[ISEA2011] Panel: Melissa Cole­man, Michel Peeters, Valérie Lamontagne, Linda Worbin & Marina Toeters – Dis­sem­i­na­tion of Knowl­edge of Elec­tronic Tex­tiles in Art Schools and Uni­ver­si­ties

Panel Statement

Panel: Open Culture + Wearables

The field of elec­tronic tex­tiles is multi-dis­ci­pli­nary and op­er­ates at the in­ter­sec­tions of tex­tile and fash­ion de­sign, in­dus­trial de­sign, fur­ni­ture de­sign, com­puter sci­ence, in­ter­ac­tion de­sign and media art. Due to this di­ver­sity, the groups of stu­dents being taught in this field are equally di­verse and all pos­sess a spe­cific skill set as­so­ci­ated with their fu­ture work field. In cre­at­ing their work they must con­sider the ex­pec­ta­tions of the type of end prod­uct(s) and the way qual­ity is judged within that con­text. Ex­pe­ri­ence tells us there is no one way to teach elec­tronic tex­tiles that would serve each group equally well. Al­though the needs of the stu­dents dif­fer, the skill set re­quired to make a suc­cess­ful elec­tronic tex­tile is the same for each stu­dent. It is im­por­tant to have at least a basic un­der­stand­ing of both tex­tiles and dig­i­tal elec­tron­ics and to know how to uti­lize and in­te­grate them in a pro­to­type. When the stu­dent’s skills in ei­ther field are lack­ing the re­sult is at best naïve or clumsy, at worst stu­dents will sim­ply not fin­ish the pro­ject. In these di­ver­si­fied stu­dent groups vir­tu­ally no stu­dent pos­sesses skills in both tex­tiles and elec­tron­ics. In order to bring stu­dents to the level re­quired for mak­ing suc­cess­ful elec­tronic tex­tiles we need to cre­ate a col­lec­tion of bound­ary ob­jects in the form of pro­ject doc­u­men­ta­tion that de­scribes the com­plete pic­ture from tex­tile tech­niques to elec­tron­ics and the way in­te­gra­tion is­sues were solved. Such bound­ary ob­jects would allow stu­dents to see the skills they need to learn in the con­text of the skills they have, giv­ing each group their own entry point into the knowl­edge. This pre­sen­ta­tion will dis­cuss dif­fer­ent meth­ods for teach­ing elec­tronic tex­tiles to artists and de­sign­ers in art schools and uni­ver­si­ties and will de­scribe the ed­u­ca­tional tools that aid these ac­tiv­i­ties, point­ing to fur­ther op­por­tu­ni­ties for open de­sign in the world of elec­tronic tex­tiles.

  • Melissa Cole­man is a new media artist whose work fo­cuses on the shift­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween peo­ple, their bod­ies and tech­nol­ogy. Melissa teaches at the Royal Acad­emy of Art in The Hague and the Willem de Koon­ing Acad­e­mie in Rot­ter­dam and is coach at the Wear­able Senses theme of the In­dus­trial De­sign de­part­ment of the Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­sity of Eind­hoven. To­gether with Piem Wirtz from V2_ she founded the E-Tex­tile Work­space, a monthly ex­pert meet­ing for artists and de­sign­ers work­ing with tex­tiles and elec­tron­ics. She cu­rated the ex­hi­bi­tion Pretty Smart Tex­tiles, which has been on show in The Hague, The Nether­lands in 2010 and in Hern­ing, Den­mark in 2011. She cur­rently writes for Fash­ion­ing Tech­nol­ogy and de­signs in­ter­ac­tive tex­tiles. prettysmarttextiles.com
  • Marina Toeters, by-wire.net, design and research in fashion technology, ‘If technicians and designers liquidly fuse together and start interdisciplinary projects with added benefits to society, fashion will become innovative again and take responsibility for environmental issues by the implementing of tech solutions on the commercial market.’ Marina Toeters, initiator by-wire.net; about by-wire.net: by-wire.net loves to expand innovative fashion by sharing knowledge. As freelance intermediary Marina Toeters works for fashion and technical companies; creates concepts, brainstorm sessions, presentations and garments for example for technical companies that are looking for new applications for their materials or advises designers interested in material and process innovation. Marina Toeters is initiator and owner of by-wire.net. She works as freelancer with a divers network of companies and other freelancers. Besides that she educates at different institutes in The Netherlands.
  • Michel Peeters, Valérie Lamontagne & Linda Worbin

Full text (PDF) p. 480-486