Pop-Ups as a medium to inspire curiosity towards Science

What is your project?

A series of pop-up cards based on different concepts in Science.

Who is it for?

Everyone. But if you ask me to chose, I’d prefer older adults ( 25+ ) when compared to children because my benchmark for the project is to inspire adults who are away from school or don’t have access to one.

What do you want your user, when interacting with the work to:

Feel : Become curious towards Science.
Do: Remember the concept or analogy and learn more about the topic through their friends or the internet.

What is the “problem” you are trying to solve and what is your recommended solution?

I find a lot of people are often apprehensive and afraid to learn Science and Math. More often than not, they have the resources ( internet access or libraries, etc., ) but don’t know where to start or what excites them. By bringing science to a lighter and more joyful context, I dream to spread the beauty of science. The solution I propose is a series of valentine pop-up cards that are based around different fields/ concepts in science.

What are the opportunities that you see in the problem space?

The numerous occasions we celebrate every day, like anniversaries, weddings, birthdays, etc., can become opportunities for this project. In the recent times, though digital media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have dominated over more conventional mediums like print and paper, I think the excitement to receive a card still exists among people. And to receive something which is more tactile can become more enjoyable and memorable than an online wish.

What are the general challenges in the problem area and what do you think will be your specific challenges?

The main challenge I have now, is whether my hypothesis of inspiring people would actually work or not. Can I successfully inspire someone to learn about something from a simple pop-up exploration?

Specific Challenges that I encountered are, not all ideas are reproducible as a pop-up card. For me this limited the numbers of pop-ups I produced in the last few weeks.

Coming to the nuts and bolts of manufacturing, if you don’t plan properly, securing the pieces that are cut out can become a problem. Also trying to figure out what is the required and what is not, among the chad the process creates is the main thing to master. Last but not the least, gluing the right side down can also become a challenge. Especially when you are working for more than 6 hours on a row.

What research (with references) have you done so far (articles, related projects, materials etc)?

I explored different kinds of paper ( different GSMs ). And I think I found something that suits my need. The black card stock which I’m planning to use as a base is much denser than the colored one. But there are other materials that I wish to explore like glow in the dark paper, thermal sensitive paper, etc., Also, I still need to do specific research on the user experience side of the project.

My first pop-up card based on a mathematical concept.

Pop-Up Card ( Front )
Pop-Up Card ( Inside )
Phyllotaxis is the arrangement of leaves on a branch
Open spread of the card
The branched element of the card should be taken out for further examination / surprise
https://vimeo.com/108284919 Video demonstration of how the pop-up mechanism works
In computer science, A Binary Tree is a data structure in which a node has utmost two children
Open spread of the card

The inner element of this card works very similar to the previous one. Just that the hearts has straight edges instead of curves. The message is also written in a binary tree format.

All cuts are hand made! It took 4 hours to make each of the above cards.

My other pop-up explorations

Multi Fold Pop-Up Card
Multi Fold Pop-Up Card

what are your criteria of success (how will you know you have succeeded) how do you plan to evaluate this success?

For me the project is a success if I’m able to inspire at least one person to learn more or develop a curiosity for science. How the person expresses this is totally upto him, some might do a project or some might go back to school or some might do something totally amazing.

Tentative Timeline

Week 1: Proposal
Week 2: Brainstorm Ideas
Week 3: CRIT group feedback
Week 4: Prototypes, concept refinement and feedback
Week 5: Talk to experts ( Sam Ita, Kyle Olmon, Sok Song )
Week 6: Finalize ideas and explore materials
Week 7: CRIT group feedback
Week 8: Design iterations?
Week 9: Explore different ways to present the cards
Week 10: Packaging design?
Week 11: Talk to a gallery or exhibition space
Week 12: Logistics
Week 13: Build a facebook page and website.
Week 14: Presentation