The research project introduces the fiction of “Digital Materials” and aims to show how an iterative process of describing, analyzing and prototyping textile materials might contribute to the creation of non-determined forms of tangible interaction between humans and digital technologies. The idea of designing “Digital Materials” is driven by continuous sensory experiences of the physical world entering into a dynamic engagement with the infinite discrete possibilities of the digital world.
The term “Digital Materials” refers to a speculative situation in which digital processes are embodied directly in physical structures, which enables materials to transform dynamically and in a self-acting way and in which humans tangibly interact with such digitally infused materials. The exploration is carried out with textiles, because textiles share an intimate relationship with the body, offer versatile haptic and functional properties and their binary construction principle is historically connected to the development of computers.
In addition to the possibility of future interaction scenarios, the project is primarily concerned with the investigation of the basic elements that underlie its conception. Therefore the fundamental principles of relations between the analog and the digital within material structures are examined through a closely intertwined process of prototyping and reflection.
The approach of the research project “Digital Materials” converts the understanding of digital technologies as tools to an understanding of digital technologies as materials. This conceptual shift allows to concentrate on the interaction process itself rather than focus on its results. The project explores the question of how materials might be (re)developed, (re)constructed and (re)used in such a way that digital information may be absorbed by the materials and expressed in (dynamic) manifestations or self-transformation of the materials.
Veronika Aumann (1985, DE) is a textile designer and researcher. Her work focuses on relations between humans, machines and materials and arises from a process-based and fictional approach to design.
After studying Textile Design at Weißensee Academy of Arts, Berlin and Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, she worked with responsive textiles and shape-changing materials with and for partners such as the Fraunhofer Institutes IZM / IWU, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, the Design Research Lab or the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence. She was a research assistant at Weißensee Academy of Arts in the group Design and Experimental Material Research of the Textile and Surface Design Departement. Since April 2020, she is professor for Textile Design at State Academy of Art and Design, Stuttgart.
Aumann is part of the design collective Beyond Materials and the Forschungskreis – Production of Knowledge in Art and Design and serves on the selection committee of Designfarm Berlin. She regularly shows and/or talks about her work and research at i.e. Bauhaus Dessau, Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin, London Design Festival, Fashion Tech Berlin, or Dutch Design Week.
Veronika Aumann's essay 'Autorials - on working with self-acting materials' was published in 'Bezugsstoffe / Textile Techniken', #5 of Austrian Galerie Hollenstein’s publications…
Veronika Aumann presents the results of her interdisciplinary collaboration project 'Inform/action' with the Umweltbundesamt Berlin Marienfelde (German Federal Environment Office).
Veronika Aumann gives a presentation on 'Self-Acting Materials' at Galerie Hollenstein.
Veronika Aumann contributes the work 'Autorials (series 2)' to the exhibition 'Bezugsstoffe' at Galerie Hollenstein.
Veronika Aumann participates in the exhibition 'Neue textile Welten' at Wasserschloss Klaffenbach.