Shih Wei Chieh is a media artist, e-textile prototype designer and a self-taught material researcher, graduated from Media Communication Design of Taipei Shih Chien University in 2010, he now works as a full time artist and e-textile consultant bases in Taipei. His wearable works has been presented by many global events such as CTM Festival Berlin, SXSW, Adafruit, Youfab Tokyo, Modern Body Festival,
YOUR FAILED PROJECT
“I am very happy, I hope you are too” is a residency piece relates to community collaboration and also my own art practice, it is a mixture of craftsmanship and e-textile. A letters from a friend of mine was transferred into two shaman masks, unconsciously, I simply wanted to turn those feelings into flickering lights being played repeatedly on the mask. http://www.shihweichieh.com/I-am-very-happy-I-hope-you-are-too
This project was a residency work, then the result and technique became part of a workshop work with local Aztec people, the workshop was host by a local company Bandui Lab who make wooden action figures base on Aztec tradition folks, it is a fair trade frame a like program.
I was fascinated by conductive threads by that time and keen to make a piece by it, I was interested in designing e-embroidery application, something can be part of the garment aesthetic and with electric function too, it is wearable and interactive. I was just excited by its possibilities, I didn’t have any specific goal for the solution, I just experiment with the materials.
“I am very happy I hope you are too” is a residency piece relates to community collaboration and also my own art practice, it is a mixture of craftsmanship and e-textile. A letters from a friend of mine was transferred into two shaman masks, unconsciously, I simply wanted to turn those feelings into flickering lights being played repeatedly on the mask. http://www.shihweichieh.com/I-am-very-happy-I-hope-you-are-too
The FPC interposer is a bad idea, firstly its the soldering, as long as theres soldering part in your flexible design, it breaks all the time. Second, it is the connection within the FPC breaks too, FPC is simply not made for application with many bending requirement. The other thing is the embroidery method is slow to produce, although it is a good medium to work with Aztec without engineer or circuit design knowledge.
I didn’t successfully improve the piece itself afterwards, instead i put lots of time to study alternative ways to make flexible solutions for electric circuit boards, there were some solutions from flexible circuit companies like Stretchable Circuit, but I didn’t have sufficient budget for those commercial solutions.
I realize it is difficult to become a self supported prototyper or e-textile designer without budget and solutions, I did learned a lot from reading papers, emails from e-textile companies, research groups, that opens my vision for industrial solutions but also it’s in vain since it is high cost solution for individuals. It also stopped my art approach after spending 2-3 years only looking for looking for technical solutions.
Although after some years of technical frustration, the interesting parts still remain like using e-textile as social media and community tools for hosting workshop with e-texitler and traditional craftsmanship. Also through flexible material research, it open my mind for chemical process and bio materials, I now am looking into traditional photography chemical process and combine it with smart materials to make e-textile wearable prototype at home.
It is not interesting yet, at least the commercial e-textile application is still very limited as I know, either by technical reason or constrained by user experience.
If you are talking about commercial application, a successful product should fit in costumers user experience, textile application is very fixed like keeping warm and decoration, any application beyond it will go fail. The battery is a problem, so all electrical function should be passive triggered, means all application without improving traditional power source will definitely go fail.