Wearable and Soft Interactions

Instructor: Lara Grant

Main SF Building
Room 107
Friday, 9:00am – 3:00pm


Learning Outcomes:

// To learn and develop the habit and skill of documenting work to share with others and for future reference

// Students will learn about new e-textile and alternative materials for use of fabricating fashionable and wearable interfaces.

// Students will know how to use materials, techniques and tools that are specific to wearable electronics. This includes sewing, circuit building and using alternative electrically conductive materials, such as fabric and threads.

// Learn how to attach and integrate electronics with fabrics and explore topics and concepts that involve body centric design principles. 

// Students will walk away with a knowledge of the Arduino platform and how to work with interactive electronic components, including accelerometers, proximity sensors and haptic feedback.

//Students will learn prototyping methods.

// Students will become practiced and comfortable with designing by observing and being in conversation with the user they are designing for.

Grading Policy: Projects are to be turned in complete and on time as outlined in class or on assignment sheets. Unfinished projects will be given one week for completion and will result in a lowered grade. Work uncompleted after one week will receive an “F”. Grading will be further adjusted at the end of the semester based on creativity, effort, class participation and overall growth.

A = outstanding achievement — significantly exceed standards
B = commendable achievement — exceeds standards
C = acceptable achievement — meets standards
D = marginal achievement — below standards
F = failing

Evaluation Criteria: Although this is primarily a studio class, you will be expected to consistently read the materials assigned and participate in class discussions and non-studio activities throughout the semester. Students will be assessed on the basis of attendance, preparedness, and class participation, creativity, effort and overall growth.

Attendance: Attendance is required and excused only for medical or special circumstances. Students are expected to arrive on time and remain in class for the entire period scheduled. The responsibility for work missed due to any type of absence rests with the student. Attendance is mandatory. Three unexcused absences will result in a student failing the class. Three late arrivals are equivalent to one unexcused absence. 

Class 1: Welcome

  • What are wearables?
  • Materials and tools
  • Intro to electronics and sewing
  • Sew a circuit

H.W. Start thinking about what direction you want your personal project to go in.

Class 2: Arduino 101

  • How to solder
  • Arduino 101
    • software
    • language basics
    • digital output and input
  • get into groups and in-class discussion of person-centric design in prep for Ability Now field trip

Class 3: Ability Now Field Trip

  • Meet at Ability Now in Oakland
    • meet with participants
    • observe and interview
  • Rapid prototyping techniques

H.W. Meet with group and design for 1st prototype

Class 4: Arduino 201

  • Arduino 201
    • analog input
    • analog output/PWM
  • Present ideas and further refine 

Class 5: Capacitive Touch

  • Capacitive Touch circuit demos
  • In- class time to work on 1st prototype
  • Other conductive materials and how to work with them.
    • material library
    • making your own sensors

H.W. finish 1st prototype

Class 6: 1st Prototype Review

  • Casual presentation by each team stating their prototype and design decisions based on observations from 1st Ability Now meeting.
  • Review of prototypes
  • Feedback on prototypes
  • prepare specific questions that your prototype is answering to stay focused when testing
  • plan who will be the recorder taking photos and video

H.W. Go to Ability Now to test Prototype 1

  • Update doc page

Class 7: Making Things Move

  • Making Things Move
  • gearmotor with gear and piston moving fabric circuit demo
  •  In-class time for prototype 2

H.W. Prototype 2 and add photos of progress with captions to doc page.

Class 8: Thermochromic Inks

  •  demo of thermochromic inks and heating element circuit
  • vibe board circuit demo 
  •  In-class time for prototype 2

H.W. Test Prototype 2 at Ability Now

  • Document what you learned from the test on personal doc page with 3 design changes that need to be made to prototype 2.

Class 9: Bio Sensing

  • heart pulse sensor circuit demo
  • In-class time to work on prototype 3
  • one-on-one reviews

H.W. Test Prototype 3 at Ability Now

  • Update personal doc page 
  • Happy Spring Break!

Class 10: Prototype 3

  •   In class time to work on Prototype 3


H.W. Presentation of Ability Now Project 

Class 11: Ability Now Presentation

  •  Meet at Ability Now with Prototype 3
  • presentations of process at Ability Now 

Class 12: Personal Projects

  •  round table personal project concepts
  •  start prototyping personal project 

Class 13: eTextile Technique Review

  •  In-class time to prototype personal project 
  • one on one reviews of project

H.W. Keep prototyping personal project 

  • Update doc page with personal project progress 

Class 14: Personal Project


 in-class time for personal project

H.W. Finish personal project

Class 15: Final Class 

Present your personal project

  • review of project 

Congrats on your hard work!