Culture + Wearables Skillshare

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Abstract:

  • Workshop Statement

    A workshop focused on skillsharing between wearables technologists and the local craft-based Istanbul textiles community. We are interested in exploring the potential for the cross-pollination of traditional with technology-based textiles techniques via the one-on-one meeting, discussion and demonstration of practices that a skillshare workshop can provide. Specifically, we are interested in sharing craft and skills in wearable technology practices and believe that the Istanbul community working in traditional crafts practices has a lot to teach us. Turkey has a rich history of handcrafts production, which is still very much active and part of contemporary textiles production. We are interested in meeting with a local craft-based textiles community to become more aware of traditional techniques (for example: lace, crochet and embroidery) in order to explore how these may be applied to wearable technologies. In exchange, we are eager to share wearables research in craft-technology with the Istanbul community and explore how these could be applied or used in local practices. Although much of the trend in techno-textiles (military, health, sports) has put aside “manual” and small-scale production in favor of large-scale and high-tech innovation, arts-oriented research and design in wearables continues to highly value craft and traditional textile techniques. Wearables artist and designers seek out hand-made, small-scale practices found in craft and couture culture, foregrounding manual dexterity and skills. Furthermore, research institutions such as MIT High-Low Tech group have specifically revived craft practices in conjunction with technological innovation to explore new and novel ways of integrating technology. One could argue that much of technological production (the fine motor skills of soldering circuits and attention to detail in coding) also expresses modalities of working which approach craft from a new angle. Wearable research, in our opinion, specifically brings these two “craft” worlds – textiles and technology – together.
    The workshop will be elaborated in collaboration with the participants of the Open Culture + Wearables panel and will also provide and opportunity for “experts” in the field of wearables to rethink wearables practices from outside of their purview, and to consider how the tech-centric practices of wearable technologies can be used alongside traditional craft-based techniques.?The goals of the workshop are to explore a) skillsharing of local craft-based Istanbul textiles practices and wearables research in craft-technology b) discovery of new practices relative to field of enquiry (i.e. in the case of wearables/tech individuals: the opportunity to learn a traditional textiles practices; in the case of the craft-based Istanbul textiles community an opportunity to interface with wearable technologies i.e. LilyPad Arduino, conductive threads, micro-controllers, LED/kinetic implementation etc. c) a cross-cultural skillshare of textiles and wearables practices resulting in post-conference sharable experience, artifacts, and documents (online and printed documentation and report). Dr.Selçuk Gürisik will demonstrate Anatolian felt making techniques, which will be integrated into e-textiles and wearables practices.

    1. The workshop will take place around one unique textile/craft technique, which is particular to Turkey (i.e. lace, crochet, embroidery).
    2. This textile/craft technique will be sharable over the one-day time frame of the workshop.
    3. The goal of the workshop will be to see how wearable technologies may be embedded/applied to this traditional Turkish craft – both tangibly and on a concept level.
    4. The skillshare will take place between the participants of the Open Design + Wearables panel and key local textile/craft organization members.
    5. Participants in the ISEA conference will be invited to drop in, participate, question and observe the one-day skillshare.
    6. The results of the skillshare will be communicated within the Open Design + Wearables panel presentation (taking place after the workshop) as well as via post-event online documentation.