Technology, Arts and Media Program header

ATLS 4519-010/011: Soft Interactive Objects

Course Description

This course will introduce students to the design and creation of soft interactive objects. Specifically, students will learn the state of the art of integrating electronics into soft/deformable textiles structures. With applications from sports, medicine, fashion, architecture, and soft robotics, smart/interactive textiles require a unique set of understandings and design considerations. Students will learn about textile construction, material sourcing, and electronics integration through project-based assignments. Design exercises will focus on specific contexts where soft materials are particularly robust.

Students from a broad range of disciplines are welcome and encouraged to enroll in the course. Students should have prior experience with arduino microcontrollers and programming.

Course Objectives

Students who successfully complete this course will:

Critical Thinking & Theory / History:
  • Awareness of the broader politics of textile history and labor
  • Awareness of the life-cycles and sustainability of textiles and electronics
  • Develop techniques and strategies of designing soft interactive objects
  • Understand how design concerns and expectations change when integrating technology into soft objects.
  • Develop a deep understanding of the mechanical and structural qualities of different textile structures (woven, knit, sewing, embroidery, etc).
  • Develop techniques for sourcing, evaluating, and selecting, conductive materials that integrate with textiles
  • Be able to prototype and produce a novel textile-based interactive object
  • Understand the varying pattern languages of textile objects.

Credit Hours

  • 3 hours


  • Object