Symbiotic Microcosms: Crafting Digital Interactions

Katharina Vones, Jennifer Seevinck (Editor), Marianella Chamorro-Koc (Editor), Rafael Gomez (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract

8 Downloads (Pure)


This practice-led research explores how smart materials, and in particular thermochromic silicone, can be integrated into a wearable object in combination with microelectronics to create aesthetically coher¬ent stimulus-reactive jewellery. Bringing together digital methods of fabrication with craft methodologies to create objects that respond intimately to changes in the body of the wearer and the environment is presented as an outcome of this research project. The works offered for exhibition explore different aspects of this goal, introducing the concept of generating digital enchantment through playful interaction, as well as exploring the possibilities offered by layering thermochromic pigments to achieve striking visual transitions (Vones, 2015).

The questions posed to the contemporary craft practitioner regarding the creation of a more refined interaction between the digitally enhanced object and its wearer have become progressively more prominent in the applied arts (Wallace, 2007). Through examining the notion that human biology is a part of material culture, where the body can be shaped, customised or altered through surgical interven¬tion and scientific innovation, this research project explores how recent developments in material science and wearable technologies can be viewed as moving towards a future embracing the posthuman body, bridging the gap between craft practitioner and scientific discovery (Hayles, 1999). Through engaging in a holistic process of material immersion and experimentation I have developed a body of work that is emotionally resonant while leaving space for serendipitous discovery. The rise of creative technologists represents a new breed of studio artist (Miodownik, 2009), equipped to contribute to the debate surrounding the role of the practitioner in an age defined by digital revolution and material discovery. Against a background of growing fascination with and reliance upon technologies and devices that contain some form of interactivity, my research provides an essential part of developing a discourse on the place symbiotic jewellery and the contemporary craft practitioner occupy within this setting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-56
Number of pages3
JournalIASDR 2015 Interplay - Exhibitions
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015
Event6th International Association of Societies of Design Research Conference: 2015 Interplay - Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 2 Nov 20155 Nov 2015


  • Smart Materials
  • Jewellery
  • Craft
  • Digital Jewellery
  • 3D Printing
  • Posthuman
  • Microelectronics

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  • Research Output

    Crafted Evolution - The creation of the HyperHive Series

    Vones, K., 4 Nov 2019, RTD2017 Proceedings of the 3rd Biennial Research Through Design Conference. Durrant, A. & Yee, J. (eds.). Edinburgh: Research Through Design, p. 17-30 13 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Open Access
  • 8 Downloads (Pure)

    Microjewels Monograph

    Vones, K. & Childs, M. (ed.), 23 Jun 2016, 1 ed. Edinburgh: Geotronic Collective. 60 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

    Digital Symbiosis: The Aesthetics and Creation of Stimulus-Reactive Jewellery with Smart Materials and Microelectronics

    Vones, K., 2015, xCoAx 2015: proceedings of the third conference on computation, communication, aesthetics & X. Clifford, A., Carvalhais, M. & Verdicchio, M. (eds.). Glasgow: University of the West of Scotland, School of Computing, p. 221-232 12 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Student Theses

    Towards the Uncanny Object: Creating Interactive Craft with Smart Materials

    Author: Vones, K. B., 2017

    Supervisor: Wilson, S. (Supervisor), Lim, S. C. (Supervisor) & Duplock, P. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

    Cite this

    Vones, K., Seevinck, J. (Ed.), Chamorro-Koc, M. (Ed.), & Gomez, R. (Ed.) (2015). Symbiotic Microcosms: Crafting Digital Interactions. IASDR 2015 Interplay - Exhibitions, 54-56.