Textile Interaction Objects

As part of the UHCI (Universal Home Control Interface) project, we created a series of conceptual objects to explore the interaction possibilities with textiles. In the course of the project, and especially in a participatory design workshop with prospective users, it became clear that it was very hard to think about textile objects in the home other than in terms of well-known everyday objects. It was also stunning how much the functionality of a smart textile was associated with its original textile purpose, e.g. that one of the first associations for a smart blanket was the electric heating blanket.

To open up for new application purposes and textile shapes, we decided to take the interactive qualities of textile materials as a starting point, and develop a series of objects that serve as minimal examples of these interactions. Small objects thus represent e.g. the motion of turning textile objects inside out and thus changing the inside and outside volume, or the motion of moving or rotating textile artifacts on another object such as the back rest of a chair or a wall heating.

All of these explorations should be seen as conversational objects. They provide a starting point to think about possible and desirable application purposes and situations without being proper interactive objects in their own right.

The inside-outside object with the voluminous textile on the outside.

The inside-outside object reversed.

The fringe object in its extended state.

The fringe object in its collapsed state.

A sample of a printed structure with pre-defined breaking lines for folding.