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The Expanded Toolbox


The Expanded Toolbox deals with the application of technology in a thoughtful and skillful manner. We will see technology, no matter how little its net contribution to the work, as a real and essential part of the work that needs thought and insight in order to be applied. In Q8 the main focus will be on the use of electronics but many of the principles can be applied to mechanics as well. Enough basics of electronics will be covered to start developing some intuition on its usage and we will look at methods that will help you to craft your circuits. Software will be covered briefly when we will talk about source code management and documentation.

Content Summery and Methods

Electronics is a hard subject and can not be mastered over the course of a quarter. Hence the practical goal of The Expanded Toolbox is to develop an intuition on how to use electronics and to be able to apply the acquired knowledge in a thoughtful. It should provide you with enough insides to start making/using existing relatively simple circuits.

The expanded toolbox has three components: Lecture / workshop, Lab / Experimentation and an independent project.

Lecture / Workshop

During the lectures you will learn essential basic knowledge on a given subject. Often the lectures will contain a little workshop or demo to demonstrate the contents in a practical scenario.

Lab / Experimentation

Hands on trial and failure is essential for learning the content given in The Expanded Toolbox. The labs / experimentation is meant for just that. After a lecture / workshop you are given instructions to carry out a certain experiment independently. In order to fulfill the labs / experiments successfully you will need to connect previous material with research you will carry out yourselves. The results should be documented clearly on your WiKi page. You are free (and encouraged) to carry out the labs/experiments together but the results should be documented individually. Copy/Pasting each others work is not allowed.

The goal of these lab and experiments is to develop intuition, a feel on where to find and interpret information, persistence.

Important to remember during the labs is that failing to make something to work is not bad. Important is trying to understand why.

Independent project

You will need to produce an independent project that shows you are able to apply to acquired knowledge and skills to a work of your own. There are two paths you can choose depending on your own personal preference:

A work of your own

This will give you total freedom in producing and individual piece.

A technological interpretation of an otherwise 'passive' work

For people needing a little more boundaries this may be a good choice. You will need to capture the original intentions of an existing work and reinterpret these into an technological enhanced work.


For both paths the same criteria (in no particular order) hold:

  • the project is conceptually sound
  • the project has a technological component (either electronic, mechanical, software or any combination of those)
  • the technological component is essential to the work; the work is not possible or its meaning significantly altered without this component
  • the project is well crafted
  • the execution of the technology matches the concept and execution of the project
  • the project is well documented
  • the project works


Labs / Experimentation

Well structured documentation on your WiKi on the conducted experiments

  • description on the labs / experiments done
  • successes, failures and solutions
  • a detailed description on why a result does what it does
  • a complete list of resources used (e.g. websites, source and image of used schematic, source code, datasheets etc.)

Independent project

  • A working project according to the criteria mentioned above.
  • Well structured documentation of the project on your WiKi. The documentation should be of a quality that enables you or someone else to understand and rebuild the entire project from scratch.
  • A 10 minute presentation demonstrating the concept and working of your project.

Assessment criteria

  1. The student has demonstrated a rigorous approach to experimentation.
  2. The student has demonstrated to be able to independently execute experiments and conduct research to further deepen his/her understanding.
  3. The student has conceptualized and executed a high quality personal work that demonstrates the skillful application of a technological component therein.
  4. The student has consistent attendance and has actively participated in discussions, feedback and workshop sessions.
  5. The student has effectively documented and communicated their process/results through use of the course WiKi.

Daily Planning


  • Lecture / Workshop

Interaction Station - 10:00 - 13:00


  • Lab / Experimentation

Interaction Station - All Day


Date Location Content Related Reading Related Lab / Experimentation
April 26 10 - 13.00u: Interaction Station Kick Off N.A.
May 3 N.A. Holiday N.A.
May 10 10 - 13.00u: Interaction Station Prototyping Space Presentation Ivan Henriques on science, technology and artistic practice N.A.
May 17 10 - 13.00u: Interaction Station WH.02.110 Intro into electronics

Read: Voltage / Current / Resistance and Ohms law
Read: Power in circuits
Read: Resistors
Extra: what is electricity

Lab1: Measuring volts, current and resistance

May 24 10 - 14.00u: Interaction Station Prototyping Space Circuit making Postponed
May 24 15 - 16:00u: Interaction Station WH.02.101 Optional intro to the Digital Craft WiKi
May 26 13 - 16:00u: Interaction Station Independent project presentation, brainstorm and feedback
May 31 10 - 13.00u: Interaction Station Individual feedback & lab circuit making

Everything in section Making Circuits

Lab2: Making a cricuit

June 7 10 - 13.00u: Interaction Station Individual feedback session

feedback list

June 9 13 - 16.00u: Interaction Station WH.02.101 Independent project pitch
June 14 10 - 13.00u: Interaction Station Individual feedback session

feedback list

June 21 10 - 14.00u: Interaction Station WH.02.124 Assignment Due / Presentations

Presentation list

Presentations / Workshops / Visits

  • Ivan Henriques

on science, technology and artistic practice

  • Yaprak Sayar (To be confirmed)

Graduate Art/Science KABK

  • Rene Wassenburg (To be confirmed)

Visit the EMM++ Tesla Coil


This is a non-conclusive list on inspiration relevant to Digital Craft and The Expanded Toolbox.

Feel free to add to this list what you feel is relevant!

* Stan Wannet, from across the narrow abyss of non-comprehension
* Burnie Lubell, A theory of entanglement
* Jerobeam Fenderson, Oscilloscope Music
* Jerobeam Fenderson, Khrang
* Tristan Perich, 1-Bit Symphony
* Tristan Perich, Drawing Machine
* Harold Cohen, Aaron
* Arthur Elsenaar, Facial Choreography
* Ebru Kurbak / Irene Posch, Drapery FM
* Peter Vogel, The sound of shadows
* Tom Verbruggen, Crackle Canvas
* Tom Verbruggen, Module #2
* Round and Round, Giny Vos
* Random International, Temporary Printing Machine
* Maarten Baas, Grandfather Clock
* Le Grand Blue du Nord, Jonathan Villeneuve
* Aram Bartholl, On
* Studio Drift, Dandelights
* Dewi de Vree, Ground
* Maud Mosa Vink, Oorijzer

Online resources

A list of interesting online resources.

Feel free to add interesting topics / tutorials / datasheets etc.!



Making Circuits

Circuits can be made in many different ways. During class we've seen:

  • breadboard[1]
  • dead bug style[2]
  • wire wrapping[3]
  • prototype board (e.g. perfboard or stripboard)[4]
  • volumetric circuits[5][6]
  • Etching a Printed Circuit Board (PCB)[7][8].

There are still other ways of making circuits, for example using the vinyl cutter to cut copper traces, using conductive fabric, etc. A nice overview of other alternative methods you can find at the great website of KobaKant: How To Get What You Want. Besides a lot of other interesting stuff (browse through it!!) the traces making sections you can find here: Kobakant section on Traces.

It is even possible to (almost) entirely knit your circuit: The Knitted Radio, Drapery FM.



Electronics shops and resources on the Interaction station wiki

* (Great prices, but it takes around 1 week to delivery)

What is the function of your wiki?

The wiki is an ongoing document, throughout the whole Quarter, that will be presented and/or discussed at different stages of the process. It will be the result of research, concept development, tests, experimentation, workshops...

The content should be visual (collected images, mapping ideas etc, animations, interactive experiments, your own sketches), textual (collecting articles, quotes, creating keywords, adding links and references) and material (documentation of the tests and experiments from your own project, your first models, prototypes etc.).

In all cases, make sure you add your own descriptions and explanations, giving insight into your thoughts regarding both ideas, knowledge, skills and execution.

The goal of the wiki is manifold:

  1. a place to keep track of your process
  2. to offer a thinking framework within which to develop your projects both individually and collectively
  3. to be a resource that aids you in your concept development, design, planning and realization.
  4. to offer a context that enables you to collect and organize the research and design process both individually and collectively.
  5. it's a tool that helps to communicate about your project to others, at different moments throughout the process, about concept; decisions; planning (plan van aanpak) and final outcome.
  6. to be a source of your own material and content from which you can select and and which you can reorganize for specific presentations.