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Textiles (MA)

Zhan Qu

Zhan Qu is an interdisciplinary designer who focuses on combining the aesthetic, materials and programmable properties of smart textiles in order to find new market opportunities beyond wearability. 


Zhan aims to expand access to dance, especially for the disabled, through her work on embedded actuation whilst adopting new technologies to broaden people’s sensations.


Zhan wishes to redesign bodies and break down barriers through the use of technology in intelligent textile design. Specifically, she wishes to open access to dance to the disabled. Her ideas are ground-breaking, challenging as they do society’s prejudices and norms. 

Degree Details

School of Design

Textiles (MA)

Zhan Qu aims to explore allowing audience members to ‘feel the dance onstage’. Practically, this means creating tactile wearable clothes, exploring textile textures and wearable forms through knitting and finding ways to embed E-textiles in my project. This would communicate the ‘flow’, the ‘direction’ and the ‘movement’ of the dancers to those audience members who may be disabled or unable to engage in athletic dance routines. 


Beyond machine - kinaesthetic awareness in interactive dance -


This would use integrated techniques of circuity into wearable knitted clothing. It would stimulate a new haptic perception of dance, built around the concept of ‘unconventional visuals’ dancing. 

Between virtual 3D dancers and real-audiences interaction - body sensation — An embedded actuation system can be the first outer expression of yourself, presenting in, on, and even around the body. Adopting these technologies to expand our own body sensations.
Beyond machinery - kinaesthetic awareness in interactive dance — Developing a system process using sensors to capture the information transmitted by the dancers’ muscles, collecting such signals through a pulsing muscle stimulate sensors, a vibration motor and an EMS. Thereupon directing those signals to the audience, simulating to them the dancer's motion track.

The system process aims to connect dancers with their audience, the able-bodied with the disabled. Through sophisticated technology, it aims to share the ‘feeling’ of dance to those unable to dance. As a result, it hopes to encourage inclusivity, stimulate potential and broaden possibilities.

Medium:

3d modelling, EMS sensors, Vibration motor, GUI screen

Size:

Real human size
Interaction prototype experiment - working process — Thinking about where these things are placed on the body and where they might have the most impact in terms of vibration.

Creating this communication system is actually taking those biometric readings from the muscles, and it’s transferring them into a computer programme, aiming to direct those signals to the audience, simulating to them the dancer's motion track.


Medium:

Knitting yarn, EMS sensors, vibration motor, RGB, Arduino board

Size:

Real-human size
Transmission - GUI design — The GUI will provide a wide range of information, graphic and textual, to aid the user experience. There are three different movements on the 3d virtual dancer's body that can 'transmit' to the audience.
Integrated techniques of circuitry into wearable knitted clothing — Create these tactile sensations through the texture and through the feel of the fabric and its movement potentially adding to the experience.

I would use integrated techniques of circuitry into wearable knitted clothing. To that end my innovative textile designs, by nature, maybe considered speculative but would certainly be empathetic, reflecting my user-centred design approach.


This would involve my exploring different qualities (such as elastic, attachment properties) of the yarn and fabrics, considering the development of particularly emphatic textiles, surfaces and integration of circuitry.

Medium:

Knitting, EMS sensors, Vibration motor, RGB light, Arduino board

Size:

Real-human size