Seeking Participants/Collaborators for Research project on "Sensing Tools"

Dear Members,

Hope this finds you well and eventually interests some of you. I am working with the Material Science Research Center (MSRC) at the Royal College of Art, and we are looking for a group of makers to help us with a research we’re conducting on materials experience. We would like to invite few members to participate to this study, through workshops and more hands on sessions, and collaboratively help us develop a series of sensing tools.

I have pasted below a little summary of what the overall research is about as well as the area of sensing technologies we are looking into. It is currently very broad, and our hope is to evolve this, through group exchange, into something that could be tested. Hopefully you would have some interest in some of the areas listed below, and if you want to use this research as an opportunity to get more familiar with sensing technologies, that’s great too!

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions.

Materials Experience Sensing Tools for Dematerialisation and Consumer Custodianship in a Circular Economy

One of the core principles of the Circular Economy is to keep materials in products in use for as long as possible, and one of the main ways to do this is to promote people to value their clothing and the materials they are made from. This project is about innovating a digital platform on which a suite of tools sits to support experiences and services for physical apparel products that are related to activities of customisation, update/upgrade, repair, renting, swapping, reselling, and recycling in order to keep apparel products in use for as long as possible. The platform and tools will enable a circular loop in which apparel products will travel between the different societal actors who play a role in the experiences and services; a network that includes the consumer-public, charity shops, repair initiatives, clothes swapping initiatives, apparel brands, retailers, and digital-electronics hacker communities. Textile materials in apparel play an important role in the experience of the product and how it makes people feel; we build on this relationship with the objective to support a dematerialisation eco strategy - buying less and keeping products in the ‘use loop’ for as long as possible, and to create a new coupling between the use of material resources and human wellbeing and economic development – by satiating human wellbeing needs using digital sensing tools that support materials experience. Ultimately, our contributions will enable people to have agency in sustainability matters, particularly in transitioning to a circular economy.

We would like to partner with hacker groups in order to design and develop sensing technologies with which people can experience the materials, and machine learning, which include:

→ Physiological and movement sensing [body mounted sensors and techniques - e.g. EMG, Skin galvanics, EEG, thermal camera sensors]

→ Textile/material sensors [textile based sensing techniques - e.g. force sensitive sensors, piezo sensors, temperature sensors, etc]

→ General sensing [this may include tech they already have in their home - e.g. IMU in their smartphones, cameras, microphones, etc]

→ Machine generation [the use of machine learning to inspire/generate things, insights, content, etc.]

→ Machine interpretation [the use of machine learning to categorise/classify]

→ Arduino kits

Sorry for being a bit dumb but could you humor me and summarise in lay terms?


Sounds pretty interesting. However still not clear what you are aiming for. Can you simplify the research aims?

Hi electronoob! thanks for your message, in practical terms, the research is looking into a sort of digitisation of a person’s experience when handling different materials such as different textiles and fabrics. The hope is, that by measuring some aspects of this experience, we could eventually convey a similar experience digitally to someone else who may not have direct access to the material. Does that make more sense?

Thanks for your interest! In simpler and maybe more practical terms, the research aims at digitising a person’s experiences of handling materials such as different textiles and fabrics. So in some way, it’s about breaking down this experience into measurable aspects which could then be potentially conveyed digitally to someone else.
The experience here is still being broadly defined, and could range from touch and movement to potentially emotional responses, etc.

Let me know if this is something you think you’d be interested in participating to, or if you may think of other people who may be interested.

This sounds like brain hacking :eyes:. Nural link kinda stuff? Is that correct?

Yes it totally could be, that’s why we are interested in opening the research process to a group of people, and see how this experience could be interpreted as well. That is also why the list at the bottom of my original post is so broad.