers get direct feedback from players and be able to manipulate the play-space in real time is unreal, and much easier than our prior paper/foil prototypes. It allows for much quicker problem solving and less physical error(again our foil tape isn’t great). So now where do we see this going next? Well, we’ve run into two issues:

  1. We need to find a way to save these Mazes, currently photographing and printing is our only method.
  2. Having a phone out and a person keeping score isn’t fun for a one player game(or my phone).

So an easier method of containing the dough(and still being able to use magnets) or a better quick-start documentation guide/poster may help. Also, we need a scoreboard! A quick thought would be to use Scratch and the Makey Makey! The latter being one of the more interesting trinkets I have to the kids. This might just be our potential little entry into the Makey Makey Contest!


To wrap up, we had a paper circuitry workshop the other day. At first glance the materials led to a very regimented process and not a lot of creativity or individuality in each campers circuit. However, we tail ended our brief explorations with different sensors and potentiometers into how you actually wire them up. A quick demo of how to tin some wire and solder an FSR to it led to Jacob and others showing each-other how to pair up some LEDs! Again totally rad, a lot has happened this week, I’m excited to see we move along with our Magnetic Mazes and Connected Messages.


Making Possibilites at the Village

During my first two weeks at the Village we have seen over 15 new faces, attained a few regulars, and had a lot of inquiry as to what I’m up to. I have been running through a few of our standard work sessions to give an introduction to what I’ll be doing for the next few weeks. As of right now we have moved from doing quick circuits(heh) of LED lighting, Squishy Circuitry, and Artbots to more resolved projects.
With the help of Paul and Aisha we have gone from our standard set of Possibility Box projects to working primarily with the Makey Makey and some Maze Games. Paul has even coined the name “TeamROCK” for our little work group. Each day we now have a couple new faces working on either our Flash Flash Revolution Dance Pad or our Electronic Maze(Pictures to come). It is a very fun time testing, prototyping, troubleshooting, bonding, and making with our little team. It is awesome to see everyone sharing skills or showing off their creations, this really helps suck new faces into our little making circle.
Some highlights, mouse over for the description:

Playing with possibilites

Had a great time today at the Village, went from working on the Makey Makey ground shades to making LED shades. Talked with some more folks about doing etextiles workshops and had a blast making stuff in general! Paul and I tinkered around and are having thoughts about making an animation of some sort. This was reinforced by a couple videos we took and Josh, a potential helping hand at the hotspot, being an Animation major at Art Institute. Collaboration !

Artbots #1

done @ the village
this was a mixture of a simple circuit she was playing with and the simplest artbot we could put together.
It looks like it’s waltzing across the paper.

An afternoon of loud noises and bright lights

Some artbot action happening while piezo buzzers were a’screechin’.

Starting to get a few people interested in Makey Makey sessions and looking into ways of making a long-exposure artbot for upcoming photography classes/sessions. 

Rainy Friday afternoon activities

We went all out with squishy circuits and some Makey Makey fun. The possibility box really opened the conversation up for some upcoming e-textile stuffs+ I was amazed at how quick Aisha went from lighting up an LED to prototyping/testing some LilyPad LED wearables with force sensors (<45min).

nts: Gotta upgrade the Scratch Station for optimal Makey Makey use/find games so we don’t always resort to We even had some “adults” playing Pac Man!

Have I been reading/watching too much Game of Thrones or is that a snow man and a nice braised drumstick? ^_^