Experimental Weaving Residency

2019 Call for Entries

We are pleased to announce the creation of an experimental weaving residency to be held during 6-weeks in the summer of 2019 at the Unstable Design Lab thanks to the generous support from the Center for Craft, Creativity and Designs “Material-Based Research Grant.” Fiber artists with an interest or established record in engaging computation in their practice are encouraged to apply.

During the 6-week residency, the practice-based researcher-in-residence (RiR) will be invited to collaborate with university researchers and local partners to conceptualize and develop textiles that engage technology in their design, production, or concept. This includes data-driven or generative design of textiles, textiles with embedded functionality, or textiles that embody critical perspectives of technology and society. In addition to producing their own concepts, the researcher-in-residence will be invited to participate in the ongoing research of the organizers and researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder more broadly.

The researcher-in-residence will be expected to spend at least 20-hours working in the lab and actively engaging with the organizers and other researchers who share the lab space. They will participate in an exit-interview that reflects on the residency and their experience in order to generate insights about how artist/research residencies can be productively structured in the future. We will encourage the resident to engage with the Boulder and Denver communities more broadly through hosting workshops and talks about their practice.

Stipend, Facilities, and Housing

The researcher will be housed with local hosts, will have a dedicated working space within the Unstable Design Lab, access to the resources and equipment of the organizers, and will receive a stipend of $3750 as well as $1000 to support for travel to and from the residency.

The Unstable Design Lab is an interdisciplinary research lab located within the ATLAS Institute at the University of Colorado, Boulder. approximately 650 square feet, divided between a workshop used primarily for prototyping and development and two offices (one for Devendorf and the other shared between PhD students and the researcher-in-residence). The lab is equipped with weaving equipment including a 3W TC2 Jacquard Loom (current set for weaving at 30 epi), an 8-shaft Schacht Baby Wolf Loom, electronics stations, workshop sink, and a library of smart textiles prototype materials and equipment. The resident will have priority access to the TC2 as well as other materials and equipment in the space.

In addition to the unstable design lab, the researcher-in-residence will also have access to the TBD Lab and Bioastronautics lab. The TBD lab a fabrication lab devoted to supporting research by ATLAS faculty and students. Located a few feet down the hall from the Unstable Design Lab, this lab will provide the resident with access to an Epilog M2 Fusion 40” laser cutter, 3D printers, soldering irons, sewing machines, and many additional prototyping tools and materials for electronics and enclosures. The Bioastronautics Laboratories (led by co-organizer Allison Anderson), which has test facilities to experimentally investigate designed garment and sensor systems. They have an industrial sewing machine (Brother z8550a) for spacesuit garment development and prototyping. A custom-built glovebox can be used to test spacesuit arm components and spacesuit lower body components. The chamber is pulled to vacuum to achieve a pressure differential of the ultimate suit pressure (i.e. 4.3 PSI), allowing pressurized space suit garment testing to be conducted while the subject wearing the suit is outside the chamber at atmospheric pressure. We also have equipment to manufacture and test elastomers for wearable applications.


We encourage both US and international artists to apply to this residency. You must be 18 or older and be willing to spend the entire 6-week residency in Boulder, Colorado.

Application Process

Interested applicants are encouraged to submit an artist statement, CV, website, examples of work, and statement of collaboration by January 31, 2019 (at 11:59 pm in the submitters local time). All applications should be submitted through this form:

After the deadline, the organizers and board will review the applications in terms of the criteria addressed above and the potential for engagement with collaborators in the Boulder and Denver areas. We will hold interviews with short-listed candidates late-February and make a final selection March 15, 2019. The exact dates for the residency are negotiable with the organizers but should take place between late June and mid-August. Please direct any questions to


We are hosting this residency to serve two primary goals.

  1. to create a space where artists and researchers can mutually benefit form sharing knowledge and ideas.
  2. to use this residency as a model to inform future practices of engaging artists within programs of academic research.

In regards to the first goal, we seek to build a mutually beneficial environment where the participating researcher-in-residence can both learn from and contribute to our ongoing research in wearable technology and textiles with embedded circuitry. The organizers will work with our local connections, inside and outside the university, to assist the resident in exploring new concepts and advancing their career.

In regards to the second goal, we intend to use this residency to inspire additional programs within technological development and engineering programs that engage artists in meaningful and mutually beneficial ways. We feel that too often artists and craftspeople are overlooked in processes of technological development, though their work is equally as challenging and impactful. We want to create a form of “evidence” and best practices for a fruitful collaboration in the hopes to inspire similar programs across technology and engineering programs. Thus, we hope to document, record, and publicize our experience (good or bad) to inform others of what is possible or what should be avoided in an honest and reflective manner.


Laura Devendorf is a design researcher who studies how technology shapes our relationships to the worlds in which we live. Much of this research has focused on the development of alternative digital fabrication technologies that make space for the creative agency of physical materials. Her recent work focuses on smart textiles—a project that interweaves the production of computational design and fabrication tools, reflection on gendered forms of labor, and visions for how wearable technology could shape relationships between humans and nonhuman “lives.” She is an assistant professor at the ATLAS Institute as well as the Department of Information Science.

Steven Frost is an artist who tells the stories of hidden histories through objects and performances. He sources archival materials to help audiences engage with and remember forgotten narratives. He research focusses on queer narratives in pop culture and community development in DIY community spaces. Frost hosts the Colorado Sewing Rebellion. This free monthly performance and workshop is designed to encourage the public to mend and construct their own clothing. Frost is also an active studio artist with a record of national and international exhibitions. He holds a BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics and Design at Alfred University and received his MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011.

Allison Anderson  investigates issues in aerospace biomedical engineering and human physiology in extreme environments. Her focus is to develop technologies to measure and mitigate the body’s adaptations to extreme environments, which also has direct implications for patient populations here on Earth. She is currently developing wearable sensing systems to assess comfort and biomechanics in the spacesuit.  Her interests in weaving and fiber arts include direct integration of electronics into custom built fabrics and advanced concepts spacesuits using woven elastics

Advisory Board

Arielle Hein is an artist, technologist, and educator whose work explores the imaginative use of emerging technologies and spans the fields of human-computer interaction, interaction design and art. Drawing on an interdisciplinary background and a research-based creative practice, Arielle explores the intricate relationships between technology and our human experience. As an educator, Arielle is passionate about empowering students through the exploration of interactive systems and the use of digital tools. Arielle earned her Master’s degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) in 2015 and is currently working as an Instructor in the ATLAS Institute and Technology, Arts and Media (TAM) program in the College of Engineering & Applied Sciences at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Arielle is also the Coordinator for ITP Camp at NYU.

Christy Matson is an artist based in Los Angeles, CA, whose hybrid woven/painted works engage hand-weaving as a lens by which to view history, abstraction and physicality. Challenging the tradition of hand-woven textiles as functionally objective objects, she creates artifacts that equally privilege the surface and the structure in the creation of her work.  Recent exhibitions include the Long Beach Museum of Art, Craft and Folk Art Museum Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Arts Houston, The Milwaukee Art Museum, The Knoxville Museum of Art and the Asheville Museum of Art. Matson’s work is in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago and Smithsonian Museum of American Art’s Renwick Gallery as well as numerous private collections. She received her BFA from the University of Washington and her MFA from the California College of the Arts. In 2012 she was appointed Associate Professor of Fiber and Material Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Matson has been working with the Jacquard loom since 2002.

Erin Espelie is a filmmaker, writer, researcher, and editor, whose science-based experimental and poetic documentaries have shown at the New York Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Natural History Museum in London, CPH:DOX, the Copernicus Science Center in Warsaw, the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and more. She has degrees in molecular biology from Cornell University and the experimental and documentary arts from Duke University. She currently serves as Editor in Chief of Natural History magazine, and works at the University of Colorado Boulder as an assistant professor in Film Studies & Critical Media Practices and co-director of NEST (Nature, Environment, Science & Technology) Studio for the Arts.

Janet Hollingsworth is a structural engineer, woodworker, and maker educator. She co-founded BLDG 61, the all-ages makerspace at the Boulder Public Library in 2016. As a creative technologist, she curates and facilitates maker programs at BLDG 61 including: woodworking, laser cutting, machining, sewing, 3D printing, electronics, digital fabrication, screen printing, book binding, and more. She has also developed special apprenticeship programs for underrepresented youth and individuals experiencing homelessness.

Joel Swanson is an artist and writer who explores the relationship between language and technology. His work playfully subverts the technologies, materials, and underlying structures of language to reveal its idiosyncrasies and inconsistencies. His work ranges from interactive installations to public sculptures that playfully and powerfully question words and their meanings. Swanson teaches courses on typography, creative coding, and media theory at the ATLAS Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder. He received his Masters of Fine Art at the University of California, San Diego with a focus in Computing and the Arts.

Rebecca Vaughan received her MFA from Carnegie Mellon University and BFA cum laude in Sculpture at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Ms. Vaughan has fifteen years of teaching at the college level and mentoring emerging artists, having served as the former Chair of Fine Arts and Head of Sculpture at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. She also worked as the Program Director of the Art Students League of Denver and held a residency as a Resource Artist at Redline Denver from 2011-2013. Previously she worked as the project manager for Ann Hamilton’s 2008 Circles of O performance, and assisted in other projects in Dialog: City, a city-wide arts event for the Democratic National Convention in Denver. She served as an Artist-Teacher for the Vermont College of Fine Art and was a visiting instructor at Bowling Green State University, OH.


We are delighted to announce that we have selected Sandra Wirtanen as our practice-based researcher in residence for 2019. Our application review took longer than expected with a strong response of 200 applicants. Our first cut culled the list from 200 or 23 applicants, which were sent to our full board for review. Based on the board review, we made a selection of four finalists that included Sandra Wirtanen, Etta Sandry, Laura Splanand WeaveThing (Kate O’Brien and Heather MacKenzie). We interviewed each finalist before making our final selection. We want to thank everyone for your interest and support for this residency. We are working on plans to continue the residency in the future and feel free to send an email to if you would like to stay posted on our progress.

Sponsors and Affiliations: