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Tinkering at the Opening Gala

15
Apr/13

On Friday night, the Exploratorium hosted a fancy gala in advance of opening our doors on Wednesday the 17th. There were multiple concert stages, flamboyant interior designed spaces, a plethora of food and drink options, and San Francisco's finest dressed to the nines and ready to party. In the Tinkering Studio we decided to make digital bling necklaces with guests using LEDs, wires, and custom laser cut logos, gems, and bow ties. We also brought the laser cutter out on the floor so people could watch the mesmerizing path of the beam.

Gala 4/12/13
Before the event started, Lianna, Ryoko, and I got fancy ourselves (and not just "explo fancy").

Gala 4/12/13
We watched Reggie Watts perform a killer set at the supper club party and then were thrilled when he came into the workshop space and started building his own LED headpiece!

Gala 4/12/13
Reggie made two custom pieces of light up jewelry which I'm hoping we'll see him rock on stage at an upcoming performance.

Gala 4/12/13
The workshop table was full all night with many guests adding LED accessories to their evening wear ensembles. There were also great conversations about the laser cutter, the different tools we were using, and tinkering and making in general.

Gala 4/12/13
This fellow in a fashionable lab coat added to the effect with a light-up bowtie head band!

Gala 4/12/13
Gala 4/12/13
The digital bling complimented any style, no matter how formal or informal.

Gala 4/12/13
Other tinkering experiences were huge hits as well, drawing crowds for the entire night. People especially stayed for a while testing flying objects in the laminar flow of air on the wind table.

Gala 4/12/13
And I'm sure that Nicole's wall of tinkering verb tiles ended up on many peoples instagram feed before the night was over.

Gala 4/12/13
So many people built bling with us, we ended up keeping the space open about an hour later than we had planned.

Gala 4/12/13
We were a little nervous before the event that the guests wouldn't want to spend time making things with us and would rather just eat, drink, and chat. But once we got going, it was great to see them sitting down, staying for a while, and working to make their own piece of electronic jewelery. After we finished up the workshop, Lianna and I took a lap around the party and saw tons of people wearing their LED necklaces around the museum. It was lots of fun to contribute our own brand of tinkering to this glamorous celebration of our new home!

Reggie Watts!

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