Author Archives: attempts

International Summer Camp on “Attempts, Failures, Trials and Errors”,

Oradea, Romania 

July 15th– 22nd, 2018


Organized by 2580 Association Cluj in collaboration with the University of Oradea and Zest Collective Bucharest with the financial support of AFCN – Romanian Agency for Cultural Fund.

Application deadline: 22ndof June, 2018



IDEA: Following a series of events organized in the frame of “Attempts, Failures, Trials and Errors” project, we invite you to a summer camp that will take place in Oradea (Romania) between 15th-22nd of July 2018. The topic of the summer camp is “SYSTEMIC FAILURES” and the focus will be on our attempts to design (or re-design) and to control our political, social, economic and technologic systems.

Digital technologies are today at the core of our activities, but they are mere tools/ infrastructures onto which political and economic visions are articulated. Instead of falling prey to the quasi-utopian technological determinism which positions machineries as the implicit conditions for more efficient communication and – hence- optimization of economies, we shall address the conditions and consequences of such assumptions. “Systemic failures” provide a methodological vantage point for the analysis of critical junctures between concepts and infrastructures, community of scientists and political fields, IT developers and society. We argue for a critical approach to “datafication”, for the understanding of the larger discursive contexts within which data is managed and, last but not least, we address the limits of such critical approaches with regards to more and more professionalized – hence hermetic – techno-fields. The historical insights will provide lessons about the tensions between planning and reality, but they will also reveal rhetorical models of handling new-born sciences.

The aim of this summer camp is to bring into discussion in order to further develop research projects related to different social and economic contexts. We also intend to encourage a heterogenous participation, one which will overpass the North-South and West-East European divisions.


ACTIVITIES: During the summer camp will take place 5 workshops:

  1. Cybernetics Models in Economy – an Eastern European perspective(lead by Tincuta Heinzel & Ioana Macrea-Toma).The imposition of the industry was made possible through the extensive use of machines in production contexts. Designed to take over certain tasks previously realized by man, the machines have enlarged their area of applications. Cybernetics have been defined as the communication between man and machine and the concept brought with it the idea of various possible interactions between multiple aspects of economy-society-arts-policies. The sciences of management were given a new twist through the mathematization of economic cycles and the development of computers was modelled after what was considered the functioning of human brain. Even the arts followed suit envisioning themselves as autonomous self-regulating structures within a broader milieu. The cybernetic imagination stimulated a dialogue between different disciplines, countries and political factions due to the common assumption of transcultural, transnational and trans-political (if one may say so) potential of communicative action based on formalization of relations. This workshop will map some of the most interesting attempts at macro-management during the Cold War which consisted in technology transfer as well as international cooperation. Through these case studies we shall address the historical fantasies of quantification and computerization as politically neutral –concepts and infrastructures. In so doing we shall also open the larger discussion on social and infrastructural compatibilities and will address the need to imagine methodologies for grasping the complexities of such exchanges. This overview will be the starting point for a series of debates related to the present models of digital economies (AI, Big Data based economies) and the way they can fail us.
  2. The Laborious History of Computing (lead by RYBN).The workshop will consist in a clinic decomposition of a complex computing process. Participants will split up a perceptron (one of theearliest neural network) in a series of small operations, and then, will undergo through the whole process to understand how a computer categorizes different classes of objects. During the process, RYBN.ORG will retrace the laborious history ofalgorithmics: from the computation factory of Gaspard de Prony to the Mechanical Turk of Amazon. In this counter-history of automation, the multiple narratives of the little hands at the heart of the process of calculation will be recalled, emphasizing the conditions of emergence of the current regime of digital labour. The whole workshop will aim to demystify the actual hype around AI and complex computing procedures, by learning and understanding the basics of digitalization and discretization. No particular skills are needed, the workshop uses only paper and pen.
  3. Illusory digitalization of life and the new forms of bio-colonialism(lead by Emmanuel Ferrand & Corina Catana). Modern biotechnologies, in their convergence with the digital paradigm, are supposed to be the new horizon of a globalized capitalism. Where the obsolete, extractive, fossil-based economy more than failed to provide us with a sustainable future, bioengineering and its new tools (CRISPR Cas9, …) are presented to us as the key point for a possible “solution”: new “green” bio fuels, a clean chemistry based on genetically modified microorganisms, plentiful supplies of food for an overcrowded and overheated planet (engineered crops, cellular agriculture, lab grown meat, …), and even a new, fabricated, bio-diversity (concept of de-extinction).This workshop will be an occasion to evaluate to what extent this story is illusory, from a scientific view point, but also from a social, political view point. Those modern techniques are certainly not free of failures. There is a specific issue here for (bio) hackers and (bio) artists, who might be sometimes too easily fascinated by the promises of science. It will be also an occasion to share our experiences of the infinite complexity of living organisms and ecosystems, by, for example, replacing our understanding of biology and agriculture in its proper historical and cultural context. Local food traditions (fermentations …) and farming techniques can be seen as low-tech biotechnological achievements of incredible social value (think for example of the patient work of generations and generations of farmers who selected crops and farming animals). This low-tech, modest approach of the living must be advocated at times when the countries formerly known as “Eastern Europe” are becoming once again the agro-industrial Eldorado / breadbasket of a globalized world.
  4. Tracking bucks in e-textiles (lead by Tincuta Heinzel). The workshop aims to introduce the participants to e-textiles and show them some of the issues they have to take care of while prototyping with e-textiles. No previous knowledge of electronics is needed. The materials will be provided by the organizers.
  5. Failing Parametrically (lead by Zoran Popovici & Ionut Patrascu).The workshop aims to familiarize the participants with the mirage of the code in parametric design. Form finding with the aid of algorithms is atwo-day workshop which will help the participants to get familiarize with Rhinoceros 3D and Grasshopper. The results will be later on discussed in order to find some pitfalls of current trends like Algorithm Aided Design and Parametricism. No prior knowledge of Rhinoceros or Grasshopper is required, just the will to spend two days understanding how algorithms shape the world around us. Note: 2 days workshop for 15 participants.
  6. Drones and Don’ts (lead by Octavian Fedorovici & Stelian Saracut). “Drone I’d Like to Fly” is the failed open-source project that team Techarus from Cluj-Napoca submitted to NASA Space Apps Challenge back in 2016. Octavian Fedorovici and Stelian Saracut, members of the team who are still enthusiastic about emergingdrone technologies, will host the workshop and talk about the challenges they had to face with their app and how drones can be hacked, custom controlled and repurposed. Note: 2 days workshop for 15 participants.

For a detailed schedule, please see the SCHEDULE.

TARGET GROUP: Undergraduate and graduate students, scholars, artists, designers, architects, economists, historians, technologists, biologists, philosophers, etc. interested in learning more about the ways in which digitalization has an impact on the way we cultivate, project and build, the way in which digitalization has an impact on our societies and economies.

VENUE: The summer camp will take place in the campus of the University of Oradea. Situated in North-West Romania, once part of Austrian-Hungarian Empire and completely redesigned during the communist era, Oradea is well known for its thermal waters and its Art Nouveau buildings. For more details:

TRAVEL: Oradea has an airport. Other travel options are to fly to Cluj, Timisoara or Budapest (Hungary) and then take the train.

ORGANIZERS: Tincuta Heinzel –;  Corina Andor –; Ioana Popescu –


COSTS: Accommodation, main meals and materials for the workshops will be covered by the organizers. Participants have to arrange for their travel to Oradea and possible accommodation before or after Oradea themselves.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Applications are accepted until 22ndof June 2018. Please email a short motivation letter, a CV and a portfolio to the following email address: Please specify in your letter for which of the last two workshops are you opting.

SELECTION RESULTS: 26th of June 2018.

NOTE: For the Romanian student participants, Edukube will provide the necessary documentation for the summer internships.


NEW CALL FOR TRIALS AND FAILED WORKS, PROTOTYPES, SAMPLES & PROJECTS to be presented at SALONUL DE PROIECTE, Bucharest, February – March 2018 (following a first presentation during PIKSEL Festival, Bergen, Norway)

Project initiated by Tincuta Heinzel and Hillevi Munthe.

Deadline for submissions: 5th of February 2018.

Within the realm of electronic and smart textiles there have been promising technological investigations that never quite managed to reach their potential. However, despite these disappointments, industrial and academic research, as well as artistic inquiry, continue to explore the possibilities of electronic and smart textiles.

Following the first phase, during which electronic devices were attached to fabrics and jewelry, came a new stage—one that integrated electronic components into textile structures. As a result, the dream of a flexible computer could soon materialize. The next step that is being considered is the development of new reactive materials.

Rather than presenting this endeavor as “the next big thing,” our investigation seeks to understand the various stages of its development, exploring the paths of how and why they occurred, as well as when they did.

Every development has its price. Failure has always been part of the creative process, as a learning experience. “Those who do not fail are those who didn’t try,” or “An expert is a person who has found out by his own painful experience all the mistakes that one can make in a very narrow field” (1) are just some of the expressions used to describe the sinuous ways of bringing something new to life. In many fields, recording glitches and keeping a catalogue of failures are part of the research process.

In our research we can also have a lot of trials and errors, attempts to improve what we have already done. These benchmarks are not always in the spotlight, but taking a look at the process itself says a lot about artists, designers, technologists thought processes. Test-benches are a form of thinking through and with the materials, a form of playing around, of advancing by small steps.

But failures and trials have their drive not only in the technical constraints. In the age of “fast prototyping,” “publish or perish” and “start-up competitions,” our project is also an attempt to reflect on the present technological boom and innovation obsolescence, encouraging an ecological perspective which will take into consideration the whole cycle of conception, consumption, ageing, and degradation of technology. By doing so, the present project wants to put into a new light technically overstepped products and failed prototypes, rejected wearables and e-textiles projects, and to launch a debate about the “fast” design and scientific practices that define our present.

An interdisciplinary field, electronic textiles and wearables are also the ground for a series of interdisciplinary clashes between textiles and electronics, between software and hardware, between open source and commercial platforms. These clashes are producing inspiring work, but some encounters are also the source of frustration and irritation.

This collection of attempts, failures, trials and errors it is not intended to praise the failures, nor to minimize the successes of wearables and e-textiles. By questioning the idea of failure and success, the project will put emphasis on art’s capacity to critically and, at the same time, poetically and self-ironically address contemporary challenges and concerns. In a sort of forensic processes and significance tests, the present project calls for technical trials and errors, failed prototypes, and rejected art and design works in order to put into a new light the potential of e-textiles and wearables. Our intention is to show the richness of the processes, of what has been already done in the electronic and smart textiles domain and to bring into the discussions ethical, ecological and sustainability issues of wearables and e-textiles. The focus will be on the distance between ideals and constraints, between concepts and realization.

Having as starting point the electronic and reactive textiles (but not limited to them), we expect visual documentations (photos, videos), samples, technical documentations and testimonies of:

  • failed and rejected product development attempts,
  • trials and errors products and prototypes,
  • overstepped products and prototypes,
  • non-working art works and prototypes,
  • rejected scientific papers and projects,
  • code and protocol bugs,
  • encountered ethical issues.

The authors are asked not only to send a documentation of their un-successful or short life projects, but also to offer a reflective perspective on their attempts and the afterlife of their projectsThe applications are to be submitted on-line, by completing the forms available on our website. You will be asked to offer details about the dates of the projects, a short description, drawings, technical diagram, codes, photos and videos of your art works, products and prototypes, a reflexive note on your attempts, details about the projects pre- and after-life.

The project’s website will present an exhaustive account on the received projects, while the curated part of the exhibition will offer a thematically structured version of them. The curators will reserve the right to invite some of the submissions to be exhibited in a physical form during the Piksel festival. Unfortunately no fees can be payed, the only costs that the organisers can cover are those related to the shipping of the invited works. The submissions will be made under creative commons licences and will be available for open consultation. A series of conferences, performance sessions and workshops will give a critical perspective on the project’s main findings.

The project is supported by the Norwegian Art Council, the Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts and AFCN – Romanian Agency for the Cultural Fund.

Deadline for submissions: 5th of February 2018.
Exhibition: 21 of February – 1st of April 2018.

(1) BOHR, Nils. As quoted by Edward Teller, in Dr. Edward Teller’s Magnificent Obsession by Robert Coughlan, in LIFE magazine (6 September 1954), p. 62 via Wikiquote.




2015-current 3D Design and Craft, University of Brighton, BA(Hors) Brighton, UK
2006-2012 Arts and Crafts, Sookmyung Women’s University, BFA, Seoul, Korea

2011 KDB Mirae Asset Galley, Seoul, Korea
2010 Daegu Art fair, Daegu, Korea GEISAI Art fair, Tokyo, Japan
2009 Degree Show, Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul, Korea
2009 New York Art Expo, New York city, NY, USA



Self over time. Collection of possessions acting as a diary and a testament to the every day. Receipts show small transactions but also provide insight into daily life. Similar to an archaeologist. Felt different connection to the different items. There was a sense of a panorama – memories of wearing and using the items – reflected my bad days and good days. The process was adapted from cremation, cleaning and shrouding a dead body, as folding well the trousers before burning.

How do we come to understand The Self? Or Our-self? Both incorporating change but also a sense of ‘Who We Are’. The materials left – the different structures, textures and even colour. The ash has infinite potentiality as form of powder. It takes an important role both in my practice and my life. Firstly, the process is to make ash; this burning is like a gift, to cure wounds. My absorption in the process recovers time. Secondly, its end result.

One of life’s few certainties is that we will die. Like we are born – alone and “empty”. Our life’s possessions become meaningless. Ash Wednesday is, the first day of the Lent with fasting, to commemorate the death of Jesus and the day is my father’s death.

From Ash To Ash. This idea was echoed throughout – fire symbolising both life and death. At times of great significance ritual helps us to understand and to process. We create and reproduce meaning through ceremony. The ceremony and process helped connect points in my life. My father’s death and how I came to use ash as my signature material during whilst I processed my father’s death.

other (describe) All of them. Technically lots of improvement needed.

I have no idea for being rejected; guessing they simply might not have liked my project, or too difficult to understand for them. Personally, some reasons for failing were in respects of technics as one of the aims of the project was creating my own material.I learnt and found from trials and failures that obviously has potential, and I should have been more bold and flexible with such as scale, method and consistency.

I prepared and carried out the project for more than three years, so it got me emptiness, frustration and feeling let myself down because it means a lot to me and I cannot just let go. As my background is craft, specialised in metal, I am trying to get my material back on track and looking for any chances to make them collaborated. Failure does not mean that finishes – mean there are other potentials that I could not have seen yet.

Although it left me unpleasure feeling, I had to make my step forward. Returning to conventional material such as metals and polymers mixed with fabrics allowed me to have pause and look my ex-project with fresh eyes. Like mentioned earlier, as I am trying to get my material on track, my eyes have been on methods and techniques of other materials to adapt. I was mentally little down for a bit, but it did not have a massive impact on my other progress.



I am not particularly interested in one material but also everything; I mean, everything. Part of my ex-project was making ‘fabric-ish material.’ My interest is a contrast of technology and analogue, and tradition and contemporary – but some points of e-textiles project among them impress me, a juxtaposition of innovation and obsolescence, and challenges and concerns, which allow me to think out of a box, in the sense of an internal variation.

Essentially and straightforwardly it gives fun and joy to the world, like Christmas. Because it could be regarded as wearable AI, light version of robot or a connection between robot and human beings. This is not about welcoming the ‘new’ world – so that it should not be biased onto one side. Also perspectives will be various, all it depends on what material would be collaborated in the project along with technologies.

First of all, I consider to ask what are your spectrum of technology.I used technology part in my works a lot, but had my interest going down as boom of technology, ironically. They are still part of my projects but not mainstream. The more societies develop technologically and comfortably, the more ethics and moralities are stressed. In these respects, it should be careful to present outcomes and to adapt in our daily lives as not only sustainable but also environmental aspects.


I’m an artist, scholar and curator interested in the relationship between art and technoscience, with a special focus on smart textiles and wearable technologies.

I’m a member of the 2580 Association (Cluj, Romania) and of Paidia Institute (Cologne, Germany). Following Visual Arts and Cultural Anthropology studies in Cluj (Romania), I completed my PhD thesis at Paris 1 University (France).



It was a panel group proposition for ISEA 2016 in Hong Kong.

The panel answered the call for papers and panels launched by ISEA 2016. Our application was meant to answer the theme of Noise Contra Signal.

To bring together different approaches related design of sound and noise devices, from radio broadcasting to e-textiles.

Taking as starting point Victor Papanek’s story of the non-expensive, locally adapted produced radio receiver we assembled a series of project presentations which deal with different aspects of radio broadcasting: From the way a radio receiver and a radio transmitter are produced to radio infrastructure, and from the delivered information to the means of questioning its accuracy and validity.

other (describe) economic censorship

We couldn’t find the money to travel to Hong Kong. There was almost no time  very little time and there We were obliged to cancel in the end the panel.

We are tried to apply with the same panel for another exhibition in Germany, but they were not so much interest in a panel, as they were interested in the works.

Since it is one of the major events in electronic arts, and since the academic evaluation it is sometimes made based on the number of accepted and published papers, we can said that we were financially censored to participate.


For me it is the combination of materials, the new kind of performativity they allow. It is also the multilayered relationship to materiality.

Most of the discursive aspects are related to the types of application they allow (army, health, aesthetics, etc.) or the new applied way of teaching science.

I think that there it will be more and more interest in the material science research, but also there will be need it a much more systemic approach to design, one that takes into consideration the conception, the production, the use and the residues of the e-textiles. The legal and social aspects are therefore not to be left aside.


I’m an artist, scholar and curator interested in the relationship between art and technoscience, with a special focus on smart textiles and wearable technologies.

I’m a member of the 2580 Association (Cluj, Romania) and of Paidia Institute (Cologne, Germany). Following Visual Arts and Cultural Anthropology studies in Cluj (Romania), I completed my PhD thesis at Paris 1 University (France).



It was my diploma work in Textiles Arts and Design at the University of Arts and Design Cluj, Romania. I was interested in performance and the performative character of textiles. Therefore for my diploma I wanted to make a flying-carpet, or at least something to give the illusion of a flying carpet. But back in 1998 Romania there were no micro-electronics shops. I ended up building a 12m° installation with 5 turning elements build with old Dacia cars’ wind-screen motors.

It was my diploma work in Textiles Arts and Design at the University of Arts and Design Cluj, Romania. Later on, it was exhibited during the Bucharest Tapestry Triennial in 1999. Following this exhibition, I was invited to exhibited in an art centre near Bucharest in what would have been my first personal exhibition.

During my studies I was interested in textile sculpture and installations. The idea of a “flying carpet” came step by step. Carpet – Garden is a modular work integrating mobile elements which were programmed to turn in the rhythm of music

Since the object of tapestry is generally a carpet and since the classical Middle East carpets generally deals with variations of idealized gardens representing the Paradise, the idea of working on the subject for my diploma was a very appealing one. But more then that I was tempted by the idea of a moving carpet, a flying one.

other (describe)

The project failed twice, if I am allowed to say so.
There was first a technical failure. My first plans about how to build this carpet were put down by the engineer I was asking the help.
Secondly, the work I left in the custody of the art centre was destroyed. Following the elections, the director of the centre changed. The new director didn’t wanted to exhibit my work anymore and she didn’t wanted to pay the send back of the work. When I came back to take my work, it was half destroyed.

There is a film of the installation which is now on-line. Otherwise, I cut detached the weaved parts and recreated a new installation.

The work was destroyed in the end. But I learned a lot about bricolage and electronics in the process. I also learned I have to make more easy to transport and to install works. It was my first e-textiles work with to so small electronic components.



The new kind of performativity they allow. It is also the multilayered relationship to materiality, craft, labor, aesthetics.

Most of the discursive aspects are related to the types of application they allow (army, health, aesthetics, etc.) or their capacity to allow  new applied way of teaching science.

I there it will be more and more interest in the material science research, but also there will be need it a much more systemic approach to design, one that takes into consideration the conception, the production, the use and the residues of the e-textiles, the labor…. Legal and social aspects are therefore not to be left aside.


Veerle Pennock is a designer, constructor and researcher currently based in The Hague, studying MA Art & Science. Her interests lay in art, design, technology and the ongoing interaction between digital and analogue methodologies. Annette Schmid holds a BA in Communication Design and is based in Hamburg. She is a creative researcher of human-machine collaborations, investigating multispheric form languages, interactions, presentation possibilities and unusual media platforms.



Veerle and Annette met 2017 in Tokyo during a mobile summer school program developed by Graphic Design Arnhem, ArtEZ University of Art Arnhem. The goal is to introduce participants to the concepts behind contemporary (graphic) design research, speculative design and design critique, as well as extend one’s own design practice. We were able to implement our own research question connecting to the life in megastructures like Tokyo. We choose to find prototypes for a new form of life: The Cityborg:

A Cityborg is a potential, unconventional form of life, that could evolve under the circumstances of the futuristic megastructure Tokyo. Cityborgs could use technology to plug in and mediate between potential entry ports of technological, social and natural systems of Tokyo. By either extending its body or using enhanced everyday objects, the new life form cityborg hacks existing boundaries between the former inhabitant and the city. Smell-O-Mask is a prototype that could be used by a cityborg.

Our research showed, that Tokyo consists out of hybrid natural-technological systems, not only technological systems like the surveillance system or the digital billboard-ad-systems. Natural systems like silence, green spaces and also social layers of a city are a greater part of the construction, a city could even be seen as a machine to live in. Our interest with this project lies in the use of technology as ambassador to mediate between the natural and the technological.

SMELL-O-MASK is a speculative prototype of a wearable smell-printer-mask, that let’s you connect to another place, via your nose. As surgical masks are quite common in Asia to protect from air pollution, this project aims to enhance this everyday object to become a device for creating olfactory alternative realities. For example you could be connected to your favourite forest, while walking through the streets in a grey megastructure.

technical failure

a) less time b) a smellprinter can’t be that small to be waerable at this time, it needs to be invented. c) a specific unique scent consists of 1000 components, a highly sensitive scent sensor has to be developed to detect and convert it into data that can be sent over the interne to a different smell-printer device. In addition, we discovered that the mask is hiding an important part of the face for communication, this would be a important design question to be solved.

We just found out about this competition and it inspired us highly to rethink about our project and create a detailed speculation about how this mask could work in reality. Maybe by the help of further artistic imagination, someone is able to invent the necessary technology.

We basically cut the project, because we weren’t in the position to make it work. Through your competition and thoughts, we changed our perspective and the aspect of analyzing the failure brought us into position for continuing with this work, even if it will never work.



We attempt to describe e-textiles as the second skin of the human body. While our physical surrounding world (architecture, art, science, energy…) is getting increasingly extended through smart technology, the natural functions of our skin seems not adapted anymore to our recently created habitats.

From this viewpoint, it seems almost natural to see e-textiles as a layer through which our bodies getting the chance to adapt and evolve with our new environment.

Textiles can be more than fashion. By naming it the second skin, we can come back to the original invention of wearables/clothes. There should be a hole bunch of useful inventions of how we can implement the useful aspects of clothes again in the future.


I am a Fashion designer from Manizales, Colombia based in Bogota, Colombia with experience in dressmaking, sewing, pattern-making and wearable technology, holding a MA degree in interactive design. I have created haute-couture clothing and I have researched about adapting new techniques to the fashion manufacturing chain. In the Academy I have worked as researcher offering workshops and carrying out different practice-based research projects, some of them in the field of wearable technology.

Americanino Denim “leds aleatorios” (2017)
Creation of raincoats DIY with recycled plastic bags (2017)
Creation of disposable devices for the detection of air quality (2017)
AirQ Jacket (2016)



This project was created within an academic context. For its development we have researched topics such as: wearable technology, informed territories, Internet of Things and local ecology. This was a dissertation made for the University of Caldas specifically for the Interactive Design Department. Consequently, the purpose of this research is to promote the clothing manufacturing chain to new manufacturing techniques, lifestyles and to encourage user interaction with its local ecosystem.

This project is a result of a  rigorous research made with a theoretical framework focused on WT. On the other hand, during the research process in interactive design and local ecology we have found that Manizales, Colombia is situated in a volcanic area, and also that the automotive market has increase during the past years. Due to these facts, we have created a project that could help local citizens to be aware of scientific Air Quality data through WT experience.

Even though I am a fashion designer, my mainly motivation is to create projects that combine different discipline experiences and where I am able to investigate mathematical, physical, natural or medical problems in order to create innovative solutions for society. Thats what I have found that projects such as the AirQ Jacket are fascinating, because it allows me to expand my crafts and design approaches at different levels.

The AirQ Jacket makes audible and visible scientific Air Quality data. This jacket is made of recycled plastic bags and led color lights, that according to the AirQ alert they can illuminate in (blue-red) or (green-yellow-red). Also it has a sound device that emits AirQ pulse alerts according to the temperature and CO2 data sent by sensors. It is a design that makes allusion to the clothing of industrial and vulcanological protection.

other (describe) Aesthetics: the material of the jacket are somewhat crude. Besides, the electronic circuit has many wires to make the garment wearable.

The crude material and many cables inside the AirQ jacket let me taste the roots of fashion and technology. Also I could learned to outline e-textiles experimental routines, as well as record photos of the process, keep the routines in written, in video or gif format. Today I rely on my trials and errors and can apply them to each project-based-design on making of clothing, this allows me to focus my practice and research just on e-textile topic.

Currently, this project is still in progress. I’m working to find solutions to improve an everyday wearable device for citizens to be aware of the environment. I am working to find solutions to improve the circuit aesthetic, in order to make the e-textile surface more functional and wearable, also how the e-textile surface could translate data that allows AirQ alert communication with the user.

Thanks to the aesthetic and circuit design failures, I have been able to outline e-textiles experimental routines in order to give solutions to questions such as: How the surface is connected to other types of electric actuators?, How to continue embedding the circuits through the different layers of the textile?, How to conduct electricity without so much weight on the fabric of clothing?, and How to be able to take out the circuits in order to make the textile washable?



What make e textile subject matters I found this topic fascinating and appropriate since I am able to access from anyplace to the DIY tutorials and information through the internet. Also, I am able to create magical products that emerge during the practice process because It is a subject that is being updated all the time according to what is being shared, and could be constructed and modified while you upload and share information through different media channels.

The e-textiles have become really interesting to fashion and interactive design, because they go beyond the normal fabric uses transforming the traditional characteristics of cloths like assign specific technological characteristics, such as augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) options. For example, when trying to activate by sound or put the device below the material you will be able to project any information through the fabric or through de device.

I really believe that this subject goes hand in hand with computer’s evolution and with some other related disciplines such as: medicine, natural sciences, contemporary dance, data perceptualization, soft computing and fashion communication. And so, according to my perception, the e-textile future should adopt the story telling through the developments of softwares and hardwares in order to adjust the e-textile design to a day-to-day life experience.


Renata Gaui is a brazilian creative technologist who has worked as a designer in Rio de Janeiro and New York within creative agencies, collaborating in the design of brand content, strategy, communication design and event production. Currently she is working in different fronts of wearables R&D and her artistic work has been addressing female identity & empowerment.



During my masters program at ITP/NYU I randomly took a class about wearable technology (which I ended up falling in love with and pursuing a career within it).

The project was done on this class in which we were pushed to follow a very design oriented methodology, thinking about specific target audience & ways of making it feasible.

For this class, I decided I wanted to create a wearable for females who commute biking, making it a piece of empowerment, making users to feel safe and present.

The goal was to create a pair of patches that you could “stick” anywhere and through machine learning they would understand how you behave before turning lef/right and make there patches to light up a fiber optic “tail”.

technical failure

Firstly because I used an attiny85 board. Went really basic and just used a literal toggle switch to make the “tail” to sweep. I was able to make it portable, but none of the ideal machine learning system was integrated at all. Secondly, I wanted the light part not to be an LED (at least directly). So many projects for bikers are just about using LED and I wanted to test if I could to a fiber optic version of it. It worked at some point but it in the final version it didn’t work well.

The project did get a second attempot in which I tried to optimize the circuit, but I didn’t actually changed anything on the interaction/materials. It did taught me a lot about mechanisms & fiber optics.

I was very wrong about what I could achieve in a four months class. My initial scope required a lot of testing or circuit, material, interaction and learning skills I didn’t have to implement the whole systems. Until the last three weeks I was positive I could built it all (I tend to be optimistic regarding time), but then I had to downgrade the idea to a proof of concept. By the end of the process i just wanted to get something together worked kind of they way I wanted.



Because textiles are materials that are part of our routine – and having eletronics embbeded in objects that we are already emotional relationship with.

E-textiles feel like the right medium to integrate technology in our daily lives, rather imposing a piece of device that you always need to remember to use.

To integrate it smoothly into people’s usage, I believe e-textiles products and services should give extremely importance to user testing, sustainability & technology blindness: not letting technology overcome the purpose; let possible users & scenarios to be part of the process; and think what is the impact of having electronics within the washing cycle, so close to our body and what are the most sustainable combination of components and materials for the purpose of this textile.


Lara Knutson is an Artist, Industrial Designer and Architect who works in New York City.
Lara’s work is sold in design stores and museum shops around the world, including MoMA and the Cooper Hewitt. Her soft glass series is in the permanent collections of the Corning Museum of Glass and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.



Jersey Devil Weaving. This project was a call for submission to an art show about American Monsters curated by my friend, Richard Saja, and shown at the One Mile Gallery in Kingston, New York, September 2016.

The framework of the project was to re-create one monster inspired by a famous American monster. I chose the Jersey Devil.

As a little girl, growing up in New Jersey, I was afraid of the Jersey Devil, so I based this project on that monster.

This was a weaving of retro-reflective materials that make light look 3 dimensional and metallic leather that reflects light to make images onto the retro-reflective surface. I chose the same weaving pattern on the woven Marcel Breuer Chair which were the kitchen chairs I had as a child.

other (describe) Was in a show, but missed the mark for what the curator was looking for.

I would have asked the curator more about what he was looking for and tried to make the imagery created by the light more realistic.

This is the best part. I learned that the visual effect created by bouncing light off of and by using LED lights. This fabric reads really well visually as a woven surface and now I’m using this technique to make LED light installations.

This project made me want to weave more with light using LED’s in relation to this fabric and to push the boundaries with the lighting effects that can be achieved with this fabric by simply weaving.



I like that surfaces are capeable of being functional because it can make they seem magical and otherworldly. I also like that there is an economy of space and form inherinent in a surface being able to do multiple things.

I believe that Form Follows Phenomonon. If a surface has an inheranet function other than being a color or type of finish, this allows that phenomenon to enhance forms in new ways.

I would like to see more threads available for 3D knitting.


I am active in free software communities academic and art practices, I have been an active member of a several groups producing critical software, alternative social media and art installations in Europe, such as experientiae electricae, Constant vzw, or Following a PHD in Paris1 I recently co-founded the research organization petites singularites in Brussels, where we concentrate on researching the specificities of free software and particularly its benefits to collective practices.



A long time ago already, while living in Canada I participated to my first exhibition in Europe. This allowed me to ship back home (in France) some large work I had done there (in Quebec). During the exhibition I remember this comment of a long time friend of mine: “Natacha you are the only artist I know who present failed work in international exhibitions”. I was a bit shocked, but indeed he was right and somehow this fate pursued me all my life.

I have always worked in an independent fashion, most of the time collectively and as many artists, I have been confronted to a broad range of institutions from academia, to corporations, governmental institutions and museums, all of them being often intricate. I have tried to work in a transversal relation to those environments; the work I will present here has been shown in many places publicized and served as a basis for research that led me to hold responsibilities.

My attempts to experiment on wearables were always seizing the limits of the technological possibilities, hence always flirting with what some people call failure, but for me they are part of an achievement. In this work I wanted to explore several very difficult technologies and concepts in live situations, such as: non location based, non hierarchical digital positioning; using wearables to produce meaningful collective biofeedback, distributed network based group interaction in the city etc.

Interac wearing is a work I have pursued over several years that materialized in several instances of wearable propositions of a low bandwidth mesh network, between 2008 and 2012. It consist in a set of costumes that responds to their users walking step by triggering a sound that can be heard by other participants, other costumes, disturbing their own pace and sensation. The visuals associated to the piece remotely map participants triangulating their position one relative to the other.

technical failure

Because of the trend over wearables it was very difficult to get through the mainstream discourse and give an understanding of the specific concepts that motivated the work, such as embodied interaction and participation. Furthermore, while formally a success the work, was never fully functional because my refusal to use location based technologies complicated so much the process that I would have needed more scientific means to develop further the specific beacon technologies I needed.

The project is still existent as I am still searching for ways to misuse technology and setup means for collective embodied interaction via distributed communication networks, and this continues to be an Utopian goal. I now can identify many reasons why the work confrontation to the wearable scene was problematic, most of them are tightly linked to the experimental and critical nature of the work that is in contradiction with the trends of technological developments and many economic interests.

Along the evolution of this project I have seen the development of wearable and mobile technologies to the large public through proprietary technologies. I understood that this issue was the main point to address. I now use mobile technologies as a critic and continue to face the same issues: what I want to use technologies for is contradictory to mainstream approach and therefore demands specific developments, for this I participate to alternative networks, as women and free software groups.



After this work I was often called to participate to artistic “e-textile” projects, however I have never been interested in textile as such, to me it was only a way to interface as close as possible to the body, searching how technologies affect our bodies. Interfacing electronics to textile allows me to explore how our body could affect digital interaction, decolonizing our bodies by focusing on gestures that affect our sensations, our relation to the world.

E.textiles might refer to an independent scene that can differentiate itself from the mainstream industrial developments in wearables technologies, it is important that the scene keeps a critical discourse by representing an experimental and prototype based approach, as the technologies involved become highly complex, their possible large scale production raises many issues, it is therefore essential to provide access to those technologies to critical thinking actors and artists.

In the context of contemporary surveillance technologies, it is important to envision non identity based forms of interaction, ephemeral interactions that only happen in the moment, non verbal and meaningless communications that only affect the participants in a specific context and that would not be archived. Furthermore as e-textile develop in industrial contexts, scalability is an important issue that should be tackled in regards to ecological sustainability and fair work practices.