W1 // MAKING CONNECTION
Making Connection is the first workshop of three that comprise an AHRC funded research network ‘From Invention to Consumption: electronic textiles’ that took place on May 19th 2014 in London at the Centre for Creative Collaborations.
It built on the findings of CAST – (Creative and Social Technologies) that 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.
‘Making Relationships’ will bring together individuals from universities, large corporates, SMEs, freelance designers in a focused discussion on e-textiles innovation through presentations and engagement with prototypes and innovative products. This matches the aims of C4CC, which operates on the principle that real innovation happens at the edge and in the gaps between disciplines and supports new types of collaboration using the principles of open innovation.
Professor Tilak Dias directs the activities of the Advanced Textiles Research Group and brings a unique background in electronics, textiles and electronic textiles to the School of Art & Design at Nottingham Trent University (NTU). He is leading the development of research in the fields of knitwear, technical textiles and smart textiles, to enhance NTU’s capacity to undertake internationally excellent research. Developments to date include wearable technologies for medical applications that include a vest for vital signs monitoring and gloves and socks for use in stroke rehabilitation. Professor Dias is also developing wearable electronic systems for the military and smart textiles for the automotive industry. He is motivated in his work by the possibilities of creating knowledge. Professor Dias has developed three novel core technology platforms, which have resulted in the formation of three spin out companies in the UK for their commercial exploitation. He has also published over 100 scientific papers in leading journals and conferences and is named as the lead inventor in 40 patents.
The internationally-known fashion house has been pushing the boundaries of wearable technology since its launch in 2004. In ten short years CuteCircuit has become the global leader in interactive fashion with iconic designs that have introduced many ground-breaking ideas to the fashion world by integrating beauty and functionality through the use of advanced technology within their designs. CuteCircuit is the first fashion label to seamlessly integrate fashion design with interactive technologies creating magical garments that look spectacular. CuteCircuit brings the fashion of the future into reality today. CuteCircuit is headquartered in Shoreditch, artistic heart of London, where Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz are the design duo behind all of CuteCircuit’s amazing creations. Francesca’s Italian heritage, design flair, and love of couture perfectly merge with Ryan’s all-American attitude towards Innovation. Inspired by the ground-breaking pioneers like Coco Chanel and Schiaparelli, CuteCircuit move fashion forward mixing innovation with couture techniques.
vHM Designfutures is a London based consultancy set up by Clive van Heerden and Jack Mama which specializes in the design of future lifestyle scenarios based on socio-cultural research and emerging technologies. Jack is Creative Director of vHM Designfutures, Studiomama and former Creative Director for Visioning and Probing at Electrolux and the Probes program at Philips Design. In these roles, he articulated the vision and design expression of ‘far-future’ research initiatives aimed at identifying long- term systemic shifts and anticipating changes in future lifestyles. Examples of probes projects include Electronic Tattoo, Emotional Sensing Dresses, and Microbial Home and Livable Cities. Clive has spent over twenty years exploring new product genres, innovation strategy and vision projects for a series of global technology companies that has culminated in pioneering approaches to research, product innovation and new business. Clive became the director of the ‘Soft Technologies’ activity at Philips Design in 1998. The same year he also started the Intelligent Fibres group, consisting of engineers, scientists, textile technologists and fashion designers. This experimental group pioneered wearable electronic and conductive textile solutions that led to Philips partnerships with companies like Levis and Nike. In 2012 he joined Electrolux in Stockholm as Director of Visioning and Probing before returning to vHM Designfutures in London earlier this year.
Tim Stonor is an architect and urban planner. He is an internationally respected expert in the analysis and design of human behaviour patterns in buildings and urban areas. His work explores how social, economic and environmental value is created by the movement, interaction and transaction of people in space. Tim advises public, private and community organisations worldwide. His approach combines robust analysis and visionary thinking. Tim is Managing Director of the strategic consulting firm Space Syntax Limited, which he founded in 1996. A director of The Academy of Urbanism, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, winner of the prestigious Harvard Loeb Fellowship and Advocate for the EPSRC, he is a Visiting Professor at University College London. He recently joined the Lead Expert Group of the UK Government’s Foresight project on The Future of Cities.
Deborah Davies has been an Artist in Residence since 2010 at The Centre for Creative Collaboration (C4CC), University of London where she is also part of the management team. In March 2014 Deborah moved to Berlin, Germany but still remains in the employ of C4CC splitting her time between the two cities. In Berlin she is working on a series of projects with an electronics soft/hardware engineer making interactive art. Installations include Luma Module, Burning Man 2013 art.actonstreet.com and StarWay Burning Man 2014 www.starwaybm.wordpress.com. Other projects include interactive toy www.stabbyman.com and light-up dresses www.actonstreet.com.
Lisa Talia Moretti
Lisa Talia Moretti has nearly eight years experience working as a strategist, editor and educator for over 30 major international brands including Starwood Hotels, Dulux, Grant Thornton and National Geographic. She is also the residential Digital Sociologist for Affect Lab, a non-profit foundation in Amsterdam and a visiting teacher for Goldsmiths College and Cardiff University. Lisa has a MSc Digital Sociology cum laude from Goldsmiths College. Her current research focus is information science and hyper-personal digital experiences.
Bushra Kelsey Burge
Bushra Kelsey Burge is a Bangladeshi-British artist-designer and lecturer whose work explores memory and personhood, bringing together art and science through the use of a range of traditional and new media, from couture to digital installation. She is currently developing an interactive costume for a cyber opera performance using light. Other projects include new work around 3D printed selfies with possible image recognition to trigger to related video which is a development of an earlier NFC project which explored the function of music as a trigger for an immersive sensory archive for older people. This previous project was formed through intergenerational, inter-cultural dialogue to create meaningful montages of video interviews with related songs and photos connected to personal objects through NFC triggers. She has a background in ethical fashion and sustainability and is extremely interested in art and design for social benefit. She holds an MA in Applied Imagination from Central Saint Martins, a BA in Fashion from the London College of Fashion, as well as an earlier BSc from Imperial College in Biochemistry, which enables her to bring a unique perspective and range of skills to her work.
Rain Ashford designs and constructs wearable technology, e-textiles and interactive artworks. She is a PhD candidate at Goldsmiths, where she is investigating the possibility that wearable technology can be used to augment new forms of non-verbal communication, particularly in the areas of body language and emotion, by the amplifying and visualising of physiological data. Previously she has studied Fine Art, Multimedia, and Electronics Engineering, which has led to her work developing as a convergence of art, programming and electronics.