Designing electronics is generally cumbersome and expensive -- or was, until Leah Buechley and her team at MIT developed tools to treat electronics just like paper and pen. Leah Buechley is an MIT electronics designer who mixes high and low tech to create smart and playful results. Electronics aren't just for experts and engineers.
Kids and amateurs should be able to play, too, which is why Leah Buechley designs little paper-based electronics for "sketching" and interactive electronic fashion for tinkering. Buechley designs and creates electronic textiles, or e-textiles, like this jacket that can signal which way you're turning on your bike.
In this talk from TEDYouth 2011, Buechley shows some of her charming designs, like a paper piano you can sketch and then play. The method has to do with being able to draw circuits by hand, on demand, and being able to customize and re-think circuits without having to start a whole new chip and waste material.