Smart Textile as a Context for Art Based Technology and Engineering Education


Session Title:

  • Discipline-specific Case Studies in Teaching New Media

Presentation Title:

  • Smart Textile as a Context for Art Based Technology and Engineering Education




  • The paper is based on the research project “Artistic Approaches to Engage Girls and Young Women in Technology and Engineering Education at School and University” held at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology’s Institute of Vocational and General Education.[1]

    The research approach looks at coupling arts, science, technology and engineering in transdisciplinary education settings. It applies the education-through-arts concept to technology and engineering education at school and university. The paper discusses examples of more playful and artistic approaches introducing textile and wearable interfaces for interdisciplinary media-art-technology education, based on shapable low cost Arduino technology. The project aims to explore the pupils’ image and understanding of technology, their perception and attitudes towards computers. The paper argues that the introduction of artistic processes linked to meaningful contexts developed by the girls themselves can be support key to trigger interest and motivation.

    Smart Textile technology used in the project blurrs the boundaries of the school subjects taught separated from each other. Wearable Computing crosses the borders of curricula of subjects such as art, textile, (computer)science, technology and engineering. Furthermore, the shaping of Smart Textile artifacts brings together a variety of activities, such as shaping, programming, designing, experimenting with media and materials in teams based. Textile as media serves as a metaphor for an educational model of creatively discovering computer science and technology embedded in wearables, objects and the environment developed by the pupils themselves.

    The project aims to answer the question, why the integration of artistic processes in science and technology is important for future curricula and the rethinking of technology education.

    [1] Head of IBP: Prof. Dr. Martin Fischer, the project is realized in collaboration with ZKM Karlsruhe, the Center of Art and Media, department of Museum Communication (Head: Janine Burger) using a software development of the research group “Digital Media in Education” at the Univerisity of Bremen (Prof. Dr. Heidi Schelhowe). The project is applied in 6th grade at the Hebel-Realschule Karlsruhe (secondary school).

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