Generative Design for Textiles: Opportunities and Challenges for Entertainment AI

Smith, Gillian (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)

AAAI Conferences 

This paper reports on two generative systems that work in the domain of textiles: the Hoopla system that generates patterns for embroidery samplers, and the Foundry system that creates foundation paper piecing patterns for quilts. Generated patterns are enacted and interpreted by the human who stitches the final product, following a long and laborious, yet entertaining and leisurely, process of stitching and sewing. The blending of digital and physical spaces, the tension between machine and human authorship, and the juxtaposition of stereotypically masculine computing with highly feminine textile crafts, leads to the opportunity for new kinds of tools, experiences, and artworks. This paper argues for the values of textiles as a domain for generative methods research, and discusses generalizable research problems that are highlighted through operating in this new domain.