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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
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/

Categories
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. You can view our intro to Version 2 of the software below.

Categories
Provocations

ASMR as Design Inspiration

When I first watched an ASMR video I was both fascinated and confused. I found these videos to be fantastically strange because they had an uncanny way of taking conventionally boring objects and situations and turning them into a source of interest and relaxation for millions of people. I wondered if the way that we interact with ASMR videos is reshaping our relationships with technology. Or perhaps indicative of some cultural shift that is already underway. Over the course of a year, I worked with Laura to gain a deeper understanding of ASMR related media and whether or not it could be relevant to the design of technology, specifically the wearable kind. This project included: an indepth look at ASMR videos on youtube and tried to isolate their unique aesthetic qualities; a pilot study where users took home a “sonic toolkit” in order to understand how “ASMR-like” sounds relate to everyday life; and an interview with a Melinda Lauw, a “live” ASMR creator. The project culminated in the creation of two interactive garments that are based off of Laura and I’s individual interpretations of how ASMR videos can inspire wearable technology for connecting meaningfully with our surroundings. 

Designing early concepts for impossible sonic garments
The screaming coat triggers audio playback to breath, allowing one to scream with their samples
The listening jacket sound amplifies and distorts environmental sounds, like the satisfying clicki-ness of this keyboard.

To learn more about the garments as well as all of our different ideas surrounding ASMR and design please check out the paper! 

Detail on the Teensey Audio Controller used in both coats


Links

Categories
Provocations

Unfabricate

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.

Publications

Unfabricate: Designing Smart Textiles for Disassembly – CHI 2020

Categories
Provocations

Craftspeople as Collaborators

Categories
News

Soft Object – A New Course to be Offered in Fall 2020

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 unstabledesignlab@gmail.com as we may look to develop a forum for public engagement and critique.


ATLS 4519/5519: Soft Objects
Monday/Wednesday 3:00-4:40
ATLAS 113 – Blow Things Up Lab

Official Listings: ATLS 4519 //ATLS 5519

Categories
Provocations

Digital Crafts-Machine-Ship

Some friends and I recently collaborated on a written piece devoted to the topic of crafts-machine-ship, which is our rethinking the relevance and meaning of “craft” within the field of human-computer interaction. Led by Kristina Anderson, a good friend and fellow TC2-tamer, the piece brings together from design, philosophy, textiles, and electronic music to express how we want more from our machines. In doing so, we consider the wisdom of luddites, describe a craft machine as swimming, and playfully interject the word “sammunsurium” which is an amazing and untranslatable Danish word that I have come to learn means something of a beautiful mess. you can read it here:

 

Categories
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: https://unstabledesign.github.io/

Links: