Over the summer I worked in the Unstable design lab on my capstone project. I explored the implementation, impact, and technique of making an interactive textile.
On brainstorming what I want the interaction to be for my project I reflected on the survey of fabrics people like to touch over the semester. I enjoyed this survey a lot and love talking to and including friends in my project. This got me thinking about how I could include people I love in the project. From there I came upon a new Idea for the interaction and meaning of the tapestry.
Many people have had a great influence on my life, yet I often forget. With this tapestry, I want to honor these people who have helped me become who I am today. I will choose eight to ten people that are near and dear to me, I will speak with them and have them choose a fabric that represents them. Using a patch of that fabric I will create a geometric tapestry of different fabrics. A sign displayed next to the tapestry will explain the meaning and encourage people to touch it. When they touch a section it will interact with movement mapped to the influence they have had in my life. This idea is still in process but I want to involve others and I like how personal this is to me.
Another idea of a direction I had this summer was making a modular tapestry. This is so that I could engage the community and they would have a chance to interact with my art. I love the idea of the viewers building the tapestry, the community determines the look of the piece. Each small tapestry piece would house electronics and they would active when placed in the frame. I think that the act of making something is a valuble experince that people should engage in. This will give them a chance to do that and to experince making things.
Playing around with this idea more I made a vibrating swatch that had a coin cell battary and a small buzzer. I also created a woven mesh out of soft wire and this is a mock up of what would be in the backround of the frame for the pieces. This wire mesh served to close the circuit of the vibration sensor creating a surface that turns on the vibrator.
Some other things I have worked on is playing around with the conductive thread and figuring out how to put it into a textile. I have woven it into a few things creating some pressure sensors and a button. I did this by weaving conductive threads into places where they will be shorted creating a different resistance that is measurable along conductive thread.
For the first one was an journey to find a good way to incoperate the conuctive thread. I tried putting it in the floating pieces of the weave but that did not change the resitance enough. The best was to have conductive thread under the floats and in the floats. This produced a resitance change from 82 to 57 ohms.
The other thing I created was a button I made some floating parts on the pin loom and then I put conductive thread in that side. I than weaved the differnt thread with conductive thread into the button. I also placed some yarn fluff inbetween but the button was not working well.