Innovation in the form of the combination of soft materials with high technology has led to the development of so-called Smart Textiles. These are of strategic importance for the European textile industry to sustain their competitive edge and to counter threats from low-labour cost producers.
Smart Textiles can conduct light, heat or currents; i.e. the textile becomes an interactive product and can now become part of larger product service systems (PSS). This opens up a vast field of opportunities for textile developers and product and service designers to combine their disciplines in the application areas of well being and life style.
To develop these complex PSS solutions, manufacturers need to move away from their current fragmented, slow or non-existent knowledge exchange methods and team up with relevant partners. Initial investment in this field has led to the design and development of an inspirational test-bed, called ‘Wearable Senses’ at TU/e.
What questions were answered?
Teams from 3 universities and Industry partners were working together to answer the questions:
How can the application of user-centred design methods discover, exchange and combine the theoretical principles, strong traditions and best practices within the domain of textile, interactive product and service design?
What are the methods and criteria for the different stakeholders to pass the transitions from the Incubation, Nursery and Adoption phases?
How can the creative industry illicit awareness about the opportunities and challenges of Smart Textile PSS through co-creation and the use of inspirational Test-beds?
What have the teams achieved?
A methodology and tools for the creative industries to translate societal issues into opportunities for Smart Textile PSS’s. An ‘inspirational test-bed’ where proposals for these systems are realised and studied in context.
Timeframe and communication:
Smart Textile Services started in 2011 and finished in 2015. Throughout the project, we published articles in journals and conference proceedings in the fields of industrial design, computer-human interaction, empirical aesthetics ad health and care research. Progress was published via this website and explored in workshops.
Who was involved?
Scientific partners: Eindhoven University of Technology, Delft University of Technology, the Design Academy Eindhoven and Saxion University of Applied Sciences;
Industry and Societal partners: Audax Textiel Museum, V2_, Waag Society, Modint, Contact Groep Textiel, Unit040 Ontwerp, Metatronics en De Wever
Prof. dr. ir. Caroline Hummels, Eindhoven University of Technology
Dr. Oscar Tomico, Eindhoven University of Technology
Dr. ir. Stephan Wensveen, Eindhoven University of Technology (until 2011)
Prof. dr. Kees Overbeeke, Eindhoven University of Technology (until 2011)
UnlaceUnlace is an interactive lace lingerie garment, which allows partners to connect by becoming more aware of touch, time and warmth. The man’s touch on the woman is sensed by the garment, after which the surrounding threads slowly heat up and change from black to skin color, ‘undressing’ the woman and guiding the man’s hand to another spot to touch. The slow change in ‘transparency’ and warmth increases awareness of touch and creates time to explore the woman’s body together.
The old craft of bobbin lace making was the inspiration and technique used in this project. Based on the transparent property of lace the concept still holds the value of the traditional craft besides the technique. Bobbin lace making is used in a modern way by changing the scale and using smart materials, making it into something much more than just a decorative piece.
Tender and UnLace presented during Night of the Nerds (NEMO science center, Amsterdam, NL – October 2012)
Pretty Smart Textiles Exhibition (TIO3, Ronse, BE – October 2012)
“Tradition meets Future” Exhibition (Horst, NL) (23.3.2014 – 28.9.2014)
Smart Flexibility exhibition, Design Museum Barcelona, DHUB (June-November, 2014).
Smart Textiles – Wearable Services, TextielMuseum Tilburg (21.1.2015 - 22.2.2015)