Category Archives: Week 1: Introduction

Defining the language, examining the field

During the first class, we reflected on the different terms practitioners use to define the things they make and the processes they use to make them, then took a big picture view of the field since its inception in the late 1990s.


The goal of this activity is to grapple with the language of the field and think critically about the definitions we use. As a set of hybrid practices that is emerging and evolving, questioning the assumptions and nuances built into the language lays a theoretical foundation to ground our making.

Each group received one or more of these words to define: FASHION, CRAFT, WEARABLE, TEXTILE. Here are the initial definitions:

Round 2 terms

Each group received a second word, then created a new definition (in green).



The goal of this activity is three-fold: (1) to introduce you to a range of eTextile, eCraft, wearable technology, and fashion technology projects; (2) put this practice in a historical narrative and context; and (3) to surface assumptions about the ways in which the materials, aesthetics, form, and presentation of a project influence how it is perceived along a technological timeline. Does a soft artefact belong to a earlier era than a hard one? What makes it difficult to tell which came first? Where do we currently stand in these fields in terms of innovation? Where might we be going based on where we’ve been? What gaps do you see?

ROUND 1: Small Group Timelines
Each group received a stack of 37 cards each containing a project. Their goal was to choose 20 projects and arrange them chronologically in 10 minutes.

ROUND 2: Big Group Timeline
As a class, we then combined all group cards into a larger timeline.

The final timeline

You can find the full timeline and answers here.