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Category: physical computing

Practical Electronics for Inventors

“Practical Electronics for Inventors” (Paul Scherz)©2000, McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing; ISBN: 0070580782An in-depth treatment of electronics, with many practical examples and illustrations…. The use of plumbing systems as exmples to demonstrate electric principles makes for some very clear illustrations of how different components work.

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Interface Culture

“Interface Culture : How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate” (Steven Johnson) ©1999 Basic Books; ISBN: 0465036805; Reprint edition.A great introduction to thinking about interface design and how it’s influenced by and influences the way we think. Though most of the book deals exclusively with only screen interfaces, it’s still an essential read for interaction designers, physical or not.

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Design Noir: The Secret Life of Electronic Objects

“Design Noir: The Secret Life of Electronic Objects” (Anthony Dunne, Fiona Raby) ©2001, Princeton Architectural Press; ISBN: 3764365668Dunne, an architect, and Raby, a furniture designer, discuss their approach to design as a means of critique. They present the idea of “value victions”, stories in which the technology is the same, but values are radically different, as opposed to “science fictions”, in which the values are the same, but technologies are different.

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Jen Lewin’s project page, including her thesis project, Butterfly. Jen’s documentation of her work is very thorough, including descriptions, schematics, code, notes on gears and motors, and much much more.

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From their mission statement:”ThinkCycle is an academic, non-profit initiative engaged in supporting distributed collaboration towards design challenges facing underserved communities and the environment. ThinkCycle seeks to create a culture of open source design innovation, with ongoing collaboration among individuals, communities and organizations around the world.”ThinkCycle provides a shared online space for designers, engineers, domain experts and stakeholders to discuss, exchange and construct ideas towards sustainable design solutions in critical problem domains.”Good stuff, well worth browsing through.

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