> e-stitches

smart / e-textiles & wearables meetup

e-stitches regularly brings artists, fashion and other designers – including performers, makers, electronic technologies, bio-technologists, wearable DIY enthusiasts, and quantified-selfies – all together to discuss, show, share, educate and learn from each other on the current issues and future directions in this developing area. 

> Videos

In progress.

> Meetup Galleries 2014 – Present

> Timeline

November 2014 – Present

> Past Presenters

  • Amy Winters
  • Brook Roberts
  • Michele Danjoux
  • Johannes Birringer (2nd event)
  • Kristina Dimitrova
  • Berit Greinke
  • Annie Lynwood
  • Lyndsey Caulder & Sarah Robertson
  • Caroline Yan Zheng
  • Olsen Wolf
  • Priti Veja
  • Giulia Tomasello
  • Emilie Gillies
  • Yulia Salias
  • Olga Noronha
  • Bushra Burge
  • Lesley-Ann Daly
  • Amy Congdon
  • Elena Corchero
  • Marina Castan
  • Aniela Hoitink
  • Sophie Skach
  • Mili Tharakan
  • Becky Stewart
  • Melissa Coleman
  • Maria Paneta
  • Stefanie Posavec & Miriam Quirk
  • Elena Corchero
  • Victoria Geaney
  • Nigel Guèrin-Garrett
  • Marina Toeters
  • Danielle Roberts
  • Maria Almena
  • Rachel Friere
  • Pollie Barden
  • Panja Gobel
  • Francesca Perona
  • Becca Rose
  • Tincuta Heinzel
  • Nicola Woodham
  • Ricardo O’ Nascimento 
  • Caroline McMillan
  • and myself, on my own practice

> Abstract

e-stitches is a gathering for artistic / research / practice sharing, show & tell, workshops & talks, which originally took place every six weeks to two months, and now monthly online since April 2020, on the themes of..

  • Soft circuits & e-textiles
  • Digital fashion
  • wearables and DIY electronics

…and related topics in art, design, research and performance.

The group combines discussion on topical issues around these technologies, along with show-and-tell opportunities for participants to show their current work, with occasional hands-on skills-building workshops with expert designers, in a causal meet-up format, with an additional aim to bring other London-based artistic, industry and academic groups together. 

This is a non-profit, non-registered, voluntary organisation since 2014 

> Partners

  • Camille Baker – Founder & Organiser
  • Melissa Coleman – Co-Founder & Co-Organiser (Jan 2015 – Feb 2020)
  • Irini Papadimitriou – Co-Organiser (Nov 2014 – Jul 2018)
  • Emelie Giles – Co-Organiser (Apr 2020 – Present)

> Budget / Funding

None. All funding in-kind or volunteer.

> Outcomes / Impact

e-stitches aims to evolve one day into a cross-disciplinary, cross institutional research & development lab, and advocacy group.

Currently we have almost 200 members, and have hosted more than sixty designers and innovators presenting their work and sharing their skills.

The WEAR Sustain project was spawned from this meetup group and many of the mentors and recipient designers that were involved in WEAR Sustain came from this group.

STARTS Ecosystem

> STARTS Ecosystem

Community Engagement to support the European Commission STARTS (Science, Technology & the Arts) initiative. 

STARTS an initiative of the European Commission, launched in 2016 under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme as a follow-up to the ICT & Art Connect activities since 2012. Its purpose is to support collaborations between artists, scientists, engineers and researchers to develop more creative, inclusive, and sustainable technologies. 

> Video

> Gallery

> Timeline

April 2019 – November 2021

> Collaborators

  • Ana Solange Leal – Project Coordinator / Area Manager, INOVA+
  • Aurelia Delater – Senior Project Manager, INOVA+
  • Tania Moreira – Project Manager, INOVA+
  • Dr Camille Baker – Principal Investigator for UCA
  • Lucy Bunnell – Research Manager, UCA
  • Veronika Leibel – Director of European Cooperation, ARS Electronica
  • Kristina Maurer – Senior Producer European Cooperation, ARS Electronica
  • Hughes Vinet – Director of Innovation & Research Resouces, IRCAM
  • Guillaume Pellerin – Web Services Manager, IRCAM
  • Marie Albert – Head of EU Projects, LFTGP
  • Aneffel Kadik – Officer for EU Projects, LFTGP
  • Christoph de Jaeger – Founder & Director, Gluon
  • Ramona Van Gansbeke – Project Manager Art & Research

> Abstract

STARTS  (Science + Technology + Arts) -is about thinking out-of-the-box and building bridges between these three fields. With disruptive methods of exploration and an accurate critical eye on the use of technology, artists decisively raise awareness of the societal challenges and global concerns we are facing. STARTS is driven by the conviction that science and technology combined with an artistic viewpoint also open valuable perspectives for research and business, through a holistic and human-centered approach.

Co-creation processes between dancers, visual artists, painters, designers, and engineers, developers, sociologists, physicists, or machine learning specialists lead to ground-breaking explorations on our current social and economic challenges. They bring attention to climate change, cyber-security, human and robots interactions, artificial intelligence. Through their projects, STARTS teams work on new concepts and novel products that have the power to shape open-minded, sustainable and ethical technologies for a more inclusive society.

STARTS Pillars include STARTS Residencies, STARTS Prize, STARTS Lighthouses (WEAR Sustain, RE-Fream and MINDspaces), STARTS Regional Centres and STARTS Academy.

STARTS is an initiative of the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.It was launched in 2015, following up the findings of previous activities funded by the European Commission, namely ICT&Art 2012, FET-ART, ICT ART CONNECT 2013 and ICT ART CONNECT study, whose results demonstrated the worldwide emergence of communities of hybrid collaborations among science, technology and arts and their relevance.

> Partners

  • INOVA+
  • UCA / University for the Creative Arts
  • ARS Electronica
  • IRCAM / Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique
  • La French Tech Grande Provence / LFTGP
  • Gluon / Platform for Art, Science & Technology

> Budget / Funding

European Commission, EU Horizon 2020 ICT-32-2018-2, Community Support Action,  STARTS ecosystem: Support to STARTS Community and Lighthouse Projects through the creation of an ecosystem for hybrid talent, Grant ID: 824950 (€999,918.75 total across all partners/€160,875.00 for UCA)

> Outcomes / Impact

STARTS Ecosystem has built an umbrella web platform to bring the Arts and Technology/Science community together, as well as launching in-person and online events and exhibitions to showcase STARTS funded collaboration teams and projects around Europe over the duration of the project and ongoing.

It is hoped that this platform will continue to be maintained after the end of the project in 2021 by future STARTS family projects.

> My Role

I was the leader of Work Package 1 (WP1) Community Motivation and Online Platform, whose job was to enliven the STARTS Family and the greater related European community and to join the platform to participate in our many activities online and in person. I am also a participant of WP4 STARTS IN Motion supporting project progression of previously funded project teams, as well WP2 which is about developing the Collaboration Toolkit and Engagement of the community through events online and offline which I have been leader in.

> Further Information

WEAR Sustain

> WEAR Sustain

Wearable technologists Engage with Artists for Responsible innovation

WEAR Sustain brings artists and designers to work together with technologists and engineers across Europe, to shift the focus of development in the EU wearable technology and smart textile industries, to address the core issues of ethical, sustainable, aesthetic, environmental and responsible approaches at the research, design and development stages.  

> Videos

More videos available on the WEAR Sustain YouTube channel.

> Gallery

> Timeline

January 2017 – April 2019

> Collaborators

  • IMEC – Coordinator & Project Management
  • UCA – Creative & Critical Lead, Project Initiator
  • Queen Mary University – Dissemination & Promotion Lead
  • Universitat der Kunste – Prototype Management & Sustainability Lead
  • We Connect Data – Mapping & Network Developer
  • Blumine SRL – Fashion / Textile & Mapping Partner
  • Digital Spaces Living Labs – Technology & Incubation Partner

> Abstract

The goal of WEAR was to develop best practices for enabling, facilitating, and growing the Europe-wide wearable technology, smart and electronic textiles network, developing collaborations and innovations between artists, designers, technologists and engineers to make ethical and sustainable solutions and technologies for a better future.

WEAR Sustain brought artists and technologists together to work in local hubs, in the end funding 46 prototype projects at €50, 000 per project, toward market and technology readiness. 

WEAR Aims and Objectives were to:

  • Develop a sustainable European network of stakeholders and hubs, to connect and push the boundaries in the design and development of wearables;
  • Encourage cross-border and cross-sector collaboration between creative people and technology developers to design and develop wearables; 
  • Develop a framework within which future prototypes can be made that will become the next generation of what ethical and aesthetic wearables could/should be;
  • Lead the emergence of innovative approaches to design, production, manufacturing and business models for wearable technologies;
  • Help citizens, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders more aware of the ethical and aesthetic issues in making and use of wearable technologies.

> Partners

  • IMEC, Belgium
  • UCA / University for the Creative Arts, UK
  • Queen Mary University of London, UK
  • Universitat der Kunste Berlin, Germany
  • We Connect Data, Belgium
  • Blumine SRL, Italy
  • Digital Spaces Living Labs, Bulgaria

> Budget / Funding

The European Commission Horizon 2020, from Work Programme 2016-17, call ICT-36 Creativity and Sustainability – Innovation Action (H2020-ICT-2016-1) Total funded € 2,998,925 total (80% going to fund 46 smaller prototype projects) – €111062.50 for UCA with Camille Baker as PI for UCA. Seven work packages across seven partners with UCA / Baker leading two of these.

> Outcomes

Knowledge exchange and dissemination events (symposium, industry showcase & exhibition), conference presentations, one book chapter, several journal papers, mini TV documentary, and three 30-second promotional videos. 

> Impact

The long-term impacts are still to come but include adding forty-six teams made of art, design and technology professionals, who will take their experience of ethical and sustainable design process into their future practice, pushing suppliers, manufacturers and others within the supply chain and industry as a whole to (ideally) change their own business practicing a large-scale trickle-down effect:

  • Society = change in awareness of how the wearable and e-textile products are made.
  • Economy = a shift towards more ethical / sustainable products and services sold, transforming the whole supply change toward to better practices.
  • Policy = future EC funding focussed on more ethical and sustainable proposals – shift in what is considered a fundable innovation, with ethics and sustainability embedded

> My Role

I was an ambassador for the project and as such interacted with, engaged with and developed relationships with key research users, beneficiaries or audiences collaborators through European Commission ICT events (i.e.ICT 2015 Lisbon – where WEAR collaboration began and potential partners developed), as well as numerous conferences presenting the ICT&Art Connect/FET-Art, WEAR Sustain outcomes.