Digital tools that encourage and support creativity have been adopted in the participatory, design community to foster personalization of technological features and applications. This case study sets out to discover the opportunities for participants to improve their creativity and increase their imagination through a supported, cooperative, collaborative approach to making. E-textile techniques were used as a route to accessing and applying the material properties of technology, reduce technological intimidation and open up the possibilities for developing personal, autobiographical, multi-sensory outcomes.

Sonic, e-textile interface

I was keen to involve people directly in creative activities encouraging them to formulate a set of personally motivated, design intentions to determine social, collective value. Textile Voices anticipated if forms of participation including co-production, evaluation and co-creation would increase the groups’ personal and emotional connection to the work.

Group making activities

During the participatory workshops, participants conceived a collective prototype for a sonic, textile interface. This case study comments on the role of collaboration during the process of prototype realisation, as well as the facilitation and support made available from a team of design researchers, artists and technologists. 

Sewing in conductive fabric
Reverse side of piece, soft circuit