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Brief Published: 20 Dec 2013

Contours: Musical Textiles


Contours is a large-scale sound installation made of interactive tapestries, designed by London-based conductive material developers Bare Conductive in collaboration with Italian artist Fabio Antinori, and UK-based designer Alicja Pytlewska.

Commissioned by the Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) in Vienna, the piece forms part of the museum’s Scientific Skin exhibition, which looks at pioneering design developments that use new technologies to expand the properties of textiles.

To create Contours, capacitive sensors were applied to the fabric using conductive paint. The sensors are able to detect when a person is in the vicinity and react, creating a fabric that can sense movement. Visitors’ movements trigger different levels of acoustic feedback, creating a responsive ambient soundscape that brings the textiles to life. The installation will be on show until January 12 2014.

Technology is beginning to recognise and adapt to human emotions in more nuanced ways. Artists, designers and scientists are exploring ways to imbue objects with technological intelligence, and creating new categories of truly pliable tech products. For more, see Elastic Tech – part of the Agile Futures Macro Trend.