Ebb is an exploration of dynamic textiles created in partnership with Project Jacquard. Myself and my collaborators at UC Berkeley coated conductive threads with thermochromic pigments and explored how we could leverage the geometries of weaving and crochet to create unique aesthetic effects and power efficiencies. The thermochromic pigments change colors in slow, subtle, and even ghostly ways, and when we weave them into fabrics, they create calming “animations” that move across fabrics. The name “Ebb” reflects this slowness, as it conjures images of the ebb and flow of the tides rather than the rapid-fire changes we typically associate with light emitting information displays. For this reason, Ebb offers a nuanced and subtle approach to displaying information on fabrics. A study we conducted with fashion designers and non-designers (i.e. people who wear clothes) explored potentials for dynamic fabrics in everyday life and revealed an important role for subtle, abstract displays of information in these contexts.

UC Berkeley Team: Noura Howell, Joanne Lo, Doris Lee, Eric Paulos, Kimiko Ryokai
Project Jacquard: Nan-wei Gong, Emre Karagozler, Ivan Poupyrev, Shiho Fukuhara

Related Publications
“I don’t want to wear a screen”: Probing Perceptions of and Possibilities for Dynamic Displays on Clothing // Best Paper Award
Laura Devendorf, Joanne Lo, Noura Howell, Nan-Wei Gong, Emre Karagozler, Shiho Fukuhara, Ivan Poupyrev, Eric Paulos, Kimiko Ryokai.
In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’16)

Biosignals as Social Cues: Ambiguity and Emotional Interpretation in Social Displays of Skin Conductance
Noura Howell, Laura Devendorf, Rundong Tian, Tomas Vega, Nan-Wei Gong, Ivan Poupyrev, Eric Paulos, Kimiko Ryokai.
In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS ’16)

Gizmodo // Science Alert