“Topographie Digitale” is an interactive installation created by DataPaulette. This landscape uses polymerized and pleated textiles as a sensitive surfaces reacting to touch. This interaction brings to life a “digital clone”, video-projected. This mirrored scene reveals an organic side contrasting with the mineral aspect of the physical scene.
The project is an illustration of hybridization between new technologies and traditional craftsmanship, a fundamental subject of research for our collective. We have, in this case, precisely combined a traditional craft technique, pleating, and an innovative chemical process, which gives electrical functionalities to fibrous and porous materials. This material, prefiguration of this emerging craft, is also augmented with electronics and connected to a digital interactive animation.
Textiles are our key to innovative interaction due to the soft experiences they offer, making tangible interfaces and groundbreaking electronics possible. We care about textiles because of their rich history, their strong symbolic nature and the knowledge they transmit. Using the material to experiment and cross new technologies brings a reflection about the materiality of digital and how we can bring more social tangibility in our relation with this space.
In this context, we have collaborated with the pleating specialist Maison Lognon, to investigate the combination of augmenting a textile both with new electrical functionality, as well as the new physical affordances introduced by the patterns and textures of the pleated fabric. The pleated fabric, augmented by the chemical process and the electronic system gives birth to a material with a mixed heritage which is both technological and traditional. The combination of crafting and technologies is an alternative to rethink the place of digital in our society in a more resilient way.