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Tinkering and tailoring with textiles and technology is what a group of students from Design Academy Eindhoven and Eindhoven University of Technology are doing over the course of four weeks as part of a CRISP research project on smart-textiles. And what better place to start than V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media? From November 21 to 29, V2_ hosted a so called e-textiles sweatshop: a temporary workshop space filled with rapid prototyping machines combined with sewing and knitting machines, and wires, sensors and LEDs combined with fabric and yarns for creating and experimenting with smart textiles.

Many experts in the field were invited to share their knowledge and among them was Betsy Greer, who gave a workshop on smart social crafting. Betsy is also known as “the godmother of craftivism” and known for her book Knitting for Good. She invited the participants to create interactive knitted swatches that could have separate lives apart, but would form a whole when connected. She formulated several questions to investigate how these could also connect people on an emotional level. For instance: could the object carry the thoughts and emotions of the maker?

Students from DAE and TU/e joined in this workshop and collaborated in groups to work on new concepts and designs that linked technology with craft. Students mixed low- and high-tech, knitting by hand and with punchcard knitting machines, using wool and conductive yarn to create their “soft circuits”. In true FabLab spirit some even created their own devices for knitting or experimented with laser cutting and 3D printing.

The students showed some strong team work, promising much for the coming weeks of tinkering and tailoring. The final concepts ranged from making a very physical connection through hugging, to a concept strengthening teamwork with a connection that needs more than two parts in order to function. Through their scenarios and stories, the groups showed us examples of how technology can be implemented within textiles to give the products a further level of engagement and service, and in addition they got an insight into how craft makes products personal and what advantages this can have.


Published: 30-Nov-2012 13:43


  • Open design spaces kick off at V2_

    e-textile sweatshop

  • Open design spaces kick off at V2_

    designing e-textiles

  • Open design spaces kick off at V2_


  • Open design spaces kick off at V2_

    threading knitting machine

  • Open design spaces kick off at V2_

    Betsy Greer at V2