02 June 2009

Handcrafting Computational Media

The work of Maggie Orth and her Electronic Textiles or textile computing devices are worth getting to know a bit better...an MIT PhD graduate, Maggie's work is concerned with active and programmable materials in textile design.

The enjoyment and quality of her craft for me, lies not simply in the experimental manner that she approaches interactive technology, smart materials and the weaver’s loom but the way she considers people and their emotional and sensorial engagement in the experience of electronic textiles. Her work retains a respect for the tradition of textiles while demonstrating responsibility for the future of the discipline, nurturing a dialogue with other knowledge domains while critically prodding alternative technological methods and material cultures.

To listen to Maggie talk about the her PhD work in terms of concept, material and technology visit utube.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:40 pm

    Matilda Quaid's 'Extreme Textiles: designing for high performance' (2005) offers further insight into Orth's work...particularly Patricia Wilson's chapter on 'Textiles from Novel Means of Innovation'.

    "Maggie Orth, a sculptural artist and graduate of Rhode Island, joined [MIT Media Lab] as a student in 1997. Through the Opera for the Future group at the Media Lab, Orth explored interactive means for nonmusicians, such as children, to compose music. Using textiles to develop tactilely rich, nonthreatening input devices, Orth experimented with the embroidery of hair-thin stainless steel fibres and yarns produced by Bekaert." (2005:185)

    Wilson's writings on Orth go on to note,

    "After graduation [PhD] Orth founded International Fashion Machines (IFM) to produce flexible electronic art and develop new technology to bring these concepts to consumer products. Her work has expanded to new forms of information display through textiles"(2005:186-7).