Exploration of E-Textiles as a mediator of play and bonding

Manali Desai, School of Information

This project combines methods and concepts from computer engineering, textiles, performing arts technology, sound design as well as HCI. It’s an exploration of textile as a mediator of interaction and embodied objects. It plays with ideas around play and interaction in a covid world where covid barriers are present mediating the way our relationships are formed. Vision starts to play less of a role with masks, barriers, zoom fatigue and zoom black boxes and the role of sound becomes further emphasized. The tapestry would play with areas of transparency facilitating visual connection with the person on the other side but lacking in interaction as it is a barrier. Lower the density of embroidery makes things opaque so you can’t see the other side and forces one to crouch down to earth to some extent to interact with it.

The design is not finalized and there are still concepts being played with such as having the tapestry be on a roll for users to move and using glow in the dark thread to facilitate different forms of interaction in the dark. The sound element will be key – playful when it’s bright and using a light sensor to change the tone overall when dark so the tapestry is responsive to the environment and experience the users are having.