Maker Faire

Mechanical Frog Dissection

Type: Maker Table/Exhibit
Program Area: Science


Location: To be determined

Our proposed project is to demonstrate and get people involved in a Functional Dissection, one of the core features of our magazine. Functional Dissections uncover the functional beauty and mechanical elegance hidden within the products of our lives. We take apart a product and examine its components to discover how the product works and to try to deduce the design rationale behind its parts and how it fits together as a whole. In the past, we have examined parking meters and cellphones, and in our next issue we will be dissecting mechanical pencils. We hope that our project would be fun and valuable for Makers because understanding and taking apart a product is a first step towards hacking it and making it into something else.

For the Maker Faire, we will host an on-going participatory Functional Dissection of a variety of wind-up toy frogs to show how we go through
this process. We will share techniques of how to take things apart without destroying them. We will alternate between casual presentations to demonstrate dissection techniques, and hands-on dissections where participants can try dissecting toys for themselves. We will provide the toys and tools for people to play around with and dissect. As the toys are taken apart, we will help guide participants in figuring out internal mechanisms to allow them to figure out how to mimic or modify the function of the toys.

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Editors and writers of Ambidextrous Magazine

Ambidextrous Magazine is a project of the Stanford It is a magazine for the wider design community, which includes engineers and ethnographers, psychologists and philosophers. Rather than focusing on promoting product, Ambidextrous exposes the people and processes involved in design. Ambidextrous is a forum for the cross-disciplinary, cross-market community of people with an academic, professional and personal interest in design. The magazine is geared toward high subscriber participation and interaction. It is expressly designed to be informal, irreverent, and fun to read.