The Art of Tinkering Show took place at the Exploratorium from June 18 – September 5, 2022! We hope that you were able to visit in person, but one of the things we value about tinkering is that it can happen in all different places and spaces. We invited makers and tinkerers from all over the world to create along with us all summer long as we shared ideas, invitations, and projects related to the show. Even though the show isn't happening right now, you can still take a look at the invitations below and use the hashtag #ArtOfTinkering to share what you try, from works in progress to pie-in-the-sky ideas.
Ideas to Try
We're celebrating circuits! How can circuit explorations be beautiful, expressive, creative, spectacular, or surprising? Share circuits that you find in your space, take a look at how artists and tinkerers have explored circuits in interesting ways (like Jie Qi's circuit butterfly!), and try your own circuit-related explorations. Share what you try with the hashtag #ArtOfTinkering and checkout posts from our #CircuitCelebration!
Ramps and Rollers
We're tinkering with weird and wonderful rollers! To join in, start by finding things that roll in interesting ways. Make a gentle ramp by putting books under table legs or a piece of cardboard. Take your explorations further by making your own rollers with materials like washers, feathers, and foam to explore how you can create different types of movements. Check out #RampsAndRollers for more ideas and share yours with #ArtOfTinkering!
What do you see in a shadow? In the same way that we sometimes see recognizable shapes and forms in cloud formations, in this activity you're invited to use your imagination and drawing tools to share what you see in shadows. Inspired by artist Vincent Bal, this activity becomes much more fun when you can see how other people interpret the same shadow in different ways. So share what you try with the hashtag #ArtOfTinkering!
Are you energetic like a battery or as sharp as scissors? You're invited to make faces out of everyday objects that show us something about who you are or what you like to make. Create a portrait featuring your favorite tool for tinkering or use something symbolic to share your personality.
Share with the hashtag #ArtOfTinkering to show us what you try out!
Two Frame Animation
Animations on television and in movies are usually created by showing thousands of images very rapidly. But you don’t need that many images to create a simple animation. By tinkering with two frame animation, you can quickly bring everyday objects to life and add some magic to your space. Share your animations with the hashtag #ArtOfTinkering!
Tinker with Stacking
We're tinkering with towers! How can you stack ordinary objects in extraordinary ways? Try stacking with many multiples of the same material (like boxes, corks, or even dry pasta), seeing how many ways you can stack five objects, or building a tower that's wider than it is tall. Share your stacks with #ArtOfTinkering! Check out our Tinkering Towers project page for inspiration.
Tinker with Cardboard Tubes
How many ways can we reimagine a single material? We're collecting past and present projects that feature cardboard tubes. From structures and sculptures to ramps and automata, we want to see what uses you can dream up! For inspiration, check out examples of cardboard tube explorations by Artencurs, like the cardboard tube construction on the left, along with the gallery of creations by tinkerers below. Share your projects with the hashtag #ArtOfTinkering for a chance to see your work featured here and in the show!
Fun fact: cardboard tubes are also called "derders." The term seems to come from the sound cardboard tubes make when people hold them to their mouths to say "der der der" and make other silly sounds! We made a "save the derder" shirt (pictured on the left) when we found this out.