Screenstoff: A fusion of textiles and technology
The search for the right outfit often starts with choosing the colour. Red or green? Or rather a discreet black? This problem might be solved soon. Design researcher Veronika Aumann is working on the development of digital textiles – the ‘screen-fabric’ (Screenstoff).
Weather report and soccer match displayed on the coat
Screenstoff, however, cannot only change its colour; in future we will be able to view the weather forecast, a digital photo album or music videos on those garments. Watching a football match on your own coat in the pub or the latest episode of CSI on the sweatshirt of the person sitting next to you – screen-fabric acts as a display with the same properties as ordinary textiles. It is washable and as soft as for instance cotton textiles, therefore it is wearable like a garment. The idea of screenstoff is not yet realisable, hence it is still in the prototype stage.
Veronika Aumann, screenstoff 1, Mantel mit Lumoled von Fraunhofer IZM, Detail_04 / © FOTO: VMA
Screenstoff is already quite sophisticated. In cooperation with engineers working at Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration, Veronia Aumann has designed a coat with textile conductors woven directly into the fabric. The conductors are silver threads that work like normal cables. On the fabric, there are tiny LEDs and a chip to transmit data. An app connects the user’s smartphone or tablet with the garment, thus allowing to control the display. Screenstoff combines high-resolution screens with a high-quality dress fabric. There is a wide range of possible applications that go far beyond the fashion industry. Screenstoff would not only liven up our wardrobe, but it can also serve as a flexible stage backdrop, advertising space for businesses, or may be used as high-visibility clothing or flashing information boards. When used as an upholstery cover in trains or restaurants, the material could display whether the seat is available or reserved – there is indeed a wide range of possible application.
Veronika Aumann, screenstoff 1 (Materialproben_02) / © FOTO: VMA
Veronika Aumann will present her screenstoff on the occasion of this year’s Wear It festival. She is a textile designer and researcher at Weißensee Academy of Art in Berlin where she began researching into the connection of textiles and technology early on. Aumann graduated from Weißensee Academy of Art and studied further at Chelsea College of Art & Design in London. She is co-founder of Pattern Studio in Berlin.