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The Art of Tinkering: Meet 150+ Makers Working at the Intersection of Art, Science Technology

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The Art of Tinkering is an unprecedented celebration of what it means to tinker: to take things apart, explore tools and materials, and build wondrous, wild art that’s part science and part technology. Join 150+ makers as they share the stories behind their beautiful and bold work—and use the special conductive ink on the cover to do some tinkering yourself! Brought to you The Art of Tinkering is an unprecedented celebration of what it means to tinker: to take things apart, explore tools and materials, and build wondrous, wild art that’s part science and part technology. Join 150+ makers as they share the stories behind their beautiful and bold work—and use the special conductive ink on the cover to do some tinkering yourself! Brought to you by the Exploratorium’s Tinkering Studio.


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The Art of Tinkering is an unprecedented celebration of what it means to tinker: to take things apart, explore tools and materials, and build wondrous, wild art that’s part science and part technology. Join 150+ makers as they share the stories behind their beautiful and bold work—and use the special conductive ink on the cover to do some tinkering yourself! Brought to you The Art of Tinkering is an unprecedented celebration of what it means to tinker: to take things apart, explore tools and materials, and build wondrous, wild art that’s part science and part technology. Join 150+ makers as they share the stories behind their beautiful and bold work—and use the special conductive ink on the cover to do some tinkering yourself! Brought to you by the Exploratorium’s Tinkering Studio.

30 review for The Art of Tinkering: Meet 150+ Makers Working at the Intersection of Art, Science Technology

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I'm happy this book exists, I just think its target audience is small. As my official introduction to the "maker movement" I found myself very distracted by all the pretty pictures, and, well, everything. I'd look at a page and be so confused as to where to focus my attention. Then, when I started reading, I found myself hitting so many techno-newbie roadblocks ("What's a script?" "Wait, what's an LED light?") that I found myself resigned to scanning the pages to look at pretty pictures. But scan I'm happy this book exists, I just think its target audience is small. As my official introduction to the "maker movement" I found myself very distracted by all the pretty pictures, and, well, everything. I'd look at a page and be so confused as to where to focus my attention. Then, when I started reading, I found myself hitting so many techno-newbie roadblocks ("What's a script?" "Wait, what's an LED light?") that I found myself resigned to scanning the pages to look at pretty pictures. But scanning for pretty pictures only tells you so much. If you have a whiz kid at home or nearby who isn't frightened off by the descriptions of technology, then I think this book could be inspiration and a gold mine, not as a how-to but rather a this-is-what-the-pros-do. In the meantime, I'm looking for something a little more rudimentary for my collection.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Yoo-Yoo

    This book, by the folks at the Tinkering Studio at the awesome Exploratorium science museum, is filled with creative applications of everyday materials. To only list a few of my favorites: - Inflatable plastic bear, placed over NYC subway vents and expand when a train goes by, to the delight of passerby (page 190) - Using foam and paper to build cam mechanisms - mechanical linkages that transfer rotary motion to linear motion, or vice versa (page 146). This was mind-blowing - what a novel human in This book, by the folks at the Tinkering Studio at the awesome Exploratorium science museum, is filled with creative applications of everyday materials. To only list a few of my favorites: - Inflatable plastic bear, placed over NYC subway vents and expand when a train goes by, to the delight of passerby (page 190) - Using foam and paper to build cam mechanisms - mechanical linkages that transfer rotary motion to linear motion, or vice versa (page 146). This was mind-blowing - what a novel human invention, on the same level as the wheel, but I hadn't encountered it before! - Yarn-bombing and funky science creations out of textiles (page 98). Such a mash-up of disparate concepts! So creative! So colorful! - Battery + magnet + bended copper wire = homopolar motor (page 112). You can bend the copper wire into any shape you like, so long as it touches one end of the battery and the magnet on the other end, and it spins... (the battery also heats up, but you get some amount of whimsical glory until then). My first read-through, I was disappointed in a few of the subjects for being pretty photos of things that didn't actually work - in particular some of the "Instrument a Day" ideas were things that could be done in less than 5 minutes. Some have issues with the "Maker" community for focusing too much on "create something, anything!" and not enough on studiously attaining the technical know-how through hard work. I am ok with giving credit to a creation even if it doesn't require too much technical background, so long as it exhibits a novel creative take on things that I wasn't expecting. Then it is art, and my brain has to think differently, and I really like that. Most of this book satisfied that criteria, but not all. Some of the art projects could have been 10x better if they had only done some more technical research, instead of just hacking based on limited info. So, originally, I gave this book four stars. On my second read-through, however, was when I encountered the homopolar motor instructions. While they don't explain how the physics behind why this works in the book, opting instead to just have photos and instructions, the sheer whimsy and simplicity of the thing was amazing. It made the entire book worth 10x more in my mind. Overall, sadly, this is not a book through which you will learn engineering concepts. It isn't the science book that I was expecting. That makes sense, though. That's not their goal. They want to inspire people to tinker, not become engineers.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lorena

    This book was amazing. It's organization is so straightforward and inspiring that I read it cover to cover rather than as a table book. First it introduces you to a Tinkerer, then it shows you how to do that style yourself and then it shows you various other artists working in that same tinker genre. I ended up looking up so many artists/ tinkerers to learn more about their work. This book is inspiring, interesting and a fun read weather you tinker or not. This book was amazing. It's organization is so straightforward and inspiring that I read it cover to cover rather than as a table book. First it introduces you to a Tinkerer, then it shows you how to do that style yourself and then it shows you various other artists working in that same tinker genre. I ended up looking up so many artists/ tinkerers to learn more about their work. This book is inspiring, interesting and a fun read weather you tinker or not.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne Artis

    What an amazing book...any librarian interested in makerspaces should read it cover to cover. I skimmed it once and then really began reading each page. The ideas, inventions and projects are eclectic and incredibly creative. The book is arranged in little chapter of 4 spreads. The first spread highlights a project by a specific maker, the next is a visual journal bio about the makers creative process, a manageable project follows and then the last spread is about additional makers and projects What an amazing book...any librarian interested in makerspaces should read it cover to cover. I skimmed it once and then really began reading each page. The ideas, inventions and projects are eclectic and incredibly creative. The book is arranged in little chapter of 4 spreads. The first spread highlights a project by a specific maker, the next is a visual journal bio about the makers creative process, a manageable project follows and then the last spread is about additional makers and projects of the same medium. Some of my favorites were the sections on aerial photography, the fused plastic and recycling, tapigami, and squishy circuits. There are so many takeaways that I will go through one more time for notes on how I might apply ideas in the book. Brilliant!

  5. 5 out of 5

    AJ

    The Art of Tinkering is sort of like an inspiration-porn type of book. Rather than offering discrete tips and tricks to beginners, it showcases several different types of projects that live at the intersection of art and engineering, and then indicates how something similar might be accomplished by a "normal" person. I honestly found most of the projects in this book to be either intimidating (and I've been a "tinkerer" for years) or ugly AF. Thankfully I'm already established in my creative and The Art of Tinkering is sort of like an inspiration-porn type of book. Rather than offering discrete tips and tricks to beginners, it showcases several different types of projects that live at the intersection of art and engineering, and then indicates how something similar might be accomplished by a "normal" person. I honestly found most of the projects in this book to be either intimidating (and I've been a "tinkerer" for years) or ugly AF. Thankfully I'm already established in my creative and nerdy hobbies; this book may have seriously turned me off to it if I had read it several years ago.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Erin Buhr

    This is a mesmerizing book that captures the possibility and amazing power of tinkering. Truthfully I found it overwhelming at times, but I think that is only a testament to the fact that books and activities like this were not encouraged with my generation or the ones that came before it. How wonderful that we live in a time that art and science and technology can intersect and be celebrated in such a fashion. Our world needs more tinkering. An inspiring must read for any aspiring tinkerer, sci This is a mesmerizing book that captures the possibility and amazing power of tinkering. Truthfully I found it overwhelming at times, but I think that is only a testament to the fact that books and activities like this were not encouraged with my generation or the ones that came before it. How wonderful that we live in a time that art and science and technology can intersect and be celebrated in such a fashion. Our world needs more tinkering. An inspiring must read for any aspiring tinkerer, scientist, question asker, or artist in your life.

  7. 4 out of 5

    E

    Not what I expected. It's an art book that happens to use rudimentary technology (like battery + LED) used in "tinkering". Even for what it was within expectations, it's just a (static) showcase of (moving/dynamic) art pieces, but in a book. A video/documentary may have been a better medium for this content. I love the Exploratorium but unfortunately this book did not satiate my interest in tinkering/making, and the art projects did not quite come off the page as maybe was intended. Not what I expected. It's an art book that happens to use rudimentary technology (like battery + LED) used in "tinkering". Even for what it was within expectations, it's just a (static) showcase of (moving/dynamic) art pieces, but in a book. A video/documentary may have been a better medium for this content. I love the Exploratorium but unfortunately this book did not satiate my interest in tinkering/making, and the art projects did not quite come off the page as maybe was intended.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Paul Hankins

    Recommended by Austin Kleon in his weekly newsletter. There is so much to love about this book and I am thinking a STEaM teacher would want to have this on hand as a go-to idea generator for kids in the room.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Terri Fleming

    Great book. An inspiration to those of us who work to inspire others.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    An amazing and inspiring look at art made from tinkering, especially circuit and electronics-integrated artwork.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tabitha

    Utterly fascinating, definitely planning to reread in more depth soon

  12. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Johnson

    This was a very fun book to look through. I don't have much of a science background but I enjoyed it thoroughly. The text to pictures ratio (lots of great pictures, by the way) was perfect. You'll be jotting down names and ideas and materials to do further research or some fun youtubing. People with a science background probably already did a lot of their own tinkering shown in the book but I think they will take away some creative ideas to try out. This book will appeal to both adults and childr This was a very fun book to look through. I don't have much of a science background but I enjoyed it thoroughly. The text to pictures ratio (lots of great pictures, by the way) was perfect. You'll be jotting down names and ideas and materials to do further research or some fun youtubing. People with a science background probably already did a lot of their own tinkering shown in the book but I think they will take away some creative ideas to try out. This book will appeal to both adults and children.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Cassie

    Lots of wildly creative projects for schools embracing a maker ethos. What I really liked about many of these projects is the ways in which I could see them being seamlessly integrated into programs that really have nothing to do with making on their face (like English or World Languages). The more that the maker ethos gets embedded in the regular experience of students, the better it will be for them from a creativity, criticality and open-minded perspective.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Henry Huang

    The book cover can conduct ELECTRICITY. How cool is that? Within the pages are tons of projects inspired by the Exploratorium for DIYers of all stripes. This isn't exactly a how-to book; rather it's a buffet of what's possible to stir your creative juices. I particularly liked the section on photography using DIY drones. The book cover can conduct ELECTRICITY. How cool is that? Within the pages are tons of projects inspired by the Exploratorium for DIYers of all stripes. This isn't exactly a how-to book; rather it's a buffet of what's possible to stir your creative juices. I particularly liked the section on photography using DIY drones.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lafayette Public Library

    The book cover can conduct ELECTRICITY. How cool is that? Within the pages are tons of projects inspired by the Exploratorium for DIYers of all stripes. This isn't exactly a how-to book; rather it's a buffet of what's possible to stir your creative juices. I particularly liked the section on photography using DIY drones. The book cover can conduct ELECTRICITY. How cool is that? Within the pages are tons of projects inspired by the Exploratorium for DIYers of all stripes. This isn't exactly a how-to book; rather it's a buffet of what's possible to stir your creative juices. I particularly liked the section on photography using DIY drones.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

    This book from the Exploratorium does an excellent job of sharing the fun and inquiry of the maker movement. Cool stuff. The book breaks down tinkering into categories- with amazing projects and their creators highlighted. There are projects to try on your own, and loads of inspiration. An excellent addition to the Maker Space.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Watt

    This book is part of the Design Library at my school now. It's a great introduction to what tinkering is, why it matters for kids and adults, and it has thousands of photos which explore both inspiration and perspiration — some great ideas, and many how-to's that take longer than an afternoon to complete. This book is part of the Design Library at my school now. It's a great introduction to what tinkering is, why it matters for kids and adults, and it has thousands of photos which explore both inspiration and perspiration — some great ideas, and many how-to's that take longer than an afternoon to complete.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Heydi Smith

    This book is freakin awesome! If I was like 8 or 12 and had to be stuck in a car or plane or any confining space this is one of the books I want with me. It has the coolest, weirdest stuff you can think of and projects toucan try to. Love it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Magazine styled picture-filled book showcasing tinkerers and their passions, brimming with inspiring little snippets of their stories. This is not a how-to book but displays a buffet of ideas and possibilities that could catapult you through your own adventure as a maker. Love it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Josi

    If you like art/engineering def check this book out! :)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jim Tiffin Jr

    Phenomenal book of ideas to inspire the experienced maker.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    500 W6868 2013

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Very cool ideas for people who are interested in techy art. Great pictures. (As an aside, I learned that I'm personally not interested in doing projects like these myself.) Very cool ideas for people who are interested in techy art. Great pictures. (As an aside, I learned that I'm personally not interested in doing projects like these myself.)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Story

    Full of inspiring ideas to get people of all ages creating. Especially good invitation to the world of tinkering for girls and women

  25. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    A lot of fun to browse, with lots of great projects that would translate well to Hive-land. Notebook-hacks, wearables, and the squishy circuits are totally in the cards.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    I expected more of a project book with art elements, but this is really an art book with maker elements. It got me thinking about art, but it wasn't what I was looking for. I expected more of a project book with art elements, but this is really an art book with maker elements. It got me thinking about art, but it wasn't what I was looking for.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Great ideas for projects at the intersection of art and technology!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ananya Garg

    This book is great for anyone who wants some inspiration! One day I want to make the watercolor typewriter.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I wish I owned this book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    A great book for people considering a makerspace for their school and for kids and adults that enjoy "tinkering." A great book for people considering a makerspace for their school and for kids and adults that enjoy "tinkering."

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