Digital Futures: e-stitches

Learning and Interpretation
October 24, 2016

Digital Futures is coming back in November, this time with a showcase and talks by members of the e-stitches group, a meetup for textiles and technology taking place regularly at the V&A.

e-stitches is now close to 100 members from a wide variety of fields and experience, each bringing their own unique view on e-textiles. The group includes artists, designers, researchers, technologists, curators, choreographers, journalists, entrepreneurs and industry thought leaders. The e-stitches community creates innovative and experimental applications for art, design, research and commerce.

This session will present a showcase of projects and a series of talks, plus a chance to meet the artists and network.

When: Saturday 5 November, 14.00-17.00

Where: V&A, Seminar Room 5, Learning Centre (Level 3)


2.30pm – 3.30pm: talks by Lesley-Ann Daly, Aniela Hoitink, Kristina Dimitrova and Sophie Skach

3.45pm – 4.30pm: talks by Becky Stewart, Bushra Burge and Mili Tharakan

Integrated Circuit Buttons, Becky Stewart
Integrated Circuit Buttons, Becky Stewart



Lesley-Ann Daly investigates the future possibilities of sensory enhancement and augmentation, and the personal and societal influences it may have on our lives.  By looking at real emerging technologies and ongoing scientific research, she develops speculative scenarios that explore how we can enhance our sensory perception of the world. Coming from a background in Make-up and Prosthetics design, she uses the body as her source of inspiration for future innovation.

Lesley-Ann will present ‘Anthropomorphic Sensory Augmentation’:  We perceive the world by interpreting sensory information: sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell. What if you could extend your sense of hearing so that you can hear your body, allowing you to have a more intuitive, real time knowledge of your health and wellbeing? Ultrasonic Intra-Body Communication enhances your sense of hearing. This enables you to hear numerous devices that are implanted in the body, which are tracking and communicating your physiological health data. By appropriating the intuitive qualities of sound, this communication method allows for a more visceral connection to the information and therefore the body.



Textile innovation, but just that bit different, is what Neffa is all about. Through her multi- and interdisciplinary way of working and by altering or adding properties to textile, Aniela is investigating how we can and will use textiles in the future and what the related implications will be. Using technology and microbiology, Aniela looks at textile as an extension of the skin, driven by the exploration of their multifunctional layers. And she is on a quest for improving or changing the properties of traditional textile materials. Aniela will be presenting: Dynamic Skin, where she mimics life with technology (biomimicry) and MycoTEX, an example of using microbiology, to create textile with living material.



Kristina is the founder of INTERLACED, a media and events platform highlighting everything exciting in fashion and technology. In 2015 INTERLACED hosted their initial conference and one of the first fashiontech catwalk shows in Europe. Kristina often speaks at and curates industry events such as FashionTech Days Roubaix, The 3D Printed Show, Digital Shoreditch, Digital Fashion Forum and BDYHAXCON, among others. With marketing, advertising and PR background, she also writes about the intersection of emerging technologies, media and consumer culture.


SOPHIE SKACH – Social Sensing on a Chair

What can textile surfaces sense about social interaction? Exploring the social performance of furnishings invites to look into fabrics as a non-intrusive sensor material and new approach to capture human behaviour. Chairs in particular are promising objects for sensing human interaction, since a lot of postural movement is performed on them. The basic question of this project is, whether we can tell from sensor data on a chair alone, which social role someone has during a seated conversation. Furthermore: can a chair tell us, who the speaker and who the listener is?

Coming from a background in fashion design, Sophie Skach has recently started a PhD in Media & Arts Technology at Queen Mary University of London. Her research focuses on textile technology, exploring wearable sensing systems integrated in textile surfaces. In her previous work as a men’s- and knitwear designer, she has incorporated mathematical concepts to pattern cutting and has showcased her collections on international platforms, including London Fashion Week, Japan Fashion Week and Premiere Vision Paris. Social Sensing on a Chair is her most recent research project that was conducted over the past summer in collaboration with Pat Healey, Head of Cognitive Science Group at Queen Mary University of London.

Auditory Mediator, Lesley-Ann Daly
Auditory Mediator, Lesley-Ann Daly


Lecturer in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary University of London. Co-founder of Codasign, a creative technology education company that runs workshops teaching kids and adults how to use technology to develop creative projects. Becky works with e-textiles and signal processing to build interactive, body-centric wearable computing systems. These systems often incorporate performance, fashion, music and/or design. Becky will be presenting Integrated Circuit Buttons, the latest project from the Performative Wearables Lab at Queen Mary University of London. It is investigating how clothing buttons can house electronics to embed circuitry such as the microcontrollers that process data generated by e-textile sensors. Prototypes of the buttons documenting the project’s development will be shown.



Bushra is an artist-designer whose work explores body centred experiences and things bringing together art and science through the use of a range of traditional and new media, from couture to digital installation. Previously she has developed work which explores the function of music as a trigger for an immersive sensory archive for older people. She has a background in wearable technology, sustainable fashion and software engineering. She has explored memory, illusion and sense-of-self amongst other human conditions. She holds an MA in Applied Imagination from Central Saint Martins (Distinction), a BA in Fashion from the London College of Fashion, as well as an earlier BSc from Imperial College in Biochemistry, which enables her to bring a unique perspective and range of skills to her work. Bushra will be presenting DARK MATTER DARK ENERGY; her most recent work is an immersive VR wearable tech experience about Dark Matter and Dark Energy which consists of 2 haptic wearables synchronised to move against the body with a VR space simulation film. Audience members will be able to try this integrated multi-sensory VR experience.



Mili John Tharakan loves all things textile and has been practicing in the field of e-textiles over the last 10 years. Her interest lies in ‘NeoCraft’, products that are created at the intersection of textiles, craft and technology. She considers herself a global nomad, and seeks creativity and innovation at the cross-roads of cultures and disciplines. For her Masters in Textiles from Manchester Metropolitan University, Mili researched integrating fibre optics with traditional textiles. Later she joined the Mixed Reality Lab at the National University of Singapore as a Research Associate where she explored, among other ideas, non-emissive textile animation with peltier controlled thermochromic patterns. At the Smart Textiles Design Lab at the Swedish School of Textiles, Mili researched ways to merge traditional textile craft techniques of the Nordic Sami community with e-textile principles to create new expressions and experiences.

In 2014, she set up TILT, the Smart Textiles Division at Welspun, where she is developing Smart Home Textiles for the retail market with a focus on developing e-textiles solutions for the home. Her particular interest lies in understanding and resolving the challenges of manufacturing and scaling e-textiles for consumers.


About Digital Futures: Digital Futures is a monthly meetup and open platform for displaying and discussing of work by professionals working with art, technology, design, science and beyond.  It is also a networking event, bringing together people from different backgrounds and disciplines with a view to generating future collaborations.

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