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Textile Messages

Dispatches From the World of E-Textiles and Education

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Edited By Leah Buechley, Kylie Peppler, Michael Eisenberg and Yasmin Kafai

Textile Messages focuses on the emerging field of electronic textiles, or e-textiles – computers that can be soft, colorful, approachable, and beautiful. E-textiles are articles of clothing, home furnishings, or architectures that include embedded computational and electronic elements. This book introduces a collection of tools that enable novices – including educators, hobbyists, and youth designers – to create and learn with e-textiles. It then examines how these tools are reshaping technology education – and DIY practices – across the K-16 spectrum, presenting examples of the ways educators, researchers, designers, and young people are employing them to build new technology, new curricula, and new creative communities.
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Vignette: The Climate Dress

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The Climate Dress is an interactive dress that reacts to CO2 changes in the nearby surroundings. The dress senses the CO2 concentration in the air and then creates diverse light patterns with over a hundred LEDs—varying from slow light pulsations to short and hectic flashes. The Climate Dress is a statement that, through an aesthetic representation of environmental data, contributes to the ongoing debate about environmental issues.

The Climate Dress uses soft conductive thread is similar to the thread used for traditional and industrial embroidery. In the gown, the embroidery becomes more than an aesthetic element—it has a crucial function of conveying electricity and thereby giving “power to the dress.” Several microcontrollers are connected to the CO2 sensor and LEDs through this embroidery.

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