Project Description

Arctic and Traditional Textile Techniques as Inspiration for Electronic Textiles

Emmi Harjuniemi and Çağlar Genç

Tradition and Innovation in Art and Design Education, 178

We describe the selected artworks from our experience of teaching an electronic textile or e-textile, course with the Arctic theme at the University of Lapland for five years. E-textiles are technological solutions blended with textile materials to design daily products such as interior elements, clothing, and accessories (Berzowska, 2005). They compete for the same spaces on our bodies and in our interior with the existing products e.g. pillows, watches, glasses, bags, and shirts (Juhlin, 2015). A meaningful merger between technology and textile materials requires attention paid to both practical and aesthetical attributes of the design product. However, the field has developed rapidly on the technological front (Buechley, Peppler, Eisenberg, Kafai, 2013). This situation leads the outcomes more towards practical functionalities (Tomico, Hallnäs, Liang & Wensveen, 2017).   

To overcome this, preparing designers in guiding the e-textile development processes is essential (Coleman, Peeters, Lamontagne, Worbin & Toeters, 2011). Considering the intersection of design and technology will create more job opportunities for designers, in design faculties, educators have a challenging task of preparing students for this relatively new area. Coping with this, we suggest how the textile techniques and Arctic theme can provide inspirations for future designers to explore the aesthetic and social dimensions of e-textile products.  

Harjuniemi, E., & Genç, Ç. Arctic and Traditional Textile Techniques as Inspiration for Electronic Textiles. Tradition and Innovation in Art and Design Education, 178.