Breaking the Code

This project is a hands-on investigation of the combination of textile materials and electronic components. It explores the potential in (traditional) methods of textile fabrication at the interface between humans and technology, while also addressing the cultural implications of such a combination.

While textiles and code are historically intertwined, they are rarely perceived as related subjects in a western understanding of design. This is undoubtedly related to persistent ideas of gender and the social hierarchy of crafts and technology. The theoretical thesis accompanying this work offers a discussion on the historical, cultural and material connections of the two fields.

The material research is based on extensive studies combining textile fabrication methods with accessible arduino controlled sensors and actors. The research culminates in four interactive textile objects animated by the interactive electronics, each inspired by a daily movement commonly associated with textiles.

In a version of this project shown at Design Zentrum Hamburg, touching one of the objects did not only trigger a tactile response but also generated glitches in a video showing how the object was made. In this way, breaking up the pixel grids of today's digital images made their textile origins visible.

2020 - 2022