Make your tech and wear/use it too?

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Why are we developing solutions to embed electronics in textiles if we’re not really interested in having this kind of technology in our lives. Lets get together and think about what we really want to exist in the world. And then prototype it and try it out.
Lets try to find e-textile solutions we want that are useful to ourselves or others, similar to the way we consider other technologies in our life useful such as a watch, glasses, headphones, bluetooth headsets, radios, memory sticks, mp3 players, lawn mowers, mixers, washing machines, hair-dryers, electric toothbrushes, windscreen-wipers, headlamps…

possible sub-topics:

What Do I Want?:
It might be hard to come up with something truly utilitarian and something you really feel missing from your life that E-Textiles would be the perfect medium to solve. But I am sure we can find some things we want. And then we can build them and use them and see what it feels like to go through this process and for a change be a “user” at the receiving end of the production-line.

A Gift – Something For Somebody:
The practice of gift-making and giving could help inspire a concrete idea for making something that this person will value and use.

E-Textiles for Wearability:
We clad our bodies in textiles and so many E-Textile applications are Wearables. But what considerations do we make when putting tech into fabric and onto the body? Many of us spend most of our time thinking this through and applying our skills to solve the problem. Can we capture our knowledge of this in some way so that we can share it and document it as a useful resource for other designers? Maybe come up with new solutions….

references for E-Textiles for wearability:
>> Design for Wearability
>> Application Design for Wearable Computing

7 Responses to Make your tech and wear/use it too?

  1. Aniela Hoitink says:

    This topic got my most attention, especially since I read below about the Google Jacquard project (see quote below).
    I love to discuss this with others and share ideas!

    BLOOMBERGVIEW: “In an interview with Wired’s David Pierce, Project Jacquard head Ivan Poupyrev acknowledged that the real challenges aren’t technological. They lie in figuring out what people want. “It’s really a design problem,” he said. “Design, and cultural understanding.” Poupyrev emphasized that the company doesn’t plan to get into the clothing business. Aside from the yarn, it will offer software and services that others can use to develop specific products.
    Opening up the technology to all sorts of designers, with all sorts of ideas, lessens the danger of getting stuck on the sleeve-as-touch-screen idea. I can imagine several alternatives myself. Speaking of bumping into strangers reminds me of the Florentine pickpocket who lifted my new iPhone. How about pockets that detect unauthorized intruders and sound an alarm or vibrate some other part of your garments? (Such smart pockets could be sewn into handbags as well as clothing.)
    I’d also like a bra that reminds me to keep my shoulders back, correcting the rounded pose brought on by too many hours on the laptop. In my one purchase of wearable tech, I tried the Lumo Lift. It’s a sensor that’s supposed to vibrate to coach your posture; it also connects to a smartphone app. At least for me, the Lift didn’t work at all. It was too large, too loose, and, even attached to my bra strap, not close enough to my body to accurately detect its position. Fabric, by contrast, can get intimate.”

  2. Barbro Scholz says:

    This the topic I am always dealing with. For me it goes hand in hand with the sustainibility topic, as the pros for some e-textile product can become stronger, if they contribute to sustainability, and also in terms of social sustainibility.
    I like to discuss the question auf automation that some wearables include.

    Let’s discuss, share, make!

  3. Svenja Keune says:

    I would also like to participate in this group as I have quite contrary opinions about wearables. I am very interested in developing meaningful ways of interaction, a wearable poem, a companion with misfires…. . Very looking forward sharing ideas with you!

  4. Martin De Bie says:

    I will be very pleased to be part of this group.
    All this technologies or technics that we experiment need to find a good way to be use in everyday life. As a designer, i will speak about fonctionnality but also about our relation with technology and interactive interface. How materiality can bring back a poetic and sensitive connection.

    Find new process and experiment are very difficult but sometimes discover a use of it in a concrete context could be harder. It’s why i think this subject can be very interesting and inexhaustible especially in eTextile.
    Happy to be part of this discussion and trying to find new applications with people from this group.

  5. Kate Hartman says:

    I’m very interested in wearability and use the “Design for Wearability” reading frequently in my classes. Recently in my lab we’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to actually wear the things we make on a longer term basis. We just completed a self-study with our most recent prototype, wearing it in a variety of situations. I’m interested in how something that I work hard to create still has the potential to not feel right when I wear it. I’d like to dig into this deeper. I want to explore what makes something “comfortable” and what makes it feel like a “part of us”.

    That said, I am also torn between this, the Wireless Group, and Tools for Experts. I’ve been playing with the Light Blue Bean recently and it has exciting possibilities. And I’m really excited about the comments that Hannah posted on “Tools for Experts”! Maybe there’s some possible mashup?

  6. Barbro Scholz says:

    Aniela
    I will bring my drum pants to experiment with http://www.drumpants.com/
    We could hack it, or use it for different other things “Our Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 works with all MIDI or OSC apps, or map taps to keystrokes for games.”
    I also want to bring my weaving loom (it’s a simple one, can do double cloth though) if that could be of interest for us.
    I can imagine weaving/integrating sensors or conductive yarn together with regular yarn.

    Barbro
    It would be nice to share some theoretical background in advance, and maybe a make a short session for discussion . In that part I would suggest to have some time to discuss aestethics of e-textiles. Designthinking plus the aesthetical part. What do you think?
    The drumpants are cool! they could be a good point to start with.
    I can bring handtools for knitting, crochet, felting needle. It would be good to be able to easily integrate or apply the electronics to a prototype.
    It would be good to have a sewing machine and maybe we can bring sth like garments or other prepared textile products which we can use for the prototyping, maybe we already have some ideas in advance?
    For materials, I think we need basic conductive and resistive materials for sensors and connections, and regular textiles, some different kinds ( jerseys and more stabile ones). Maybe we could get some /an attiny(s), to make simple wireless wearables. But probably not the most important part.
    I have dealed a bit with slowdesign, I guess you all know it, but here is an overview http://www.slowlab.net/slow_design.html
    Maybe the ideas fit the workshop.

    Svenja
    I am very interested in the aesthetics of wearables,
    but also on not just functional benefits. It´s also interesting to discuss
    data and privacy issues and terms of sustainability.

    Right now I am participating in a residency. As the internet connection
    sometimes is horrible I could try to join a Skype meeting.

    Within the residency I am working with porcelain, textiles and electronics.
    I could bring some porcelain tubes and pearls and several kinds of LED´s.
    The next days I will order some electronics that I can also bring if I will not
    need them all for my projects here.

    Kate
    Here are two things that came to the front of my imagination when reading about this topic:

    The first is wearing. I would love to engage in a make/wear/revise/wear iterative cycle accompanied by a journalling or documentation method to capture what we learn along the way. This could either take the form of moving forward with existing projects that we each already have, or generating some new simple projects that we can put together and wear/use on site.

    The second thing that I imagined might be an amazing outcome is a new set of guidelines on designing and prototyping for wearability. I love the “Design for Wearability” article and I use it in a lot of my classes, but it is in some ways out of date and does not speak to our current toolsets and context. What if we were to work together on drafting a new set of guidelines? It could possibly lead to a neat publication that could pair nicely with documentation of our wearing & iteration experiences.

    Would either or both of those things be of interest to anyone?

    Personally I’m really interested in expressive and social wearables these days – items that modify or contribute to human interaction. The most recent project in which I’ve explored this is called Monarch: https://vimeo.com/98226568. It’s muscle activated. I can bring the most recent version of it. I’m actually interested in continuing on with the skeleton of it (muscle sensor + servo motor + pleated textiles) and using it to explore other forms that expand, contract, or shift shape on the body.

    Martin
    Let’s skype!

  7. giulia tomasello says:

    Hi everybody, I’ve just moved from sustainable e-textile focus group to join yours!
    This group was my second choice and I’m particularly interested in e-textile for wearability especially from the user point of view and his experience.
    I would try to talk here as well about sustainability issues, because believing in a continue development of technologies and innovation, I think we still need to solve e-waste issues and materials recycle problems for our future.
    I’m often researching and making interactive second layers of skin that are as much as possible embedded with our body and part of our daily routines: the Google Jacquard project is an example of how e-textile is the next technology that will replace many existing daily life products.
    This is why I’m wondering how far we can also push materiality of e-textile and smart materials to follow a biodegradable loop and be part of a natural and sustainable process.
    So, what I really want to wear that will be meaningful during my day and how is going to impact with earth and consequentially with my future?
    Looking to talk with everyone about_

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