WS4: Clothing in Motion: An Exploration of Wearable Technologies for Fashion, Wellness and Dance


Since the late 20th century, fashion designers and engineers have experimented with incorporating various technologies into textiles in order to enhance their functionality and aesthetic qualities. This workshop begins with a presentation of four projects, all conducted with Arizona State University, to illustrate the wide range of possibilities of wearable technologies in fashion, personal wellness, and dance performance. To begin, the Sensory Chameleon Bodysuit (2004) showed how wearable technologies may influence human health and safety. Innovations in the field of textiles also offer new possibilities in dance performance. The concert Motion-e (2004-2005) included wearable technologies that influenced light and sound. Paper Interiors (2002) utilized special textiles that interacted directly with external technologies and multimedia to create a unique 3D viewing experience. Last but not least, the Telematic Dress (2008-2011) challenged the traditional viewpoint that a live performance required dancers to be in the same space. After the presentation, participants will divide into groups and work hands-on with textiles and electronics to create kinetic dresses. Each group will receive a handout with instructions and suggestions. Finally, the groups will present their product and explain how their dress functions and how they chose to incorporate various technological components. The workshop will conclude with a discussion about key design issues and concepts.


To explore ideas regarding how technologies embedded in textiles can influence the textile wearer and the environment.


The future of design and textiles will be a collaborative process, requiring people from different fields to work together. Participants' discussions will provide invaluable feedback regarding my Ph.D. research, which addresses how designers can assist with the process of creating smart clothes and bringing them to the general public in an appealing manner.

Target Audience

Fashion designers, engineers, chemists, choreographers, artists, etc.


  1. PowerPoint presentation, 20 minutes
  2. Workgroups to create kinetic dresses, 2 hours
  3. Break, 10 minutes
  4. Resume workgroups, 1.25 hours
  5. Group presentations, 30 minutes
  6. Discussion, 45 minutes

Galina Mihaleva
Arizona State University

MAKING GROUPS: Building sensors: Participants will sew and construct the different sensors to learn how they work and function

Connecting things together: Construct the fabric breadboard and use it to test the different sensors with feedback options

Feedback Options: Test and experiment with the different feedback options

Analysis (optional): If attendees have experience with software development, they can use Lilypad arduinos to send data from the sensors to a computer for analysis and digital feedback (example: video manipulation)

Build a Design concept: After reviewing the possibilities, work with your group to develop a design concept

Designs can be: Questions to ask yourself as you develop your design: Design Project:

Participants will develop a design concept and build out the design using one of the constructed garments. Participants must use at least one sensor and one feedback option in their design. If students choose to design using digital analysis, then the feedback option can also include digital feedback. Participants will present their designs at the end of the workshop. They will also be prepared to discuss how their projects could be further developed in the future.