Kristi Kuusk defended her PhD dissertation at Eindhoven about crafting sustainable smart textiles

A graduate of Estonian Academy of Arts, Kristi Kuusk defended her PhD thesis titled “Crafting sustainable smart textile services” and obtained the degree of doctor (comparable to PhD) at Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Industrial Design on 18 February 2016.The world is looking for solutions to major sustainability challenges that developed with the consumer culture. Among other fields and aspects, the way people design, produce, wear and dispose clothes in the traditional cradle-to-grave model has gained interest. The garment life cycle is continuously innovated from different angles. Examples of sustainable materials, business models and ways of thinking about clothing appear in research and practice both. Independently, the fashion scene gets more and more curious about the possibilities of using electronics and digital properties in clothing, also known as fashion technology, wearable technology and smart textiles. The marriage of the two worlds, that closely influences many people, carries potential concerns and opportunities. Textile manufacturing was one of the drivers of the development of technology from pre-industrial craftsmanship to today’s industrialized consumer culture. In this work, crafts and craftsmanship are taken as an example of sustainable living. The traditional crafts and sustainability are discussed in the context of the developing field of smart textile services. This doctoral dissertation examines the following central research question: what are craft and sustainability qualities and how are they implicitly used in the design of smart textile services?The public PhD defence ceremony took place on 18. Feb 2016 with theChairman: A.C. Brombacher 1st promotor: prof.dr. R. Wakkary copromotor(s): S.A.G. Wensveen, dr. O. Tomico Plasencia Comittee: prof.dr. L.-L. Chen, prof.dr. N. Nimkulrat (Estonian Academy of Arts), ir. K. van Os (Philips Research), dr. K. Niinimäki (Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture)The dissertation brings together the smart textile examples with three different levels of integration of textiles and technology:Separated – Digital Stories on Textile exemplified by: QR coded Embroidery, Bedtime Stories, Textales Dream Bear, and Textales Sunny Sunday editions.Integrated – Body Sensing and Actuating Networks exemplified by: Felt ball, Tender, and Vibe-ing.Combined – Thermocraft exemplified by: CHACUN(E), YBML, and Butterfly Lace.Through expert interviews, Kristi discovers craft and sustainability qualities in smart textiles and suggests ways of implementing those in designing sustainable smart textile services.More information about the dissertation and the PDF: