Dis­sem­i­na­tion of Knowl­edge of Elec­tronic Tex­tiles in Art Schools and Uni­ver­si­ties


Session Title:

  • Open Culture + Wearables

Presentation Title:

  • Dis­sem­i­na­tion of Knowl­edge of Elec­tronic Tex­tiles in Art Schools and Uni­ver­si­ties



  • Panel: Open Culture + Wearables

    The field of elec­tronic tex­tiles is multi-dis­ci­pli­nary and op­er­ates at the in­ter­sec­tions of tex­tile and fash­ion de­sign, in­dus­trial de­sign, fur­ni­ture de­sign, com­puter sci­ence, in­ter­ac­tion de­sign and media art. Due to this di­ver­sity, the groups of stu­dents being taught in this field are equally di­verse and all pos­sess a spe­cific skill set as­so­ci­ated with their fu­ture work field. In cre­at­ing their work they must con­sider the ex­pec­ta­tions of the type of end prod­uct(s) and the way qual­ity is judged within that con­text. Ex­pe­ri­ence tells us there is no one way to teach elec­tronic tex­tiles that would serve each group equally well. Al­though the needs of the stu­dents dif­fer, the skill set re­quired to make a suc­cess­ful elec­tronic tex­tile is the same for each stu­dent.

    It is im­por­tant to have at least a basic un­der­stand­ing of both tex­tiles and dig­i­tal elec­tron­ics and to know how to uti­lize and in­te­grate them in a pro­to­type. When the stu­dent’s skills in ei­ther field are lack­ing the re­sult is at best naïve or clumsy, at worst stu­dents will sim­ply not fin­ish the pro­ject. In these di­ver­si­fied stu­dent groups vir­tu­ally no stu­dent pos­sesses skills in both tex­tiles and elec­tron­ics. In order to bring stu­dents to the level re­quired for mak­ing suc­cess­ful elec­tronic tex­tiles we need to cre­ate a col­lec­tion of bound­ary ob­jects in the form of pro­ject doc­u­men­ta­tion that de­scribes the com­plete pic­ture from tex­tile tech­niques to elec­tron­ics and the way in­te­gra­tion is­sues were solved. Such bound­ary ob­jects would allow stu­dents to see the skills they need to learn in the con­text of the skills they have, giv­ing each group their own entry point into the knowl­edge. This pre­sen­ta­tion will dis­cuss dif­fer­ent meth­ods for teach­ing elec­tronic tex­tiles to artists and de­sign­ers in art schools and uni­ver­si­ties and will de­scribe the ed­u­ca­tional tools that aid these ac­tiv­i­ties, point­ing to fur­ther op­por­tu­ni­ties for open de­sign in the world of elec­tronic tex­tiles.


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