Leah Buechley

Leah Buechley

Designer, Engineer & Educator

Make choices out of love and excitement and passion and interest, and—when coupled with hard work—those will take you to really great places.


By Roadtrip Nation

Leah Buechley


My road in life has taken me all over.
She was always very drawn to her math and science classes in school, but outside of the classroom, she was very drawn to the arts.
She often felt torn, because she always felt like she had to choose between the two.
When she first went to college, she was a dance major and wanted to become a professional dancer.
After a few years, she actually missed the academic challenge of math and science; she realized she could continue to perform on the side, but she should get a STEM education.
She earned a B.A. in physics and a Ph.D. in computer science; it wasn’t until she started her postgraduate studies that she realized that she could blend her STEM and arts interests.
Was an assistant professor at the MIT Media Lab, where she led the High-Low Tech research group, which blended arts and crafts with electrical engineering and technology.
In 2006, she created LilyPad Arduino e-textile technology kits, used for embedding electronics in textiles; these kits kicked off a huge DIY wearable electronics movement.
Says that the goal of her inventions and artworks is to make technology more accessible, and to encourage people to be “playful, unafraid, experimental, and curious.”
Keep following my journey


Designer, Engineer & Educator

I am a designer, engineer, and educator exploring new ways of combining electronics with art and textiles.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Being Creative

Day to Day

My work explores integrations of electronics, computing, art, craft, and design. I've done foundational work in paper and fabric-based electronics, including inventing the LilyPad Arduino, a construction kit for sew-able electronics. All of my work centers around the goal of making technology more accessible and fun.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Don't be intimidated by technology. Anyone can enter this field. There are so many opportunities to apply your skills and interests in unique ways.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"There is no way I could ever combine art and science, I have to choose one. "

Challenges I Overcame