Pop-up Folding Paper & Electronics



The intention of this workshop is to share processes and experience a wide range of working techniques and possibilities to contribute to the class’s practical and creative skill set. Furthermore, the workshop should provide active methods for the class to sample new techniques, learn about each other and consider creative ways to work together toward a unified outcome. Also, the workshop should relate to (loose or direct) thinking about The Book of Joy.

My partner for this workshop was Jean Menezes, who is a digital graphic designer and his skills are based on illustration, from sketch to digital painting, and ideation techniques. My skills are in digital fabrication and rapid prototyping techniques, E-textiles, wearables & biomaterials, and basic electronics. So, we decided to combine our skills and create a 2-hour workshop that includes the 8 pillars of the Book of Joy during the process.

The workshop was divided in 2 parts. During the first hour we taught the class how to create a pop-up folding paper, showing them the 2 different types of it and letting them make their own designs. Then, they had to follow some steps to create a certain pop-up folding paper we pre-designed as part of the final piece in this workshop. During the second hour, the class learnt how to create a basic electronic circuit to turn on a LED. Finally, the whole class had to apply what they learnt to make their pop-up folding paper piece interactive.

Event: DES 225 (MFA).
Location: UC Davis, USA.
Collaboration: Jean Menezes (pop-up folding paper) and Eldy Lazaro (electronics).
Facilitators: Jean Menezes & Eldy Lazaro.

Critical evaluation and self-reflection about the workshop:

  • To be improved:
    1. Create slides about electronic circuits to follow during the process of making the pop-up interactive, exactly related to the model we were working on
    2. Make more hands-on examples about how a switch work and give the class more examples of creating an electronic circuit.
    3. Have more than one alternative of making a circuit which includes a switch like the one we used for the final piece.
  • What went well:
    1. The participants achieved the workshop goal.
    2. The workshop finished on time.
    3. The participants experienced joy while creating their interactive pop-up folding paper piece.
    4. Each member of the class was part of something big and discovered the hidden word split into 9 pieces that was distributed between the participants.
  • What happened that we did not expect:
    1. The hanged interactive pieces lasted for more than a week in the classroom and LED kept turned on the whole time, making them look perfect when it was dark.
    2. One of the participants made a circuit with 2 LEDs instead of 1. She was beyond the requirements.
    3. We had a new unexpected participant, however we had extra material for her.

Documenting the workshop:

Creating a pop-up folding paper
Creating a basic circuit including a soft switch
Joining all the letters to create the word: “HAPPINESS”

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