Weekend Watch: Tinkering and Stop Motion with Dina Amin

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Weekend Watch: Tinkering and Stop Motion with Dina Amin

It’s amazing to be introduced to video work as creative, clever, and well done as Dina Amin’s and then to see that she only has 374 subscribers to her channel and most of her videos have gotten only a few hundred views. Her Instagram channel, which she’s maintained longer than YouTube, is more popular, with over 6500 followers.

Dina is a young Egyptian product designer. She’s also a tinkerer with a keen interest in stop motion animation. She combines these interests on her channel where she finds common household appliances and electronics, takes them apart, and animates the deconstruction process. Sometimes, she also makes new things out of the old techno-junk she’s taken apart.

Below is a video that Dina did as a submission to Dave Hakkens’ Story Hopper series. It serves as a nice introduction to her and her work. As Dina points out in it, she does her stop motion videos of techno-junk deconstruction for several reasons. She loves seeing how things work; looking inside of things and how they are put together gives her ideas for new ideas as a designer. She also wants to create an entertaining way of educating consumers about how complex even simple appliances and high-tech devices can be and all of the materials and energy that go into manufacturing them. By doing this, she hopes to raise interest and awareness for more sustainable and perennial product designs.

Here are two of the stop motion videos that Dina has done. Some of these are amazingly clever, whimsical, and beautiful.

And here, Dina creates something with some of the old hair dryers she found. Saul Goodman (of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul) wants one of these for his desk.

Dina explains to Make: how she went about the project:

I got a bunch of hair dryers from the scrap market here in Cairo and wanted to try fix and reuse them somehow. So, of course, I made a mini wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man!

I had these plastic tubes that were used for packaging for something I bought and didn’t throw them away. They reminded me of those wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube men and I love wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube men!

I had to fix the motors inside the hair dryers, fix an adapter, and even the switch. I only reused broken products I collected and gave them a new purpose. I am not an engineer, so this was a great way to learn about motors and about electronics, how to check boards and components, how to practice soldering and desoldering components, and so on. There is a lot of information online and it can be challenging when you don’t know the proper terms to search for. But there are many online communities and forums and you can find the answers there.

I always wanted to make one of these flailing tube men, and in my first attempts, I used just an old PC fan, But that didn’t work so well because it’s not a blower fan, so I thought I’d reuse hair dryers and found so many of them at the scrap market. I found someone on YouTube who put a tube of cloth on top of a hair dryer to demonstrate the concept, so I was sure my idea would work, and went ahead with designing and building one.

I also made it from old reused materials, because that’s something I like to do, but maybe for the colored tube I might try and find a different material, or try fusing colored plastic into tubes instead of coloring the plastic tube itself.

Everyone should have one of these! They are an instant mood booster! I can’t help but laugh when I see one in action.

You can learn more about Dina Amin at her website . And subscribe to her feeds on YouTube and Instagram.


Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn