The Pleasure of Making Things

In the spirit of Richard Feynman's playful approach to the world of ideas and things, we are developing a set of tools to enable everyone to have "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out" through rich Constructionist activities, in which one "finds things out" by "making things" they care about. Children and adults alike can use Crickets, LogoChips, and Towers to embed computational "intelligence" into the world of things, and in the process develop new ways of making and thinking about behaviors and functions. They can also use design tools like LaserLogo to create and shape the things in the world around them in new and more effective ways using computer-controlled, rapid-prototyping tools, such as laser-cutters, 3-D printers, machining tools, and embroidery, sewing, and pattern making machines. With these tools, the next generation will treat the whole world as a medium of expression: they will design patterns to put onto the surfaces of things, cut things out of a wide range of materials, and embed intelligence in them. In the process, they will discover new ways of mixing form and function by actively meshing the worlds of physical and computational ideas and artifacts together.