eTextile Spring Break 2018 participants
eTextile Spring Break 2018 participants

The inaugural eTextile Spring Break took place from April 1-7, 2018 during a snowy making-filled week at the Wassaic Project with an extraordinary community of artists, engineers, designers, performers, educators and more. Below is an overview of what happened during the week. For more highlights, check out Lara Grant’s article from Hackaday.



Afroditi shares her ideas on the future of eTextiles in performance.
Afroditi shares her ideas on the future of eTextiles in performance.

The theme of the camp poses larger questions relevant to the eTextile community and serves as a frame to guide discussions and focus group topics. It is formed based on participant interests, questions, and current work.

2018 Theme: Revel in the (Un)Ravel
We take things apart to figure out how they work. We relish the process and take time to consider it. We seek to be open and question things that are closed. We embrace constraints and work within imperfections. From broken threads and lost components, we craft things anew.

The theme discussion leads Irene Posch and Admar Schoonen asked other camp participants with a specific expertise to share their thoughts on the state of eTextiles now, in five years, in ten years, and in 50 years. We discussed how the practice contributes to, collides with, and stands apart from other fields, communities, and technologies in the realms of education, business, art and performance, and daily life.

Focus Groups

Focus groups offer an opportunity for participants with similar interests to collaborate on a project and develop deeper relationships with a subset of the larger group. Topics were chosen by gathering interests and suggestions via questionnaires sent to participants and be related to the overall theme. Once at camp, we gathered and discuss what each topic means and then each participant will choose a group to be part of.

2018 focus groups:

Your Wildest Speculative Fantasy
Revel Off the Grid
Hard Privacy in a Soft World
Community Threads

Please note we will not have focus groups in 2019.


Workshops are ways for participants to share interesting skills they have, something new they’ve learned this year, or just plain helpful stuff like The Math Behind Circuits.

Workshops in 2018 included:

eTextile Sound and Music by Adrian Freed and Martin de Bie
Intro to Audio Processing with Bela by Becky Stewart
Weaving Intensive by Sasha de Koninick
Thermochromics + Heating Circuits by Pauline Vierne
The Basics of Pattern Cutting by Sophie Skach
Pressure and Presence Sensing by Admar Schoonen
Body to Body: RFID + PAN Workshop by Ingo Randolph and Nicole Messier

eTextile Spring Break Social

On the final day of camp, we opened the event to the local community to join us for a day of eTextile festivities. Just as important as building a community of practitioners is to extend our knowledge outward and invite people in. We displayed work from our internal exhibition, shared focus group projects, ran drop-in workshops, and gathered for a pizza and bouncy castle-filled evening at The Lantern.


eTextile Spring Break is an opportunity for practitioners to explore new materials in the field. Thank you to the following sponsors who have provided generous donations to our event. If you are interested in donating materials or sponsoring the event, please contact info[at]etextilespringbreak[dot]org.