Monday, January 12, 2009

Interactive Textiles

Throughout this week I would like to post ideas discussed at the Inspired Design conference along with the usual Please Sir content. A big topic at the conference was incorporating technology in textiles to create smart textiles. Like the SensFloor that triggers if someone falls or the heat generating jacket by North Face providing warmth on demand. Speaker Matilda McQuaid talked about these pioneering products and showed work by Maggie Orth. Recognized for her innovative designs, Orth merges textiles and technology to create brilliant interactive pieces. Check out some of her designs:

For Petal Pusher viewers touch the electronic textile sensor area of each pattern, the felt and embroidered yarns are illuminated from behind, revealing the light transmissive properties of the textile. Check out the VIDEO. I would love to see this in a waiting room or even my living room!

Pile Blocks works by touching the gray conductive areas where light is transmitted through the woven textile to reveal hidden color and pattern. Touching the different pile sensors creates various animated lighting patterns. Can you see the lighting patterns? A similar work is Running Plaid - I love the VIDEO.

Here's a functional and fun way to adjust your lighting. Instead of reaching for a cold, plastic switch imagine adjusting your light with a touch of soft fabric. ESSENTIAL™ Wall Dimmers and Fuzzy Light Sensors are a completely new and aesthetic way to adjust the lights in your home. I could play with these for hours!

During the conference I felt like I was witnessing amazing breakthroughs in technology and textiles. The possibilities seem endless as technology becomes more advanced and easily fits into our clothes, car and home. I keep wondering - how could smart textiles work for me and you?

{text and images found via maggieorth.com}

24 comments:

jae said...

Very interesting. It does seem like we are starting to have futuristic homes.

Leah said...

i can only imagine what you felt as you were there! i would have had the constant butterflies in my stomach along with new inspiration every time i blinked. i love what i see so far.

Blair said...

wow, I am amazed that things like this exist!

please sir said...

They are crazy right? I know these are different from my normal content, but I felt like they were so inspiring!

erin@designcrisis said...

Love the second piece with the lights behind it... gorgeous!

Laura said...

really cool ideas. it's crazy how fast technology is evolving. one can only imagine what our homes will look like (and how they'll function) within the next decade...

Sal said...

Those wall dimmers make me DEEPLY happy.

Sharon said...

The pile blocks are amazing!!The dimmers are so rad, but I can't figure how it'll work in reality...

mary said...

Wow. I would have never known about any of this. It's pretty amazing!

::Jan:: said...

It sounds like you were completely inspired. I am so glad that it was. You really inspired me too :) Thanks.

Georgia B. said...

What interesting concepts—like nothing I've ever heard of! I don't know how it could work into my life, but I do like the cutting edge idea of it!

I'm so glad to be back at work where I can view/comment on your blog. I have a lot of catching up to do! :)

design for mankind. said...

Ohhhhh I love the dimmers! You are awesome, Diana! So glad you had such a great time at the conference--- it shows! :)

picciolo said...

wow! I can't stop looking at those light switches
: )

Tina said...

wow, what cool designs! the first one is so beautiful!

Roberta Jane said...

The world of textiles is so amazing! Sounds like a really great conference!

cindy : quaint said...

oh wow, these posts are going to be great! it's wonderful to learn about the newest advances. the dimmers are so cool.

Victoria said...

I never heard of any of this before, and I am amazed that so much technology is being infused with textiles. Who'd of ever thunk?! (Certainly not me, but obviously some others sure did!)

Really looking forward to seeing more of these posts! (Oh, and those dimmers are uber-cool!

Joyce said...

WOW the conference sounds like it was a great time and very interesting. I'm glad you were asked to attend.

Krissy said...

What fun!! It is so much fun to learn new things. I love the light switches :)

fly tie said...

oh, i just love these ideas! a heat on demand jacket?? i could certainly use one.

Cicada Studio said...

It's all so fascinating! And mmmmmmmmmmm heated jackets? Now THERE'S an idea! (but that is nowhere near as cool as those light dimmers).

Stella said...

Very interesting post!
I like the first: Petal pusher.

a print a day said...

as much as i love antiques and old things, it's nice to see that people are being innovative with traditional mediums.

visualinfluenceblog.com said...

absolutely amazing--!!!!

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