Another project that dazzled me and, from what I have noticed, stirred a lot of discussions, was Constructing Connectivity, which brings to the public`s attention an interesting humanist approach to textile making. Jessica Smarsch, the initiator of the project, held a thought-provoking presentation last year in Eindhoven, during Dutch Design Week and I happened to be one of the lucky attendants.

“Rather than return to craft through handiwork, I wanted to explore ways to reintegrate mind-body connectivity into our incredibly sophisticated, industrially mechanised processes”

Jessica Smarsch for Dezeen

Smarsch, who translates muscle movements into textured garments, said the project is an attempt to reconsider the production process by developing a system based on genuine demand, rather than “mindless consumption”. Another aspect she seemed to be preoccupied with was the re-introduction of  craftsmanship, as seen with the eyes of a designer who is up to date with the struggles and issues of the contemporary society. She lamented the extinction of the meditative side of the textile production process, which used to involve conscious decision-making and a sort of creative engagement. All these were lost in the industrial process, causing a disconnection between the creator and the consumer. To create the relief patterns for her collection, Smarsch recorded the participants` movements through an attached wireless armband which relayed the data through an Arduino circuit board. Then, through a specially created software, the movements were visualized as a series of graphic patterns. After being perfected, the patterns could be downloaded as a set of instructions for a loom.  Smarsch confessed that the whole process posed numerous technical challenges but in the end, she was happy that she managed to reiterate the mind-body connectivity through rhythm and repetition, two elements that play a key role both in music and textile making.