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CREATIF collaboration aims to revolutionise ‘smart’ fabric production

Imagine that you could print touch sensors and active light directly on fabric – if your fabric could be turned into an interactive surface with different inputs and outputs printed in one go, on one surface.

CREATIF is a project that made this possible!
Three creative partners; Base Structures (UK), Diffus Design (DK) and Zaha Hadid Architects (UK) collaborated with four technical and research based partners Ardeje (FR), Grafixoft (BG), Institut für Textiltechnik Aachen (DE) and University of Southampton (UK) in developping a smart fabric printer.

The CREATIF project is based in the area of smart fabrics and aimed to create collaborative tools in the form of intuitive digital software design tools coupled with digital dispenser printers in order to facilitate interactive print on fabric. This tool allows the user to design, create, layout, visualise and simulate smart fabrics by printing active electronic materials in the form of inks/pastes.

Recently developed fabric compatible functional inks and printing techniques allow physical realisation of the designs emerging from CREATIF’s collaborative tools. Today, the CREATIF tools enable any CCI using fabrics to replicate the creative experience of designing smart fabrics, and significantly reduces the complexity of the process and the technological learning curve required.

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 powerful and interactive tools for creative industries and enhance the creativity of workers pursuing different professions.

Demonstrating the creative experience tools use in a real environment by producing three advanced smart fabric prototypes for interactive light emission, interactive colour change and sound sur faces. Those prototypes will take the form of interactive modular blinds and interactive exhibition spaces.
These prototypes directly target the CCI of design, advertising and architecture and any CCI using fabrics by facilitating the creative production and use of smart fabrics without prior knowledge.