Author Archive

March 20, 2012

The Free Universal Construction Kit

by Ellen Yi-Luen Do

3D-printed adapter bricks allow interconnection between ten kids’ construction toys

Golan sez, “The Free Universal Construction Kit is a collection of adapter bricks that enable complete interoperability between ten popular children’s construction toys. By allowing any piece to join to any other, the Kit encourages totally new forms of intercourse between otherwise closed systems—enabling the creation of previously impossible designs, and ultimately, more creative opportunities for kids. As with other grassroots interoperability remedies, the Free Universal Construction Kit implements proprietary protocols in order to provide a public service unmet, or unmeetable, by corporate interests.”

The Free Universal Construction Kit offers adapters between Lego, Duplo, Fischertechnik, Gears! Gears! Gears!, K’Nex, Krinkles (Bristle Blocks), Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys, Zome, and Zoob. Our adapters can be downloaded from and other sharing sites as a set of 3D models in .STL format, suitable for reproduction by personal manufacturing devices like the Makerbot (an inexpensive, open-source 3D printer).


February 27, 2012

Midterm project Pecha Kucha

by Ellen Yi-Luen Do

Midterm Project Ideas

  • Each person should work on their project proposals – to figure out whether you are writing a paper about something (what? a literature survey about child creativity and measurements, about personality and design collaborations, about design thinking, or about where people find inspirations, etc. etc.), conducting some sort of empirical studies (protocol analysis of design activities or meetings? interviews with practitioners? designing creativity support tools? using cultural probe to investigate daily life? etc etc), or inventing tangible artifact (software, hardware, website, toys, community portals, playground, etc. etc.) by any means.
  • Be prepared to have a story to tell in 3/14’s Pecha Kucha session – to tell people what your research topics for this class will be, and how you plan to do it, are there precedents or related work? and what might we expect to see at the end of the semester.
  • Yes, you can decide to do it either as individual project or a joint team project (no more than 3 persons per team please.)
February 27, 2012

Creative Mind

by Ellen Yi-Luen Do

Reading: (for 2/29)

  • Margaret Boden’s book, The Creative Mind: Myths & Mechanisms – Chapter 10, Elite or Everyman – media:boden-chapter10.pdf
  • Chapter 3, Creative Visualization in (eds) Ronald A. Finke , Thomas B. Ward and Steven M. Smith. MIT Press – find online reader here Creative Cognition
February 27, 2012

Fixation and Creativity

by Ellen Yi-Luen Do

Reading: (for 2/22)

  • Chapter 7, Insight, Fixation, and Incubation in (eds) Ronald A. Finke , Thomas B. Ward and Steven M. Smith. MIT Press – find online reader here Creative Cognition

& choose one of the below to read —

  • H. Koning & J. Eizenburg: “The Language of the Prairie: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie Houses,” Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 8 (1981) pdf you can do page setup to print larger images
  • Stokols, D., C. Clitheroe, and M. Zmuidzinas (2002) Qualities of Work Environments That Promote Perceived Support for Creativity, in Creativity Research Journal 2002, Vol. 14, No. 2, Pages 137-147 media:work.pdf –
February 9, 2012

Picasso is Painting

by Ellen Yi-Luen Do

Clips from the Mystery of Picasso (Le mystère Picasso) a 1956 Frenchdocumentary film about the painter Pablo Picasso, directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot. It shows Picasso painting images on glass plates from the viewpoint of the camera.

February 8, 2012

Design Thinking

by Ellen Yi-Luen Do

Readings to discuss 2/15

  • Goldschmidt, G.: 1991, The dialectics of sketching, Creativity Research Journal, Vol. 4, Nov. 2, pp. 123-143 dialectics.pdf
  • Schon, D. A. & Wiggins, G. (1992). Kinds of seeing and their functions in designing. Design Studies. 13:2 135–156. seeing.pdf
January 26, 2012

Sketching and Representation

by Ellen Yi-Luen Do

For Class (2/1)

  • For the class session, each person please bring one piece of letter size paper, divide it into 6 equal size segments, and write on each segment a word or a concept (if it’s a phrase, no more than 2 words) that you think will be difficult to illustrate


January 26, 2012

Recycled Material Fashion Show

by Ellen Yi-Luen Do

Assignment for two weeks –

Recycled Material Fashion Show Video production

Pipeline tool is at

There are several parts of the project:

1. team name, theme for your fashion show

2. design the fashion show – a couple set of clothing, using recycled material (80%)

3. design the performance of the fashion show for the models – music, choreography, presentation, dance, cat walk, performance, etc.

4. make a video of the fashion show performance – with music, narrative, etc.

5. collaborate in anyway as you see fit.

video screening to be Feb 8th in class 😉

January 19, 2012

Environments for Creativity

by Ellen Yi-Luen Do

Readings for 1/25

  • Akin, O. and Lin, C.: 1996, Design Protocol data and Novel Design Decisions, in N. Cross, H. Christiaans & K. Dorst (eds) Analyzing Design Activity, John Wiley & Sons, New York (or Design Studies, Vol 16, Nov 2, pp 211-236) akinlin95.pdf
January 17, 2012

Design and the Play Instinct

by Ellen Yi-Luen Do

Readings (to discuss Jan 18)

  • Brereton, M. F, D M Cannon, A Mabougunje and L Leifer (1996) Collaboration in Design Teams: How Social Interaction Shapes the Product, in Cross, N., H. Christiaans & K. Dorst (eds), Analyzing Design Activity, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 319-341 media:team.pdf –