One year in on my PhD. It's a good time to look back at what I have actually done while in Hong Kong. I've split the review into two posts so it isn't too long.
January & February:
Much of these two months was spent getting settled in, taking prerequisite classes and preparations for the Crafttech exhibition, so nothing particularly interesting to report.
The big event in March was the Crafttech Exhibition at Hong Kong museum of Medical Sciences (6-11th March 2018). The exhibition showcased samples that were produced as part of a collaborative workshop between HK Polytechnic university [PolyU] and Royal College of Art (London, UK). However, you will see the E-textiles Salla dress I produced as part of my MA research in the right hand corner of the room.
April was the month out lab started a collaboration with Parsons New School (New York, USA). Grace Jun, head of Open Style Lab ran a workshop at PolyU in relation to designing E-textiles, with a focus on applications in rehabilitation. I focused on knitting as my medium. I created a knitted stretch sample that would count the number of stretches, and light up when the target number had been reached.
Our lab acquired a 3D printer. As a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, I managed to get it up and running, and started using it to print out custom cases for our electronics. Although I had used Blender in the past for 3D rendering, I started using Fusion 360 because it was much easier to design 3D models to exact dimensions.
May & June:
I continued with my knitting experimentation, which had been ongoing since March. This involved Polymeric Optical Fibre (POF), for illumination, and conductive yarn, for sensing. I've worked on samples which use either/or, and both materials in combination. Ultimately, the goal is to see how textiles-based I could make a piece of E-textiles, as I'd see little that combined the two. Working with a colleague with an electrical engineering background, the conductive stripes became capacitive touch sensors, and the POF became would light up according to which sensor was activated.
The developments from my E-textiles knitting research are currently in the process of being written up for publishing, hence are not shown here.
July was a busy month. Firstly, the Artificial Intelligence in Fashion and Technology Conference held at PolyU. I presented a paper "Challenges in Knitted E-textiles", which can be found on the CV webpage.
The week after came the second half of the collaboration with Parsons New School. I travelled to New York to assist my supervisor in an introductory workshop into POF fabric, as well as lending my skill in machine knitting and E-textiles. This mostly consisted of discussing with the research fellows at Parsons about their design ideas, and presenting options on how functions could be realised in a textiles and garment form. I knitted some conductive samples to suit individual design projects.
July was also a big month because I travelled back to the UK to attend my MA graduation. I actually completed my MA in Fashion Innovation prior to coming to HK but all graduations at Manchester Metropolitan University are held in summer, so there was a bit of a wait.