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

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

Scientific article

  • L. Toussaint, P. van Dongen, A.M. Smelik(2016): Solar Fashion International Journal of Fashion Studies pp. 287 - 303 ISSN: 20517106.
  • D. Wilde, O. Tomico(2016): Soft, Embodied, Situated & Connected mUX: The Journal of Mobile User Experience pp. np - np
  • L. Hallnäs, R.H. Liang, S. Wensveen, O. Tomico(2017): Towards a Next Wave of Wearable and Fashionable Interactions International Journal of Design pp. 1 - 6
  • S. Wensveen, P. van Dongen, T.R. Nachtigall, R. Wakkary, O. Tomico(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.
  • A.M. Smelik(2019): Onderzoek naar de macht van mode pp. 18 - 53

Publication meant for a broad audience

Publications for the general public

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


01/09/2013 to 14/10/2018