The advent of novel materials (such as conductive fibers) combined with accessible embedded computing platforms have made it possible to re-imagine the landscapes of fabric and electronic crafts extending these landscapes to the creative range of electronic/computational textiles or e-textiles. This project explores the applications of the LilyPad Arduino, a fabric-based electronics kit that enables novice users to design and build their own wearable gadgets and other e-textiles.
The kit consists of a microcontroller and a set of sensors and actuators in attachable packages. These elements can be sewn to textiles and can be connected to each other via conductive thread to build e-textiles.
This workshop was a research-based meeting of artists and developers aiming to create clothes with innovative technological features. Seeking methods of approach and conciliation among science, technology, art and design, the laboratory was dedicated to the exploration of new practices of the interaction of fashion and technology, both theoretical and practical, by placing digital media in dialogue with the natural environment. Our team attempted to set up a platform for creative experimentation around the development of a hybrid electronic circuit which will be wearable, covering all aesthetic and functional aspects of the relationship of the garment with the human body.
The “Pixel Dress” is designed with the aim to expose the performers’ physical condition during the performance. A pixel pattern is designed on the dress in order to depict abstractly the heart of the performer. On this pattern are placed leds in three imaginable circles which are blinking depending the heartbeat frequency. The heartbeat frequency is being detected through a heartbeat sensor, which is plugged in the Lillypad. As we move through the centre of the heart the leds are blinking more frequently. When the heartbeats reach a peak the leds on the high frequency circle are programmed to stay turned on and do not blink anymore and a continuous sound is produced through a small sound box that is connected to the Lillypad.