Crafting sympoietic artifacts: Making sonic needlepoint with nonhuman partners.


Craft-based approaches are increasingly gaining attention in the field of HCI and interaction design research. These approaches require the development of a wide array of acute sensitivities towards both physical and digital materials and their composite qualities; skills which constitute valuable tools in the inquiry in areas of digital–material research. In this paper, I describe the use of craft and craft-based thinking in the research and design of digital artifacts, exemplified by a sonic needlepoint lace fabric. The lace functions as a speaker broadcasting bioelectrical signals from an adjoined plant. The project is part of an ongoing research into the properties of combining craft with digital technology to mediate nonhuman data outside human perception. Drawing on Ingold, I describe the development process of the lace as a sympoietic approach, which transcends from physical making into modes of thinking, that are inclusive of a wide array of human as well as nonhuman others, e.g. organisms, materials and forces as partners in the design process.

Author: Raune Frankjaer (2019).

In Proceedings of the 4th Biennal Research Through Design Conference.

Full text can be found here: craftingSympoieticArtifacts_RTD