Category: press releases

Tribute to Valérie Lamontagne

It is with great sadness we learned that Valérie Lamontagne passed away last week on October 4th. Our deepest condolences to her family and friends.

We had the pleasure of inviting Velérie to collaborate with us through Copenhagen Artist in Residency program (CPH AIR) in autumn 2011. This was a really interesting and fruitful collaboration and we kept in close contact afterwards due to our common interests and also because she chose one of our projects as a case study for her PhD project: PERFORMATIVE WEARABLES: BODIES, FASHION, AND TECHNOLOGY. We enjoyed Valérie’s insightful questions in every interview we gave and her deep knowledge and light hearted personality in every discussion with her.

Let us pay her respect and acknowledge her great contribution to the understanding of wearables “as-yet-undefined category, which does not limit wearables to just technology, just fashion, just the body. By ambitiously bringing in so may theoretical frames to which wearables might refer— fashion, laboratories, technologies, bodies—I am also arguing that not only is the wearable an admixture of all these disciplines, it also operates in a flow of change and transformation, as we have seen emphasized in so many theories from the social (Turner), to the phenomenological (Kozel), in fashion (Marchetti and Quinz), and, finally, in the laboratory (Knorr Cetina and Pickering).” (Lamontagne, Valerie: Performative Wearables: Bodies, Fashion and Technology)

Photo: Dominique Lafond




CREATIF Press release, end of year 1

CREATIF allows smart fabric printing directly from a designer´s drawing
The CREATIF project will allow creative designers to convert their design drawings directly into smart fabrics using printing technology without the need for specialist electronics or smart fabric expertise.
Three creative partners; Base Structures (UK), Diffus Design (DK) and Zaha Hadid Architects (UK) collaborate in the project with four technical and research based partners Ardeje (FR), Grafixoft (BG), Institut für Textiltechnik Aachen (DE) and the University of Southampton (UK). Year 1 focused on the development of the printing technology, the printer and the software tools to enable the design of smart fabrics.
The new software tools will allow the user to design, create, layout, visualise and simulate smart fabrics before printing them using the bespoke smart fabric printer. CREATIF (http:// www.creatif.ecs.soton.ac.uk/) is funded by the EU ́s Seventh Framework Programme to provide design solutions and tools for the culture and creative industry (CCI). The first two software tools were produced in year 1 of the project, which has just been completed.
The ‘Collaborative Drawing and Design in the Cloud Tool’ is an add-on to Adobe Illustrator CC. Designers can create colour based images as usual using Adobe Illustrator. The CREATIF add-on allows designers to add smart functionality to their colour designs in the form of pre- determined smart functional elements for light emission, colour change and sound emission. Additionally these smart functions may be coupled to a sensing capability allowing proximity or touch to control the smart functions. All aspects of the designs can be uploaded to the cloud to allow interactive design between designers. Users of other drawing packages can also upload colour drawings to the cloud for the addition of smart functions within a bespoke design in the cloud interface.
The ‘Translation Tool’ converts the user generated designs into the required printed layers necessary to achieve the smart fabric consisting of a colour image based on conventional inkjet inks and the smart functions based on advanced electronic inks. Further software, which will be produced in year 2 of the project, will allow the user to view and customise the printed layers and simulate functionality. An electronic circuit containing bespoke embedded software, compatible with the ubiquitous Arduino microcontrollers, will enable control of the eventual smart fabric’s functionality with the ability to wirelessly update its operation.
Background:
In Oct 2012 the EU issued a call within the Information and Communications Technology Programme covering ‘Technologies and scientific foundations in the field of creativity’. This call addressed creative tools and aimed to equip different industries with more effective creative tools that make use of all our senses and allow for richer, more collaborative and interactive experiences. This challenge called upon research and industry to unite their forces to produce more powerful and interactive tools for creative industries, enhance the creativity of workers pursuing different professions, and anticipate future trends in research and innovation by encouraging interaction in and between different segments of the creative industries.
Further information:
If you would like to be kept informed via future newsletters and press releases please contact us at:
creatif.network@gmail.com.
Consortium:
The consortium consists of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton (UK) www.southampton.ac.uk, as project coordinator and with world leading expertise in creating smart fabrics by printing electronic functional materials, Institut für Textiltechnik der RWTH Aachen University (DE) www.ita.rwth-aachen.de, specialised in fabric machine design, Grafixoft (BG) www.grafixoft.com, a digital design software developer, Ardeje (FR) www.ardeje.com, an SME specialised in advanced inkjet printers and finally, three creative partners active in both architecture, design and tensile fabrics: Diffus Design (DK) www.diffus.dk, Base Structures (UK) www.basestructures.com and Zaha Hadid Architects (UK) www.zaha-hadid.com

K!ey project data:
Title: CREATIF – Digital Creative Tools for Digital Printing of Smart Fabrics ! Start date: 1 Oct 2013
End date: 30 Sept 2016
EC Research call: Objective ICT-2013.8.1 Technologies and scientific foundations in the field of Creativity !
Website: www.creatif.ecs.soton.ac.uk W!
Partners: Base Structures (UK), Diffus Design (DK), Zaha Hadid Architects (UK), Ardeje (FR), Grafixoft (BG),
Institut für Textiltechnik Aachen (DE) and University of Southampton (UK)
Press Release End Year 1 – December 2014

Partner presentation:
The Department of Electronics and Computer Science is the coordinator of CREATIF:
The Department has been researching printed electronics and sensors for 30 years with particular emphasis on printed smart fabrics for the past 6 years”.
The Institut für Textiltechnik belongs to the Faculty for Mechanical Engineering of RWTH Aachen University:
The focus of  their research is therefore on the development of new textile machines and new textile processes. They carry out research within publicly funded projects (e.g.EU) and also in direct R&D projects for industry”.
Grafixoft Ltd:
Grafixoft is an innovative software engineering company with more than 15 years of experience in the development of complex business solutions. It has a wide background in implementation of reliable and custom tailored software applications. Always eager to face challenges and deliver competitive advantage to its partners, the company has gained an impeccable and trustworthy reputation across Europe.
Diffus Design:
Diffus Design has a main missions to combine traditional know-how and codified production processes with uncharted ‘soft’ technologies and complex materials. The idea is to emphasise familiarity, luxury and comfort and try to combine different materials and innovative technology in often unpredictable ways and unconventional twists but always with strong concepts and clear narratives.
Base Structures:
Base Structures designs, manufactures and installs world class tensile fabric structures across the globe. From iconic architectural fabric structures that define a building to smaller scale tension structures that make a statement, Base’ reputation for quality and experience is unrivalled. Notable client projects include Up at The O2, Heathrow Terminal 5, London 2012 sporting venues and the Mound Stand at Lords Cricket Ground.
Zaha Hadid Architects:
Zaha Hadid Architects work at all scales and in all sectors. They create transformative cultural, corporate, residential and other spaces that work in synchronicity with their surroundings. Zaha Hadid Architects continues to be a global leader in pioneering research and design investigation.
Ardeje:
Ardeje is acting in significant Research works at the European level, and have been cultivating Science and Technology in terms of fluid jetting for more than fifteen years. Motivated by a sense of results, Ardeje combine technical know-how and total commitment. From design to implementation in specific environment, they develop industrial solutions that meet needs in terms of fluid jetting.

Eclipse Solar Bag on Hardwired 2.0

Our Solar Bag is featured on the newest episode of Hardwired 2.0 an influential online channel that is part of AOL (America Online). The host of the show iJustine (A.K.A Justine Ezarik) is a one-woman new media phenomenon: Techie, Gamer, Vlogger, and Digital Influencer. She is one of the top personalities on YouTube amassing over 3 million subscribers across her channels, more than 1.5 million Twitter followers and has garnered more than 440 million views on her vides. In the same month Justine was named one of the Hollywood Reports 50 Most powerful digital players as well as one of Maxim Magazine’s Hot 100. A popular brand ambassador, Justine has worked with top brands from Mattel, Nikon, Ford, GE, Doritos, Taco Bell, Samsung, AOL, and Carl’s Jr. and has been featured in numerous magazine and publcations from The Chicago Tribune to Fast Company and Maxim Magazine. In 2012, she was ranked the 6th most influential personality by The Daily Beast’s Digital power index, amongst the rankings of Lady Gaga and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley.

CNN showcases Diffus

CNN tech program called  Blueprint has highlighted two of our projects on their online version. The two projects are The Climate Dress and the UV-dress and they put them in a future scenario of bionic fashion trends where a day in the life of a wearable technology user is imagined in the year 2015.
CNN Blueprint is a new series exploring the very latest design and technology trends. Online, they are showcasing cutting edge inventions and beautiful new designs from across the world, bringing a vision of the future and celebrating the visionaries imagining it: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/07/25/tech/innovation/bionic-fashion-wearable-tech-2015

Diffus featured in National Danish Newspaper

In July the national Danish Newspaper Politiken brought an article on SpaceEmotion (Previously called “Wall-E(motion)”).
The article was a part of a special focus on intelligent textiles and Wall-E was highlighted as a way to rethink the apparatus and integrate electronic devises in an aesthetic and multi-functional interior design.
Below is the article in Danish:

At gentænke apparatet

Politiken Søndag 14. Juli 2013
Af HELLE LORENZEN
Ethvert hjem er fyldt med tekniske apparater, der ikke er belastet af skønhed, men hvis funktioner vi har brug for. Anderledes forholder det sig med Wall-E(motion). Ud over at gemme apparater af vejen fungerer gardinet som et æstetisk element i boligen.
Wall-E kan ikke lave kaffe, men ellers er der rige muligheder for at skjule hjemmets mere eller mindre uskønne apparater i gardinet, samtidig med at man bevarer deres funktioner.
Det elektroniske gardin er udviklet og designet i et samarbejde mellem danske Diffus Design, den italienske ingeniørvirksomhed Inntex, der har speciale i tekstiler samt den schweiziske broderivirksomhed Forster Rohner. Produktet blev første gang præsenteret på designmessen i Milano i foråret.
»Wall-E startede som en gentænkning af apparatet. Udgangspunktet var at udvikle en højttaler, som giver lyd, når den kommer i kontakt med et tekstil – tekstilet skulle altså fremkalde lyden«, fortæller Hanne-Louise Johannesen, som sammen med Michel Guglielmi driver Diffus Design. Virksomheden har arbejdet med elektrisk ledende broderi i en årrække.
Gardinet er opbygget i moduler, så man selv kan bestemme størrelsen, og består af et antal metalcirkler, hvorpå tekstilet er udspændt. Nogle cirkler er påmonteret små højttalere, der forbindes via broderi, andre er analoge, nogle har en strømførende linje fra den ene side af cirklen til den anden, andre er formet som et L, så strømmen kan komme omkring hjørner.
»Vi har gjort en dyd af nødvendigheden – derfor er kredsløbet en del af dekorationen. I stedet for at gemme funktionaliteten af vejen er den i front som en del af det visuelle udtryk. Den drivende tanke i udviklingen har hele tiden været, at Wall-E også skal være et æstetisk objekt i sig selv«.
De gennemskinnelige tekstilcirkler er ophængt i en gardinstang, der indeholder en mikrochip og et blue tooth-system. Det styrer lyden, og gardinet fungerer altså som en docking station – dog uden at oplade. Hver cirkel producerer sin egen lokale lyd, som forplanter sig til hele Wall-E.
»Det er ikke et partyanlæg, der kan spille voldsomt højt, men lyden er meget smuk på grund af de tekstile vibrationer. Der er intet støj og knas, og gardinet egner sig godt til den volumen, du normalt hører ved i dit hjem«, mener Hanne-Louise Johannesen.
De videre perspektiver
Wall-E rummer mange interessante udviklingsmuligheder, som integrerer praktiske foranstaltninger i en æstetisk ramme. Gardinet kan for eksempel fungere som afskærmning, rumdeler, lydinstallation, sikkerhedssystem og lyskilde.
Ved præsentationen på forårets designmesse i Milano havde Diffus Design således integreret små lysende LED-pailletter, en røgalarm samt en duftdispenser i gardinets cirkler.
Andre muligheder er en lysmåler, der tænder og slukker lyset efter behov. Desuden kan bevægelsessensorer på størrelse med pailletter sirligt broderes ind i gardinet, så Wall-E både kan tjene som tyverialarm og aktivere lyd, lys eller duft.
Diffus Design indgår i nogle forskningsbaserede og EU-støttede projekter, hvis formål blandt andet er at udvikle print med lys og termokromisk blæk, som ændrer farve ved temperaturpåvirkninger, samt printede kredsløb. Et videre perspektiv kan være printede solceller.
»Men her er der både nogle æstetiske og nogle teknologiske udfordringer«, bemærker Hanne-Louise Johannesen.
Indtil videre produceres Wall-E kun som individuelle løsninger, da gardinstangen endnu ikke er udviklet som modul.
spis&bo@pol.dk

Jump-starting “Light.Touch.Matters” in Delft.

In May 2012 news came to our ears that our consortium’s submitted EU proposal were among the 3 out of 32 competing entries that got through the second submission round, meaning that grants were given. A long process of setting up the logistics and securing the fulfilment of the initial concepts followed.
Finally in February 2013 the kick-off of ‘Light.Touch.Matters‘ takes place. Light.Touch.Matters is a unique cooperation between product designers, material scientists and the industry, with 17 partners from 9 EU countries. In this project, designers and scientists join forces to develop a new generation of smart materials that can sense touch and movement and respond with light.
The fact that the project involves industry secures a steady way towards realisation of the ideas.
Diffus Design is proud to be part of this very skilled consortium and looks forward to do pioneering work over the next 3.5 years under this framework.
A remarkable thing about Light.Touch.Matters is that for the first time EU have called for designers and engineers to collaborate through the whole development process. The idea behind is that the development process will be accelerated and research in materials and physics, user experiences and design skills are the core qualities and driving forces of the project.
There is 11 science and technology objectives that frame the mission of our consortium:
  1. Achieve continuous and intensive dialogue between product designers and material researchers
  2. Implement and validate an effective design-driven materials R&D methodology
  3. Develop fully-flexible Piezo plastics for low-cost, high-volume touch sensing applications
  4. Develop fully-flexible OLEDs with improved aesthetic properties for signage applications
  5. Develop fully-novel thin, flexible, integrated touch-sensitive luminous materials
  6. Develop a range of tactile qualities
  7. Develop manufacturing methods to integrate ‘light touch materials’ into parts and products
  8. Design novel product interfaces that exploit the unique touch and luminosity properties
  9. Assure best-in-class environmental impact of the materials and products developed
  10. Assure broad application of the novel smart materials developed in the creative and general industry
  11. Foster design-driven materials innovation in the EU
Read more about Light.Touch.Matters

Diffus featured in “Textiles, The Art of Mankind”

The work by Diffus Design in the field of design and innovative textiles is presented in Textiles, The Art of Mankind, a book commissioned by the leading publisher “Thames & Hudson” and written by Mary Schoeser, specialist author in textiles. With 568pp, 1100 Illustrations in colour, this work is expected to become a major reference book celebrating the breath and depth of the textile field today.
Diffus Design is pleased to be recognized as one of the cutting edge design offices to be around!

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