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Week 40: Prototyping Wearable Interactions


Integration of sensors and actuators into textiles offers opportunities to support the human being. With new interaction styles for close to the body we research how the reciprocal interaction between person and textiles, or person via textile to person can elicit support, care and sensitivity. This workshop focuses on developing skills for prototyping close-tot-he-body interactions.

Due to the miniaturization, energy efficiency and low costs of electronics it becomes possible to integrate interactive technology into the objects around us. This enables us to realize visions of wearable computing (Mann, 1996), ubiquitous computing (Weiser, 1991) and ambient intelligence (Aarts and Marzano, 2003) in which computing power is distributed in our environment and even close to our body. In the context of textile this is being investigated as new carrier for “embedded intelligence” in the field of smart textiles: the integration of technology, such as computing, sensors and actuators in the textile itself. Smart textiles offer new functionalities: they can conduct light, heat or currents, so the textile becomes an interactive product that can be part of larger product service systems. This opens up a vast field of opportunities for textile developers and product and service designers to combine their disciplines.

During this week we will explore textile technologies, fashion techniques and de integrating of electronics in draping materials (mainly textiles). We will do this by running a total design process in groups of 2 or 3 persons where, in the end we expect you to have an experience-able prototype and capturing of this in a short movie.

Mann, S., 1996. Smart clothing: the shift to wearable computing. Communications of the ACM , 39(8), pp.23–24.
Weiser, M., 1991. The computer for the 21st century. Scientific American , pp.94 – 104.
Aarts, E. and Marzano, S., 2003. The New Everyday View on Ambient Intelligence . Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Uitgeverij 010 Publishers.

All retrieved from:
M. ten Bhömer, M.F. Versteeg, R.M.C. Ahn, O. Tomico, A.C. Brombacher, S.A.G. Wensveen. Wearable Senses: an approach towards the design of smart textiles for wellbeing. In print.

Other literature: As told by Oscar Tomico, Stephan Wensveen, Kristi Kuusk, Martijn ten Bhömer, René Ahn, Marina Toeters, and Maarten Versteeg. Day in the Lab:Wearable Senses, Department of Industrial Design, TU Eindhoven Interactions July-August 2014

ten Bhömer, M., Tomico, O., Kleinsmann, M.S., Kuusk, K. and Wensveen, S.A.G., 2012. Designing Smart Textile Services through value networks, team mental models and shared ownership. In: Proceedings of ServDes ’12 . Espoo, Finland.

Marina Toeters, Martijn ten Bhömer, Eliza Bottenberg, Oscar Tomico, Ger Brinks. Research through design: a way to drive innovative solutions in the field of smart textiles, Presented @CIMTEC Advances in Science and Technology Vol. 80 (2013) pp 112-117 © (2013) Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland. doi:10.4028/

Bio Marina: Marina Toeters -educated as graphic and fashion designer- finished her Master of Art with honors at MAHKU Utrecht by exploring the gap between designers and technicians in the world of fashion. She motivates collaboration for fashion innovation and is initiator and director of • design & research in fashion technology, working amongst others for Philips Research and European Space Agency (ESA). Marina Toeters is member of the research group Smart Functional Materials at Saxion University for applied science and teaches New Production Techniques for textile & garments. In HKU University for the Arts and Design Utrecht she is lecturer Fashion Ecology & Technology. At the Eindhoven University of Technology Marina is the theme leader of Wearable Senses next to her coaching tasks within the Department of Industrial Design. More info:

Bio Jos: Jos van der Weele is director of Jos Design & Styling. An open, curious, involved and result-oriented studio that puts a premium on creativity, innovation and flexibility. The central goal is a creative product in which functionality and technical innovation are the ingredients for an innovative, user-friendly design. Clients are: Asics Europe BV, Hi-tec Sports mid europe s.r.o., Hesling Products BV(Fast Rider), Nickelson Nederland BV, Bata Industrials Europe, Odin Wear BV, AGU BV. Designer of the shawl for the guides of the Dutch Design Week The Netherlands 2011.
Jos is coach at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Wearable Senses theme.

Week Overview


What are wearables and what can I add to society with my wearable?

9:00 - 12:00:
• Quick round to get to know each other.
• Introduction in the context of Wearable systems by Marina (presentation of her work)
• An example of designing electronic garments for a sport company by Jos van der Weele
• Dividing teams
• 1 hour ideation process & concept design
- test the concept by moving / role play / acting out (1st person perspective)
- sketch / film the concept + context (context of use / atmosphere / colours / materials / shapes / target group / interaction)

13:00 - 16.00:
• textile draping (moulage) workshop by Marina
• technical drawing of the total system in scenario


How to define and find the ‘right’ materials?
9:00 - 12:00:
• Workshop by Jos
- Define what the ‘right materials’ are for your concept.
- How to deal with colours and prints?
• Buying fabric
• Research in electronics
• Sourcing the components
• Designing the circuit

13:00 - 16.00:
• Think about integration and make a work plan
• Pattern drawing workshop by Marina (if appropriate)
• Technical drawing workshop by Jos


In textile lab: production!
9:00 - 12:00:
It’s all about 3D constructions out of flexible materials, aesthetics, neat integration of electronics and giving thought about detailing and finishing in an early stage.

keep afternoon free


In textile lab: production!
9:00 - 12:00:
Completing the system (sewing assistance by Jos and Marina. Electronics assistance by E-Lab?)

13:00 - 16.00:
• How to bring your concept in the world?
• Group discussion on how to bring it further: commercialization, design for debate, business plan, and acceptance by your target group?
• Finalizing the product accordingly it should be communicated.
• Arrange models, stages, shoot settings, presentation materials.


Bring your concept into the world!
9:00 - 12:00:
• Photo shoot in context of use / Movie making and editing of the scenario
• Finish your blog
• Prepare for the presentation
• Workspaces clean-up

13:00 - 16.00:
• Presentation
• Reflections and feedback
Wearable Senses - TU/e

Books: textielgids voor modeontwerpers, trends and innovations for performance textiles, drape drape 3, Moulage

Materials: Regular woven cotton (off white), regular cotton jersey (off white), electronics, conductive yarn and conductive fabric will be available.

Students bring: your own sketching and textile tools: Sketching materials, paper, scissors, pattern paper, centimetres, needles, pins, …

Expected Results of the week

Learning goals:
Prototyping in draping materials, draping, use of colours/patterns, pattern making, sewing, technical drawings of textile products, wear-ability, integration of technology, textile knowledge, fashion skills, aesthesis, future vision, acceptation by society.

• 1 interactive garment
• a movie (or photo shoot)
• a process blog

Resulting Student Work

link to your results here:

courses/2014_exp_prototyping_week40.txt · Last modified: 2014/09/26 00:04 by stoffel