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)
4 Downloads (Pure)


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 - Proceedings of the 2019 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-5850-7
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2019
Event2019 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, DIS 2019 - San Diego, CA, USA, San Diego, United States
Duration: 23 Jun 201928 Jun 2019


Conference2019 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, DIS 2019
Abbreviated titleDIS '19
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Internet address


  • Animated textiles
  • Augmented reality
  • Fashion design
  • Materiality
  • Research through design
  • Wearable technology


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