FELT is a 5ʺ × 6ʺ (150 cm × 180 cm) computational textile panel, made up of four modules of frame and textile that was designed to understand what emotion is communicated to people using vision and touch from a still and shape changing textile. The purpose of FELT is to determine what still and shape changing, textural expressions of computational textiles can communicate emotion to people at the scale of an architectural wall. The central idea is that for both still and moving or shape changing textiles, there will be differences in what is communicated to people depending on whether the people experience the textiles via vision alone or via both vision and touch. In this chapter, two methods are described that were used to carry out the research. The first method is a design method used to produce shape changing textiles. The second method described is the user study. There are two user studies that will be discussed in this chapter to understand what emotion[s] are communicated by shape changing textiles and the FELT wall panel. If architects, artists, designers, engineers and scientists, and others could begin to understand the nature of what various textile expressions communicate, and what computational textiles communicate in transformation, then it would be possible to more clearly understand the role that texture of a computational textile plays in communicating emotion through a computational object. A textile that can move or change its shape could be used on a robot as robot skin, for example, for people who may benefit from some communication through vision and touch. A computational textile may be used on a wall, a pillow, curtain, furnishings, toys, and many other designed objects to communicate to people and children who do not have access to their emotions. This may be a child with autism or someone not in touch with what they are feeling. A textile can be used to have nonverbal communication with people through vision and touch.
Part of the book: Textiles for Advanced Applications