Technology is increasingly becoming woven into our daily clothing to enhance and augment our daily interactions. No longer just for performance tracking or medical uses, circuits will become embedded into the fabrics we use to shield and express ourselves. As larger companies adopt and refine eTextile techniques and as eTextiles become more mainstream, how can the broader eTextile community continue to innovate, to question, to push boundaries, to remain open, to be playful, to resist fast-paced production models and labor malpractices?

Our #wickedcommunity created a wearableMANIFESTO as a guide and reminder, not dogma, but a marker in time to capture the values that make the eTextile community at large weird and wonderful.

This vest/apron is our designed embodiment of the manifesto. Drawing inspiration from Google’s Project Jacquard, we sought to create a garment that would allow us to capture the attention of anyone on the street through its visually captivating capacitive sensor and its LED-matrix interface (not shown here) with the goal of prompting inquiry about the garment. This intervention opens an opportunity for exchange about the role of technology on the body, specific products on the market, and the option for the inquirer to learn how to make their own. The wearer can easily transform the vest into an apron that contains all the tools needed to run an impromptu workshop on how to create their own capacitive sensor. If the inquirer shows continued interest, the wearer can send them to a digital space documenting how to make their own vest and share this knowledge with others. The vest/apron design is simple and customizable, and its production creates little to no waste as it is made from a rectangle.

See here for all of our wearableMANIFESTOs.

our wearableMANIFESTO

inclusiveness, accessibility, empathy
a willingness to engage with everyone
open to different ways of doing things
our design is simple to understand, copy and customize
there is no exact copy, every one is different and all of them belong

we care about our environment, we notice what remains
our design produces zero waste

knowledge is power
transparent design spreads power evenly among those who can see
open source, knowledge sharing….

as individuals we crave community

our design evolves every time somebody remakes it
we do not resist change, we do not conserve energy, we expend it to fuel
everything changes and nothing stands still (Heraclitus)

stay flexible
use of materials so they could be sourced locally

capacitive sensing on the body is a wicked problem
dealing with complex power structures (Google’s “Project Jaquard”)

not everything has to have a reason
defy disciplines, standards, authority, boxes
resist being cornered
humor, self reflection, inner resistance, resistance to my inner resistance, and other convoluted inner knotted manifold problems…

Created by the softRESISTANCE focus group:
Admar Schoonen
Celine Marcq
Hannah Perner-Wilson
Lara Grant
Liza Stark
Rachel Freire
Zoe Romano