Insisting on an aesthetics treatment of electronic components have brought us far in the discovery of soft circuitry. The circuit is the structure of any interactive and electronic driven artefact or installation and therefore we aim to make electronic elements and circuits themselves as decorative elements and details in the design. In this sense what we do could be compared to architect Gustave Eiffel, in his creation of the trademark of Paris - the Eiffel Tower.
Gustave Eiffel decided to make beauty of the building structure rather than hiding the real strength behind ornamented brick and mortar. This approach - inspired by the master of structure - has given us a new — in the beginning — unexpected 'vocabulary' to use in the aesthetic language. It has become a kind of trademark for us.
Material Research Project
Creating soft circuits became an investigation by itself. We have used the technique in many projects mainly based on conductive yarns and inks, but beside the specific uses in specific projects we hav created a series of experiments that have resulted in a 'textile computer' with mother board, wires, connectors, sensors and actuators. This specific attention on textile and soft versions of electronic components have been very useful in the flow of project but also in teaching situations, idea generation, partner collaboration and future perspective research.
In order to frame the research in soft circuits we have created a series of samples of 20x20 cm. These samples can be collected into a small book of samples where the different parts of the 'textile computer' can be studied or they can be connected together and programmed in order to demonstrate the functionality and interaction of the 'computer parts'.
Below is a small description of each page in the sample book together with an image showing the described sample.
Controlling the different soft circuit elements require a mother board, where we used an Arduino Lilypad attached on a piece of fabric with conductive yarn. The other end of each attachment point has a snap button attached so it is easy to attach and detach connecting 'wires'.
We created insulated wires, non-insulated wires, Wires with several connection points and power-hubs, all made with textile, conductive yarn and snip buttons.
Solar cell sequins
Solar Cell - connected in parallel or in serial
Design, concept and text: Hanne-Louise Johannesen and Michel Guglielmi