Digital Dynamics: An Interactive Design Process for Generating Knitted Textiles

Caroline Stephen, Master of Creative Technologies (March 2015 – July 2016)
This research project investigates new generative ways of designing with interactive textiles, embracing their inherent active and temporal properties to develop alternative methods and open up new aesthetic possibilities.

People Involved:
Caroline Stephen – MCT researcher
Mandy Smith – Primary Supervisor
Frances Joseph – Secondary Supervisor

Abstract:
This practice-led research project investigates new generative ways of designing with interactive textiles, embracing their inherent active and temporal properties to develop alternative methods and open up new aesthetic possibilities. In this project interactive textiles are recognised as constructed material artefacts and their expressive, performative behaviours are used to inform new ways of making. The investigation opens up a new design space for textiles through a deeper understanding and utilisation of interactive textiles and their behaviours through new forms of digital making with materials.

Due to their temporality, these materials are regarded as collaborating agents. This allows for a design process of interaction and collaboration with active materials and self-assembling matter. By refracting and disrupting conventional linear textile and knit design processes new methods for transforming interactive knit structures emerge. Interactive textiles are explored through an evolving, generative textile design practice. In the context of matter and technology as materials for design, a generative process that allows for a decoding of digital information to generate new forms is adopted. Through this process textiles simultaneously become both tools and materials to design with; the function of the textile – in its digital or physical state – is to inform the making of new interactive textiles.

The significance of this research lies in its methodological contribution to contemporary textile design practice through the formulation of new generative textile design methods. This research and practice embraces digital and physical materials; recognising the particular procedural and aesthetic qualities of these new media.

Links:
http://carostephen.com/About-Caroline-Stephen

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