Midterm Project: Follow the Materials

Your midterm project is to produce a swatch for a class swatch book that demonstrates some functionality, possibly something that you discovered in our earlier weeklies. We take inspiration in this assignment from the e-textiles swatch exchange, where practitioners develop small samples of a material outcome of a technique they developed and instructions for replication that are shared into a physical book with other practitioners. This is a chance for you to explore one technique or material more deeply, and to present it to the class.

The Assignment Description:
Taking into consideration all of the ways you have learned to create a textile/substrate, create a swatch for the course swatch book (yes! we will be making physical books). Each student should make 3 copies of the same swatch.

Your substrate should function as some kind of sensor (stretch, bend, force, etc) or have a unique property (changing shape, biodegradable, etc).

For your swatch book page, you must use the template provided in canvas (in addition to any of your own documentation you might like to keep) title your swatch and write a description of its function. You must include a list of the materials and tools used to create your swatch. Depending on the function of your swatch, you can either include a technical circuit diagram or instructions for replicating your swatch. You must also include an illustrated diagram. The illustrated diagram should label all the parts of the swatch, how they function, and how it can be connected to. You must also cite at minimum two sources/references.

Maximum swatch dimensions: 5.5" x 7.75" x 0.25"
Quantity: 3 copies of the same swatch

You will keep one copy and send the other two to the instructors for grading (details below). We will also compile them into course books that will live on in our institutional library (and possibility digital archives).

Please review the deadlines and phases of the project in the table below for details on each phase:

Below, you will

Item Percent of Midterm Grade Date Due
Deliverable 1a: Concept 5% 10/5
Deliverable 1b: Concept Update 5% 10/14
In Class Development with Guests 0% 10/14
Deliverable 2: Physical Swatches 40% 10/25
Deliverable 3: Documentation 40% 10/26
Deliverable 4: Presentation 10% 10/26
*Submit to TEI Swatch Competition (Optional) 0% 11/20

*We have timed the midterm so you have the option to submit your project to the Student Design Competition at this year's TEI - which is being curated by Hannah Perner-Wilson and Irene Posch.

Deliverable 1: Concept - Due Monday 10/5

What do you think you might make? Submit your idea for your swatch to use via canvas by 10/5.

Your submission should use words, diagrams and/or found internet imagery to describe what you'd like to make. The idea should be inventive and feasible and you must include details on how you plan to implement your swatches within the 2 weeks you will have to complete it.

The instructors will provide feedback and resources based on your concept. If your concept is unsuitable, we may ask you to revise and resubmit.

Deliverable 1b: Concept - Due Wednesday 10/14

We will be hosting guest brainstormers in class on October 14.

Please review the feedback from your original concept and come to class prepared with a description of the swatch you are planning to develop. Your description should include:

  • a list of materials you are going to use and/or test in order to create your swatch
  • a list of textile techniques you are going to experiment with (and be prepared to explain why those techniques)
  • a list of any accompanying hardware the instructors will need to test that the swatch works.
  • a list of the steps you will need to perform to realize your concept. At each step, consider your backup plan.

Overall - tell us less about what you think its going to look like or do, but what specific things you will need to study and test to get there.

Please submit your assignment in whatever format you think is best. We will use this submission in class during the brainstorming session with our guests.

Deliverable 2: Physical Swatches - Due 10/25

Make 3 physical copies of your swatch. Keep 1 and send the other 2 to the instructor by mail or delivery (to Prof. Devendorf's house - will be listed on Canvas). The swatches must be received by the end of day on Sunday 10/25.

Deliverable 3: Documentation - Due 10/26

Make 3 physical copies of your swatch. Keep 1 and send the other 2 to the instructor by mail or delivery (to Prof. Devendorf's house - will be listed on Canvas) on or before 3pm on 10/26. They must be received by 3pm on 10/26.

Turn in your documentation page as a PDF via Canvas (the instructors will print it and attach your swatch to it. You must use the template provided on Canvas, but are also welcome to submit any additional materials you added to a personal blog or project page.

Deliverable 4: Presentation - Due 10/26

You will present your swatch to the class on 10/26. Each student will have ~10 minutes for presentation and feedback. Prepare a short (about 3 minute) presentation that explains what you have made and how you developed the concept.

Please submit this presentation via Canvas as a Google Slides Presentation so professor Devendorf can load them all, and present them all, Please also prepare one question for the class so we can provide you feedback on your idea.

Turn in a link to your presentation on Canvas by 3pm on 10/26


We will grade according to the following template

Item Max Point Value
Concept (Deliverable 1) +5
Concept (Deliverable 1b) +5
Working Physical Swatches (Deliverable 2) +40
Documentation Sheet (Deliverable 3) +40
-- Description +10
-- Title +2
-- References +3
-- Illustration +9
--Materials +3
--Tools +3
--Diagram OR Instructions +10
Presentation (Deliverable 4) +10

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