Hybrid Embroidery: Exploring Interactive Fabrication in Hand Crafts
Yi-Chin Lee, Daniel Cardoso Llach1, Joshua Bard1, Eunsu Kang`
Associate Professor, Carnegie Mellon University Principal Advisor
This research presents Hybrid Embroidery, a system for interactive fabrication that leverages the potential of computation to broaden the possibilities of the embroidery craft.
Combining traditional crafting techniques of embroidery, computational design methods, computer vision, and computer numerical control (CNC), the research shows how this framework elicits a variety of innovative fabrication experiences that emphasize open-ended exploration, improvisation, and play.
Interacting with the system’s algorithms in a conversational, turn-based fashion, users create generative embroidery stitching paths that result in unique embroidery pieces.
Each embroidered piece acts as a module of the bigger picture in the game of exquisite corpse based on the inherent communal nature in textile crafting. Hybrid Embroidery thus offers an example of how computational methods may enrich crafts and other creative practices.
Further, the research highlights implications for supporting creative exploration through real-time and direct manipulation of materials and close human-machine interaction.
Through Hybrid Embroidery, this thesis documents results and challenges to reflect on how to reposition embroidery with a tradition of collectivity in traditional crafting.
The thesis presents Hybrid Embroidery, a novel interactive system for users to interactively produce an embroidery piece with a computer numerical controlled (CNC) embroidery machine.
In doing so, the project extends existing research in the fields of computational design and interactive fabrication by both exploring an alternative to crafting with digital tools and breaking the single author setting in current digital crafting.
Collaboration between diverse craftspeople with varied expression adds value and meaning to crafts, especially in the textile craft. To support this collective design, the research explores how to redesign interaction behavior.
Thus, the two main objectives of this research are to support the design space in digital embroidery and explore how to expand the current interactive fabrication framework to allow diversity making in collective textile crafting.
This system does not seek to foster social interaction amongst authors outright, but rather, the project aims to embed, within the design framework, a potential for sociality that can better facilitate social interaction in the future.
The project thus contributes to current debates in computational design and interactive fabrication in three aspects: First, it prototypes specific ways for computation to interact with a craft; second, it leverages computational design approaches to create generative patterns for embroidery practice; and finally, it offers a platform for engaging people in re-imagining traditional crafts by allowing for creative experimentation.