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13. Implications and Applications

Research & Ideation

This week I pitched my final project proposal. It was important to me to look back at what we had learned, what weeks were the most influential on me and what spoke to me to keep pursuing.

Important things to me:

  • Maker education
  • Cataloging things in a new and specific way that can make sense to other people too
  • Finding novel approaches to bring things together

Within these parameters and doing a research of what is out there, I decided to pursue making a library of biofabricated e-textiles and a book that accompanies the physical library.

WHAT is the concept of the project


  • A library of e-textiles with biofabricated materials (performative materials) - physical output
  • A double-sided book (tête-bêche): - educational output
    • Set of instructions for e-textiles enthusiasts
    • Set of instructions for biofabrication enthusiasts
  • A bigger application of an interactive wall piece using one of the samples - physical output (this part is a little too ambitious, I might not have time to finilize big project)

Discussing and disseminating the knowledge through workshops with interested participants.

Keywords: modularity, plug-and-play, maker education, e-textiles, biofabrication, situated learning

WHY the project makes sense, contextualization

Interesting field of research - There is yet limited research combining e-textiles and biofabrication. This is an up-and-coming area that requires further development.

Starting conversations - building a hybrid community - E-textiles and biofabrication have their own communities, it would be beneficial to bring them together to move towards sustainable development in both. The results could be interesting as to create outcomes that have not been seen before.

Inquiry into performative materials

Maker education - I taught basic design courses for architecture students for 5 years and I experienced that students learn better through situated learning and hands on practices. I value maker education that goes beyond the structured system of the universities and open the fields of knowledge to any interested parties.

HOW the project relates to Fabricademy

Weeks of Fabricademy that the project primarily departs from:

  • E-textiles
  • Wearables
  • Biofabricating materials
  • Textile scaffold

+ It makes use of the knowledge attained in other weeks.

Backdrop: I have already had practice based and theoretical knowledge about other weeks of the academy; design and fabrication softwares, fablab machinery. Therefore, I want to deepen my knowledge in the above mentioned areas.

HOW to achieve it

Prototyping - I aim to explore/create recipes that incorporates biofabricated materials with e-textiles. The fails will be a welcomed output as well, however, the successful outcomes will find their place in the physical library of examples with a common language.

Documentation - The material and tools used in the process and step-by-step making guides will be documented throughout the process and they will be brought together in the book.

Workshops - I aim to disseminate the knowledge gathered through prototyping and documentation via workshops to expand the community and to get feedback on how the knowledge is communicated.

WHO is involved

Me - prototyping, preparing the library and the book

E-textiles & biofabrication community - workshop engagement, testing samples, expanding knowledge, giving feedback

WHEN the timeline of the project

timeline of the project


Personal projects during Fabricademy

  • E-textiles library I started making in the e-textiles week and expanded in the wearables week
  • Biocomposite material library that I started in the biofabricating materials week and experimented further in the textile scaffold week

precedent projects

Examples from similar fabricademy and fabacademy final projects

æ Sensation Map by Ieva Maria Dautartaite, created as her final project of Fabricademy in 2023.

Contemporary Craft Book by Astrid van Roij-Lubsen, created as her final project of Fabacademy in 2012.

Stitch Synth by Jessica Stanley, created as her final project of Fabricademy in 2019.

Community engagement through e-textiles swatch exchange

Swatch Exchange. Creating a unique etextile swatch for everyone involved in the exchange and in return getting a sample from everyone else, thus creating a swatch library.

the swatch exchange

Double-sided (tête-bêche), upside-down, dos-à-dos, reversible books

The Hug - children's book by Eoin McLaughlin, Polly Dunbar - 2019.

Biofabricated e-textiles

Light Tissue, 2021 by Sofia Guridi - synthesized cellulose as a light-transmitting material for the creation of bio-based smart textiles with light actuators.

precedents light tissue

Exploring Biofoam as a Material for Tangible Interaction, 2022 by Eldy S. Lazaro Vasquez et al. - Various biofoam samples created with different fabrication techniques and modifications of the base recipe: a. the base recipe in various thicknesses; b. colored with turmeric; c. in segments on top of a rubbery biofoam base; d. hardened and improved water permeability with pine tree sap; e. colored with walnut powder and cast in custom molds; f. embroidered with conductive thread; g. conductive biofoam with stainless steel fibers; h. extruded into a mesh.

precedents biofoam

Designing Interactions with Kombucha SCOBY, 2023 by Fiona Bell et al. - aim to introduce SCOBY as a biomaterial for HCI and ground it in sustainable HCI and slow design theory. Participants will then gain hands-on experience with SCOBY through a material exploration phase (e.i., learning how to embed colors, patterns, and electronics) followed by a structured SCOBY application creation phase. Ultimately, the goal of this studio is to give HCI practitioners who are interested in biodesign a space and time to collaborate, create and discuss the opportunities and challenges of kombucha SCOBY as a biomaterial for HCI.

precedents kombucha SCOBY


I had a one-hour long talk with Cecilia before the global project pitch where we discussed all the aspects of the project, some of which I already tried to implement in the project proposal. Here are her comments:

  • look at examples: what you enjoy in each of them
  • jessica's documentation is a nice example: play, hack, expand - according to audience
  • sofia, jessica - giving voice to woman
  • what is my pick? specific flavor, message, certain awareness, certain needs
  • look at techniques that are missing - ex: sofia did it with weaving
  • clara davis - growing piezo resistant alum crystals (it needs perfect shape, therefore clean water)
  • in between two layers of kombucha conductive threads.
  • a book that can be read from two sides

During the review I got the following valuable comments:

Commenter Comment
Oscar,, Focus in an specific actuation or sensing, material, process, source, ...
Cecilia * the project is clear, i think because you look at two fields that are relatively new to you, yet very close, you will see opportunities well. define what is the relation to this combination - that you want to explore. * explore with Sunke the open thursday program options asap, already choose a date for the workshops -- ah was in your slides :) good!
Anastasia my only comment would be > try to go beyond lighting up an LED with bioelectronics. if this research is going to be helpful for the ETEXTILE community , choose some sophisticated swatches , have a look here>
Nuria I love the exchange etextiles swatchs and exchange. It would be nice to collaborate with other fabricademy students with similar projects and try to replicate or upgrade the collection with local resources or different materials. Check also Eldy Lazaro's research:
Diane I was wondering if you want to use the biomaterials for the support only, or if you are also gonna create conductive traces or outputs out of biomaterials (like something with conductive ink integrated as a trace in another, nonconductive biomaterial, or a bioluminescent element...) / I like that you included the double-sided story book ; maybe you could add a narrative aspect to the project, at least regarding the storytelling? Biomaterials and electronics can seem opposite fields to the people in each field, but you're bridging them and maybe can tell a story around that, that can help you frame the techniques, or why you choose them :) / (And I was going to recommend Marija's and Jessica's projects, but they are already in your presentation!)
Marion The children's is very cute.Have you thought about making an experimental kit with a cookbook for testing bio-materials?
Hala I was personally looking for an easy to follow one myself when we were doing our e-textiles week and I think it would be great for the Fabricademy community as well as your end users!
Stephanie J Fantastic idea Asli! I think this is a very useful and informative idea that can make electronics and bio materials more interactive and accessible. Really like the idea of them meeting in the middle like the fox and the hedgehog!

Notes from the Classroom

notes from the classroom

APPLICATIONS and IMPLICATIONS lecture by Oscar Tomico

Rethinking fashion and textiles through "interaction design"

  • Rethink what materials are. From designing products to designing material properties
  • Rethinking how accesories fit. Negotiating design characteristics and working in ranges of possibility
  • Rethink why garment production is like it is. Experimenting with socio-technical systems of production
  • Rethink current "aesthetics". Challenge what currently is "good" design

From close-to-the-body to on-the-body interactions

  • From close-to-the-body to on-the-body interactions
  • Exploring an intimate and personal relation with technology

Soft, embodied and situated actions

  • Embodied design ideation methods: analysing the performative power of estrangement (material, embodied and transcorporeal)
  • Strategies for destabilization: re-contextualization, change of bodily sensations through artefacts, enactment, alteration of the material at hand
  • Emerging knowledges: new material forms, new concepts, new behaviors in human bodies, living creatures, ecological systems, chemical agents & ...
  • Soft, embodied and situated design actions for an interconnected, relational and transversal design research
  • Interactive and open-ended RtD (processual). When just the material remains everything is possible. Me, Myself and I: the distracting power of the bosy. Being situated keeps the (personal) meaning

1st person design research

  • 1st person research allows us to .... IMPORTANT submerge yourself in the making
  • "Knowing", "crafting", augmenting", and "socio-political" bodies of knowledges are entangled and used indistinctively in 1PP design interventions
  • 1PP design interventions deal with different temporalities. They relate past, present and future in a collaborative, generative and performative manner
  • 1PP design interventions are relational and expansive by scaling up from our bodies to being with the material flows, community intra-relations, and socio-technical and environmental infrastructures
  • 1PP design interventions supports affirmative creativity. Foregrounding thinking-with & making-with generates new situated ways of acting & knowing, looking at things, & being involved
  • 1PP design interventions support decentering the g-human by displacing power relations and making yourself vulnerable, generating a complex systematics understanding of how things relate to ....

Living-with & designing-with through cohabitation

  • Living-with & designing-with through cohabitation. A posthumanist approach to 1Person Research: non-representational practices & animating lifewords. New visions for Sustainable Design
  • Cohabitation adds to sustainability by approaching worldmaking as collaborative survival through continuous engagement, attunement to everyday actions, and supporting expansion by means of growth and adaptation
  • Living-with & designing-with through cohabitation as a form of 1st person research allows to experience the hybridity in our natureculture and unpack plant-human-computer interaction from a critical and ethical perspective
  • Cohabitation allows to take a posthuman design approach by decentering the human of the design process and look at what are Living-with & designing-with as relational infrastructural arrangements based on interdependence and cooperation
  • The multi-species collaborations emerging from cohabiting in an ecosystem can be considered as a series of symbiotic encounters, sharing space and resources
  • Rethink visionary sustainable work in design by broadening up cohabitation practices, promoting biodiversity...
  • Cohabitation through hybrid bodies. New habitabilities for radical interdependence
  • Cohabitation through hybrid spaces. Regenerative Ecologies of design, production and use
  • Cohabitation through hybrid environments. Posthuman sustainability and novel care practices

Framing your project proposal

  • Support your thinking and ideas with trends in academic research
  • State of the art, who are interesting people / institutes / universities / organizations / companies / funding opportunities to collaborate with, key players. How your work compares to them
  • Sketches, photos, samples. A selection, curation of what you have already been doing, combination of previous work, present wip and future ideas
  • 1st person research (or interviews) - live with your ideas, prototypes for a while