Designing with Smart Textiles: A new research program

Linnéa Nilsson, Anna Vallgårda, Linda Worbin


No longer is it sufficient to add ‘smart’ to textiles to secure interesting research results. We have surpassed the initial stages of explorations and testing and now need to raise the bar. We have thus specified research program in which we investigate what it means to design with smart textiles. What can we design with smart textiles? And how do we design with smart textiles? We now explore how these complex, often abstract, materials can enter traditional design practices and what role smart textile can play in the design of our environment. In this article, we discuss the challenges we see at present, we outline our new research program and we qualify it through three examples of our ongoing projects: The smart textile sample collection, Recurring patterns, and Bonad [tapestry]. The article is as much an invitation to join forces, as it is a description of a maturing process within design research. We are over the first love, now what?


smart textile; research program; material design; experiments

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