Homespun Speakers

Over the course of the week, the team reimagined traditional handicraft patterns and techniques through the use of electronics as a nonconventional craft material. The team dabbled in a number of micro-explorations into the use of circuitry and conductive materials, including copper tape, conductive paint, and conductive fabric and thread.

Homespun Speakers was a result of a one day dive into acoustics, electromagnetic fields and conductive thread. The team embroidered highly conductive, copper thread to make fabric speaker coils. They then ran a 9V sound amplified signal through the coil hovering above a grid of magnets. A layer of iron-on adhesive was applied to the back of the coil to increase the stiffness of the fabric to create a taught membrane, which pushes the air creating sound. Comparisons between various embroidery stitches revealed that a continuous spiral works better in terms of overall sound quality, rather than a coil embroidered back on itself.

In a separate micro-exploration the team experimented with conductive tape and paper prototyping to create a two-player “instrument” – Origami Keys. Exploring circuitry and a range of conductive materials opened up new possibilities of crafting electronics and quickly prototyping their design.