fashionable technology:

designing shape-changing textile system

xinyi huang

Edinburgh College of Art, The University of Edinburgh RAFT research team

(Principal supervisor: Prof. Sarah Kettley)


This interdisciplinary project is concerned with fashionable technology, based on theories of interaction design and textile design. I will produce an 80,000-word thesis along with a series of textiles and an exhibition. The main research question is: How to build haptic responsive digital morphing interfaces? This project aims to interrogate into the mechanisms of morphing structures. Innovative methods of shape change will be generated based on the experiments with various materials and prototypes. The main approach to the project consists of ‘biomimetic’ method, which reproduces animal muscle movements within the materiality of textiles. Participatory experiment will be adopted to improve the understanding of the interaction between users and textiles. The outcome will be a series of intelligent textile installation and garments which can respond to wearer’s tactile experience and change shape. To explore the function and aesthetics of shape changing interfaces, this project aims to interrogate into the mechanisms of morphing structures. The materiality and flexibility of the active wearable system will be explored. The interrogation into morphing structures, materials and user experience will lead to creative pathway to shape changing interfaces.


Xinyi Huang, received the MA degree in Fashion Design Technology (womenswear) from the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London in 2021. During the postgraduate study, she was a student fellow of the LCF Digital Anthropology Lab. The digital installation project ‘Draping interfaces’ she participated in was exhibited online at the Ars Electronica Festival in 2020. After completing the Masters, Xinyi began her Design PhD program in the University of Edinburgh, and she is currently a member of the RAFT research team at the Edinburgh College of Art. Her research interests include digital textiles ,wearable technology and shape-changing interfaces.