More than Human Centred Design

Performance and Design Exhibition

Disobedient Antennas—Breaking the Rules of Textile Antenna Design

Erin Lewis, The Swedish School of Textiles, University of Borås, Sweden

Paper available at the ACM digital library

Contemporarily, antennas are receding into their parent devices, minimizing or disappearing completely from sight. They are affected by the technological trend toward miniaturization of electronic devices. Similarly, textile antennas are being embedded into clothing where they lay flat to the body, seamlessly integrated into the surface of the garment. Yet the question arises of whether textile antennas must be discrete and designed out of sight. We propose a possible alternative. Disobedient Antennas are textile interaction design examples using textile design and experimental research methods. They are textile receiver antennas that disrupt the convention of planar textile antennas to suggest that textile antennas can be voluminous and sculptural wearable objects. Further, they occupy a performative space, suggesting body-space-object interaction by using the antennas to perceive and explore electromagnetic fields through sonic feedback. Their use opens to improvised movements and choreographies in response to electromagnetic space.