Crafting Wearables


An exciting new field in the creative industry is the integration of fashion and technology, for example by embedding electronics, microprocessors, solar panels, LEDs, or interactive interfaces into the fabric, textile, or clothing. Dutch designers like Pauline van Dongen, Iris van Herpen, Bart Hess, Lucy McRae, Marina Toeters and Anouk Wipprecht form the vanguard in the international field of fashionable technology. However, while the future of fashionable technology, or "wearables", has been announced many times, the praxis lags behind. Wearables rarely leave the lab or catwalk, because they are not tested through the entire production chain; the aesthetics of the design is not integrated in the technology; or they remain a gadget without taking into account the wearer's body, identity or performance. The interdisciplinary research project "Crafting Wearables" aims at designing wearables that are robust, fashionable as well as commercially viable within the production chain. In order to achieve this aim, the team and participating partners bring together the different fields of fashion, technology, industry, and academic scholarship. Through interrelated research projects the programme will bridge the gap between theory and practice, experiment and industry, and design and production. As a result, the project will not only craft wearables but also analyse how fashionable technology relates to identity, comprehend its social impact, bring technology closer to fashion design, and make it a competitive branch of the creative industry in The Netherlands.



Chapter in book

  • D. Jaffé, S. Wilson, A.M. Smelik, L. Toussaint(2017): Memories of the Future pp. 227 - 244 , Bern
  • L. Plate, A. Smelik, L. Toussaint, L. Munteán, A.M. Smelik(2017): Materializing Memory in Art and Popular Culture pp. 89 - 105 , New York
  • A.M. Smelik, A.M. Smelik(2017): Delft Blue to Denim Blue pp. 252 - 269 , London
  • R. Braidotti, M. Hlavajova, A.M. Smelik(2018): The Posthuman Glossary pp. 455 - 458 , London

Scientific article

  • A.M. Smelik, P. van Dongen, L. Toussaint(2016): Solar Fashion International Journal of Fashion Studies pp. 287 - 303 ISSN: 20517106.
  • O. Tomico, D. Wilde(2016): Soft, Embodied, Situated & Connected mUX: The Journal of Mobile User Experience pp. np - np
  • S. Wensveen, L. Hallnäs, R.H. Liang, O. Tomico(2017): Towards a Next Wave of Wearable and Fashionable Interactions International Journal of Design pp. 1 - 6
  • S. Wensveen, R. Wakkary, T.R. Nachtigall, O. Tomico, P. van Dongen(2018): Towards Ultra Personalized 4D Printed Shoes Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems pp. 1 - 9
  • A.M. Smelik(2018): New Materialism International Journal of Fashion Studies pp. 33 - 54 ISSN: 2051-7106.
  • P. Bertola, J. Teunissen(2018): Fashion 4.0 Research Journal of Textile and Apparel pp. 352 - 369

Professional publication

  • A.M. Smelik(2017): Book Review pp. 103 - 106 ISSN: 1362-704X.
  • A.M. Smelik(2018): Book Review pp. 617 - 620 ISSN: 1362-704X.

Publication meant for a broad audience

Publications for the general public

  • NRC NRC(2013): Smartphone opladen via jas en jurk met ingebouwde zonnepanelen
  • J. Teunissen(2014): Longing for a future society
  • P. Van Dongen(2014): Hypercrafting Fashion
  • P. Van Dongen, P. Tognazzi, R. Zoontjes(2014): Body-Informed 3D Printed Clothing
  • EenVandaag TV(2014): Smart Clothes are Hot
  • O. Tomico(2014): Crafting Wearables, two-week workshop
  • L. Toussaint(2014): Cut from the Same Cloth. Fashion featuring Technology
  • P. Van Dongen(2014): Interview during Fashion Night, WOW Amsterdam
  • L. Toussaint(2014): Getting Things Moving: Shape Memory Materials in Fashion
  • P. Van Dongen(2014): Wearable Technology
  • L. Toussaint(2014): Pretty Smart Wearables
  • L. Toussaint(2014): Smart, Stirring, Swallowable: Thinking the New Material(ism)s of Fashionable Technology
  • A.M. Smelik(2014): Fashionable Technology
  • P. Van Dongen, L. Toussaint(2014): Ready to Wear? The Possibilities, Potential and Pitfalls of 3D Printed Fashion
  • L. Toussaint(2014): From Hardware to Softwear: The Future Memories of Smart Fashion
  • L. Toussaint(2014): Materiality and Experience
  • O. Tomico(2014): Crafting Wearables, #2 two-week workshop
  • O. Tomico(2014): (Wearable) Tech meets design
  • A.M. Smelik(2014): How Does a Body-Without-Organs Dress?
  • P. Van Dongen(2014): Crafting Wearables
  • Sydney Morning Herald(2015): LED running shirt by Pauline van Dongen lights up path for nocturnal joggers
  • O. Tomico(2015): Close to the body, Reflections on the role of the context, the body for material explorations in interaction design
  • RTL Nieuws(2015): Bright night: mode meets technologie
  • A.M. Smelik(2015): Digital Couture, Virtual Worlds
  • P. Van Dongen(2015): Wearable Technology
  • P. Van Dongen(2015): Welcome To Tomorrow
  • P. Van Dongen(2015): Ready to wear? Body informed 3D printed fashion
  • J. Teunissen(2015): The Future of Fashion is Now
  • Vrij Nederland(2015): Kleding kan steeds slimmer worden
  • P. Van Dongen(2015): Crafting Wearables
  • O. Tomico, K. Höök, J. Buur, D. Wilde, A. Lucero(2015): Embodying Embodied Design Research Techniques (Workshop)
  • A.M. Smelik(2015): Wearable technology for the Creative Industries
  • P. Van Dongen(2015): When Fashion and Technology merge together
  • A.M. Smelik(2015): Cybercouture: over mode en technologie
  • O. Tomico, D. Wilde(2015): Soft, Embodied, Situated & Connected
  • O. Tomico(2015): Ultra-personalized fashion & connected health
  • NPO NPO(2015): De Kennis van Nu
  • O. Tomico(2015): Close to the body
  • M. Toeters(2015): Smart Fashion is economie én empathie
  • O. Tomico(2015): Textile thinking crossing over disciplines and scales
  • P. Van Dongen(2015): Crafting Wearables
  • P. Van Dongen(2015): Fashion as an embodies interface
  • Financiële Dagblad(2015): Het nieuwe materialisme
  • O. Tomico, S. Robinson, J.E. Fischer, J. Clawson, D. Wilde, A. Lucero(2015): Mobile Collocated Interactions With Wearables (Workshop)
  • P. Van Dongen(2015): Crafting Wearables
  • A.M. Smelik(2015): Draagbare technologie: een jurk met zonnepanelen
  • P. Van Dongen(2015): 3D Printed Responsive Wearables
  • A.M. Smelik, J. Teunissen(2015): Mode voor morgen. Tussen expressie en duurzaamheid
  • NOS NOS(2015): Je mobiel opladen aan een shirt met zonnecellen
  • A.M. Smelik(2015): Visual talk on wearable technology
  • A.M. Smelik(2015): Crafting Wearables: a Plea for Slowness
  • P. Van Dongen(2015): Crafting Wearables
  • RTL Z(2015): Parka met zonnepaneel komt volgend jaar op de markt
  • P. van Dongen(2016): Award
  • L. Toussaint(2016): Between Transparancy and Transformation: Understanding Embodied Experiences of Techno-Fashion
  • A Smelik(2016): Toekomstscenario’s in de mode
  • A.M. Smelik(2016): Fashion, Creativity, and Design
  • L. Toussaint(2016): Draagbare technologie: De aantrekkingskracht van de techno-mode
  • P. van Dongen(2016): Moved by Fashion
  • L. Toussaint(2016): Think Tank | Thoughts on Merging Fashion and Technology
  • A.M. Smelik(2016): Slow fashion
  • A. Smelik(2016): Cybercouture, or Fashionable Technology
  • O. Tomico(2016): Smart Textile Services
  • A. Smelik(2016): Crafting Wearables
  • A. Smelik(2016): Mode, technologie en identiteit
  • A. Smelik(2016): Crafting Wearables: A Plea for Slowness
  • A.M. Smelik(2017): Invited lecture ‘New Materialism as a Theoretical Framework for Fashion Studies’
  • L. Toussaint(2017): Video Crafting Wearables (RU)
  • P. van Dongen(2017): Fashion, an embodied interface
  • P. van Dongen(2017): Award
  • P. van Dongen(2017): Your Body: The Next Habitat For Tech-Humanity
  • O. Tomico(2017): Soft Wearables
  • A. Smelik(2017): Smart Fashion: The Challenge of Wearable Technology
  • O. Tomico(2017): Textile thinking, crossing over disciplines and scales
  • O. Tomico(2017): Soft Wearables
  • P. van Dongen(2017): Beyond the Interface
  • P. van Dongen(2017): In Touch With Fashion @ New Dutch Wave
  • A.M. Smelik(2017): Keynote lecture ‘The Challenge of Wearable Technology'
  • A.M. Smelik(2017): Radboud Science Award
  • L. Toussaint(2017): Mode en technologie: harmonieus huwelijk of heet hangijzer?
  • L. Toussaint(2018): Interview 'Slimme kleding in elke kledingkast’
  • A.M. Smelik(2018): Radio Interview 'Draag jij deze kleren in de toekomst?'
  • P van Dongen, L. Toussaint(2018): Running at Lightspeed: What Wearable Technology Can Do for Postphenomenology and Vice Versa
  • P. van Dongen(2018): Between sensing and making sense
  • A.M. Smelik(2018): Invited lecture ‘Fractal Folds: Fashion in the Age of Technological Innovation’
  • P. van Dongen(2018): Award: FORBES TOP WOMEN IN TECH EUROPE
  • M. Toeters(2018): Tentoonstelling Fashion? Future Design for the Presen
  • L. Toussaint(2018): Interview 'Wifi in je onderbroek: ligt jouw garderobe al aan de oplader?’
  • O. Tomico(2018): Expert panel at the Fair Fashion Tech Event
  • L. Toussaint, P. van Dongen(2018): In Touch with the Now: Stimulating Mindfulness through Smart Fashion
  • S.A.G. Wensveen(2018): Constructive Design Research
  • O. Tomico(2018): Working in the interdisciplinary field of soft wearables and smart textiles
  • L. Toussaint(2018): Wearing Technology : When Fashion and Technology Entwine
  • O. Tomico(2018): Soft Wearables
  • A.M. Smelik(2018): Introduction and chairing
  • P. van Dongen(2018): Interview ‘Drunken droids and solar-powered shirts: what the smarthome will look like’
  • A. Smelik(2018): SLOW: mode en duurzaamheid
  • P. van Dongen(2018): Interview ‘Waar blijft de slimme onderbroek?’
  • A. Smelik(2018): New Materialism: A Theoretical Framework for Fashion in the Age of Technological Innovation
  • P. van Dongen(2018): Interview ‘The Future starts here: toekomstig design roept verwondering, hoop en soms ook angst op’
  • M. Toeters(2018): Fashion? Future design for the present.
  • L. Toussaint(2018): Interview ‘Technomode: van jurk met robotarmen tot verlichte hardloopshirts’
  • L. Toussaint(2018): Mode & Technologie: Duurzame (?) Innovaties
  • P van Dongen(2018): Presentatie Crafting Wearables op Tentoonstelling State of Fashion
  • A. Smelik(2018): Fashion, Wearable Technology and Sustainability
  • R. Wakkary, L. Toussaint, P. van Dongen(2018): Postphenomenological Design Research Investigations
  • P. Van Dongen(2018): Material Aesthetics Reflections on Fashion and Technology’
  • P. van Dongen(2917): In Touch With Fashion


Project number


Main applicant

Prof. dr. A.M. Smelik

Affiliated with

Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Instituut voor Historische, Literaire en Culturele Studies

Team members

D.S.S. Albrechtsen MA, Drs. M. Couwenberg, Drs. P. van Dongen, Drs. P. van Dongen, Drs. P. van Dongen, M. Toeters, P. Tognazzi, Drs. L. Toussaint MA, R.M.P.J. Zoontjes


01/09/2013 to 30/06/2018