• Ramyah Gowrishankar
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Turn-around textile interface

This is an interface prototype that explores the textile quality of being able to be flipped inside out. The crocheted interface has two textured sides distinguished by two colours. The ends have magnetic buttons which can be closed to switch-on the controller. Once closed, the loop shape enables one to flip it around from the centre, bringing the yellow and the grey sides alternatively from inside to outside. With each flip, a value is sent with the integrated x-bee module to a computer or another device which can process this information and respond accordingly. The example shown here is that of a light dimmer. To control a light source, the e-textile interface first switched on by  joining the magnetic ends and then flipped as many times as desired. The colour that is on the inside when the ends are connected determines if the light is to be dimmed or brightened. (Yellow inside for brightening, and Grey inside for dimming). With each flip the value is sent to the light source which correspondingly brightens or dims.The prototype is a proof of concept/example for exploring an interaction-driven approach to designing e-textile forms.

ArcInTex ETN project

Since August 2015, I have joined the ArcInTex ETN project as a Research Fellow – a EU level project investigating the intersections of Architecture, Interaction Design and Textiles. I am based at the Design research Lab in UdK, Berlin.


Conference paper at Ambience 2014, Tampere Finland

Investigating Interaction Design for e-Textiles Using Case-Transfer” co-authored by Katharina Bredies was published in the proceedings of Ambience Conference 2014, in Tampere, Finland.

[*] R. Gowrishankar and K. Bredies, “Investigating Interaction Design for e-Textiles Using Case-Transfer,” in Proceedings of Ambience, Scientific Conference for Smart Textiles, 2014.

Embroidered soft sensor

Attaching a soft pressure sensor (with a vibration motor) using an embroidery machine

eCrafts Collective

The eCrafts Collective is an initiative by Kati Hyyppä and I, often working in collaboration with different crafters, makers and experts of various fields. Kati and I started working together in the quest for fascinating, unexpected and delightful combinations of traditional crafts and electronics. Craft knowledge is versatile and has adapted with time to the availability of resources and materials. In todays world, it is possible to think of electronics as another, additional material for crafts. Taking this idea to practice, we explore traditional textiles, patterns and crafting techniques in the spirit of open design, and organize also workshops that bring different communities together. An important aspect of the e-crafts adventures is to meet people face to face and to gain insights into local cultures, traditions and folklores. In the course of the explorations electronics become another ingredient in the mix, and the traditional artefacts get a new twist, remaining still connected to the stories of the past.

Since early 2012, as ‘eCrafts Collective’; Kati and I have organized several e-crafts related workshops in Helsinki, Riga, Aizpute and Berlin. The last two years, we have worked closely with SERDE, a multidisciplinary Arts Centre in a little historical town called Aizpute, Latvia and have completed two artists in residency projects there, namely “Single Women’s eCrowns” and “eWeaving Belts” which were developed in confluence with our conversations and learning from craft experts about the culture, stories, skills and techniques. Read more about our work and activities on our project blog:


Embroidered push button

The soft radio

‘Soft Radio’ is a crocheted spherical device that fits in the palm of your hand. It is soft to hold and has a texture of any regular crocheted textile. The radio has a loop on top that can be twisted to change between two modes: volume and channel seeking. The values corresponding to the present mode ( i.e volume or fm band frequency) can be changed by wrapping the knitted chord around the crocheted sphere. The direction of the wrapping determines if the values are decreased or increased. It has 2 LEDs that give a visual indication of the states of the radio and a power switch made from a metal snap button. A set of headphones can be attached via the headphone port. The materials used include simple electronic components, conductive yarns and regular wool.

The soft radio is an attempt to illustrate the opportunities of creating ‘soft’ digital interfaces by deriving interaction-gestures from the context of textiles and interpreting traditional craft techniques for incorporating electronics in a way that complements the material characteristics of textiles. The radio acts as a starting point to my doctoral research that, amongst other things, aspires to develop an interaction language specific to the medium of fabrics rather than borrowed from regular electronic devices.



Smart Textile Salon, June 6th 2013, Ghent, Belgium.


Felted Mushroom Sensors

This mushroom-like sensor was an exploration for creating soft sound-making interfaces for a project called “Electronic Digital Music Practice for Neurodiverse people” at Aalto ARTS.

Read more about the project here: