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At the Fringes


eTextile Swatchbook Exchange, narrative, interface

Fringes hang beneath. They create the boundary between finished object and the outer world. They give movement to otherwise static textiles, unmasking the potential for action.

This swatch employs a pulling mechanic to turn fringe into a switch. Ribbons, fabric scraps, and other textile leftovers are placed between two conductive patches drawn together by magnets. When pulled out, the patches make contact and trigger an LED. Each switch is part of a series of voltage dividers acting as a resistor ladder that allows multiple switches to exist on one ATtiny analog pin.

Fringes is also a term used to describe people living on the outer edges of society, people who don’t fit into confined social and societal categories. Some of us choose to live at the fringes in countercultural movements or the like, while some of us have little or no choice given our gender expression, race, religion, sexuality, ethnicity, socio-economic background, or intersections of the above within a given cultural context. Exchanging stories of fringe experiences creates opportunities for empowering dialogue and shared understanding. This swatch is a first prototype of a story collecting and telling project inspired by a series of workshops at the intersection of eTextiles and activism. Pulling a piece of fringe will activate a fabric speaker patch within a larger quilt to reveal a personal experience of living and operating in a fringe space.

Credits + Links

You can view the full 2017 swatchbook here. See this post for documentation on the production process.

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