Sketching in circuits

April 26, 2014


Jie Qi, Leah Buechley


The field of new methods and techniques for building electronics is quickly growing—from research in new materials for circuit building, to modular toolkits, and more recently to untoolkits, which aim to incorporate more offthe-shelf parts. However, the standard mediums for circuit design and construction remain the breadboard, protoboard, and printed circuit board (PCB). As an alternative, we introduce a method in which circuits are hand-made on ordinary paper substrates, connected with conductive foil tape and off-the-shelf circuit components with the aim of supporting the durability, scalability, and accessibility needs of novice and expert circuit builders alike. We also used electrified notebooks to investigate how the circuit design and build process would be affected by the constraints and affordances of the bound book. Our ideas and techniques were evaluated through a series of workshops, through which we found our methods supported a wide variety of approaches and results—both technical and expressive— to electronics design and construction.

Related Content