Blog Archives - Cultural Tech-Fusion Fabrics

Cultural Tech-Fusion Fabrics

 
 
This morning I had a meeting with Colleen Quen and Rick Lee to review textile designs, color, fabrics and scale. We also decided on a name for the installation: Suface & Shape: Reflections on Silicon Valley. The museum wished to modify the name to fit the grant application, so the final name is:
TECHstyle SoftWEAR: Surface & Shape
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Below: I was amazed by how quickly Colleen honed in on the patterns she was draw to for each garment. She will be making one for a woman and one for a man. She selected three fabrics for each.
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Below are the revisions to colors and scaling of designs after Colleen's feedback. The top row is for the woman's garment. The bottom textile row is for the man's garment. I ordered silk test swatches from Kent State University's School of Fashion's  TechStyleLAB and cotton lawn swatches from Spoonflower .

Rick shared some great concept sketches for the installation. I am so very excited for this collaboration!
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Exploring emotions about Silicon Valley and this project, I took two quotes from the correspondence I had and sent through the emotion mapping sofware, Synesktech . These images became components of this textile design.

First quote (the lighter burst of circles):
"My vision of Silicon Valley is the contrast between what it was in the form of orchards and farm land and what is has become today, tilt up buildings, sprawling campuses sitting on concrete, and the marvelous technology growing where fruits and vegetables used to grow."

"It is an image which I've had for 30 years plus, but I sway on its interpretation, i.e. good or bad.  Perhaps whatever - I am seeing a collage - is produced should be subject to the judgment of the viewer.  But it is a powerful image and not only from an ecological point of view but from a position which defies common sense and respect for natures beauty and natural productivity."
           -Sandy Towle

The denser burst of circles within the hard edge circle:
Wow, it's great. I'm really taken by the categories and the multi-dimensional thought layers of each one.
I'm so glad some of my submissions were helpful.
Please keep me posted, I really like what you're doing.


I think your project is so interesting. I feel lucky to have been part of the public invited to share visual "thoughts" on what Silicon Valley looks like to me. If not for privacy, I would have also uploaded Ryan's preschool class picture. All the beautiful hues of eyes, hair, skin and clothes, both teachers and students, smiling together in this unique melting pot that is Silicon Valley is pretty special, too, and one of the unique things that keeps us here.”

-Kathleen Peters
 
This textile draws upon an image submission by Matthew Ebisu of the Santa Cruz coast. I like the muted colors of this piece as well as the Japanese feel of the repeat pattern.
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Photo submitted to fusionwear sv by Matthew Ebisu.
 
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Using the above  image submitted by Carmen Uruena Slee to fusionwear sv, I created this below textile in the freeware SumoPaint and Photoshop. The photo is from Sanbourn Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
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Detail of design.
 
Well, several different ideas came into the final design of this fabric. Data on Santa Clara youth from KidsData.org  made its way into the design in the form of pie charts and a graph, the former representing teen's feelings of involvement in school communities and the latter in the form of a line graph showing the decline of student self inflicted injuries over the period of time from 1993 to 2006. The Indian textile motifs were inspired by textiles brought to me by Anu Guda. This particular one below I was very drawn to by the large dramatic motifs and by the bitmap-like look of the weaving design.
Anu educated me quite a lot in the diversity of Indian textiles and even showed me how quickly a woman can put on a sari.  She included written descriptions with each textile (see below).
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Below: I recreated the design by drawing it in Illustrator and then added some video game computer graphic elements. I use to do a lot of cursor design and icon design so this was fun to bring in element of my past career into this design.
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The mental health of the youth is one important thread in weaving an understanding of a community. The reason I wanted to allude to video games and youth mental health is that here in Silicon Valley there is a wide range of computer literacy in children from region to region and I wonder if there is a negative impact in feelings of connectedness to school community and peers in the youths who spend a ton of time playing video games. Does video game involvement fall along ethnic lines? Do feelings of school connectedness very from one ethnic group to another? From my experience teaching in some Hispanic communities I see there is little involvement in video games and even sometimes a lack of familiarity with computer interface navigation. The Indian, Chinese and other Asian students I see in Cupertino and Sunnyvale are very comfortable with digital media and it is common to see children with their heads buried into their game devices.

There have been quite a few article in local and national media about mental health issues of youth here in Silicon Valley this past year. The up and down arrows allude to emotional feelings of being up or down.
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This design pulls from demographic charts of Santa Clara County from the 2000 Census created by an elegant applet called Geocensus which works in conjunction with Google Earth.
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The flower motif I created here was inspired by the mustard flower, a common rotation crop flower in the  agricultural era and still visible through out Santa Clara in the few open fields and on trails. The bottom flower here is the White population demographics. The left flower is the Black population demographics. The top flower is the Hispanic population demographics and the right flower is Asian population demographics. These are all for Santa Clara County.
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Asian demographics
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Black population demographics
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Hispanic population demographics
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White popluation demographics
 
This design below draws upon fusionwear sv images submitted of Eichler architecture by Kathleen Peters, San Jose City Hall and Spanish tile roofs...all part of our visual vocabulary here in Silicon Valley. The design is also meant to riff off of sari textile design and colors. Anu Guda submitted many amazing saris for me to document and in the process got me thinking about weaving techniques and color schemes.  Colors were pulled from a color palette from  fusionwear sv image submissions and from Anu's textiles.
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I pulled the color palette from these image submissions by Kathleen Peters.
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photo by Kathleen Peters
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Shadows from above image rendered in Illustrator and then arranged to mimic an ikat design
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Photo By Cole Takara of San Jose City Hall Rotunda.
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Illustrator studies
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Spanish tile design created in Illustrator above inspired by local Spanish tile roofs such as at Hayes Mansion. Example here is a Quinceanera photo by Hector Villablanca.
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Photo by Hector Villablanca. www.FotoVillablanca.com
 
Back in February I found this San Francisco Bay Area wind visualization application by Nick Thompson and knew that I wanted to incorporate his tool in some way into one of the fusionwear sv textiles. It is mesmerizing and beautiful to watch this application. Below is the wind patterns on June 10th, 2010 at 3:00pm.
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I traced each green line in Illustrator and then opened the file in Photoshop to create the textile pattern below. I also used imagery drawn from Middle Eastern garments, Mexican textile patterns, Chinese patterns, Japanese motifs and Indian motifs.
I was fortunate enough to correspond with Nick Thompson and he recommended this site to me: Taprats . This is an application which creates interesting Islamic star patterns. I also found Glambient fascinating. It takes patterns and morphs them into other patterns.
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color palette extracted from image submission to fusionwear sv
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Various ethnic patterns pulled from submissions float like pollen
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Mexican medallion plate at San Jose Berryessa Flea Market.
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Detail of Mexican plate
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Motif the Mexican plate inspired
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detail on sleeve from garment at Hijab Corner. Inspiration for motif in this textile.
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Detail on Chinese garment of hisotrian Connie Young Yu
 
Here is the third textile fabric I am working on for the fusionwear sv project. This textile reflects on information graphics, speed of and nodes of connections in Silicon Valley. I ran several websites (Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, fusionwear sv and the San Jose International Airport) through a freeware applet, Aharef, which renders websites graphically. I ran one lay of the imagery through a motion blur to allude to the rapid pace of life here. I wanted to use this type of information graphic representation as the resulting forms remind me of spores blown on the wind.
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Detail of textile design
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Image of full width of fabric
 
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Drawing inspiration from an image submission of solar panels by Kathleen Peters, I created this textile design. Silicon Valley is a leader in solar technology and Kathleen's image submissions to the fusionwear sv image pool highlighted this important local industry.

In creating this textile, I learned that it was best to create the shapes in organic forms. At first I had use straight lines and grids, but it felt sterile. When I re rendered the design freehand (using a Wacom stylus) it felt right. I felt the shapes were more organic and echoed traditional textile work such as batik in the way the lines break and swell in places; it reminds  me of Japantown restaurant norin curtains which often use this dying technique.

I created this in Illustrator and then took it into Photoshop. This image will remain black and white for the fabric printing. Colleen Quen, Rick Lee and I discussed color palettes today and we agreed that we wanted at least one Black and White design.

A few days ago we were notified that we have additional grant funding to bring in designer Rick Lee to create the environment for the installation. I am so very excited to be working with these two very talented and professional artists. I know that I will be learning a lot from both in the process of bringing this project to life.

Rick Lee's website is http://www.rickleedesign.com/

and Colleen Quen's website is: http://www.colleenquencouture.com/
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Colleen, Rick and I celebrating our collaboration today. This is the morning after their Bamboo and Silk exhibition. I wish that Jane Przybysz, Director of The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, could have been there to celebrate with us. She wrote the grants!