Designing smart textiles presents design constraints that differ from traditional weaving processes. However, design tools that address these needs do not yet exist, so designers of smart textiles tend to adapt their use of traditional weaving design tools to accomplish their goals. To address this problem, we are creating a computational design tool for smart textile weaving that blends features from traditional weaving software with circuit design tools. The software presents new representations and processes for designing smart weaves. In the future, we hope to extend the software to support methods of generative and data-driven design.

Note: The project's name is an homage to Ada Lovelace, the 19th Century mathematician who applied punchcard technology used to define fabric patterns in commercial looms to a mechanical computational device she was developing with Charles Babbage. In so doing, she created the world's first programmable computer.  

This work is funded by NSF CRII: CHS: Developing Next-Generation Rapid Prototyping Tools to Catalyze Innovation in Smart Textiles (#1755587)

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  • Shanel Wu and Laura Devendorf. 2020. Unfabricate: Designing Smart Textiles for Disassembly. In Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 1–14. DOI: (Honolulu, Hawaii (virtual)–April 25-30, 2020).
  • Mikhaila FriskeShanel Wu and Laura Devendorf. 2019. AdaCAD: Crafting Software For Smart Textiles Design. In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '19). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Paper 345, 13 pages. DOI: (Glagow, UK – May 4-9, 2019). [Best Paper Honorable Mention].