THE NEXT BIG THING IN FABRICS

PSYCHOTEXTILES

When using a smart fabric, it means some could select a pattern to attain a particular emotion – clothes that uplift your mood or calm you down, for example; wallpaper that can be manipulated to make a party atmosphere. It can be set to respond to the weather, to the time of day or year or whatever.

“This could be a type of visual medicine that will become an alternative to the likes of antidepressants and this might also transform product manufacturing, engineering and the teaching of art and design. In future we could also talk about psychoart, psychointeriors, psychomaterials and psychoarchitecture.

COLOURS AND SHAPES

Most of us feel pain if we’re pricked by a needle, or taste sourness of a lemon, scientists understand less on how we’re affected by the things we see. This is just that seeing is a much more complicated activity. It includes shape, dimension and colour in a three-dimensional context with multiple object associations that are changing over time.

Our insights of colours and shapes are from neuroscientists searching for methods to treat people with psychiatric issues such as depression and schizophrenia. They have decided to be limited and not practical for implementing it in everyday life.

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SPOT THE PATTERN

This study involves two steps. In the first step, ten pairs of patterns were tested on 20 participants. Each participant was made to see the images on a computer screen. Researchers studied their emotional responses by measuring their brain and heart activity using EEG and ECG monitors, and by also asking them how they felt about the patterns.

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After studying the results, researchers discerned two trends. The participants took more pleasure from repeating patterns than the non-repeating patterns, and were highly excited by intense patterns over the weak patterns.

They didn’t show the participants various categories of patterns at this step, but instead a wide selection. They intentionally made them black and white, since usage of colours would have risked contaminating the results.

WISE WOOLLENS

For the second step of this study, researchers designed and manufactured four smart knitted fabrics from a specially made electrochromic composite yarn. Two of the fabrics switched between a repeating pattern and non-repeating pattern, while the other two toggled between a weak pattern and intense patterns.

The next stage would be to start joining patterns with different colours and shapes. Researchers could look onto more chaotic patterns, patterns with lettering, mixtures of angles and curves, patterns with 3D effects and so on. After this, researchers may look more closely at smells and sounds and begin mixing those with the visual elements.

If we are to make the most of the reactions that we have in common, the future starts here.

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