Experimental Weaving Residency Public Resources

Experimental Weaving Talk Series

Wednesdays at 9AM Mountain Standard Time
Online, Fall 2022

Join us this Fall as we invite a few of the weavers we admire describe their approach to weaving and experimentation. Our goal with the series is to bring attention to various weavers whose work animates possibilities for woven structure and weaving practice. Specifically, the talks will be intended for the public as well as the students the ATLAS Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder, which grants a degree in “Creative technology and Design”. In defining experimental weaving, we also aim to illuminate how these practices are inherently practices of technological innovation and how students of technology can benefit from learning about the histories of weaving and utility woven structure.
All talks will be hosted via Zoom and you are invited to register for any/all of the talks at the bottom of this page

Melanie Olde

September 14

Bio:  Melanie Olde is a weaver, researcher, teacher and artist. She researches cellular structures for form, function and array to interpret these in biomimetic, moving, woven 3-dimensional cloth to advance innovative exploration. Olde works on an AVL 24 shaft CompuDobby Loom in Canberra, Australia and has also worked with mechanical and computerized jacquard systems.

Kathryn Walters

image credit: Kathryn Walters

September 28

Bio: Kathryn Walters is a PhD researcher in Textile Design at the Swedish School of Textiles. Her research investigates transformative textiles developing three-dimensional form. She explores emergent behaviour arising from the combination of material properties and textile structures, where textiles are seen as systems with responsive properties. Her process embraces the use of industrial jacquard looms as an extension of weaving as craft.

Jessy Lu

image credit: Jessy Lu

October 19

Jessy Lu is an artist exploring textiles as a form of computation with respect to both their historical origin and technological future. With a background in R&D as a materials engineer, she has worked on exploratory applications for fabrics used in hardware technology. Her art practice focuses on exploring image processing techniques and the use of algorithms to determine pattern and color allocation. Currently, Jessy is working on a research project in Taiwan studying knots as a form of craft tradition, sculptural object, and as a framework for tactile modalities of aesthetic experience.

Alyson Ainsworth

image credit: Alyson Ainsworth

October 26

Bio: Alyson Ainsworth is a New York City-based weaver whose work explores overcoming traditional limitations of the loom. Through the use of materials, hand manipulations, and complex weave structure, she creates weavings that combine new techniques with the familiar. She is interested in pushing the boundaries of weaving as a discipline—from both art and design perspectives—and exploring the connection of functional and aesthetic textiles in the process.

Victoria Manganiello

Image Credit: Victoria Manganiello, @softmonitor, @juliansgees

November 9

Bio: Victoria Manganiello considers weaving a form of communication. Her ethereal fabric pieces radiate color and light while referencing computer programming and bar codes. Manganiello is currently producing a documentary film about Women and Textiles and is an instructor at NYU and the Parsons School of the Arts in New York. Her textile-based installations combine hand-spun yarns and hand-mixed dyes with modern materials and techniques, creating conceptual hybrids that lean towards the future while employing methods from the past. 

Etta Sandry

Image Credit: Etta Sandry (left) and Brandon Brookbank (right)

November 30

Etta is the 2022 Experimental Weaver In Residence, this talk will present her work as well as the outcomes from the residency.
Bio: Etta Sandry is an artist, educator, and facilitator from the midwestern United States, currently based in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal. Her material-focused research is rooted in fibre and weaving and spans media through sculpture, writing, and installation. Etta completed her MFA in the Fibre & Material Practices program at Concordia University in the spring of 2021. She has exhibited her work in the United States and Canada and was the 2022 Experimental Weaver in Residence at the Unstable Design Lab in Boulder, Colorado.


You can view our previous talks in the series here or on our YouTube Channel:


AdaCAD Public Resources

Virtual AdaCAD Workshops

AdaCAD is a design tool we have developed for weave drafting. It specializes in generating and managing complex weaving structures that are most often used in Jacquard weaving. It is free, open-source, and under active development as a tool intended to bridge engineering and craft. Specifically, it uses the design paradigm of “generative design” within the context of weaving that allows one to dynamically generate and adjust weave structures programmatically such as the structures shown above (generated using the “random” structure generator where the weaver and specify the size and ration of raised/lowered heddles) and the resulting fabric on the right.

Want to play with it on your own? Follow any of these links:

Alternatively, you can sign up for a workshop to learn more.

We’re running an hour-long workshop to teach people how to use the tool and our next workshop will be April 1 @ 10am Mountain Time (9:00 PST, 12:00 EST, 18:00 CET). If you would like to join, send us your email and we’ll send you a zoom link.

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:

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:

AdaCAD Open Source Public Resources

How to Use 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.

AdaCAD Open Source Provocations Public Resources

AdaCAD – The Beginnings

Photo of the AdaCAD user interface

In 2017, the Unstable Design Lab received a grant from the National Science Foundation to develop AdaCAD, a software tool that would facilitate weavers who needed to integrate circuitry into their design.

This post includes a transcript of our first presentation about AdaCAD, delivered at CHI 2019. In this presentation, we talk about the rationale, process, and features of AdaCAD. Long story short, we presented how we learned that providing specific support for multilayer weaving and viewing your weave in terms of the draft as well as the paths of the individual yarn types within the design could go far to support weavers, and non-weavers, entering this emerging design space.

Since giving the talk in 2018, we have contributed development and you can view our current documentation and use the tool here: