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. 


Application DeadlineSept 15, 2021
Notification to Selected ApplicantNovember 1, 2021
Residency Dates12 weeks between Jan 15-May 15


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.


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:


Laura Devendorf (she/her),
Director of the Unstable Design Lab
Assistant Professor, ATLAS Institute
& Dept. of Information Science

Steven Frost
Faculty Director of the
B2 Center for Media Arts & Performance

Allison Anderson
Assistant Professor, Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences

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

Matt Bethancourt,
Director, Whaaat!? Lab for Games and Experimental Interactions, 

Sarah Rosalena Brady,
Assistant Professor of Computational Craft at UCSB, website

Annet Couwenberg,
Fiber and Material Studies, MICA,

Annapurna Mamidipudi,
Scholar and Craft Researcher,

Christy Matson,
Artist and Weaver,

Pam Meadows,
Curator, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

Vernelle A. A. Noel,
Assistant Professor, University of Florida,

Jane Patrick,
Creative Director, Schacht Spindle Company,

Michael Rivera,
PhD Candidate, Carnegie Mellon University,


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).


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

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:


Craftspeople as Collaborators