Future Textile Library in the Gottesman Libraries

| November 8, 2017

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The perfect blend of high tech and high fashion is now on display in the Second Floor Reading Room. Wearable Media, a group focusing on bringing data to life through engineering and cutting-edge textile design, installed the Future Textile Library as a display of how many boundaries can be pushed when art and science are combined.

The installation showcases garments produced by Wearable Media and brings people into the world of creating wearable technology with a makerspace-style table. Visitors can explore the three pieces on display – Ceres, Project Reefstone, and AudRey – and then experiment with the technology behind it all at the Interactive E-Textile Station. A litany of power sources, physical input gatherers, and outputs LED lights and haptic motors are laid out nearby. These can be snapped together with metal clasps, completing your chosen circuit with materials you can find in a sewing kit. The materials are strikingly simple, yet they are what makes high-tech fashion work.

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From left to right: AudRey, Project Reefstone, and Ceres; foreground: Interactive E-Textile Station

Wearable Media is hosting workshops at the library for those who are ready to dive deeper into making wearable technology. Intro to Wearable Tech, the first workshop (run on October 27), showed participants how to build LED strips activated by soft buttons. The Future Textiles Panel took place on the same evening. The panel, which is viewable on YouTube, was given by the all-female team behind this exhibition. Their discussion embraced the ways that we as humans impact our surroundings through our drive to create and develop.

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The next workshop, Connecting Data to Textiles, is slated for November 10th from 4-5:30 PM in Russell Hall 305. Participants will create a piece of wearable technology that translates data collected from the user’s body and translates it to visualized data in an app. Registration for this event is currently closed, but anyone who is interested can contact EdLab’s lead designer Zoe Logan at zoe.logan@tc.columbia.edu or reach out directly to Wearable Media. There’s more to come, too: Kinetic Textiles will be the third and final workshop held at the Gottesman Libraries, and it will take place on December 1. Those who attend will be learning about making material that can move with sound.

Future Textile Library will be running from now through December 22. Whether you’re in the field of fashion, technology, or just in the library, it’s worth stopping by!

 

Future Textile Library banner and event posters from Wearable Media
Photo of exhibit by Rachel Altvater