A multidisciplinary team composed of computer scientists, artists, and learning scientists from the University of Pennsylvania, MIT and Indiana University are researching how to encourage youth (ages 10-18) to creatively engage with computational textiles in afterschool and school settings. Computational textiles-textile artifacts that are computationally generated or that contain embedded computers-can capture youths’ pre-existing interests in new media, fashion, and design while supporting learning and creativity in computer science, arts, design, and engineering. This project presents a novel opportunity to study creativity within an emergent IT field (i.e., computational textiles and their applications) and will contribute to creativity research by providing empirically validated accounts of the system nature of creativity captured in interactions between individual designers and community feedback. Furthermore, we are developing tools for how to tailor programming to support 3D textile design, investigating an online community for sharing and validating creative computational textile designs, and discovering learning approaches for workshop models to support computational textiles design with novice programmers. Link.

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