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 will be chosen by gathering interests and suggestions via questionnaires sent to participants and be related to the overall theme. Once at camp, we will all gather and discuss what each topic means and then each participant will choose a group to be part of.
Focus groups meet for a good portion of camp to discuss, brainstorm, and create! At the end of the collaborative time each group presents their findings. What and how they would like to present is open and up to the group. It can be a performance, artifact, documentation, discussion, exercise, etc.
Some example focus groups along with the outcomes can be found below:
LOUD & EXPRESSIVE
Unruly, obnoxious, wild and ecstatic e-textiles in your face!
Exploring eTextiles in the realm of performing arts and ceremonial gatherings. It does not have to be always seamless and hidden, but can be loud & expressive as a part of act. In the context of performance, what will be the rituals and meanings of the technology? How does the aesthetics of eTextile plays a role in the storytelling?
Becca Rose Glowacki made a “shake” sensor which was performed with during the focus group’s final presentation. Check out her post about it here.
E-Craftivism as a form of “powerful resistance”
Pussy Hat and Yarn bombing demonstrates the power of textiles in political action. Instead of black masks and spray paints, they introduce new tone of voice in political demonstrations. Soft but rigid resistance. What will it be if we were to craft activism with eTextiles. What does it demonstrate? How do we use them? And What will be our political agenda?
Each group participant made a wearable manifesto as part of the softRESISTANCE exploration. Read more about the process here.
Speculating on the rise and fall of complicated structures
The world is full of wicked problems, a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve, and it is increasing. Will the use of technology save the situation? Or adding even more complication?
With the eTextile in our hand, let’s speculate the wicked future to come. How does our society look like? How do we live? What do we wear and create? Is it fantastic? Rational? Or disastrous?
Exploring rituals, icons and superstitions, the wicked futures focus group created an exhibit of an imagined society that utilized eTextiles. Read more about their research here.
All descriptions taken from eTextile Summer Camp 2017’s website. Check out all posts from focus groups here and explore previous years using the menu in the top right corner.