ISTE Standards & NGSS Science & Engineering Practies

Thursday, February 16, 2017

America First: Illuminated Pop-Up

Forgive me in advance if you are taken aback by my subject matter in this post, but sometimes art is the best way to wrangle with angst and uncertainty.  In this case, making a presidential pop-up did the trick.

I created this beauty using the principles of Robert Sabuda's Frankenstein.  I almost went so far as to make his comb-over pop-up as well, but diplomacy and my better angels won out.

And let's face it.  The outcome could have been so much more disconcerting if I'd positioned the lights where his eyes are.

When a QR code in my book is scanned, this illuminated pop-up glows steadily while a LilyPad buzzer plays the tune "This Land is Your Land" (see video).  While my subject matter may not be to everyone's liking, I take solace in the juxtaposition between a welcoming Woody Guthrie anthem (played on a tinny buzzer) and the image of a divisive wall.

My biggest take-away in constructing this pop-up was that paper circuitry may be used as more than just a tool of personal expression, but an instrument of political commentary.  I found the experience cathartic.

From a technical perspective, conductive fabric works very well for pop-ups with folds that need to bend a lot.

I used conductive fabric tape in places where the copper needed to bend.

In the future, if I'm going to continue making illuminated pop-ups, I'll need to better design my books to accommodate the added bulk.

This is the back view of the pop-up, prior to being glued down