What if you could illuminate your thinking?
Using simple materials like copper tape, surface mount LEDs and batteries, you can light up your notebook to literally highlight your personal light bulb moments. Explore basic scientific concepts like conductivity, current flow, simple circuit design, and mechanical switches while making your notebook come alive with beautiful electronics.
“My feeling is that if electronics is a medium, the result can be art, can be craft, can be a prototype. It is what the person does with the material that defines the outcome, not the means or the techniques themselves. Paper-based electronics give people the freedom to make that sort of creative statement, if they so desire.”
- Jie Qi
Introductory Activity: Hack the Storybook
These flat, simple materials make it easy to create circuits anywhere you want them.
3V coin battery (like this)
Copper tape with conductive adhesive backing (like this)
Storybook template (download here)
Buy your Starter Kit (5 learners) here.
Print out the storybook template.
Assemble the template into a mini-book. This video from YouTube user Simple and Easy Projects demonstrates.
Choose a story. Use the storyboard page to plan your story in four panels.
In panels 2-4, decide what visual elements should light up in order to enhance the story and circle them.
Using your storyboard as a reference for LED placement, construct circuits on each page. Then draw the scene around the copper tape and LEDs.
Demonstrations and Tutorials
Additional Resources and Links
We're working to create our own step-by-step tutorials and a page of tips and tricks. Until then, take a look at some of these resources to spark your imagination and get you started.
High-Low Tech at the MIT Media Lab | Tutorials, templates, and information on paper circuits
Collaborator: Jie Qi, MIT Media Lab
Jie is a doctoral candidate at the MIT Media Lab in the Responsive Environments research group. With a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University, Jie's work blurs the boundaries of science, engineering, and art by exploring the synergistic relationship between technical and artistic competencies. Whether making self-folding origami, paintings that change with viewer interaction, or interactive light-up pop-up books, Jie's playful investigations inspire not only with their beauty but with their implicit invitation for audience to become participant.