Where technology and craft meets.
By: Ambreen Hussain
& Jennifer Dopazo
Snaps and Pins was made as a result of two crafters and geeks, Jennifer Dopazo and Ambreen Hussain,
who wanted to keep their hands and minds busy with simple experiments in craft technologies.
As both graduates of the MFA Design & Technology program at Parsons, they started their passion
of electronics and soft circuitry in their theses discoveries.
Jennifer’s thesis, Tikos, were three interactive toys that helped preschoolers learn numbers.
Ambreen’s thesis, Spin on the Waltz, were two garments for both male and female Viennese waltz dancers
that created an interactive sound environment for a new form of dancing. Both spent a majority of their time
sewing and coding, and it is in the combination of these two interests and projects that the blog came about.
Yet that first year was a huge learning curve, and much of it was trying to find a starting point that had it all.
How could we learn how to sew? Where could we go to find an outlet or forum for the basics for soft circuits?
How would we ever find a resource on electronics that didn't look like it was speaking Yiddish to us?
This blog is dedicated to those individuals who were stuck at some point in their lives and knew what their
passions were, either in crafting or circuitry, or better yet, both, but had no means to find a resource to get them
started. I guess you could say, feel free to assimilate this site as a Crafting Technology blog for dummies.
We keep things simple. That was our tactic throughout our thesis projects and learning process, and we try to keep
this principle and philosophy alive in this blog as well. We believe that crafting is easy, seamless and fun. That ideas
can be as well. That clean and sophisticated design is approachable. That new platforms are hard to jump into, but
they shouldn't be. We acknowledge that a well-developed product had a starting point. We hope that starting point
In many design schools and at Parsons, soft electronics, meaning the combination of using soft, cloth-like fabrics
and materials in conjunction with electronics is now commonly becoming a form of communication.The general
consensus, however, in these design schools is that students should already be familiar with the basics, and the
assumption is that there is a forum for Lilypad users and soft electronic users - there is not.
Similarly, craft blogs, like instructable, give you how-tos on sewing, but they forget that some users are not aware of
the fundamental basics of stitching styles, and even lack knowledge of materials and fabrics thatare being used. We
dig deeper and start from point A.
USER GROUP PRECEDENTS
late teens to early thirties ETSY --- Community-driven website that targets
the buying and selling of crafts. Provides how-tos
on the basics of selling and from time-to-time,
GENDER: crafts. Targets a huge crowd of crafters and their
predominantly female, though we welcome supporters.
male enthusiasts as well
INSTRUCTABLES. --- Community-driven website
TWO NICHES: filled with various instruction sets of all kinds.
craft enthusiasts Targets a number of learners and instructors.
soft electronic enthusiasts
IHEARTSWITCH --- website dedicated to the
information of fashionable technology. Specifically
COMMON HOBBIES: for users of a smaller niche of people.
level 1 learners, hand-makers, crafters, “geek chic”
electronic and robotic users, Arduino/Lilypad fans
CYCLES CASE STUDIES
The blog will run in a form of cycles and The inclusion of case studies, within a
phases. These essentially will be variety of categories (ie. material studies,
partitioned to three which entail : did you know, we are currently obsessed
with, etc.) will always be a continuous
• Cycle 1 :a craft component component within each cycled phase
• Cycle 2: a circuitry component
• Cycle 3: a combination of the two
• Arduino - default for grasping the basics
of physical computing and rapid
WITHIN EACH CYCLE prototyping
Each cycle will contain levels of “easier” or • Lilypad - sizable/suitable for on surface
basic offsets and progress to more materials
• felt - easy surface to shape, sew
• snaps - easy for connections
COMPONENTS OF CODE
Cycles 2 and 3 will contain code once they •• Refer to next pages to find visuals of cycles,
obtain to higher levels. sample text and look and feel of blog
CYCLE 1 - CYCLE 2 - CYCLE 3 -
CRAFTING TECHNIQUE PHYSICAL COMPUTING SOFT CIRCUITRY
TECHNIQUE (CRAFT + PHYSICAL
stitching COMPUTING TECHNIQUE)
basic LED circuit
did you know? -
cross-stitching history of soft comp.
basic LED circuit
knitting material studies
2-3 LEDs w/switch
did you know? - soft circuit switch
DIY evolution CYCLE 2.1 -
+ CODE TECHNIQUE soft circuit switch -2
intro to Arduino soft circuit switch w/MC
currently obsessed -
intro to Lilypad CYCLE 3.1 -
(CRAFT + PHYSICAL
1-2 sample codes COMPUTING TECHNIQUE)
sewing machine + CODE
photos for inspiration soft circuit switch
coding MC -Lilypad
CYCLE/STEP 1 - stitching cross-stitching How-to video
did you know? -
current obsess - using the
sewing patterns aprons sewing machine
CYCLE/STEP 2 - basic LED basic circuit 2-3 LEDs
PHYSICAL COMPUTING circuit w/switch w/switch
TECHNIQUE photos for How-to video Viral Event
CYCLE/STEP 2.1 -
PHYSICAL COMPUTING intro to Lilypad 1-2 sample
intro to Arduino
+ CODE TECHNIQUE codes
CYCLE/STEP 3 - did you know? - soft circuit switch
SOFT CIRCUITRY soft comp.
(CRAFT + PHYSICAL soft circuit soft circuit
COMPUTING TECHNIQUE) switch -2 switch w/MC Twitter Q&A
CYCLE/STEP 3.1 - soft circuit interview w/
SOFT CIRCUIT with Lilypad Alison Lewis
(CRAFT + PHYSICAL
COMPUTING TECHNIQUE) EASIER TASK HARDER TASK MARKETING CONTEXTUALIZE
“Soft computation:” is the design of digital and
electronic technology that is composed of soft
materials such as textiles and yarns, as well
as predicated on traditional textile construction
methods to create interactive physical designs.
The term was coined by Joana Berkowska who also
states: One application of reactive fashion
is to enable the idea of changing our skin, our
identity, and our cultural context.... I
develop enabling technology for electronic textiles
based upon my theoretical evaluation of the
historical and cultural modalities of textiles as they
relate to future computational forms. -- Berzowska, 10,
2Electronic Textiles: Wearable Computers, Reactive
Fashion, and Soft Computation)
DIGITAL MEDIA MARKETING PLAN
HOW TO GET THE WORD OUT
• E-mail blast to design schools and craft
• Create a Facebook Fan Page and allow
users to upload videos and photos
• Join groups or forums to announce the
• Join Twitter. Engage with the audience by
launch via ning
asking questions such as: What are you stuck
• SEO Optimization to get to top hits on sites
such as Digg, delicious and StumbleUpon
• Include a forum on blog for question INVESTMENT ADVERTISEMENT -
and answers IN THE LONG RUN
• provide an e-book via Issuu after • Barter ads with etsy and instructables on
each cycle is complete one another’s site
• upload how-to videos on Vimeo • Use the incentive of CPA (cost per aquisition)
with craft suppliers such as Simplicity and
• create quizzes after each cyle to keep electronic part suppliers, such as Hobbypeople
• Run commercials in our how-to videos
•create a Flickr account to store all images
of craft-making or circuit building. Join • Feature products or brands for profit
groups as well.