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Interactive sample book 2008-2009

The Interactive Sample Book (ISB) project was started, as a practice based research project, with the aim of exploring and communicating some of the possibilities within interactive textiles. The applications for interactive textiles range from medical applications to architecture, and from the fashion industry to costume design.

In relation to the sample book, focus will be on texture, lightning and senses in relation to integrated decoration and function primarily to indoors applications.

The result of the project is a number of interactive textiles, to be gathered in an interactive sample book, in a similar way as the sample books of wallpapers one can take home from the shop and choose from. In other words, it is a kind of display material, which in a simple manner can illustrate how different techniques and smart materials work.

 Material Research Project

Facilitating Idea Generation and Technical Insight

The sample book will display a number of possibilities where computer technology, smart materials and textiles are mixed to such an extent that the textile can react to different kinds of input from the surrounding world. The book will function as an inspirational tool for designers, students, cultural institutions and companies that wish to start working with some of the possibilities that are within interactive textiles.

In other words, the ISB should facilitate the following:

1. The generation of ideas: by making each textile sample fun, aesthetic and surprising, by making it tell a story and stimulate the senses, the ISB will stimulate new ideas.

2. The conviction that smart materials can be used: by providing a technical insight into smart materials and interactive textiles, it will facilitate their actual use.

Interactive textile samples

Concepts for 5 interactive textile samples have been developed. The concepts are based on the following sensors: pressure sensors, sound sensors, strain sensors and light sensors; and actuators: Shape memory alloys, light emitting diodes, electroluminescent materials, photovoltaic cells, optical fibres, thermo chromatic and photo chromatic inks. Some materials are both sensors and actuators, such as thermo and photo chromatic inks. The Interactive Sample Book is made of 5 textile pages that all demonstrate a particular aesthetical and interactive functionality. The 5 pages are as different from each other as possible, and show something extreme in relation to the used technology. Each page tells a story. The senses that are stimulated by each page, as well as their input and output, are therefore different from one page to the other. All the pages are fun, aesthetical and surprising. The scope is to inspire! All the pages show dynamic effects as response to different kinds of input.

Concept A: Touch generated shape change

Story: The textile that can move. This sample combines Shape Memory Materials with touch sensors and Priya’s plissé fabrics. Description: Each Shape Memory thread is connected to a power source, which will heat up the actual thread when activated. The threads are more or less hidden under an overlaying fabric. Each thread forms a series of patterns, that all change shape at the same time when the thread is activated. By using several threads, different patterns are created at different times. The designer activates the different threads by touching certain areas of the sample. To make the shape memory thread regain its original shape, it has to be stretched out. Colours are hidden by the plissé fabrics, and then revealed by the movement in the fabric, just like a peacock. Buttons or glitter can also be used to create decorative effects. Idea: Shape change, movement, and reversibility; The textile is organic and alive. Senses: Sight and Touch. Input: Touch – Temperature change. Output: Movement – Shape change.

Concept B: Dynamic light transfer

Story: The textile that has eyes and blinks back to you. Photovoltaic cells are combined with LEDs. Description: The photovoltaic cells and the LEDs that are placed in a common pattern integrated on a fabric. A UV-torch is given to the user. Depending on which area he /she chooses to use the torch on, different LEDs light up. This way, a dynamic pattern is created. LED yarns can be used to integrate the LEDs. Idea: Energy transfer, Correspondence between input and output Senses: Sight Input: Light Output: Light

Concept C: Sound responsive light

Story: The textile you can talk to. Sound sensors (piezoelectric) are combined with a light source (electroluminescent wires). Description: Depending on the sound emitted by the user, different patterns, or parts of patterns are enlightened in the fabric. One can imagine that there are three frequency interval with each its corresponding light pattern. The electroluminescent wires are embroidered into the fabric. Use several layers of fabric, maybe a transparent upper one that makes the electroluminescent wires less visible to the user when they are not enlightened. Idea: Sound creates dynamic light Senses: Hearing and Sight Input: Sound Output: Light

Concept D: Colour change as memory for heat & light

Story: The textile that can remember. Heating conductive threads are combined with thermo chromatic ink, and electroluminescent wires with photo chromatic ink; sensors are connected to the heating or lighting threads. Description: The user pulling with more or less force in three elastic ribbons attached to the fabric activates the heating or lighting threads. Sensors measure how much the elastics are stretched, and the heating and lighting threads are activated as a response to this. The thermo- and photo chromatic inks then responds to this by changing colour. This colour change is visible for a while, also after the user releases the elastics. This gives the textile a kind of memory. Idea: Mechanical strain creates light and heat, and colour change as a memory for this. Senses: Touch and Sight Input: Mechanical strain Output: Heat, light and colour change

Concept E: Movement responsive sound & light

Story: The textile that notices you are there (Tamagotchi?). Photocells are combined with optical fibres and small speakers. Description: The textile reacts thanks to the photocells to the movement of a hand moving across the textile, and thereby creating a shadow on the photocells. Depending on which part of the textile the hand is moving above, different parts of the textile are enlightened, and small speakers emit sounds generated by the hand movement. Idea: The textile reacts to presence that does not require touch Senses: Sight & Hearing Input: Hand movement Output: Sound & Light

Design and concept: Hanne-Louise Johannesen, Michel Guglielmi and Elisabeth Heimdal
Supervisor for Elisabeth Heimdahl: Torben Lenau, Associate Professor at the Department of Management Engineering at DTU
Programming and engineering: Marija Andonovska
Design assistant: Priya Mani