The sensory, sound pillows involved cross-sector collaboration with people from the engineering, software, design and health sectors to improve people’s lives by exploring e-textiles, their production and application. I worked with a team to facilitate creative activity to bring about social cohesion for people living in isolated regions suffering from loneliness and long-term health conditions through access to workshops and e-textile craft production. The project worked with community groups to embed e-textile processes and techniques within a series of participatory, creative workshops and support people to imagine new uses and future possibilities for sonic, textile interfaces. The workshops were an opportunity for group participants to share their stories and incorporate their knowledge and ideas in the production of individual or collective e-textile pieces with support from a team of design researchers, artists and technologists.
The group were encouraged to personalise their work, creating a wide variety of designs that were unique to the individual. This particular project challenged their imaginations and seemed to be particularly rewarding, all participants expressed pleasure at what they had made. The workshops revealed a personal approach to crafting, and a refined skill in manipulating the materials. As people explore the surfaces, they encounter layers of pattern, texture and sounds. Our research has shown that integrating additional sensory stimuli to the objects such as sound can deepen the experience.
The work was supported by WEAR Sustain as part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Development Programme under grant agreement No 732098, to investigate the sustainable development of wearable technologies, smart and electronic textiles.