Making computationally embedded things demands cross-disciplinary creativity, and creative designers must master many materials and methods. The studio-laboratory workspace is essential for learning to engage in such creative endeavors. In this kind of environment, students are encouraged to define their own problem statements and decide what to design. The faculty encourages tinkering, design and the play instinct. In this paper, the authors present their interest in building methods and tools that can open new design spaces in the studio-laboratory environment. They reflect on the distinctive characteristics of this learning environment and how these qualities aid design and foster creative engagement.