Smart Textiles Design Lab Blog at The Swedish School of Textiles

Traces exhibited in London, UK

functional styling 1

The design example “Trace” (2006-2008) is still alive and will be exhibited at The Scin Gallery Clerkenwell, central London, UK during winter 2014

Textiles are traditionally designed and produced to more or less keep a given, static expression during their life cycle; a striped pattern is supposed to keep its stripes. Also textile designers are traditionally trained to design for static expressions, where patterns and decorations are meant to last in a specific manner. However, things are changing.

The carpet Trace is part of a series of design experiments that focus on contributing to identifying and characterizing new design variables, new design methods and new design techniques as a foundation for dynamic textile patterns. Textile designer deals with a new raw material, a dynamic textile, ready to be further designed, developed and/or programmed after its being produced.

Expressional changes in real time due to pressure

This design example is made as a carpet that lights up when someone walks on it. The light is achieved by using an electroluminescent wire, that requires an electrical power source to be switched on / off which is controlled by a program. This is a reversible textile pattern and will change back to its initial expression when there is no applied pressure on the carpet.

Not only designers need to learn how to design with these new materials and their specific qualities that can be seen as a kind of functional styling with dynamic textile patterns. Both users and production perspective need to be further investigated to be able to develop a fully expressional potential and function inherent in these “smart textiles”.

If you are interested to know more about dynamic textile patterns and our design examples all our publications are available from The Swedish School of Textiles digital library Bada ( For example you can find Linda Worbins thesis Designing Dynamic Textile Patterns and Anna Perssons thesis Exploring textiles as materials for interaction design.

Trace is funded by Smart Textiles, Vinnova and The Swedish School of Textiles, University of Borås, Sweden. The project is initiated by Linda Worbin and made by Anna Persson, Christian Mohr and Linda Worbin Smart textile Design Lab, in a collaboration with Kasthall Carpet AB.

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Picture from the exhibition at the SCIN Gallery, 27 Old Street, London, UK


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