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IBM Journal of Research and Development  
Volume 39, Number 3/4, Page 795 (2000)
MIT Media Laboratory
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MetaCricket: A designer's kit for making computational devices

by F. Martin, B. Mikhak, B. Silverman
We present the design of a construction kit, for building computational devices, called MetaCricket. MetaCricket consists of a set of hardware modules and the integrated software, which runs both on a development computer and within the MetaCricket hardware. MetaCricket provides a flexible interactive development environment for trying out new hardware and behaviors. The underlying architecture makes it easy for designers to expand the basic construction kit themselves with minimal engineering effort. Through a few examples, we show how designers, enabled by MetaCricket to be engineers of their own tools, are rethinking and transforming the very character of design principles in the digital age. MetaCricket was originally designed for use by children, but has been adopted by professional designers who are not professional engineers. These designers have found it incredibly liberating to directly implement their ideas without depending on engineers for assistance.
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