Friday, 29 January 2010

Electro-active polymers

Pursuing my journey through energy-harvesting and self-actuated textiles, I am currently exploring the potential of electro-active polymers, in the design of responsive textiles, in collaboration with Dr Guggi Kofod from the University of Potsdam, Germany, Departement of Applied Condensed Matter Physics.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Ultra thin stretch fabric

Stretch compostable fabric

As a part of my investigations I am looking for ultra thin stretch fabrics and I was wondering if you could be of help. Would you know any supplier / manufacturer that would provide strecth fabric with a thickness below 0,05mm ? Any suggestion is welcome including tights manufacturer!

I would also like to take advantage of this post to encourage visitors to leave feedbacks and questions as this platform is also very much about sharing information and creating debate within the future textiles community and beyond.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Climate Crunch: making the economics fit

LSE Sustainability in Practice lecture, co-hosted by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment

Date: Thursday 4 February 2010
Time: 6.30-8pm
Venue: Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House
Speaker: Jonathon Porritt
Chair: Professor Eric Neumayer

At the beginning of this new decade more people in the US and UK remain unpersuaded by the science of climate change than this time last year. Could it be that people have spotted the yawning gap between the politicians' apocalyptic rhetoric and the bland lifestyle advice to change your light bulbs or drive more slowly? What if there's no solution to climate change without freeing ourselves from our obsession with economic growth?

Jonathon Porritt is a writer, broadcaster and commentator. He co-founded Forum for the Future and is co-director of The Prince of Wales's Business and Environment Programme.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For more information, email| or call 020 7955 6043.

Media queries: please contact the Press Office if you would like to reserve a press seat or have a media query about this event, email|


We aim to make all LSE events available as a podcast subject to receiving permission from the speaker/s to do this, and subject to no technical problems with the recording of the event. Podcasts are normally available 1-2 working days after the event.


Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Architectures of time

In Architectures of Time, Sanford Kwinter offers a critical guide to the modern history of time and to the interplay between the physical sciences and the arts. Tracing the transformation of twentieth-century epistemology to the rise of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, Kwinter explains how the demise of the concept of absolute time, and of the classical notion of space as a fixed background against which things occur, led to field theory and a physics of the "event." He suggests that the closed, controlled, and mechanical world of physics gave way to the approximate, active, and qualitative world of biology as a model of both scientific and metaphysical explanation.

Kwinter examines theory of time and space in Einstein's theories of relativity and shows how these ideas were reflected in the writings of the sculptor Umberto Boccioni, the town planning schema of the Futurist architect Antonio Sant'Elia, the philosophy of Henri Bergson, and the writings of Franz Kafka. He argues that the writings of Boccioni and the visionary architecture of Sant'Elia represent the earliest and most profound deployments of the concepts of field and event. In discussing Kafka's work, he moves away from the thermodynamic model in favor of the closely related one of Bergsonian duree, or virtuality. He argues that Kafka's work manifests a coherent cosmology that can be understood only in relation to the constant temporal flux that underlies it.
This book is of immense inspiration to discuss the notion of time in respect to responsive architecture and the idea of an architecture of the event as a fruit of modernity. I am now exploring how it can inform the thinking of self-actuated textiles.


From Gesamtkunstwerk to Complexity – Architecture in All Scales

Dear colleagues,

You are kindly invited to join an international seminar in Tampere, Finland on 22 – 24.4.2010. The seminar is part of the annual seminar series of the Nordic Association of Architectural Research, this time organized by the Tampere University of Technology/ School of Architecture.

The theme is:From Gesamtkunstwerk to Complexity – Architecture in All Scales

In the Gesamtkunstwerk idea all arts were combined to create a total environment – is the same now discussed under the concept of complexity? If complexity is a unifying theory for different sciences, can it also be understood as a new synthesis of arts?

What is complexity in architecture? It has been said that there are three kinds of complexity: 1) visual, as the term was used in Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, 2) cybernetic, referring to machines, and 3) biological, meaning the complexity of nature and its applications in algorithms. This may be a valid categorization – but what else?

1. History & theory

Art, science and technology as the model for architecture – then and now? Concepts come and go, but some are more durable than others. Gesamtkunstwerk seems to be one of them, resurfacing whenever there is a need for a comprehensive multifaceted outlook. Is such an outlook needed today? What was Gesamtkunstwerk originally?

2. Morphology

How does the understanding of complexity change our approach to urban form? Morphological transformations are multi-scalar - what is the linkage between the transformations in urban form and in architecture? What is the current design challenge of cities?

3. Ethics

If the environment is characterized by complexity, is it ethical to create idyllic enclaves of presumed safety? Is there a place for ethics in architecture? If not, what is in the center of architecture? Has humanity been cast aside?

4. Planning and design processes & methods

What is the relationship between reality and virtual reality? Between metaphor and model? Are there other ways to handle complexity in architecture besides computer modeling? Could integrated design approaches be the answer? Or can complexity be handled? If the goal is to understand, should not methods be found to somehow guide complexity?

Those who wish to speak at the seminar on a topic that may fit under the above mentioned four sub-themes, please send an abstract of a maximum of 250 words to the address by February 15, 2010.

Those who have been informed that their abstracts have been accepted, and also wish to prepare a paper for the seminar, should send the paper (max 40 000 characters) by April 9, 2010 to the address . The papers will be published in a conference CD-rom, and selected papers will also be published in an issue of Nordisk Arkitekturforskning.

Those who wish to participate without presenting a talk or a paper are invited to fill the registration form on the conference website (in function from February 2010).

The talks and papers should preferably be in English. Further information will be available soon from the following website:

Conference e-mail: .

Abstracts in by 15.2.2010

Registration by 31.3.2010

Paper deadline 9.4.2010

Seminar 22.4. – 24.4.2010.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Create Conference 2010: Transitions theme

The CREATE conference is all about creating innovative interactions, whether digital consumer products, interactive services or interaction paradigms. The event is an opportunity to share and discuss the design opportunities and dilemmas that are currently being addressed by practitioners and researchers from the commercial, public and academic sectors.As well as presentation of academic research and student work, the event will provide real learning opportunities through hands-on workshops, case studies and demonstrations. We also welcome theoretical and research perspectives on the process of design innovation and approaches to creativity in HCI; how human factors can be integrated within a creative design process, methods that encourage creativity in interaction design, and the challenges of working in multi-disciplinary teams.

CREATE is jointly organised by the Human-Computer Interaction Specialist Group of the Ergonomics Society, the British Computing Society's Interaction Specialist Group and Edinburgh Napier University’s Centre for Interaction Design.

Call for Full papers, workshops, short presentations, demonstrations and exhibits
THEME :Transitions

Analogue / Digital
Academic / Practice
Place / Time
Real /Virtual

We are seeking original, unpublished work under the following categories
- High quality academic papers for peer review (max 6 pages)
- Practical workshops
- Short papers and/or case studies from practitioners within the field< - Short presentations and/or posters from students - demonstrations and/or videos of installation-based exhibits or creative work in progress


1 page abstracts for papers: 15th March 2010
2 page proposals for all other submissions: 15th March 2010

Notification of acceptance: Early April 2010
Full paper submission : End of April 2010

Contact Ingi Helgason:

More details

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Fashion in Fiction - The Dark Side

October 8 - 10, 2010
Drexel University
Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Philadelphia, PA.

Roland Barthes proposed that fashion was not a just an industry, but also a set of fictions. Barthes did not wish to ignore the economic function of fashion, but rather underline fashion’s mythic dimension and suggest that fashion is a language in itself. Fashion and fiction have long existed in close proximity; writers have been driven by their experience of fashion and fashion has been developed through and by literary tropes. What makes dress and fashion such a fascinating subject for writers? How are fashion’s mythologies constructed and disseminated through fictional texts? How does fashion relate to art, popular culture, business, the body, consumer studies, and those who might read it as a form of text?

This interdisciplinary conference seeks to investigate the role that fashion has played in our culture. These “mini-narratives” can include fiction, non-fiction, cultural and historical studies, and other types of comparative, descriptive and/or empirical research. In particular, it will examine the dark side of fashion discourse, assessing the role, function, and purpose of clothes, fashion movements, style, and image in creating narratives within narratives. The dark side of fashion can include such obvious topics as gothic, punk, the color black, and vampires. Other topics that have traditionally been viewed as “dark” include polyester fabric, couture knock-offs, deviant fashion advertising, sweatshops, and child labor. Authors are also encouraged to define their own meaning of “dark”.

Papers fitting the conference theme are sought from those engaged in the fields of fashion studies, social sciences, humanities, creative writing, media, cultural studies, design, philosophy, and business.

Papers, work-in-progress and workshop proposals are invited.

Possible topics may include but not limited to:
· feminist versus feminized discourses in fashion and display
· animated texts
· fashion in crime fiction
· graphic novels
· the semiotics of fashion
· historical fiction
· queer readings of fashion
· mystery
· textiles
· the color black
· marketing
· the body/body image
· consumer studies
· new media
· script and cinematic texts
· metaphor/metaphorical fiction
· subcultural style

Abstract Deadline: April 1, 2010

Submission Process: Those interested should send an abstracts of no more than 500 words. Everyone will be notified of acceptance by June 1, 2010.

Peer Review: All abstracts will be peer-reviewed. Those abstracts accepted for presentations will be published online as well as in the conference proceedings.

Paper Submission for Possible Publication: Those interested in having their papers published may submit the entire manuscript for possible book publication.


Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Beyond Green 2009

Good Design was the central them of Beyond Green this year. An event hosted on 9th Nov 2009 athe the AMFI - Amsterdam Fashion Institute of the Arts.

This theme had been chosen due to increasing concern and demand for reduced environmental impact of goods and services.

The event focused upon the role of the designers and companies application of good design thinking. The symposium hosted a range of speakers from David Shah, Dr Kate Fletcher, Mark Liu, Carolyn Strauss and many more. The symposium was accompanied by an exhibition.

Their web platform has documented the event, hosting lots of images, power point presentations and video footage. I think this has been executed really well and is a great was to disseminate the event to a wider audience: sparking future discussions and after thoughts.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Francois Roche in Copenhagen

French Architect Francois Roche from the innovative studio R&Sie will give a talk at the house of Architecture in Copenhagen. Come and check his work:

14th of january, 17h30

Arkitekternes Hus – Strandgade 27A
1401 Copenhague

Free entrance

More info here