(In)visible Self

Welcome to PLIX (In)visible Self! What technologies and techniques can we use to build our inward-looking senses and enhance everyday skills for personal growth?

🥰 Ages 8+ 🕐 1–1.5 Hours 👩‍👧‍👦 up to 12 Participants 🍎 1–2 Facilitators 🎨 Craft Materials

This activity centers around building and speculating tools for revealing invisible parts of ourselves: our breath, our heartbeat, and other body rhythms. Here, “tools” means anything from simple electronics sensors to programmed circuits to mechanically activated paper constructions!

Workshop Prompts & Gallery

Heart on Your Sleeve:
Heart on Your Sleeve: A simple paper wearable that helps its user connect their mood to their daily water intake!
Mood-fluencer: Texture Zoo—a desktop collection of different textures, made from recycled objects, that can help change the change of its user depending on which texture they touch.
Cyborg dreams:
Cyborg dreams: Aura Brain Map Speculation—a brainstorm collage of a future, color-based MRI machine for detecting emotion and mood (image: Paige Normandin).
Body Electric:
Body Electric: A circuit that tracks nerves/nervousness via tapping (using a Makey Makey coded with Scratch). When tapped enough times, the device tells its user to take a mental break from work (image: Allie Affinito, NYPL)!
See the Unseen:
See the Unseen: Song of Myself—a mason jar filled with bells that make sound when the user is jittery or nervous, creating an auditory way to express the mind-body connection.

Prompts from PLIX

Heart on Your Sleeve Create a low-tech wearable that tracks, expresses, or communicates an aspect of your emotional or physiological state.
See the Unseen How can you make the invisible aspects of your mind and body (mood, emotion, appetite) more obvious? Try using low-cost or found/recycled materials to show the mind-body connection. It could be a drawing, sound/song, etc.
Mood-fluencer Create a physical object that allows you to manipulate, change, or soothe your internal state.
Cyborg Dreams Imagine, then prototype, a tool, sensor, or device that could track something about our bodies that we don’t currently have tools to measure.

PLIX Community Remixes

Body Electric Capture electrodermal activity (EDA) or other data with a micro:bit, Arduino, FLORA, or other microcontroller, and use the data to make art, control a game, or “control” your mood.
Check out more examples and experiences from other librarians on the PLIX Forum (In)visible Self space

PLIX Community Book Connections



Supply Kit

Printed & assembled (In)visible Self zines 1 per participant
Construction paper/cardstock
Markers, pens, and pencils (in various colors)
Aluminum foil
Ping pong balls
Twine or yarn
Optional: Microcontroller (for example, a BBC micro:bit, Arduino, or FLORA)
Optional: Electronics components (including breadboard; alligator clips; resistors; and pinwires)
Optional: Pulse sensor
Optional: Conductive thread or fabric


Download here ↓

PLIX zines are a supplementary resource for patrons and librarians to refer to. Use our guide to cut and assemble them.

Remixable zine ↓

Love our zine, but it doesn’t fit your adaptation of the activity? Remix our zine with this Google Slides template!


Playtest and Plan

Remember: There’s no one right way to prepare for a workshop. Use these steps as a loose guideline for planning to run this activity.

  1. Choose one of our prompts, or come up with a prompt that suits your library community. Our activity guides are for getting you started—feel free to change or create new design elements to suit your local community! All PLIX activity guides are designed for a minimum of 1–2 facilitators
  2. Gather materials and print out the zine.
  3. Make an example project. Try it out with friends and colleagues. Thoughtfully incomplete, good examples feature a variety of approaches and starting points. Use them to inspire learners to make something uniquely their own. Guide to Making Activity Examples
  4. Try the activity with your patrons. Set a date and time. Easily promote your workshop with our editable (In)visible Self flyer template
  5. Populate your workshop space with diverse example projects. Create and play together!
  6. Reflect on what you’ve done and consider doing a remix!
Share your remix—Did you come up with new prompts? Share your ideas with your peers on the PLIX Forum. Try our Remix Share-Out template if you’d like us to feature your remix!

Facilitation Tips

By design, this activity invites learners of all backgrounds to play with form and function. It is a very new set of tools and materials for most people, so make sure that there is enough material to accommodate participants as they get used to the new craft. When facilitating this activity, we encourage you to support a tinkering mindset.

Be sure to also check out our PLIX Facilitation Techniques Guide for additional techniques from the PLIX team to help you cultivate your own creative learning facilitation practice.

About PLIX (In)visible Self

This activity was developed in collaboration with Media Lab graduate student Caitlin Morris, whose work focuses on developing new ways to understand how we can control our physical and emotional states.

Other ways to engage with the PLIX Inflatables program:

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