En blogg från Högskolan i Borås

tisdag 24 april 2012

Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee: 2nd workshop

From 23rd-25th of April, I lead the second workshop the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee together with Berit Greinke, a textile designer and PhD student from Queen Mary university UK.
This second part of the workshop was called "Amplifying Textiles", where Berit introduced use of audio and e-textiles.

On the first day, we explored analog synthesis with e-textiles, by hacking greeting cards and simple sound systh modules. These circuits are then connected with textile sensors to trigger or modulate sound synthesized on this circuits. Many of the students had to start from how to solder.

On second day of this workshop, we explained how e-textile sensors can interface sounds digitally produced from computers. We prepared simple max/msp patch examples to explore.

After the tutorial on the sample software and the use of firmata library, each students started to work on their individual project which uses ideas from what we covered in the first half of the workshop.

Here are some images from the prototyping process:

On third day of the workshop, we had a presentation of the developed prototypes. It was quite astonishing to see such a high quality work coming together in three days.
As many students came from product design background, many projects explored the application of the e-textile interface with audio, rather than material properties. This is an interesting comparison to textile design students who works with e-textile projects.

Marcel developed squeeze interface that controls the pan/volume played back on stereo speakers. He is playing back certain frequency on the speaker (32 Hz), which vibrates the starch blob placed on the speakers. The blob starts to move like living creatures as it gets exposed to the frequency.

Paula developed a series of 3D structure with paper and copper conductive fabric. As she folds the structure, different "path" of the conductive traces touches. This interface is connected with frequency generating max patch creating harmonic tone as she folds it.

Madeleine, Isabella and Helena created pressure sensitive tiles that plays back instrument sounds. The harder you step on it, the faster the play back gets. You can play music by stepping on different tiles. Their plan is to install these tiles on streets.

Esther further developed her sensor fabric from the week before into a garment. The conductive "dots" works as electrodes. As you touch with your hand, it conducts with your body resistance. This interface was connected with analog synthesizer creating "noise" music as she touches her shirts.

So Young, Flora and Leandro made a comical project. As you pull the hair interface, it shouts the voice of pain. When you scratch the nose interface with the feather, it sneezes. And when you tickle the foot, it laughs. It is a simple idea, but works very well. The construction of the interfaces and use of materials are also very nice.

Juri and Claudia turned the greeting card into a shopping bag that reminds you of the shopping list. They have made a very nice promotion video demonstrating how it functions in supermarket.
They have also made another project in this three days. very impressive. Their working process of having an idea to prototyping to realization is very rapid. This is something we can learn from product designers.

Aysel and Alina made this pulling knit interface that plays music. Their idea is this tubes comes out from ground (earth) like strange plants. As you play with it or pull it, it plays back a strange music to you. They also made a very nice movie that illustrates this scenario.

måndag 23 april 2012

Teaching Exchange at Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee

I have been at the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee, Berlin, Germany as teaching exchange with textile and surface design department. The workshop I am leading is a part of an E-Lab semester course, where students develop their individual project which deals with interaction design and e-textiles.

From 16th-18th of April, I have lead the first workshop on e-textile sensors. There was 15 students from textile design, fashion design, product design and graphic design department.
For the fist day, we went through the basic knowledge on e-textile materials and its properties, how textile sensors are constructed and functions. Then each of the students built their own textile button and pressure sensor.

Then we explored building various kinds of e-textile sensors, such as zipper slider, pompom sensor, stroke sensor.. so on.

Above image is crochet mouse squeeze sensor.
Not all the students were familiar with textile techniques, and we used a lot of improvisational techniques and tools to make a functional sensors.

On second day, we started with bubble wrap felting with conductive wools to make felted pressure sensors.
We took the advantage of sunny spring weather in Berlin to felt in outside.

Then connected these textile sensors with Arduino microcontroller boards to read data, and programmed simple functions such as lighting up LED according to the interaction on sensors.
The scope of this workshop is to familiarize with e-textile materials and incorporate them into interaction design scenario. From the second day afternoon to the third day was spent to develop an individual project which to realize a simple prototype of the explored idea.

Here are some outcomes by students from this 3 days workshop.

Laser cut (this prototype is cut by hand) push button structure with non-woven materials.

needle felted pen with felted color palette. She made it with processing sketch so you can draw on computer with this tool.

Fine cut thin fabric with copper conductive fabric made a very nice capacitive sensor. This prototype is with hand cut, but she is further implementing this fabric with leaser cutter.

these knitted tubes are filled with conductive wool, which changes its resistance when touched. it works as a keyboard triggering sound when connected with Arduino microcontroller.

A cat (like) interface with scratch sensor. It vibrates when you comfort the cat by scratching its stomach.

In the evening of 17th, They have organized a public lecture where I talked about my artistic project, as well as projects at the Swedish school of textiles. For this lecture, not only the participants of the workshop, but other students from other departments of Weissensee university came to join. It was quite nice to see the wide interest in the e-textile topic in the university.

  posted by Mika Satomi

onsdag 11 april 2012

Kampala, Uganda och flera orter i Kenya - kontaktresa för MFS

Kontaktresan gick mot sitt slut -- men kanske att den fortsätter ändå

Tekniska problem på nattflyget, som på grund av problem med styrsystemet lämnade Nairobi ett par timmar försenat, gav extra tid för reflektion.

Ovanligt varmt utanför planet för att vara
mitt i natten och på 1700 meters höjd. 

Denna kontaktresa för Minor Field Studies (MFS) började i Uganda lördagen den 17 mars och gick mot sitt slut då planet lyfte från Nairobi en bit in på natten/morgonen den 2 april. Under den här intensiva perioden, har många människor bidragit till att min resa blivit givande och jag vill gärna på något sätt framföra mitt tack till dem. 

Resan förde mig mellan etablerade universitet och nya sådana, mellan utvecklingsprojekt, NGOs och ICTs, från gammal till ung till gammal igen. Från den rikare till den fattigare. Från informella och oplanerade möten i skuggan av en acacia, till styrelserum med förväntansfulla delegater. 

Med Ruth första veckan på Makerere University ,
EASLIS, Kampala.
Resan vilar på en strategi, och medel från Internationella Programkontoret skall också gå till en eller ett par informationsaktiviteter kring MFS. Om grunden för resan var och är att öka intresset för MFS, slutar den alltså inte här. Vi har många gamla och nya kontakter, som det gäller att förvalta väl. Resan fortsätter ända tills vi har fått upp intresset för MFS och annan internationalisering inom vår utbildning.

Ett delsyfte var att återknyta kontakten med våra tidigare doktorander och deras institution i Kampala. Där, precis som på universitetet i Kisii i västra Kenya, fortsätter resan genom att intresse för vår institution och vår högskola över huvud taget väcktes (eller återväcktes). Vi har goda chanser att förvalta detta och att göra något bra av det.

En av de sista dagarna i Nairobi. 
Veronica Trépagny
Internationell koordinator
Biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap/Bibliotekshögskolan