EKA Faculty of Architecture and Shenkar College delivered a joint workshop on smart surfaces in Israel

Tutors: Samson Shafran / Department of Textiles, Shenkar College of Engineering, Design, Art | Martin Melioranski / 3DL, Faculty of Architecture, Estonian Academy of Arts

Participants: Kristel Alliksaar, Helmi Marie Langsepp, Ulla Katariina Alla (EKA), Eden Offer, Assaf Shem Tov, Ira Estrin, Guy Rozenstein, Noi Sayas, Naomi Mashiah (Shenkar).

In September 2017 Samson Shafran, while teaching at the Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn a workshop on 3D printing and textiles, initiated an idea of having a joint workshop at Shenkar in Ramat Gan, Israel. In the further development of it, the partners arrived to the theme of “Smart Surfaces”, a trans-disciplinary workshop that took place during the first two weeks of March 2018. During a week-and-a-half, the tutors and students devoted the efforts towards pliability and reactive properties of soft materials through integration to interactive electronic and mechanic devices, in order to acquire structural properties, and other yet unknown effects.

During the first three days of workshop, a series of lectures, presentations and sub-workshops took place. Among them “Interactive Textiles” by Samson Shafran, “Synthetic Approaches to Smartness” by Martin Melioranski, “3D printing of Electronics” by Udi Zamwel – a product manager at Nano Dimension, Paul Jackson “Repeat Pattern Creation” and instruction of folding techniques, Zohar Messeca-Fara and Yair Reshef who introduced us to analog interactive electronics – resulting every one of us making a DIY flexible PCB and putting together a TinyTony 1.0, that includes an IR sensor and a motor. Along the week also Kinneret Itzhak introduced us to silk-screening techniques and lamination of textiles, which further opened up the imagination and possibilities of making working prototypes.  

During the Final Review, three groups of students with backgrounds in architecture, industrial design, textile design and fashion design presented their work. There was no “demo-effect” – everything worked! – including a pneumatic shelter that reacts to humidity by Helmi Marie Langsepp, Kristel Alliksaar, Eden Offer, a multi-layered pliable wall from soft sound absorbing material with lighting function by Ulla Katariina Alla, Guy Rozenstein, Noi Sayas, and an exiting dress that reacts to external stimulation by folding it into a shorter version by Assaf Shem Tov, Ira Estrin and Naomi Mashiah. Ira also showed us a set of textile samples pigmented with thermo-reactive ink.

This process of making it work against many odds along the way, gave confidence to take further plans for future collaboration efforts in the field of putting reactive texture and structure into pliable surfaces – whether directly architectural or related to the wider field of design and emergent tactility.

The workshop took place with help from Shenkar, EAA and ERASMUS+. Thank you!

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Posted by Pille Epner