Building a Soft Machine: New Modes of Expressive Surfaces

  • Amy WintersEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9748)


This paper will investigate how the distinct role of the textile designer can enrich the design process in HCI. It will advocate embodiment as a design methodology by focusing on a subjective, visceral engagement with material and physical computing using tacit textiles expertise. This theoretical premise is explored drawing on the fields of soft robotics, organic user interfaces and transitive materials for the fabrication of a responsive textile composite. The research uses a range of theoretical references to support its concepts of design thinking and computational materiality and deploys the methodological process of autoethnography as a qualitative system for collecting and evaluating data on the significance of textile thinking. This research concludes that there are insights gained from the creative practice experimental methods of textile thinking in HCI that can contribute to the commercial research and development field in wearable technology.


Material Expressive surfaces Aesthetics Soft composite Soft robotics Wearables 



The author would like to thank Clive Hudson at Programify for support with electronic circuit fabrication and coding.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Royal College of Art, Textiles, Kensington GoreLondonUK

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