Lab Initiates E-Textile Workspace

Sewing and Soldering

Lab Initiates E-Textile Workspace

E-Textile Workspaces aim to offer an informal setting for both critical discussion around&about wearables, and for hands-on work on individual projects. It aims to open a space where practice is intertwined with knowledge sharing, feedback exchange among the invited participants – members of the wearable community in The Netherlands – and with critical reflection on the state-of-the-art in wearable technology.

Urge for a Platform

The wearable community is particularly active in The Netherlands, yet somehow scattered: there is thus the urge for a platform that connects active members (artists, researchers, designers), that triggers knowledge exchange and reflection on the broad and somehow still loosely defined field of wearables. V2_Lab has developed in the past – and currently works on – several cutting-edge projects in this field, achieving in this way a level of expertise that makes it the ideal space for hosting such a platform.

Aims of the Workspace are:

  • Share resources and knowledge: for example in each session a participant could make a brief presentation on a new component, material, idea or concept he or she came across;
  • Making it easier to get and test material and technologies by ordering samples together or having V2_ order materials;
  • Share previously acquired knowledge on what works and what does not by building a database or by simply talking about it;
  • Make the results of Workspace available to the wearable community via the V2_ website. Follow all Workspace results at the E-Textile Workspace collection.

Chatting, Sewing and Soldering

E-Textile Workspaces intend to run on a regular basis of monthly sessions. The first of a series took place on October 22 at the V2_Lab. The evening was designed to be a "pilot" to define the format of the workspace, by testing and evaluating with the participants if the combination of hands-on work and discussion within an informal setting provides the optimal structure for the following sessions. 

This combination appeared a good strategy to bridge the gap between the practice and the – often missing or poorly stimulated – theoretical reflection around&about wearables, made by artists/developers who work in the field. As some of the participants remarked, limited time and the search for technological solutions 'to make things work' are often the central issue in projects involving wearables, thus very little time and space are left for theorisation, and for a more free experimentation that is not specifically oriented to a final-product.

The E-Textile Workspace is a project initiated by Piem Wirtz, Project Manager at V2_Lab and Melissa Coleman, artist and teacher at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague. 

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