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Fashioning Technology: A DIY Intro to Smart Crafting (Craft: Projects) Paperback – July 4, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Syuzi Pakhchyan is an Art Director, robotics instructor, writer, blogger and a seasoned tinkerer working and residing in Los Angeles, CA. Her work explores the intersection of culture and technology through the research, investigation and design of technological systems and interactions for a range of cultural contexts.

Definitely not camera-shy, Syuzi has made two guest appearance on Craft Lab, the DIY Network's new, hip crafting DIY Television series. Her television debut aired on January 1, 2007 and will be followed by the another scheduled for the Fall of 2007. For the launch of Craft magazine, Syuzi designed and helped create an environmental installation at the 2006 Maker Faire. At the Makers Faire, her work was featured as a "Special Exhibition" where she taught workshops on how to create the Wearable Light Bracelet and sew electronics.

Syuzi's projects have been published in numerous publications and books, including Shojo-Beat, a manga publication, Craft magazine, and in the Crafter Culture Handbook authored by Amy Spencer.

On weekends, she teaches a robotics class to children between the ages of 9-14 at Art Center College of Design. She also occasionally holds workshops in Los Angeles on crafting electronics. Monthly, she writes articles for Shojo-Beat, covering topics that range from fashion, technology and the latest must-have gadgets. And nightly, she researches and blogs about interactive, tech toys on her blog we-love-technology.com. She received her BFA from UC Berkeley in Literature and her MFA in Media Design from the Art Center College of Design. Her MFA thesis titled "SparkLab" was exhibited at Eyebeam, an Art and Technology gallery in New York, as wellas the Fashion Future Event in Pisa, 2006 Maker Faire and 2006 Emerging Technologies Conference. SparkLab is a novel platform that creates a space for the cultural production of technologically crafted artefacts.

Her designs explore and encourage ludic activities that celebrate the quirky and speculative and reflect personal experiences and cultural narratives. Syuzi has the unique ability to make the complex simple, translate learning into entertainment, and use technology as a tool to inspire creativity.

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Product Details

  • Series: Craft: Projects
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Maker Media, Inc; 1 edition (July 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596514379
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596514372
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #476,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just received this book today and I am already impressed. Syuzi has a great chapter on how to use a DMM (digital multimeter), she even has a step by step proper placement of the probes to test for Voltage, Amps, Current and Ohms.

Book is full of very interesting projects with good step by step instructions and photos for each project.

I first came across Syuzi on TV, she was on Craftlab (HGTV). I decided to try one of the projects she demonstrated on the program. It was the "Rock N Roll" speakers, she covers them in this book starting on page 149. The speaker project was fun to do and turned out well. I actually made the speakers for my Grandson.

If you enjoy crafting are willing to learn simple electronics, Syuzi will get you hooked on "smart crafting". Every time I think of a new project, I now find myself trying to incorporate some form of electronics into my work.

I am definitely impressed with Syuzi's book, she has a gift for teaching.
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Format: Paperback
This book is the best introduction into basic electronics, basic sewing and the high class of e-textile technology. Want to know how textile resistors work? Want to see how the connect electronic components to textiles? Just check out this book, everything clearly described for beginners with lists of resources, overviews with easy explained electronic terms and principles. For he more advanced e-textile experts this book serves as excellent source of inspiration using many examples from clothing over accessories and toys to home decoration to show the potential e-textile technologies open up to creative minded DIY enthusiasts.

It's a page turner for crafters looking for the unconventional, the unique and unexplored world of fashion+technology.
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Format: Paperback
This book is filled with so many ideas for useful fun projects. I am not a techy person but love new materials. Each project is explained in great detail so that it is hard to make a mistake and easy to learn. I also love the style, characters and designs that Syuzi has created. I am recommending it to my students as a fun way to learn the basics of new materials and technologies.
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Format: Paperback
If you took the Reader's Digest Guide to Sewing, mixed it with a Radio Shack parts catalog, and tossed in the early works of William Gibson, you might end up with something like Fashioning Technology by Syuzi Pakhchyan.

Like the Reader's Digest Guide, Fashioning Technology starts out discussing materials, but instead of discussing weaves and knits, warp and weft, the author writes about electroluminescent wire, heat-shrink tubing, and light-emitting diodes. Leaving topics about sewing machines and sergers to other books, Fashioning Technology has tutorials on basic circuits in series and parallel. Were this a different book, the chapter titled "The Art of Soldering" might have been a chapter about embroidery.

The tutorials and materials discussion make up the bulk of the book, but the final third details projects that use the materials and techniques the author described earlier. The projects, which range from clothing, to interior decorations, to toys, are interesting because they show what can be done. Rather than trying to copy the projects, I'm letting them serve as a seed of inspiration for future projects of my own.

This book probably can probably be useful to different types of readers. Stitchers or crafters who are looking for something more than regular sewing might find new possibilities with this book. Likewise, hardware hackers who are looking for other options, might consider some of the info here.

Part of me wants to see more books like this, because I think the book has some shortcomings. The LilyPad Arduino seems like it would have been a natural fit for this book, but it was nowhere to be found. On the other hand, if this book is a bit like dangling your feet in the water of electronics, then a discussion about Arduino would require scuba gear. It's a bit beyond the other topics in the book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I picked this up at the library to check it out and was immediately impressed with it's accessible and easily understood explanation of how to read and use electronic components like resistors, capacitors, transistors and LEDs. Just about the best I've ever seen. I had to add this to my personal collection for that attribute alone. However, there's a lot of basic and easy to grasp instruction and information on materials and production techniques, too.

There are plenty of projects in this book to get you started and if you're half-way creative and imaginative you should be able to springboard off them to come up with your own ideas.

I wish more instructional manuals and books were written as clear and understandable as this one.

Outstanding!
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I'm very happy I bought this book. I came to it as somebody who is interested in multi-media art and crafting, but with little experience of home made electronics. If you're as clueless as I was don't worry, the author starts at the beginning by providing pictures and descriptions of all the parts you will need, she gives a great introduction to electronics, and her directions are very clear. The projects in the book are varied and fun, but I was more interested in learning how they were made than actually making them. I was able to use what I learned from reading about her projects to make my own designs. At the end of the book there's a very useful list of suppliers of materials, without it I would have found it hard to track some of them down.
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