Image of Flextiles smocking open and then closed
Project Details
Project Name :


Project Category :

03Flexible and Shape Displays, Featured Project, Steimle

Client Review :

(CHI 2024)

Description :


Designing Customisable Shape-Change in Textiles with SMA-Actuated Smocking Patterns


Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs) afford the seamless integration of shape-changing behaviour into textiles, enabling designers to augment apparel with dynamic shaping and styling. However, existing works fall short of providing versatile methods adaptable to varying scales, materials, and applications, curtailing designers’ capacity to prototype customised solutions. To address this, we introduce Flextiles, parameterised SMA design schema that leverage the traditional craft of smocking to integrate planar shape-change seamlessly into diverse textile projects. The conception of Flextiles stems from material experimentation and consultative dialogues with designers, whose insights inspired strategies for customising scale, elasticity, geometry, and actuation of Flextiles. To support the practical implementation of Flextiles, we provide a design tool and experimentally characterise their material properties. Lastly, through a workshop with practitioners, we explore the multifaceted applications and perspectives surrounding Flextiles, and subsequently realise four scenarios that illustrate the creative potential of these modular, customisable patterns.




Alice Haynes and Jürgen Steimle
In Proceedings of the 2024 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’24), ACM Press, 2024.