angella mackey

PhD Candidate, Industrial Design, Future Everyday cluster, Eindhoven University of Technology

,Lecturer inDesign Processes, Master Digital Design,Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

,Researcher, Civic Interaction Design, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences


Dynamic, colour-changing textiles have been widely explored in wearables and smart textiles discourse over the last two decades. Garments that use LEDs or thermochromic inks to change the surface pattern of a textile allude to future fabrics that canchange like computer screens while still maintaining the

qualities of something soft and wearable. But what if this fabric is already herein an unexpected form? Phem is a fashion brand concept for garments made with dynamic, colour-changing fabrics using a variety of off-the-shelf augmented-reality tools, digital devices, social media platforms, and computer programs to digitally alter the surface of the clothing. Not tied to any one digital tool or mode of production, this doctoral work explores a variety of uniquely digital material properties and qualities a designer must grapple with. For example, how can one drape or handle a physically intangible fabric? How does one design with the temporality of animated patterns, or their ability to be in many places at once? This work presents a type of dynamic fabric that challenges the presumption it must take on a purely physical form to be wearable and function as a fashion material we can design with.


Angella Mackey is a designer, researcher and educator at the Eindhoven University of Technology and Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. Her teaching and current research focus on navigating design processes in the context of making and/or working with digital tools and materials. Previous to academic career, Mackey has had a professional design practise for more than a decade, working with a wide range of industries related to fashion and technology, from artistic explorations to healthcare and commercial space travel.