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Here are some inspiring projects that either led me to this project, or are in the same realm of ideas.

Using personal data

Body data

The Sleep blanket, knitted by Seung Lee using data from his son's sleep patterns. He tracked his son's sleep pattern with an app for one year, and then hand-knitted this blanket, where each row is one day. Each stitch represents a six-minutes span, with the color indicating the state (awake or asleep).

I particularly love this project, because the object that is created does not show the data in an obvious way (to someone who doesn't know what it is), but it is strongly linked to this data in its usage: a sleep blanket from sleep data.

The sleep blanket by Seung Lee

Neuroknitting, a project by Varvara&Mar, using sensors to plot brainwave activity into a knitting pattern. This pattern is used to create a scarf with a hacked knitting machine. Brainwave activity is passive data, that we produce at each passing moment, and I like the idea of creating a unique piece from this data, that the person could wear.

Neuroknitting by Varvara&Mar

Daily life / social data

My heart on my dress, from Jingwen Zhu, a garment visualizing daily experiences and emotions through changing colors and patterns, by being connected to a digital diary. This project uses active data: content created by Jingwen Zhu in a dedicated app, that is then analyzed and processed to change the colors and patterns visible on the dress. The dress uses electronics and thermochromic inks to achieve this result. I like the idea of showing real-time emotions through a garment.

My heart on my dress by Jingwen Zhu

Quantified Epopee is a research project by the collective DataPaulette, a French hackerspace focused on textile and new technologies. This tapestry narrates the quest of a "contemporary knight", a french soldier, using data from his social networks (Snapchat, Facebook, etc.). Woven with gold and metal threads, it becomes sensitive to touch and interactive in its narration. I like the idea to mingle a very old narration technique (tales on tapestries) with data from our modern lives.

Quantified Epopee by DataPaulette

Dear Data is an analog data drawing project by Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec. It does not involve textile, but the poetic and slow way in which they approached data visualization really spoke to me. They drew personal data from their daily lives on postcards that they sent to each other for a year. For each week, they would both imagine a visualization on a shared topic (how much they laughed that week, how they said goodbye, how many times they did or said a specific thing, etc.). This process made them notice things around them in a different way, and get to know each other. They have a great video explaining their process. I really like this project, especially in the way that it show there is data all around us, in the smallest details, and showing it in a loving way makes us relate to each other.

Dear Data by Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec

"We’ve always conceived Dear Data as a “personal documentary” rather than a quantified-self project which is a subtle – but important – distinction. Instead of using data just to become more efficient, we argue we can use data to become more humane and to connect with ourselves and others at a deeper level." - Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec

Using global data

When thinking about my project, I was going back and forth on using personal data or global data. I settled on personal data, because I want to explore the emotional link to the objects created from this data, but I was also very inspired by the following projects, that focus on using open data.

Oiko-nomic Threads is an installation by Afroditi Psarra that uses a hacked knitting machine and open data from the Employment Offices database. The patterns are generated from this data, and selected patterns from Greek folk art. The project is a statement, "commenting on the notion of work through the production of a knitted textile". The intent and means of this statement link the created piece to the data, and makes it a sort of memory support for this specific situation, a sort of textile archive.

"The installation refers to the production methodology and creates conditions in which the knitting process remains accessible and contemporary. The knitted textile as a product becomes an active record of archival resources."

The Train delay scarf, is a project by Claudia Weber. Everyday, while on her train ride to work, she knitted 2 rows, where the color depended on the trains delays. I like the rhythm of this project, the fact that the object is created incrementally and that you don't know before the next day what the following ranks are going to look like.

Train delay scarf by Claudia Weber


Last update: March 17, 2021