on 23 September 2008
Fashioning Technology is a manual to combing technology and practical arts to create funky and interactive pieces of wearable or crafty geek chic. The book itself splits neatly into two sections so I will deal with it in that way.
The first section (chapters one and two) are the real gem of the book. The first chapter covers the materials, electronic components and tools that you may come across. The materials section covers a range of smart and conductive materials, some of which will be fairly familiar to most DIY-ers and crafters but some will be distinctly new - up until reading this book I didn't know you could get conductive Velcro! Each material has a brief overview outlining its composition, function and potential uses. Following the materials section is an introduction to various electronic components, switches and sensors. Each component has a physical description, an overview of the component's function and operating parameters. Each overview is concise but very informative and should give the reader a reasonable understanding of where they would be used and why. The final part of this introduction to materials is a brief overview of the tools you may need to work with electronics and smart materials. The second chapter comprises a number of technical tutorials covering a wide range of topics. These cover two broad areas, basic electronics and craft techniques. The electronics tutorials cover such topics as working with L.E.D.s, prototyping circuits and soldering. The craft techniques tutorials are rather more varied covering topics as diverse as the basics of screen printing and producing soft circuits.
The remainder of the book is given over to examples of crafted technology with chapters on wearables, homewares and interactive toys. Each chapter has a number of worked examples. I'm not entirely convinced that anyone will be buying the book to make any of these items but each one does cover the problems likely to be faces with a specific project.
All in all, although it's value as a set of "to do" projects is rather limited I would highly recommend Fashioning Technology for anyone who wants to integrate technology with their craftwork and doesn't mind doing a bit of work of their own to build on the information in the book.
on 16 December 2012
I had high hopes of this book, since my wife makes clothes and is very open to new design. Amateur practical electronics has been a long hobby for me, so I was hoping that this book would be of mutual benefit. Not so. The quality of the presentation, paper and artwork, is excellent. The content, whether from and electronic of practical design perspective, is just simplistic. I should have had concerns from the front cover. Is the hat/headband fashionable? No! (and anyway you can but hats with headphones in), Other projects were just poor from an artistic perspective - you wouldn't wear what was being proposed. Also electronically these were out of date - I would have expected a few Arduino projects. This book needs a rework, both from a fashion and modern electronics viewpoint.