Combining material driven design (MDD) with computational tools to aid designers in exploring the material experience of livingness in shape-changing interfaces.
TEX(alive) is a fully 3D printed approach to explore shape changing interfaces and alive-like expressions including its hardware augmented by the computational tool. The toolkit uses accessible 3D printed pneumatic actuators commonly used in soft robotics due to their controllability and ease of fabrication compared to other shape changing materials. The 3D printed pneumatic actuators can be arranged along a 3D printed textile composite to create a variety of shape morphologies. The hardware allows the user to control the kinetic parameters of the movement of the textile to create different expressions. Additionally, the computational design tool allows the designer to predict the shape and movement of the textile by digitally varying the location of the actuator. The toolkit was validated with various designers ranging from different levels of expertise with smart materials showing its potential as a design tool for easily exploring shape changing interfaces and alive-like expressions.
Explored the effect of various 3D printing parameters on the creation of pneumatic actuators and the actuated response of parametric patterns (Grasshopper) 3D printed on textile to prototype shape-changing interfaces.
Shape Change Simulations in Grasshopper
Using Grasshopper, I developed a virtual tool that allows the designer to explore a variety of shape-forms that can be created with Textalive prior to testing it in a physical space. This type of simulation tool can help designers in scaling up creations with shape-changing interfaces in future design explorations.
Creative Sessions with Material Designers
We invited 7 material designers to explore, play, and create with the Textalive toolkit in structured creative sessions. These sessions showcased the creative possibilities and new interactions that are unlocked when technical constraints are overcome with the use of a toolkit.
Resulting Concepts from Creative Sessions
Participants were asked to imagine future expressions or applications of shape-interfaces they could create with the Textalive toolkit. Their concepts were recreated in a studio environment and showcased below.