Saturday, November 15, 2008

[ Technical Textiles - R & D in Fashion and Wearale Technology. ]

Call for A-i-R proposals: Soft Technology * Posted by V2_ on November 13, 2008 at 11:14am. V2_Lab, the artistic Research & Development (aRt&D) department of V2_ Institute for Unstable Media in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, has a vacancy for a three-month artist’s residency from January 15 to April 15, 2009. Deadline for applications: December 7th 2008. To download your application form please follow this link. Background. V2_Lab has an extensive history in the field of wearable technology. In recent years, we have carried out various aRt&D projects in collaboration with various artists and universities. For example, we developed soft, wearable interactive objects with Thecla Schiphorst during Soft(n). We recently took these developments further in the direction of fashion and wearable technology with Di Mainstone’s Sharewear. In these projects, we combine knowledge from various domains to produce surprising or critical artistic statements. V2_ is seeking to further investigate the combination of fashion and technology by means of an experimental residency. Introduction. A true revolution is currently under way in the form of personal fabrication. Wikipedia is already talking about “fabbers” – a new word for the emerging miniature factories. Around the world, initiatives like the Fab Labs and a lively DIY community bear witness to this development. This way of working is also increasing in popularity in the area of wearable electronics. V2_ Lab sees a great need for simple solutions for wearable electronics people can make themselves with a bit of know-how. The proliferation of workshops in things like Arduino and crafting and the success of V2_’s workshops in Shanghai and Cluj, Romania, seem to support this. As a lab, we believe it is important for artists and designers to gain knowledge and hands-on experience with the technical and conceptual possibilities and impossibilities of these technologies in a professional environment. At the same time, we wish to combine our creative powers to develop innovative materials that will enable a far-reaching integration of electronics with their textile carriers. If this technology finds its way to artists and designers, it will certainly have an impact on future wearable projects. Goal of the residency. The research and development part of the residency will focus on the development of flexible, textile-integrated circuit boards and electronic components, manufactured from easily accessible materials. We wish to involve the artist in this research at the earliest possible stage, so that the accumulated knowledge will remain easily transferable. This residency is also geared toward achieving a satisfying end result in the form of a visually attractive working prototype. This residency is relevant at the artistic level because making low-tech materials and techniques available will enable a much larger community to develop wearables. Technology and way of working. The artist will be responsible for the artistic theme, design of the wearable, and realization of the prototype; he or she will receive support from the designers and developers at V2_ Lab. In collaboration with V2_, he or she will develop innovative materials and applications that will help to realize the goal of creating a working prototype in which the technology and the textile medium integrate into soft and flexible circuitry. We will work with DIY and crafting technologies as well as with rapid prototyping machines. We highly value convincing design. The integration of technology and craft, however, is part of ongoing research at V2_, so the technological aspects may keep an experimental character. The final result will be presented to the public at one of V2_’s events. Team profiles. The artist will: • be an artist/developer/designer having an affinity with textiles. • be innovative in his/her field and wish to experiment with the aforementioned. technologies, and • preferably have basic knowledge of electronics, or at least have experience working in a multidisciplinary team. The experts at V2_ Lab will: • offer support with software and hardware development, • work with the artist on research into the integration of textiles and electronics, • have knowledge of materials, and • be familiar with various crafting technologies. We work with FabLab Utrecht Protospace, which offers • the use of milling machines, laser cutters and 3D printers, and • occasional support from a professional. V2_Lab offers: • an artist’s fee up to a total of €3,000.00, depending on experience and activities, • free lodging in Rotterdam, and • travel to and from Rotterdam up to €250.00. The contact person for this call is: Piem Wirtz,, Tel: +31-10-206-7273.
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