Pubs 2012-2017

droppedImage_3Hsi, S., and Eisenberg, M. 2012. Math on a sphere: using public displays to support children’s creativity and computational thinking on 3D surfaces. In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC ’12). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 248-251.  https://doi.org/10.1145/2307096.2307137.

Math on a Sphere (MoS) is a newly developed Web-based environment that enables children to imagine, program, and share creative designs on a public spherical display, the “Science on a Sphere” system created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The MoS software, similar in spirit to the Logo language, was installed at an exhibit located in the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California at Berkeley and at the Fiske Planetarium at University of Colorado, Boulder.


popcad24Leduc-Mills, B., Profita, H., and Eisenberg, M. 2012. “Seeing solids” via patterns of light: evaluating a tangible 3D-input device. In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC ’12). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 377-380.    (Best Paper, Workshop on Digital Fabrication)  https://doi.org/10.1145/2307096.2307176.

This paper describes pilot tests of a prototype device for 3-dimensional input called the UCube; briefly, this device permits spatial input to be conveyed “by hand”, by turning on (or off) elements of a volumetric array of lights whose positions are then sent to a desktop computer. The purpose of the UCube is to allow users–especially students and novices with little experience of 3D design–to create a wide variety of three-dimensional shapes without the need for complex modeling software.


cropped-cucrafticon.jpgHuang, Y. and Eisenberg, M. 2012. PLUSHBOT: an introduction to computer science. In CHI ’12 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA ’12). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1457-1458. https://doi.org/10.1145/2212776.2212484.

We present the Plushbot project that focuses on providing a more motivating introduction of computer science to middle school students, employing tangible programming of plush toys as its central activity. About sixty students, ages 12-14, participated in a 7.5-week study in which they created and programmed their own plush toys. In order to achieve these, they learned and used several tools, including LilyPad Arduino, Modkit and a web-based application called Plushbot, which permits the user to integrate circuitry design with a pattern of plush toy pieces. Once a design is complete, the user can print the pattern and use it as a template for creating a plush toy. Plushbot is a system that allows children to create their own interactive plush toys with computational elements and ideas embedded.


Huang, Y. and Eisenberg, M. 2012. Easigami: virtual creation by physical folding. In Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI ’12), Stephen N. Spencer (Ed.). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 41-48.  https://doi.org/10.1145/2148131.2148143

This paper describes a working example of […] a tangible 3D sketching tool called Easigami, which permits users to assemble a wide variety of polyhedral objects by connecting and folding polygonal pieces. The physical arrangement of Easigami pieces is read into a computer and displayed interactively, in real time. Thus Easigami, by its design, blends the natural physical ability of folding paper-like materials with the power of computational representation. This paper describes the design of Easigami, presents a scenario of its use, and outlines ongoing and planned future work of the system. 


Eisenberg, M.; Ludwig, K.; and Elumeze, N.  2012. Toward Child-Friendly Output and Fabrication Devices: the StringPrinter and Other Possibilities. In P. Isaias, et al., eds. Towards Learning and Instruction in Web 3.0, New York: Springer, pp. 303-315.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1539-8_18/

Computer-controlled fabrication – the design and “printing” of tangible, physical objects – has seen an explosion of interest and excitement in the past several years. Three-dimensional printers, laser cutters, paper-cutting devices, computer-controlled sewing machines, milling machines, and the like have become increasingly affordable, and now permit users to create a remarkable range of physical objects in a wide array of materials. Strangely, however, this “explosion” has thus far largely ignored the remarkable potential of physical production and fabrication by children. This is a surprising oversight. After all, children’s crafts – the landscape of activities and materials that have traditionally been associated with educational construction – represent fertile ground for experimentation with novel, innovative computer-controlled fabrication devices and materials. This chapter describes a number of imaginative possibilities for such devices, blending the most expressive and content-rich aspects of children’s crafts with the powerful affordances of computer-controlled fabrication. As an example, we describe one “home-grown” prototype device, StringPrinter, designed for creating custom-decorated lengths of yarn and string for children’s craft projects. StringPrinter is not the exclusive focus of this chapter, but rather an illustration of a more general idea: it represents one (still-early) step in a much broader research agenda of creating fabrication hardware, software, and web-based systems for use by children. We use this example as a foundation for exploring much broader questions in the enhancement of children’s craft activities.

Extended version of:
Ludwig, K.; Elumeze, N.; and Eisenberg, M.  2010.  The StringPrinter: First Steps Toward Child-Friendly Fabrication Devices (reflection paper).  In Proceedings of IADIS Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age (CELDA 2010), Timisoara, Romania, pp. 300-302.


droppedImage_3Eisenberg, M.  2012.  Computational Diversions: The Return of the Spherical Turtle.  In Technology, Knowledge, and Learning 17(3). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10758-012-9195-4.

The spherical programming system is available through the beautiful website created by Dr. Sherry Hsi and her colleagues at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, California. The resulting great circle arc is thus regarded as a ‘straight line’ on the sphere, The units of our sphere have been chosen so that a forward move of 360 steps will take the turtle all the way around the sphere in a complete great circle, returning it to its starting point; again, this is a manifest impossibility on the plane, where a Logo turtle that keeps moving forward will wander off into infinite realms beyond the computer screen and never return to its starting place. The first clear all command erases any current pattern on the sphere and repositions the turtle at its usual starting spot on the equator.


Eisenberg, M., Buechley, L., and Elumeze, N.  2012.   Bits and Pieces: Potential Future Scenarios for Children’s Mobile Technology.  In International Journal of Mobile Human Computer Interaction. 2(2):37-52, July 2012.  https://doi.org/10.4018/jmhci.2010040103.

The reigning portrait of mobile technology for children has, by and large, been founded on a portrait of computing derived from an earlier generation of desktop devices. That is, the recurring image of “mobile computing” employs a full-scale personal computer shrunk down to handheld size (as in a PDA or iPhone). While this image suggests avenues for innovation, it nevertheless reflects a highly constrained view of computing that fails to do justice to the educational possibilities of children’s informal day-to-day activities. This article seeks to challenge the “PDA-centric” view of children’s mobile technology by discussing two major design themes that lead in alternative directions: namely, material computing (endowing physical substrates of various kinds with computational capabilities) and piecewise computing (enhancing mobility through the dissociation of various functional capabilities of traditional computers). In discussing these themes, the authors draw on design projects.


Buechley, L.; Peppler, K.; Eisenberg, M.; and Kafai, Y., eds. 2013.  Textile Messages: Dispatches from the World of E-Textiles and Education.  New York: Peter Lang.


Eisenberg, M.  2013.  3D Printing for Children:  What to Build Next?  International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction.  1:1, pp. 7-13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcci.2012.08.004

[…]  One of the prominent areas of increased interest in 3D printing is in the realm of education: fabrication tools are becoming available to college undergraduates and high school students, and even to younger children. Accompanying this burgeoning growth, however, there is an acute need to consider the ways in which 3D printing should develop, as a technology, in order to accommodate the abilities and activities of youngsters. This paper discusses a number of technological challenges to be overcome in making 3D printing truly available to children over the next decade.  


droppedImage_3Eisenberg, M.; Basman, A.; and Hsi, S.  2013. Math on a Sphere: Making Use of Public Displays in Education.  In Proceedings of CELDA 2013:  IADIS International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age, pp. 217-224. (Best Paper Award).  Fort Worth, TX, Oct. 22-24, 2013.

Science on a Sphere (SoS) is a compelling educational display installed at numerous museums and planetariums around  the world; essentially the SoS display is a large spherical surface on which multicolor high-resolution depictions of (e.g.)  planetary weather maps may be depicted. Fascinating as the SoS display is, however, it is in practice restricted to the use of museum professionals; students (and for that matter, older museum visitors) are unable to create their own displays for the surface. This paper describes a working software system, Math on a Sphere (MoS), that democratizes the SoS display by providing a simple programming interface to the public, over the World Wide Web. Briefly, our system allows anyone to write programs for spherical graphics patterns, and then to upload those programs at a planetarium or museum site and see the result on the giant sphere. This paper describes the implementation of the MoS system; sketches a sample project; and concludes with a more wide-ranging discussion of our user testing to date, as well as strategies for empowering children and students with greater control of public displays.


droppedImage_3Eisenberg, M.; Basman, A.; Hsi, S.; and Nickerson, H. 2013.  Turtle Temari.  In Proceedings of Bridges 2013, Enschede, The Netherlands, pp. 255-262.

Temari balls are mathematical craft objects in which patterns of multicolored thread are wound around a spherical surface to create intriguing, sometimes remarkable patterns. In this paper, we demonstrate an interactive programming system, Math on a Sphere (MoS), that enables users to create and explore temari-like designs on a spherical surface represented on a computer screen.


cropped-cucrafticon.jpgHuang, Y.; Meyers, J.; DuBow, W.; Wu, Z.; and Eisenberg, M. 2013. Programming Plush Toys as an Introduction to Computer Science: the (Fraught) Question of Motivation.  In Ubiquitous and Mobile Learning in the Digital Age, Sampson, D. G. et al., eds. New York: Springer, pp. 215-226. (Slightly revised and extended version of earlier paper in CELDA 2011 conference).  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3329-3_14


cropped-cucrafticon.jpgEisenberg, M.; Eisenberg, A.; and Huang, Y. 2013.  Bringing E-Textiles into Engineering Education.  In Textile Messages (eds. Y. Kafai, L. Buechley, K. Peppler, M. Eisenberg), Peter Lang, pp. 121-129.


droppedImage_3Eisenberg, M.; Basman, A.; and Hsi, S.  2014.  Math on a Sphere: Making Use of Public Displays in Mathematics and Programming Education.  In Knowledge Management & E-Learning, 6:2, pp. 140-155. An extended version of a shorter conference paper presented at Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age (CELDA 2013).

Science on a Sphere (SoS) is a compelling educational display installed at numerous museums and planetariums around the world; essentially the SoS display is a large spherical surface on which multicolor high-resolution depictions of (e.g.) planetary weather maps may be depicted. Fascinating as the SoS display is, however, it is in practice restricted to the use of museum professionals; students (and for that matter, older museum visitors) are unable to create their own displays for the surface. This paper describes a working software system, Math on a Sphere (MoS), that democratizes the SoS display by providing a simple programming interface to the public, over the World Wide Web. Briefly, our system allows anyone to write programs for spherical graphics patterns, and then to upload those programs at a planetarium or museum site and see the result on the giant sphere. This paper describes the implementation of the MoS system; sketches a sample project; and concludes with a more wide-ranging discussion of our user testing to date, as well as strategies for empowering children and students with greater control of public displays.


popcad24Leduc-Mills, B. and Eisenberg, M.  2014.  PopCAD:  Toward Paper-Based Fabrication Tools for Education.  FabLearn ’14:  Stanford University, CA.  Oct. 25-26, 2014

This paper describes a working prototype device, PopCAD, for straightforward, tangible 3-dimensional input and design. PopCAD is a paper-based pop-up computational artifact that can be carried about easily and unfolded into its “working” instrumental form. When unfolded, PopCAD allows the user to switch on LED lights in a 3D spatial array; the positions of these lights are sent to a desktop computer for display and manipulation in real time. The intent of the device is thus twofold: first, to provide an experience of embodied construction for students and 3D designers, and second, to illustrate the power and potential of designing working sophisticated instruments based on an inexpensive, flexible paper substrate. We describe PopCAD’s architecture, its origins in earlier projects, and the learning potential inherent in such a device. We also show a variety of project ideas that the device can implement and we discuss what the device implies for the future of paper-based tangible instrumentation.


blossomdetailAnanthanarayan, S.; Lapinski, N.; Siek, K.; and Eisenberg, M.  2014.  Towards the Crafting of Personal Health Technologies.  In DIS ’14:  Proceedings of the 2014 conference on Designing Interactive Systems. Vancouver, BC, Canada, June 21-25, 2014.

We introduce a novel approach that merges craft and health technologies to empower people to design and build their own personal health visualizations. In this mutually beneficial union, health technologies can be more meaningful to an individual and encourage higher appropriation, while craft technologies can explore interesting problems in a challenging domain. In this paper, we offer a framework for designing health-craft systems and showcase a system that provides users with the ability to craft their own personalized wearable device. The device tracks their outdoor exposure and visualizes their weekly progress on an ambient tree painting. Finally, we report on a pilot study using this personalized feedback system. Our main contribution is the new lens through which designers can approach health and craft technologies that enhances health management with personal expressiveness and customization.


Eisenberg, M. and Pares, N. 2014. Tangible and Full-Body Interfaces in Learning. In Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences (2nd edition; K. Sawyer, ed.), pp. 339-357.  https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139519526.021


Eisenberg, M.  2014.  Computer Science Education as an Aspect of the Maker Movement.  White paper for NSF Workshop on Future Directions in CS Education, Orlando, FL, January 2014. 


gear sz3 with holeOh, H.; Gross, M.; and Eisenberg, M. 2015. FoldMecha: Design for Linkage-Based Paper Toys. In Adjunct Proceedings of the 28th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software & Technology (UIST ’15 Adjunct). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 91-92.  https://doi.org/10.1145/2815585.2815734

We present FoldMecha, a computational tool to help non-experts design and build paper mechanical toys. By customizing templates a user can experiment with basic mechanisms, design their own model, print and cut out a folding net to construct the toy. We used the tool to build two kinds of paper automata models: walkers and flowers.  


gear sz3 with holeOh, H. 2015. From Papercraft to Paper Mechatronics: Exploring a New Medium and Developing a Computational Design Tool. In Adjunct Proceedings of the 28th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software & Technology (UIST ’15 Adjunct). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 17-20.  https://doi.org/10.1145/2815585.2815590

Paper Mechatronics is a novel interdisciplinary design medium, enabled by recent advances in craft technologies: the term refers to a reappraisal of traditional papercraft in combination with accessible mechanical, electronic, and computational elements. I am investigating the design space of paper mechatronics as a new hands-on medium by developing a series of examples and building a computational tool, FoldMecha, to support non-experts to design and construct their own paper mechatronics models. This paper describes how I used the tool to create two kinds of paper mechatronics models: walkers and flowers and discuss next steps.


gear sz3 with holeEisenberg, M.; Oh, H.; Hsi, S.; and Gross, M. 2015.  Paper Mechatronics: a Material and Intellectual Shift in Educational Technology.  In Proceedings of 18th International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning (ICL 2015), Florence, Italy; pp. 927-934.  https://doi.org/10.1109/icl.2015.7318153

Educational paper crafts have an unfortunate reputation as “less than serious” intellectual enterprises, suited primarily for younger children. Over the past decade, the technological groundwork has been laid for a radical revision of this judgment: paper can now serve as the material substrate for a rich, challenging, aesthetically appealing branch of engineering education. This paper describes the notion of paper mechatronics as a multidisciplinary approach to paper-based engineering projects. We discuss the technological innovations that have made paper mechatronics viable; the remarkable range of potential projects and curricular materials that this approach can accommodate; and we illustrate the possibilities of paper mechatronics through several working projects created in our lab.


gear sz3 with holeOh, H.; Eisenberg, M.; Gross, M.; and Hsi, S. 2015. Paper mechatronics: a design case study for a young medium. In Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 371-374.  https://doi.org/10.1145/2771839.2771919

Paper Mechatronics is a novel interdisciplinary design medium for children, enabled by recent advances in craft technologies: the term refers to a reappraisal of traditional educational papercrafts in combination with accessible mechanical, electronic, and computational elements. We present a design case study–building computationally-enhanced paper flowers–and discuss the iterative design process involved in the creation. We also describe a workshop we conducted with teenagers to evaluate paper mechatronics as a creative learning activity for children. We conclude with a discussion of future directions.


Eisenberg, M. and Eisenberg, A.  2015. Sensory Extension as a Tool for Cognitive Learning.  In Handbook of Research on Maximizing Cognitive Learning through Knowledge Visualization (ed. A. Ursyn). https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-4666-8142-2.ch002.


Hyunjoo Oh and Mark D. Gross. 2015. Cube-in: A Learning Kit for Physical Computing Basics. In Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 383-386.  https://doi.org/10.1145/2677199.2680597.

We present Cube-in, a kit designed to help beginners learn about fundamental concepts in physical computing. Through play and observation, Cube-in users can investigate digital and analog signals, inputs and outputs, and mapping between inputs and outputs before they work on electronics and construct circuits. By simplifying interaction methods, Cube-in provides an accessible entry point to key physical computing concepts. 


Kim, J., Oh, H., and Yeh, T. 2015. A Study to Empower Children to Design Movable Tactile Pictures for Children with Visual Impairments. In Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 703-708.

3D Printing has shown a great potential to print tactile picture books, in order to cultivate emergent literacy for children with visual impairments. However, currently available 3D design tools are hard to learn, resulting in children to be excluded from the participatory design of tactile pictures. Also, existing 3D design software lacks of functionality to incorporate mobility and rich textures, which is critical aspect of the effective tactile picture. In this paper, we review our formative studies, presenting a hands-on design process for children to empower their own creativities into 3D tactile pictures design, and to engage them to bring other materials to enhance touch experiences.


Jacobson-Weaver, Z. and Eisenberg, M.  2015. The Voxel Printer: Steps Toward a Pick-and-Place 3D Printer for Children.  In Proceedings of EdMedia 2015, June 2015, Montreal, Canada, pp. 1492-1497.

The past decade has seen a remarkable increase in the power and availability of 3D printing for children, and for educational uses more generally. Pursuing this goal, this paper reports on early steps toward the design of a novel working 3D printer for children, based on the idea of a discrete, “voxel-based” printing medium. The Voxel Printer works, in principle, much like an industrial pick-and-place machine: it selects individual tiles from a store of such pieces, and places the tiles, one by one, to compose larger physical 3D structures. In this paper we discuss the first (still-in-progress, and partial) implementation of the device, and outline the rich possibilities of this sort of output device for youngsters and for educational uses.


Eisenberg, M. and Jacobson-Weaver, Z.  2015.  The Work of Children: Seeking Patterns in the Design of Educational Technology.  In Proceedings of Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age (CELDA 2015), Dublin, Ireland, pp. 249-252.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73417-0_5

The vast majority of research in educational technology focuses, justifiably, on what might be described as “short-term” (or perhaps “medium-term”) questions: how to improve an existing software system, how to assess a particular classroom innovation, and how to teach some current subject matter in a more effective fashion. From time to time, however, it is worth stepping back from such questions and taking a longer view of children’s technology: what are the larger patterns by which certain technologies become associated with children’s work? In this chapter, we examine a broad thematic pattern through which “adult” (or “professional”) technologies become progressively associated with children’s activities. As an example of how this analysis can be put to use for future design, we describe early steps in an effort to adapt a particularly powerful manufacturing technology (“pick-and-place”) for children’s crafts.


blossomdetailEisenberg, M.; Ananthanarayan, S.; and Siek, K. 2015. A Strategy for Teaching ‘Real’ Computer Science Through Wearables.  In Proceedings of Frontiers in Education: Computer Science and Computer Engineering (FECS ’15), July 2015, Las Vegas, NV, pp. 37-43.

The past two decades have seen a remarkable growth in the versatility, affordability, and aesthetic range of computationally-enhanced textiles and wearable devices. This burgeoning interest in wearables offers significant potential for computer science education: programming one’s clothing and accessories might have obvious motivational appeal for students. On the other hand, there are intellectual obstacles to the project of founding computer science education on the use of wearable devices: the actual programming required for most projects is simply too restricted. What is needed, then, is a strategic framework for incorporating e-textiles and wearables into a more varied, challenging, and content-rich view of computer science education. This paper describes such a framework for fungible programming that envisions a hybrid of wearable and desktop/tangible computing as a basis for a “real” computer science curriculum. We illustrate this idea with examples from an ongoing educational project in which children employ programmable wearable devices to monitor their outdoor activity.


Ananthanarayan, S.; Siek, K.; and Eisenberg, M. 2016.  A Craft Approach to Health Awareness in Children.  In Designing Interactive Systems (DIS 2016), Brisbane, Australia, pp. 724-73.  https://doi.org/10.1145/2901790.2901888

Children in the USA are increasingly at risk for a vast array of health problems due to poor dietary habits and lack of physical activity. In recent years, a burgeoning landscape of wearable and mobile health technologies in the form of activity trackers and fitness applications have focused on addressing this problem. While these solutions have had some measure of success with children, there is also evidence that youngsters are not readily adopting the types of fitness implements that adults find useful. In this paper, we present a computational toolkit that blends craft and health, permitting children to craft their own tangible health visualizations based on data from an accompanying wearable device. We also present the results of an encouraging 2-month study conducted with middle school children. The results suggest that craft could potentially serve as a gateway to healthful thinking in children.


gear sz3 with holeOh, H., Harriman, J.; Narula, A.; Gross, M.; Eisenberg, M.; and Hsi, S. 2016. Crafting Mechatronic Percussion with Everyday Materials. In Proceedings of the TEI ’16: Tenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI ’16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 340-348.  https://doi.org/10.1145/2839462.2839474

We present a kit comprising cardboard mechanical components and a custom printed circuit board, designed to support novices in building computational percussive instruments with everyday materials. We set three design criteria: accessibility, adaptability, and expressivity. We conducted two workshops with experts and novices to assess the usability of our kit and observe the variety of constructions that users make. The kit enabled both experts and novices to build working instruments and to explore creative experimentation with different materials and objects.


Eisenberg, M.  2017.  Self-Made:  The Body as Frontier for the Maker Movement in Education.  In FabLearn ’17: Proceedings of the 7th Annual Conference on Creativity and Fabrication in Education.  Stanford, CA.  Oct. 2017.

A variety of technologies–exciting, troubling, controversial–are emerging for the purposes of extending or augmenting the biological capabilities of human beings. These technologies include (among others) sensory augmentation devices, brain machine interfaces, robotic exoskeletons or prostheses, and techniques of genetic alteration; in every case, the intent of the technology is to allow people to perform activities beyond the traditional boundaries of body, mind, and genome. Te advent of these technologies augurs new and difficult questions for the maker/education community. What body- and mind-changing artifacts could, or should, be available to children and teenagers? To what extent-whether for educational or social purposes–will, or should, democratized “making” apply to the physical and cognitive limitations of the maker? This paper explores some plausible future pathways for the educational maker movement in the light of this imminent development in technology.

Eisenberg, M.; Hsi, S.; and Oh, H.;  Machines and Minds: The new cognitive science, and the potential evolution of children’s intuitions about thinking.  In International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction. Volume 14 Issue C, October 2017.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcci.2017.06.001


Eisenberg, M.  2017.  The Binding of Fenrir:  Children in an Emerging Age of Transhumanist Technology.  In Proceedings of the Sixteenth International Conference of Interaction Design and Children (IDC ’17).  ACM, New York, NY.  329-333.

Eisenberg, M.  2017.  The Binding of Fenrir:  Children in an Emerging Age of Transhumanist Technology (extended version).  Extended version of paper in Proceedings of the Sixteenth International Conference of Interaction Design and Children (IDC ’17).  https://doi.org/10.1145/3078072.3079744

The meaning of “children’s technology” is poised for imminent and radical change, as a variety of technologies are developed whose goal is to expand or augment the biological limitations of human functioning. These transhumanist technologies (including sensory augmentation, robotic bodily extensions, brain-machine interfaces, and genetic alteration) pose urgent questions for the community of designers of children’s artifacts. This paper discusses the questions that transhumanist technologies raise for children’s design specifically; we then present suggested heuristics for design in this new space, and outline plausible research projects consistent with those heuristics.


gear sz3 with holeOh, H.; Kim, J.; Morales, C.; Gross, M.; Eisenberg, M.; and Hsi, S. 2017. FoldMecha: Exploratory Design and Engineering of Mechanical Papercraft. In Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI ’17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 131-139.  https://doi.org/10.1145/3024969.3024991

We present FoldMecha, a computer-aided design (CAD) system for exploratory construction of mechanical papercraft. FoldMecha enables students to (a) design their own movements with simple mechanisms by modifying parameters and (b) build physical prototypes. This paper describes the system, as well as associated prototyping methods that make the construction process easier and more adaptable to widely different creations.

gear sz3 with holeOh, H.; Hsi, S.; Klipfel, K.; and Gross, M. 2017.  Paper Machines. In Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI ’17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 771-774.  https://doi.org/10.1145/3024969.3025050

This studio invites participants to design and build machines with different kinds of paper and craft materials. We will introduce papercrafting using our design tool “FoldMecha”, mechanical components, and prototyping methods for physical construction.