Satisfying a conversation with materials for dynamic fabrics

Angella Mackey, Ron Wakkary, Stephan Wensveen, Annika Hupfeld, Oscar Tomico

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Schön describes the way a designer engages with their materials as a “conversation”. In clothing design this typically involves tangible and situated actions such as draping, ripping, and cutting—actions that evoke responses from the fabric at hand. Dynamic fabrics—surface- changing fabrics that combine digital and physical states— are still novel fashion-design materials. When working with the digital, intangible qualities of these fabrics, how does a dialogue unfold for designers accustomed to working physically with fabrics? In this paper we examine the design process of Phem, a collection of garments that use dynamic fabrics that function similarly to augmented reality. We reflect upon the improvisations required to satisfy a productive dialogue with the digital forms of these materials. We conclude with a discussion that proposes revisiting Schön’s notion of a conversation in the context of digital forms, and use Ingold’s perspectives on making to inform this inquiry.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDIS 2019
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the 2019 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference : June 24-28, 2019, San Diego, CA, USA
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherThe Association for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450358507
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
EventACM Designing Interactive Systems 2019 - San Diego, United States
Duration: 23 Jun 201928 Jun 2019


ConferenceACM Designing Interactive Systems 2019
Abbreviated titleDIS
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


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