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:
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/
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.
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).
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
A Fabric that remembers is a fabric that remembers how and when it was pressed. It does this using 6 embedded pressure sensors and a microconroller that trasmits data to the web. It is a fabric with its own website, which you can explore here:
The fabric is currently on display at Accenture Labs in San Francisco and uses both the fabric and tablet to visualize touch in realtime. The constraint that guided the work was to get as much of the circuitry as possible embedded into the fabric. Thus, for the e-textiles nerds out there, you might be happy to know that all of the wiring for the resistive sensing and voltage dividing is embedded into the fabric by way of using different resistance yarns. We have included all of the swatches I made in preparation for the final design for reference.
Authors on this project are Laura Devendorf, Sasha De Koninck, Shanel Wu and Emma Goodwill.
Want to know more of the technical details?
You can checkout all of the code, interface specs, and weaving files at https://github.com/UnstableDesign/A-Fabric-That-Remembers
Unfabricate is a project that anticipate the future of e-waste compounding with textile waste. Shanel Wu leverages the quality of textiles as being adhesive-less to envision new methods for designing smart textiles for disassembly.
As designers, what do with the struggles or difficulties that design cannot solve? How might our design processes themselves orient us towards solutions in spaces where we might need other forms of witnessing or attending? In a project called “Making Design Memoirs” we explored these questions through and within experiences of parenting. What we suggest in the work is that Making Design Memoirs might be a way to readapt design as a mode of storytelling, specifically a way to tell personal stories about how something feels, felt or may be felt differently in the future. The concept emerged from a very personal collaboration between Laura Devendorf, Kristina Anderson, and Aisling Kelliher. Specifically, we started the project as an attempt to understand the limits of design–what does it mean to design if it’s not about making something “better” or “easier.” Specifically, we thought back on our experiences as mothers and tried to develop methods to investigate that experience through design. In this way, we try to make “memoirs” with objects that tell of our felt experiences and that bring out practices of witnessing and honoring instead of resolving.
Making Design Memoirs: Understanding and Honoring Difficult Experiences
Laura Devendorf, Kristina Andersen, Aisling Kelliher
CHI – April 2020
Best Paper Honorable Mention
The Fundamental Uncertainties of Mothering: Finding Ways to Honor Endurance, Struggle, and Contradiction
Laura Devendorf, Kristina Andersen, Aisling Kelliher
ToCHI Special Issue on Designing for Women’s Health
Laura Devendorf and Sasha de Koninck are designing a new course to be offered in Fall 2020, Soft Object. The course will cultivate a community of material researchers seeking to make soft things that expand how we think of interactivity. While starting with soft circuits, the class will support material investigations with novel techniques for textile structure, growth, computation and decomposition. Students will learn about different soft material structures, properties, and possibilities. As a course, we will develop, refine, and publish novel techniques for smart/functional fabrics in the form of a physical and open source digital “swatch book.” Students we will think about the history and future of textile and soft-object making, while conducting their own material investigations.
We are designing the course to run mostly virtually. If you are a CU grad student or undergraduate student, please join us. If you are an interested global community member, please get in touch with us via email@example.com as we may look to develop a forum for public engagement and critique.
ATLS 4519/5519: Soft Objects
ATLAS 113 – Blow Things Up Lab