Close-up photo of textured fabric panels mounted on metal frames, backlit by sunlight.

Panels for Textile and Emotion Study

FELT is a 5’ x 6’ computational textile panel which was designed to understand what emotion gets communicated to people using vision and touch from a still and shape-changing textile.

The purpose of FELT is to determine what still and shape-changing textural expressions of computational textiles can communicate emotionally to people. The central hypothesis is that for both still and moving or shape-changing textiles, there will be differences in what is communicated to people depending on whether the people experience the textiles via vision alone or via both vision and touch.

If architects, artists, designers, engineers, and scientist could begin to understand the nature of what various textile expressions communicated, and what computational textiles communicated in transformation, then it would be possible to more clearly understand the role that texture of a computational textile plays in communicating emotion through a computational object.

A textile that can move or change its shape could be used on a robot as robot skin, for example, for people who may live alone and benefit from some communication through touch. A computational textile may be used on a wall, a pillow, curtain, furnishings, toys, and many other designed objects to communicate to people and children who do not have access to their emotions, such as children with autism or someone not in touch with what they are feeling.