Alternative Presents for Dynamic Fabric

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Angella Mackey, Ron Wakkary, Stephan Wensveen, Annika Hupfeld, and Oscar Tomico. 2020. Alternative Presents for Dynamic Fabric. In Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS '20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 351–364. DOI:https://doi-org/10.1145/3357236.3395447

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Speculative Design
Material Speculation
Research through Design
Smart Textiles

In this paper we investigate how a combination of "speculative" design methods can be used to generate theoretical understandings for dynamic, colour-changing fabrics for garments. Specifically, we combine a first-person, autobiographical, research through design (RtD) approach that draws strategies from speculative design. We call this approach alternative presents, inspired by the work of James Auger, and explore it as a way to generate theoretical propositions for dynamic fabric that emphasize the lived experience over technological innovation. The contributions of this framing are twofold. Firstly, we offer a theoretical contribution to the literature on dynamic fabric. Secondly, we make a methodological contribution for how autobiographical design and RtD can be oriented speculatively to generate intermediate knowledge, with particular emphasis on social-technical aspects.

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