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developing research

What’s changed

-      My work initially leant on the idea of aiding malady’s in some way. From this point I have stretched out to include other areas by researching materials and seeing where development leads through speculative research.

-       Originally I solely focused on the glove for Raynaud’s concept, however I have now expanded with speculative research to include further materials and artistic or fashion representations of ideas/research as further pieces.

-       Research continues to include various technology and materials; both new and recently broadened to be available to the public and the archaic.

Theory had looked at the divide between art and science, how together they have shown great promise and in many cases combining practises seen as very different have aided one another. A recent talk on TED[ Michelle Borkin: Can astronomers help doctors? http://www.ted.com/talks/michelle_borkin_can_astronomers_help_doctors.html] showed how astronomy and its software have been able to first map some scans and information only previously seen as 2D/flat in medical procedures. In the field of art Eduardo Kac [http://www.ekac.org/gfpbunny.html#gfpbunnyanchor Alba the fluorescent bunny] used genetics to engineer a glow in the dark rabbit. Material technology research continues combining various areas, so examples of this in arts and science will aid the theory for textiles futures research.

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Above left image shows silver glove alongside prototype, right shows a close up of the silver glove showing the silver strands, image below shows an early hat design illustration. Click on images to enlarge.]

proposal and final project outset

The Arduino project piece, based on the idea of aiding those with Raynaud’s phenomena was the beginning of my medical textile technology research. I used this to explore in a relatively short space of time the issues behind creating a piece to work with medicine.

Some of these include; the amount of human testing you would have to do in order to say on paper that the device would help those with this condition, and until then all I can do is suggest it may help those, with, in this case colder hands as the gloves warm your hands when needed. There will be many barriers that arise after these tests such as the volunteer’s thoughts on the piece, whether they would prefer to turn the warming on and off rather than it being decided by the technology. This area is quite open to altering the project however the course of the work will be kept using planning and time lines.

Although intuitive technology seems to be the direction that technology is moving in there is still a notion lingering that its better for the persons mind if they have full control of the devise.

Although I have considered compiling further research to form a concept for another medical textile technology piece I decided in the end it would be best to continue my work and research into Raynaud’s. From this I can build up my prototype into the desired final outcome and expect a fully finished product as well start to accumulate ideas for further projects and learn more about the work to be done in getting textile technology into a market, preferably a medical market.

Feasibility study

Through research into various textiles technology I have found many working examples of heating fabric and communicating information through sensors.

I have only tested the main technology component of my concept in a textiles technology workshop. Heating thermo chromic dye to change the colour using conductive strips, I am confident this will be possible to creat the ideal outcome over the allotted period of time. A company in Germany called WarmX currently sell’s heated trousers, tops and tights, advertised for some sports and walking. Looking at their technology I feel confident in doing similar.

Throughout out the year I have tried and tested various technologies from this work, for this specific project a mixture between Max MSP and Arduino, though I understand the possibility that Max MSP will not be required for the final piece.

Arduino and Max will be used as a platform between the user and the physical technology. I wish to assemble the physical parts either from a bespoke maker such as within the Culture Lab or learn how to make such a piece, e.g., the temperature sensor.

Meanwhile I have been conversing with Raymond Oliver at Northumbria University and Northumbria University London and the speakers he brought in for talks throughout the past the past year. Much of the work is on very similar lines and even crosses over. Such as the Phillips dress, which has galvanic skin response built in, which is essentially a very similar idea as to what my previous designs and prototype encompass. There is also the scent dress by Jenny Tillotson, which is to react to mood and effect the wellbeing of the user, increasing their comfort. I will keep in contact with these people and ensure to discuss this project for further points and any assistance be it verbal or mechanical, such as knitting machines.

If my studies into the medical benefits of warming gloves and socks do not come out positive I will still be able to maintain the piece/s have well being and comfort benefits from being kept at a pleasant temperature at your extremities in cold weather. As far as testing the medical benefits go I have contacted the head of disability for Newcastle University and have been told they can send an email out to all Raynaud’s sufferers throughout the University asking for volunteer’s and to be able to send out questionnaires to these also. Additionally I have a family member who has Raynaud’s syndrome who I will likely perform preliminary tests upon. With all the work in mind to get the concept to final product stage I feel I have all the resources and enough time to get the piece to a very high standard within the final project.