Textile Thinking for Future Ways of Living Exhibition @ArcInTex Sweden



The ArcInTex Network, spring 2017 meeting  was held at the Swedish School of Textiles in Boras 6 and 7 April in Boras Sweden.  ArcInTex is a group that connects architecture, interaction design and textiles. This spring’s meeting call was Body and Space: Cross Disciplinary Dialogues.

Before I report briefly on  these activities I want to say that I am deeply saddened at the loss and harm after the attack in Stockholm and my thoughts are with the people and families who were immediately affected by this event.

There were many great presentations to be inspired by and I will mention the ones that have websites, links, or are on exhibit that permit further exploration.  Sarah Kettley, a reader in product design at Nottingham Trent University presented the Electric Corset_ an Exploration of Historical Dress Archives for a Non-Fast Fashion Strategy for Wearables Innovation. She discussed the curious Electric Corset  and its implications for innovation strategies in wearable tech which was quite exciting.  Also   on Twitter will get you close.

Other presentations announced new opportunities for sustainable wearables including WEARsustain presented by Berit Greinke at University of Kunste in Berlin.[Missing umlaut]  WEARsustain is a new initiative in the EU to fund projects in the EU that focus on innovation in sustainability and ethics of wearables using smart textiles.

The ArcInTex conference closed with a fantastic collaborative presentation titled HAPTICA: How Haptic Experiences Feed the Gestalt Process.  The presenters were  Cheryl Koler, a professor of industrial design at Konstfack University in Stockholm,  Annika Rodell a professor in Culinary Arts and Meal Science at Orebro University and Asa Ostrom, [Sorry about the missing Swedish accents on my keyboard!]. Professor Asa Ostrom is a professor of sensory science also at Orebro University in Stockholm.  They presented a collaborative course and workshops that engaged a number of methods  including haptics, smell, taste, vision, cultural studies, mapping  and other methods to help culinary arts students design with all of their senses. Cheryl Koler also announced a workshop running this summer Back to the Land: Reconnecting Urban and Rural through Food SystemsFor more information email backtotheland@konstfack.se

During the conference attendees were treated to an exhibition by the ArcInTex PhD students in the Textile Museum, Skaraborgsvägen 3, Borås, Sweden.  The photograph above shows one of the pieces on exhibit in the Speculate, Collaborate, Define :Textile thinking for Future Ways of Living Exhibition. The concept for the exhibition was based on the question ‘How can we design for the future?’ The exhibition runs from 23 March to 15 May 2017.

At the scale of the body under the category of speculation students wanted to highlight ” the fragility of the human body, dependence on technology, limited resources, loneliness, and dystopian future of the Earth.”



In the define category proposed by the exhibition title were a series of Farming Textiles that supported the cultivation of edible plants in furnishings,  and textiles used to create an interior setting. In the photo immediately above you can see the beginnings of new growth on the ottoman. Below is a close up of a woven textile containing seeds in the loosely woven white stripe by Svenya Keune.



A colorful hub in the exhibition was Dr. Marjan Kooroshnia’s exhibition of her dissertation work On Textile Printing with Thermochromic Inks. Dr. Kooroshnia’s work is temperature and time based. The first photo shows two thermochromic dresses Kooroshnia fashioned.  They change color marking the body’s temperature map.



There is a video in the exhibit that shows how moving in the dress, even hair that may fall onto your shoulders on the dress makes a warmer spot that becomes temporally registered. In the exhibit you are invited to touch the dresses to make your own imprint.



Last, here is a photo of one of her pieces in the exhibit. A photograph does not do this work justice as her pieces change when you use a blow dryer, cooling spray or body heat on the textiles. Kooroshnia has provided dryers and cooling spray for you to play and explore the prints on exhibit.

There is a lot to interact with in this exhibition which really engages all the senses including smell, sound, touch and I suppose taste if you consider smell is also tasted.

The ArcInTex Network next meets at Aalto University in Helsinki Finland in fall 2017.  The ArcInTex link is here  ArcInTex and blog  ArcInTex Blog


Doing STEAM: Thinking with Material


Artists are very much scientists and scientists are very much artists. In my experience working with and thinking with material I have found that there is no science without art and that the reverse has also been so. Art and science ask different questions but each of these realms requires some of the other to function as a discipline.  The questions ” what does that mean?”  and “how does that work?” are questions that belong to both areas of knowledge creation. STEAM  is STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] with the A added for arts.    What do you think about STEAM OR STEM?


WPSU’s/Penn State’s Women in Science Project or WiSci launched Friday Jan. 27th [!].   These are video profiles of 5 scientists at Penn State including yours truly to support young women and girls’ education in STEM/STEAM careers.   Here is a link to the WPSU website WiSci.You can also follow  Women in Science on Twitter @WiSci Files. There are be live chats that will connect students in local schools to these scientists. Times and places will be posted on Twitter.

Tuesday 7 Feb. 10am , 2017 in  the Millennium Science Complex, 3rd Floor Commons at  I will share my work on a textile that quantifies the body at the Millennium Cafe@MRI, the Materials Research Institute at Penn State University on the University Park campus.  Here is a link Millennium Cafe Events 

Tuesday 21 Mar. 9am, and Wednesday 22 Mar.is a workshop titled Programmable and Wearable Molecular Composites Workshop organized by the Center for Research on Advanced Fiber Technologies CRAFT @Penn State.   This workshop will bring together academics, manufacturing and industrial partners on the Penn State University Park to discuss collaborative projects involving advanced fibers and textiles. If you are interested in working with others on computational textile systems and manufacturing you should come.  Here is a link with more information PAWMC Workshop

Also for those who have asked MIT SA+P Press has provided a copy of  Patterning by Heat: Responsive Tension Structures here.

More to come Later. Working without walls, working without bans online.






FELT: The Textility of Communicating Emotion Through a Fabric Wall

IMG_0476_sFELT:  The Textility of Communicating Emotion Through a Fabric Wall. Manufacturing a Knitted Wall at the Swedish School of Textiles.


If you are in town I will present a work in progress called FELT. April 11th @ 5:30 -6:00pm in the Long Lounge/7- 429, MIT School of Architecture and Planning, 77 Mass.  Ave., Cambridge, MA.   Travel for the project was generously sponsored by the Schlossman Research Award at MIT.   Please join us if you are able!

The fabric was produced with Delia Dumitrescu PhD, The Swedish School of Textiles University of Boras and Chalmers IT and Knitting Technician Christian Rodby at the Swedish School of Textiles at the University of Boras in Sweden.

Map http://whereis.mit.edu/

Form Active Textile Structures


I am happy to announce that Form Active Textile Structures:  A Research Process  by Felecia Davis and Delia Dumitrescu will be released by School of Architecture and Planning Press in early November 2013.  The catalogue comes in a set of 5 and will be available from the School of Architecture and Planning for $24.99.  The catalogue contains two essays and details from the Patterning by Heat:  Responsive Tension Structures Exhibition that was shown in the Keller Gallery Fall 2012.

JPEG image[2]_smallclosing fabric_shrinking yarn_early test

In addition to details about the Keller exhibition we also included work and discussion from the Digital Translations:  3D Printed Textiles Workshop held at the Swedish School of Textiles in Boras Sweden Spring 2012.


We are psyched!  Coming Soon!  Look for it!

Made possible with a little help from our friends @ the MIT School of Architecture and Planning.  So a shout out to  Nader Tehrani;  Irene Hwang and Lizzie Yarina  for help with layout and editing as well as Sarah Hirschman for help with getting the original exhibition installed.  Thanks Guys!

Computational Textile Events in November

Hello, if you are interested in computation and textiles, there are three events in the Boston area the early part of November that you will want to attend.

The IFAI is in town, or the Industrial Fabrics Association International from Nov. 6-9th at the Boston Convention Center.  There are many interesting programs concerning building and textiles.

On Friday 9 November, 9:30am- 12:30pm  I have organized  a seminar at the IFAI fair titled From Building to Body:  Current Research Into Interactive and Technical Textiles. A Panel of 5 speakers from MIT, OCAD U Toronto and the GSD at Harvard will present and discuss their works ranging from the architecture to affective wearables. Here is a link: http://www.ifaiexpo.com/Architect_Green_Roof.cfm

Monday,  5 November – 14 November  Exhibition titled  Patterning by Heat:  Responsive Textile Structures.  Keller Gallery, MIT School of Architecture and Planning,  Building 7-408.  Heat activated knitted textiles will be presented by myself and collaborator Delia Dumitrescu, PhD Candidate at the Swedish School for Textiles in Boras, and Chalmers IT. The gallery is open M-F 9am-6pm, and by appointment.  Here is a link:  http://architecture.mit.edu/computation/news/patterning-heat-responsive-textile-structures

Saturday 10 November there will be a hands on workshop, High Low Tech Lab, 5th Floor MIT Media Lab. 1pm-4pm titled Textile Sketches: Heat Fused Textile Demonstration.  Delia Dumitrescu and I  will show participants how the fabrics in the exhibition work and many additional samples. Participants will make their own patterns.

All are welcome to attend any of these public events.  See you there!

Electronic Weaving: Textiles and Mind

Charlieplexed Textile Map

Charlieplexed Map

How many things hold what we remember?

The theme of this year’s Sigradi 2011 held in Santa Fe Argentina 18-20 November chaired by Mauro Chiarella and Maria Elena Tosello , looked at the question of Augmented Culture and the intertwining of digital and physical space that create a new fabric of life, and perhaps a new  concept of mind that determines how  people interact today.

As a way to understand the idea of a mind, which was proposed by Marvin Minsky in his book the Society of Mind, the Sensing Touch:  Soft Architecture project presented at Sigradi, is a prototype for a conductive knit curtain that sensed nearness or absolute touch on the curtain and output the distance in various patterns of led’s on the curtain panel.  The panel also had soft solar film strips that captured energy to help power the output.  The paper is posted at Sigradi or CuminCad.   In this project,  mind, is expanded as it were to the textile itself creating a feedback loop between it and a person’s skin.

Here is a video of the Sensing Touch Curtain:

Sensing Touch Curtain Open from fadstudio on Vimeo.

A second paper Telephoning Textiles:  Networked Soft Architectures was also presented and looked at how a textile could become an indexing agent.   A textile map of all 50 states in the U.S. indicated by a led, was lit up according to the area code of the cellphone that was calling it.  An electronic weaving technique was used to expand the register pins of the microprocessor, in this case a Lilypad 328 from Sparkfun.  This made it possible to light up all 50 led’s one for each state in the U.S. using the 14 pins available on the Lilypad.  This paper is also available through the Sigradi or CuminCad website. Below is an image from the Telephoning Textiles: Networked Soft Architectures paper.

Textile Map Accessed by Android

Some of the most interesting issues that came up in the discussion during the Sensing Touch Curtain presentation were making it possible for other people to plug into or connect to the sensing touch curtain project, that it could not only be a understood as a curtain but seen as a mobile patchwork quilt that allowed connection with others, and that different events could be sparked off the interaction.  A kind of Interactive Gees Bend quilt that changes the look of technology and how it is accessed.  Here is a link a website showing the quilts. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/other/geesbend/explore/catalog/slideshow/index.htm, but it may be best to just google images for the quilts to see the remarkable panoply of designs together.

UpcomingForm Active Structures Workshop for the Industrial Knitting Course at the Swedish School of Textiles in Boras Sweden  between 6-10 March.

I will also present a lecture titled  Soft Architectures  at the Design Seminar Series on  6th  March.  More information at the link.

More on this later…

Textile Logics: Designing Structural Membranes

August 22-24 , 2011 the last and final workshop of the Digital Crafting Workshops series was held at the Design School in Kolding Denmark.   Workshop 5, titled  Textile Logics:  How to Brace,  was run by Mette Ramsgard Thompsen Head of CITA in Copenhaen, with invited guest Sean Alquist from the Institute for Computational Design at the University of  Stuttgart.The workshop focussed on the relationship between digital tools and the fabrication of variegated textile tension structures.  Textile designers Vibeke Riisberg , textile engineer Joy Boutrup, and textile manufacturing technical designer Helene Jensen  from the Design School at Kolding helped guide 3 teams of architects, engineers, artists and designers in creating three versions of tension structures from different types of variegated textiles.On Day 1, Teams designed the external shape of the tension structures as well as the textile itself  on laptops.    Vibeke and Helene worked with teams to produce  knitting samples and tested techniques.  The picture above is the the external shape and textile my team designed, in this image it is fully tensioned.  In this case the textile acts like a net.  Stresses are moving primarily through the thicker parts of the textile.On Day 2 teams began to process their textile patterns for the knitting machine.  The picture below shows the fabric our team designed directly from the industral knitting machine.  You can see that the fabric has a lot of bubbles that do not carry so much stress.


The workshop provided a unique opportunity to fabricate using tools from the textile and commercial apparel industry. Here are some pictures of the tools used to fabricate our tension structure.  The sewing machine below, sewed the loose ends of the knit together with a polyester and nylon thread, and sliced off the leftover part of the seam as you stitched.   Very fast,  scary at first.

Sewing on an Edger Machine

In the picture below is the industrial knitting machine that made our textile, which was a double knit structure.  The machine was started with plain wool to get it going and then the yarn was changed to the polyester yarn.

flat Knitting Machine

Day 3 was a seminar day, where there were invited guests, and teams discussed what was learned during the entire process  that moved from digital information to the fabricated tension structure.  You can read more about the Digital Crafting 5 Workshop here:  http://www.digitalcrafting.dk/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/DC-DigitalCrafting_Web_S.pdf

Cloth Emerging from Knitting Machine