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Etta Sandry is the 2022 Experimental Weaver in Residence

Dodecaweave, courtesy of Etta Sandry

After receiving 148 applications, forming a shortlist of 21 applicants, and then interviewing 5 finalists, we (the organizers and wonderful selection committee) are happy to announce that Etta Sandry will be our 2022 Experimental Weaver in Residence.

We chose Etta because her practice resonated strongly with our mission for the residency: to collaboratively produce techniques in response to specific engineering challenges. As a recently graduated MFA student at Concordia, Etta’s practice demonstrates an attention and commitment to sampling and exploring the unique structural formations of multi-layer weaving. We see her aesthetic strongly resonating the values of a craft-practice in its attention to and sharing of drafts, hand crafted mounts that invite engagement and play, and use of bold colors of wool and cotton. It was this aesthetic and attention to documentation that attracted us the most, helping us to conceive of the samples we might create as deeply resonant with craft and practice-based methodologies as opposed to the synthetic feel of prototypes concerning the “future.” Ultimately, we saw this aligning with the arguments made after our lest residency to the field of human-computer interaction. Namely, that when it comes to innovation practices, technologists could more strongly look to craftspeople as stewards of material knowledge and technique and to see them as equally as technical as the bits and electrons that make up engineering practices.

Stay posted for more updates from the residency, set to take place early 2022 and for future calls for 2023 and 2024 artists in residence. Based on the amazing advice of our selection committee, we will also public a directory of experimental weavers compiled from our residency applications and collaborators working in this space and a series of public virtual talks in 2022. Stay tuned. In the meantime, we have published all shortlist applicants, finalists and committee members who have provided permission below.

This program has been funded by the National Science Foundation under grant # 1943109.

2022 Residency Finalists

Jessy Lu, jessylu.com, @lu_jue
Jessy Lu is an artist whose work examines the relationship between textiles, computation, and femininity.

Hexagonal Cellular Symmetry, 2020, monofilament, silk, stainless steel. Image: Melanie Olde

Melanie Olde, melanieolde.com, @melanie_olde
Inspired by biomimetics, Melanie Olde is an Australian-based researcher and weaver, who investigates movement and sensory experience in three-dimensional cloth.

Victoria Manganiello, victoriamanganiello.com, @victoriamanganiello
Victoria Manganiello is an artist, designer, educator, and organizer who uses weaving and textiles to make objects, facilitate experiences, and tell stories that explore how craft intersects with technology, gender, and food.

2022 Shortlisted Applicants

Ana Mosquera Duran, www.anamosquera.com, @anacaribu
Ana Mosquera is a Venezuelan artist based in Philadelphia whose work revolves around digital data collection and the creation of simple methods of analysis that interrogate our daily use of technology.

David van Buskirk, dvbart-design.com, @dvbart_design
David van Buskirk is a textile designer, weaver and fiber artist. I collaborate with the loom, be it a 20 harness compu-dobby or a primitive weighted warp to explore technical and artistic possibilities inherent in structure and materials.

Kathryn Walters 2021

Kathryn Walters, kmwalters.com, @kw.textiles
Kathryn Walters is a PhD student in Smart Textile Design at the Swedish School of Textiles, with a focus on transformative woven textiles, exploring the behaviour of textiles as complex systems with responsive properties.

Kristina D. Aas, kristina-aas.com,
Kristina D. Aas is a textile artist and educator based in Bergen, Norway. Her main focus is jacquard weaving on TC-2 and industrial looms.

Laura Splan, laurasplan.com, @laurasplan
Laura Splan is an interdisciplinary artist who creates embodied interactions, tactile experiences and sensory encounters to connect materialities of science to familiar domains of the everyday.

Maija Järviniemi, jarviniemi.fi, @mollimaija
Maija Järviniemi is a Finnish designer who’s practice sails from experimental weaving to material development and concept creation. Vivid colors and boundary pushing weaving techniques are characteristic to her work.

Nathalie Miebach

Nathalie Miebach, nathaliemiebach.com, @miebachsculpture
Nathalie Miebach translates science data related to weather into woven sculptures and musical scores, using basket weaving as her main method of translation.

Raven Saga
I am an interdisciplinary designer based in India. I love getting my hands on everything being it materials, softwares, interactions, etc. I explore beyond.

image credit: Mercedes Jelinek

Sasha Baskin, sashabaskin.com, @sashbask
Sasha Baskin is a US-based weaver and lacemaker who makes work about the intersection of math, textiles, and digital culture.

Tatsuki Hayama, tomoe.me, @hayamatomoe
Tatsuki Hayama is a Japan-based mathematician working on complex geometry. He is also interested in applying math to computer graphics, digital fabrication, and art.

© Yun-Hsuan Chang 2019

Yun-Hsuan Chang, yunhsuanchang.com, @yunhsuan.c.textiles
Yun-Hsuan Chang is a Taiwanese designer-maker who creates innovative woven textiles and uses intimate visual language to carry messages and tell unique stories.

Zoe Romano, zoeromano.eu, @zoescope_
Zoe Romano is a Italy-based independent researcher and craftivist working at the intersection between e-textiles, digital fabrication and care for social empowerment.

2022 Selection Committee

Kristina Andersen,
Future Everyday, Eindhoven University of Technology
website

Matt Bethancourt,
Director, Whaaat!? Lab for Games and Experimental Interactions, 
website

Sarah Rosalena Brady,
Assistant Professor of Computational Craft at UCSB, website

Annet Couwenberg,
Fiber and Material Studies, MICA,
website

Annapurna Mamidipudi,
Scholar and Craft Researcher,
website

Christy Matson,
Artist and Weaver,
website

Pam Meadows,
Curator, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art
website

Vernelle A. A. Noel,
Assistant Professor, University of Florida,
website

Jane Patrick,
Creative Director, Schacht Spindle Company,
website

Michael Rivera,
PhD Candidate, Carnegie Mellon University,
website

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Announcements

Call for PhD Applications

The Unstable Design Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder is currently looking to hire a funded PhD student who would be interested in the ongoing development and advancement of computational design tools to support (smart) textiles production. The position is being created specifically to address the goals outlined in this grant and would largely focus on the development of AdaCAD

The ideal candidate should be passionate about textile craft, electronics, open-source community development, and collaborating with artists. Experience working in weaving, web-based software applications, and/or contributing to open-source programming projects is helpful, but not required. Nevertheless, the candidate must be interested in learning about and developing skills as a programmer and weaver.

The lab is associated with several PhD programs at CU Boulder and applicants to this position must submit their application through one of the programs listed below:   

We hope to find candidates that are eager to grow and contribute as a member of both the lab, as well as their selected academic unit. As a lab, we value critical thinking and making that question relationships between design and society, tools and equity in computing, and placing equal value in art, craft, and engineering. 

If you are interested in this opportunity, we encourage you to reach out to us via email, as that will help us get familiar with your name and look for it in the applications list. Interested applicants should contact the lab via email (unstabledesignlab@gmail.com) with any links or information that would help us to get to know you better. Please include a short note about which program you might want to apply through and what, in particular, you find interesting about this opportunity. This email is NOT your application, just a way for us to get to know you better so we can look out for your application if/when it comes in.

FAQ

Why do people get PhD’s, what good are they?

Great question! – PhD’s are one of many career paths and are better/worse suited to get you where you want to go, depending on your ambitions. PhD programs also vary from program to program, so what I write here is not universal to all PhDs programs — but specific to the programs we work within. PhD’s though this program emphasize preparation for careers in research (as well as teaching, but typically with a higher emphasis on research than teaching preparation). They are set up to prepare students to pursue a set of questions or ideas that capture their imagination and are guided to produce work that contributes knowledge to a given community. The program is designed to be completed in four years, but most people tend to complete their PhD in 4-6 years. That community, and kind of work, depend on the program that you apply through (see below). People who get PhD’s often times pursue an academic career and a higher-ed institution, or research-based company.

What does it mean to apply into a lab vs. a program?

In our university structure, the “lab” you work in is often related to the person who serves as your primary advisor (in this case, that would be Laura Devendorf). Yet, some students who work in my lab are not primarily advised by me, and people I advise can choose to participate in other labs. When you apply to a PhD program, it is often recommended to specify who, of the research faculty, you would want to advise you and you may want to list a few names if you see resonance between your interests and what faculty do. In our programs, that advisor (with guidance from broader groups) is responsible for cultivating your research practice, making sure you progressing adequately, and, most importantly, with paying for your tuition, stipend, and fees. When selecting an advisor, its useful to consider both professional and interpersonal dynamics–is this a person who you want to learn from and that shares or aligns with your values as a human. When an advisor is looking for a student, they are usually trying to match students to projects where they need support (and have money to pay), as well as how their interests and potentials complement the direction and other members of the lab.

What is the difference between the three programs?

The Unstable Design Lab, the physical space and resources, are housed within the ATLAS Institute, which is an academic program focused on interdisciplinary collaboration. Thus, every professor working in the ATLAS Institute has affiliations with other campus departments and has the ability to serve as the primary advisor to PhD students. As a tip, when writing you application, be sure to focus on arguing your interest in the program you are applying to first, and your interest in the lab as a secondary comment. This is because you will be part of the program as much as you will be part of the lab.

ATLAS Institute
The ATLAS program, which is part of the College of Engineering and Applied Science, is designed for students whose expertise does not fall into a traditional discipline. The program emphasizes “creative technology and design” and most of the students in the program follow an engineering-style PhD, creating research prototypes and products and publishing them in academic research venues. Students in this program develop their own curriculum from across the campus offerings.

Please review the ATLAS Institute website for a broader understanding of the program and requirements and to get a sense of the work underway by students and faculty.

Information Science
The Dept. of Information Science, which is part of the College of Communication, Media, and Information, is designed for students interested in the intersection of technology and society. The program is more structured than ATLAS and introduces all students to a common set of methods for qualitative and quantitative analysis, and over time, invites them to develop and publish original research products.

Please review the website Department of Information Science for a broader understanding of the program and requirements and to get a sense of the work underway by students and faculty.

Intermedia Art, Writing and Performance
The Dept. of Intermedia Art, Writing and Performance, which is part of the College of Communication, Media, and Information, and is a practice-led PhD program that prioritizes the production and dissemination of creative work.

Please review the website Intermedia Arts Writing and Performance Program for a broader understanding of the program and requirements and to get a sense of the work underway by students and faculty.

How will my application be reviewed?

The primary question that I think application processes focus upon is (1) whether the program you apply towards can adequately help you meet your goals and (2) whether your goals align with the particular interests and funding options for a given faculty member.

The process beings with an interested student submitting an application to the program that most suits them, and listing their interest in working with a lab or particular advisor within their statement of intent. When reviewing the applications, each program will make collective decisions on the fit of the student to their program. Adding the name of a potential advisor to your statement of intent often means that the person you name will have a say in determining if you are accepted. Emailing us ahead of time to let us know who you are and what you are interested in allows us to recognize your name as the applications come in.

How do PhD Students Make a Living?

Students in a PhD program are given funding letters that explicitly outline the stipend (pay) they will receive on a monthly basis. This typically covers only 9 months our of a year, but there are opportunities for summer funds based on programs and in the form of paid research internships. Sometimes this funding is tied to work as a Teaching Assistant (e.g. running class sections and grading work) or as a Research Assistant (e.g. performing work on a funded project). The stipend varies by program and is not luxurious, especially by Boulder standards, but can provide relief on monthly expenses. Some students supplement income with grants, side projects and or more lucrative summer research internships. For the most honest perspectives on funding, I would encourage students to reach out to existing PhD students in their program of interest. This topic is also covered in detail at orientation events for accepted students.

Do I have to enroll in one of the programs to be part of the lab?

Currently, yes, though we will continue to host our experimental weaving residency for those interested in temporary visits and/or affiliations.

Categories
Uncategorized

Objects of Care

Coming soon – the objects of care card game share instructions will live here

Categories
Experimental Weaving Residency

2022 Experimental Weaving Residency Call for Entries

Experimental Weaving Residency
Spring 2022 : Consider Everything an Experiment 

Part of the ATLAS Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder, the Unstable Design Lab is hosting its second experimental weaving residency with the goal of developing new techniques and open-source resources that can co-evolve fiber arts and engineering practice. The chosen resident will work with the Unstable Design Lab, as well as researchers from the University of Colorado, to create a series of samples inspired by challenges currently faced by engineering researchers. For example, shape weaving techniques for creating form-fitting and/or compression garments for counter-pressure spacesuits, integration of power harvesting diodes, compostable or easily reusable textile structures for zero-waste manufacturing, or structures that dynamically fold and unfold to support mechanical structures or soft robotics (to name a few, but not all, possible spaces for experimentation). Applicants should be open-minded, curious, and above all deeply knowledgeable about woven structures and their behaviors. No knowledge of computer science, electronics, or engineering is required for participation. 

Timeline

Application DeadlineSept 15, 2021
Notification to Selected ApplicantNovember 1, 2021
Residency Dates12 weeks between Jan 15-May 15

Resources

The resources available to the resident include a desk in the Unstable Design Lab, priority access to a TC2 digital jacquard loom (3W warped at 60 ends per inch), access to other weaving, spinning and knitting equipment in the lab, access to traditional and novel weaving materials, programming support for some custom software needs, access to the fabrication facilities at the ATLAS Institute, access to motion-capture and high-end audio equipment in the B2 Center for the Media Art and Performance, and an exhibition space to showcase work at the end of the residency (also at the B2). While we can provide instructions for getting started on the TC2, the artist is ultimately responsible for the design and production of their swatches—there is no technician devoted to realizing the work on the equipment.

Expectations

The resident will be expected to work at least 30 hours per week with the lab members and collaborators evolving concepts that address the artist’s interests as well as the engineering teams’ needs. The selected resident must be willing to share any techniques they develop as open-source resources to both the collaborators and public more broadly, including producing necessary documentation for others to replicate their techniques. To facilitate the exploration of projects of mutual interest, the organizers will schedule meetings with various researchers during the first week of the residency to better understand their needs and challenges when it comes to integrating textile structures into their research. The resident, then, will be able to select the challenges that most interest them to further explore, sharing their findings with the research teams as they develop.

Timing, Housing, Stipend

Stipend*$9520 USD
Airfare Reimbursement$450 USD
Materials**$500 USD
* the stipend will be taxed by the US government and this may have significant impact for international applicants
** materials budget does not go directly to artist, but is to be spent by the lab during the residency on supplies determined by the artist.

The residency scheduling is flexible but should total 12 weeks should take place between January and May 2022 in Boulder, Colorado. The resident will receive $9520 as a stipend, $450 towards airfare to and from Boulder, and a materials budget of $500 to be spend during the residency. The artist will be responsible for locating housing and travel to and from Boulder, Colorado. International applicants are welcome to apply but should note that the stipend will be lower due to taxes taken by the US government on international workers. 

The funding for this residency has been generously provided by the National Science Foundation under a grant looking to better understand how craftspeople can be integrated into engineering research. As such the selected resident will be asked to provide feedback and data about their experience to better understand how universities can support such collaborations in the future. The funding will allow us to host this residency again in 2023 and 2024.

International Applicants

We welcome international applications. If you are of non-US citizenship, please make note that the stipend will be particularly affected by US taxes on international workers as well as some fees for VISA processing in your country of citizenship. As we reach the later stages of the application process, we may use this information to provide you with more specifics on the taxes you may incur as well as verify with the host university that you would be eligible to work within the institution. We can provide flexibility in the residency dates to support applicants who may be facing additional challenges obtaining a VISA and/or traveling to the US due to current current restrictions given COVID. For more information on the particular program through which we host residents, visit: https://www.colorado.edu/isss/cu-departments/hiringhosting-international-students-scholars/international-scholars-j-h-e-pr/j-1-3

Organizers

Laura Devendorf (she/her),
Director of the Unstable Design Lab
Assistant Professor, ATLAS Institute
& Dept. of Information Science
website

Steven Frost
Faculty Director of the
B2 Center for Media Arts & Performance
website

Allison Anderson
Assistant Professor, Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences
website

Selection Committee

The selection committee and organizers will work together will determine the finalists. The organizers will ultimately select the chosen resident.

Kristina Andersen,
Future Everyday, Eindhoven University of Technology
website

Matt Bethancourt,
Director, Whaaat!? Lab for Games and Experimental Interactions, 
website

Sarah Rosalena Brady,
Assistant Professor of Computational Craft at UCSB, website

Annet Couwenberg,
Fiber and Material Studies, MICA,
website

Annapurna Mamidipudi,
Scholar and Craft Researcher,
website

Christy Matson,
Artist and Weaver,
website

Pam Meadows,
Curator, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art
website

Vernelle A. A. Noel,
Assistant Professor, University of Florida,
website

Jane Patrick,
Creative Director, Schacht Spindle Company,
website

Michael Rivera,
PhD Candidate, Carnegie Mellon University,
website

History 

The first iteration of this residency ran for a 6-week period in summer 2019 with support for the center for craft materials-based research grant. The resident, Sandra Wirtanen, and collaborator, Katya Arquilla, focused on the development of techniques for weaving dry electrodes for physiological monitoring.

Collaboration Team

As a collaborator in the Unstable Design Lab you will be working among artists and researchers across many domains of research. You would share immediate lab space with the students and faculty listed on the people page. Additionally, we will be working closely with Ella Schauss (a PhD student working with Prof. Anderson) and Michael Rivera (who will be a post-doctoral researcher at the lab during Spring 2022).

Application

To apply for the residency, please fill out the form below. Our selection criteria will be determined by your approach to experimentation, aesthetic of your work, and the demonstration of techniques that you employ in the work so please use the images and statements to provide details to those ends. Details about how you document and share your work will also help your application.

applications are now closed

Categories
Provocations

Unlearning the Garment from the Body

Categories
Open Source Public Resources

Prototyping Smart Textiles – A Reader

In support of our newly developed class, we found ourselves writing a reader to explain different techniques, material sourcing and structures of textiles that could be leveraged for so-called “smart” applications (but if you read our intro, you see we get into a bit more complexity on that). This has been authored by Laura Devendorf, Sasha De Koninck and Steven Frost but it is available via Github so you can contribute as well if you so wish. You can find the complete book at the link below:

Categories
Open Source Public Resources

Soft Object Open Curriculum

We developed a course and curriculum for teaching textile structures to an audience of students interested in engineering and physical prototyping. We have released this course, as well as our materials lists, kits, and assignments, as an open education resource here: https://unstable.design/soft-object/_book/

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AdaCAD Open Source Public Resources

AdaCAD

AdaCAD is a drafting software that we are developing in the lab. Our hope is for the tool to support both experimental forms of weaving and experimental forms of draft making that borrow from principles of generative design.

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Experimental Weaving Residency

Next Residency to be Held Spring 2022

We have received generous funding form the National Science Foundation to continue and conduct research through the experimental weaving residency for another three years! Due to COVID, we have delayed the start date of this residency to Spring ’22. Stay posted for a call for applications this summer. You can sign up for our newsletter for updates to your inbox (see link in the footer).

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Experimental Weaving Residency

Craftspeople As Technical Collaborators

in the video above we describe how craftspeople and human-computer interaction researchers can form mutually beneficial partnerships.

The video is the presentation portion of our 2020 CHI paper entitled:

Craftspeople as Technical Collaborators: Lessons Learned through an Experimental Weaving Residency
Laura Devendorf, Katya Arquilla, Sandra Wirtanen, Allison Anderson, and Steven Frost.
CHI 2020 – Best Paper Honorable Mention

We self-published a very similar, and more graphically pretty, version of the paper as our 2019 Residency Catalog