Programmable Plaid

Bigger, E. E., & Fraguada, L. E. (2016). Programmable plaid. Proceedings of the 2016 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing Adjunct - UbiComp 16. doi:10.11452968219.2971343

The work presented celebrates traditional tartan patterns and their design parameters, as well as the numerous technological achievements in woven textiles. Programmable Plaid is a woven textile (as applied in the garment presented) with the capability to illuminate threads in both warp and weft directions. The project investigates the creation of garments for day-to-day use, which is a use-case probably never considered when developing off-the-shelf electronic components. In developing a new tartan pattern and fabrication technique, we respond to the lack of purpose-made electronic components by choosing to evolve tradition into technology. Manufacturing techniques and components for the proposed textile have been carefully considered, researched, and contrasted to our previous work, as well as recent trends in the field of wearable technology. The garment is a component of a tartan pattern generating system which searches the space of all registered tartans in order to find relevant, but yet unregistered tartan color and thread count combinations from a variety of inputs either embedded on the dress, or from a mobile phone.

The pattern can be driven by any number of inputs and display any desired color combination.

Detail of the Programmable Plaid textile.

Detail of the Programmable Plaid textile.

Programmable Plaid received the Jury Prize in the Fibre Arts category at the International Symposium of Wearable Computers 2016. The jury was composed of Todd Harple, Experience Engineer at Intel, and Galina Mihaleva, Assistant Professor at ADM; Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, as well as a panel of professionals and academics involved with ISWC.

It is an honor to be recognized in this community of innovators and inventors, and I encourage you to read more about all of the projects in the Design Exhibition.

Special thanks to James Hallam, Design Chair of the 2016 Design Exhibition at ISWC, for putting together a great exhibition

Photos: Ksenia Zakharova

Model: Maria Kuptsova