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London Public Library
2013
Designed and ran a summer activity program teaching kids how to make things with paper, glue, scissors, and software.

Every year, the London Public Library accepts submissions for children's programming to give kids something to do in the summer. Once a program proposal is accepted, the thirteen physical library locations select programs they'd like to run in their branch on specific dates.

I submitted a program proposal to teach kids about papercrafting, from designing models on the computer, to cutting, glueing and assembling crafts. My program proposal was accepted, and I was lucky enough to be selected by six different libraries across the city.

Proposal for the papercrafting program

The program started with a short presentation on papercrafting, including a quick explanation of Sketchup  →, and the process of flattening 3D models.

I demonstrated some simple modelling & construction techniques with Sketchup, and then talked a bit about how papercrafts could be used and combined with other mediums and materials.

Video and slides from the introductory slideshow

I spent a lot of time designing & testing a few introductory papercrafts for program attendees to assemble and take home. I made the crafts easy to assembly, but tried to leave a lot of room for creativity, and actively encouraged it when explaining the crafts. It was really rewarding to see the variety in the crafts people made during the program!

The beginner crafts produced for the program

During the time I'd set aside for craft assembly, I engaged with attendees, most of whom were between six and twelve years of age, and provided guidance while they cut, glued, and coloured the supplied papercrafts. I'd wanted it to be a kind of creative free-for-all, so whenever the library could oblige, I raided craft cupboards for crayons, pens, pencils, & markers to use for the program, so that people could dream up their own creations in whatever medium they felt like.

Printable files for an advanced polygonal portrait craft
Colour coded 3D rotations of the polygonal portrait to help with assembly

I was really happy with the introductory papercrafts, but I also wanted to make sure that enthusiastic and experienced attendees didn't feel out of place with the basic crafts. With this in mind, I designed and tested more advanced papercrafts, and kept instructions and 3D rotation videos on my laptop, ready to help anyone who wanted to try assembling something more complex.

A helpful brochure for interested attendees

Finally, I produced a small brochure for interested attendees to take home. This brochure gave a quick introduction to papercrafting, presented some possible applications, and explained the software I'd been using to design the crafts. I wanted to make sure the brochure worked well as a starting point for almost anyone, so I made sure that the software essentials were all free and cross-platform. In fact, Sketchup was even available on the library's computers!

By the end of the summer, I'd reached around a hundred kids with the program. I had so much fun talking to the attendees and making sure everyone had a good time — I just hope there's a kid out there now, who's used my brochure as a starting point for something amazing.

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