E-fibre is an AHRC funded project set up to conduct research and to build a network around electronic textiles. The project aims to delineate the role of Design in the process of innovation; to identify the cultural forces that bear on innovation in e-textiles and their potential mediation by design; to draw out the relationships between the actors in innovation, design process and ‘design thinking’, material culture studies and the history of textiles and fashion. More


Electronic textiles push the boundaries of our understanding of textiles and redefines peoples’ relationship with technology. They challenge dualistic ideas of hard and soft, private and public spaces and states of ‘on’ and ‘off’. They merge, connect and layer domains through their existence and coming into being. In making, un-making and living with electronic textiles people are forced to explore new ways of relating to themselves and the environment, which ultimately leads to new ways of creating physical and social worlds we exist in.


During April to August 2014 a series of workshops will take place to build connections and identify key questions and areas of investigation. The findings will be compiled into a scoping study, a written report that will include research in innovation theory, design process and ‘design thinking’, material culture studies and the development of textiles and fashion.


W1 // Making Connection

The first workshop explored how wearable computing is changing how we understand ourselves and others and featured presentations from prominent practitioners and technologists including Rain Ashford, Bushra Kelsey Burge, Debbie Davies, Tilak Dias, Clive van Heerden and Tim Stonor. More

W2 // Material Engagement

This workshop explores how, and in what way, the heuristics of design engagement around textiles and innovation is engaging with social research. It will feature stages of the material, craft, properties, innovation, consumption, de-making, to give a broad overview of the different stages in the process. More

W3 // Dialogue and Communication

The third and final workshop featured three short presentations and an overview of the scoping report that is a key element of the project alongside the workshops. It also provided a platform for identifying the concrete outcomes of the project and planning More


The project has a strong focus on building a network of researchers and practitioners working in the areas of design, textiles, wearables, computer sciences, materials, anthropology and social sciences. Our hope is that this will extend beyond the three planned workshops and result in further research opportunities and collaborations. If you are interested to take part or would like to find out more, do get in touch!