Self-expression through textile

A machine that paints textile in collaboration with the user as a result of my first thesis project.

Motivated by the importance that dress has on our identity formation, my thesis project tried to answer the question of how can an interactive tool create greater means for self-expression of the dressed body through the design of textiles

Research wise, my goal with my thesis was investigate fashion and sustainability as a topic. Personally, my ultimate goal with this project was to combine two of my passions: sewing crafts and interaction design.

Using a methodology that we call “research through design”, I went through a series of experiments (workshops) and prototypes that informed one another, until I reached the final prototype of the interactive tool: A machine that paints on textile together with the user.

The way the machine+user interaction works represents the findings and results of the whole process.  Here are the important parts of it:

  • The user engages directly with the textile painting with brushes;
  • The user paints the textile through painting rules that involve self-reflection exercises;
  • The machine paints the guiding elements for user’s painting, setting up a layer of visual aesthetics.
Year: 2016
If you’re interested, you can get a hold of my thesis here.
This was one of the workshops I created to engage people in painting on textile through different activities/tasks. In this example, I painted with them, as a representation of a machine role.
This was one of the workshops I created to engage people in painting on textile through different activities/tasks. In this example, I painted with them, as a representation of a machine role.
Another version of the workshop, where the participants painted by themselves, through rules/tasks.
Another version of the workshop, where the participants painted by themselves, through rules/tasks.
These are the tools I created for the workshops. I didn't want the participants to use usual brushes only, because I wanted them to explore abstract expressions.
These are the tools I created for the workshops. I didn’t want the participants to use usual brushes only, because I wanted them to explore abstract expressions.
This is an overview of all of the different textile designs I got from all of the workshops.
This is an overview of all of the different textile designs I got from all of the workshops.
As an outcome of the workshops, I sewed a little bag for each of the participant with their preferred textile design. This was an exercise to investigate how they would feel owning an accessory they helped design themselves.
As an outcome of the workshops, I sewed a little bag for each of the participant with their preferred textile design. This was an exercise to investigate how they would feel owning an accessory they helped design themselves.
This is how I "wrapped" the participant's bag. On the label, I put a short description of which exercise guided their painting, so they could recall the content in their textile design.
This is how I “wrapped” the participant’s bag. On the label, I put a short description of which exercise guided their painting, so they could recall the content in their textile design.
In order to create the painting exercises, I created a moodboard for myself to try to guide the aesthetics of the results I was looking for from the exercises.
In order to create the painting exercises, I created a moodboard for myself to try to guide the aesthetics of the results I was looking for from the exercises.
Before adventuring into building a machine for textile painting, I created a mini-prototype to help me realise it. In the prototype, the upper hand emulates the machine-controlled brush, and the other hand represents the user's "analog" painting.
Before adventuring into building a machine for textile painting, I created a mini-prototype to help me realise it. In the prototype, the upper hand emulates the machine-controlled brush, and the other hand represents the user’s “analog” painting.
This is when I started building the real machine. Here I'm starting with the main middle cylinder.
This is when I started building the real machine. Here I’m starting with the main middle cylinder.
This is an overview of the almost-complete machine, sitting in the messy workshop.
This is an overview of the almost-complete machine, sitting in the messy workshop.
A closer look at the semi-ready brush system.
A closer look at the semi-ready brush system.
The machine-controlled painting is guided by generative drawing algorithms I sketched with Processing. These drawings are the guiding lines for the user's painting exercises.
The machine-controlled painting is guided by generative drawing algorithms I sketched with Processing. These drawings are the guiding lines for the user’s painting exercises.
When choosing an exercise to guide their painting, the user can read what the exercise is and, at the same time, see what will be the aesthetics of the painting done my the machine.
When choosing an exercise to guide their painting, the user can read what the exercise is and, at the same time, see what will be the aesthetics of the painting done my the machine.
These are the tags to be attached to the user's new piece of garment. It is a memory of their textile painting experience.
These are the tags to be attached to the user’s new piece of garment. It is a memory of their textile painting experience.





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