Crafting Identities: E-Textile Artifacts as Mediators in High Tech Communities

Document Type

Conference Paper

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Connecting Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning to Policy and Practices: CSCL11 Community Events Proceedings


H. Spada, G. Stahl, N. Miyake, & N. Law

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Last Page



Much research has demonstrated the use of digital media as a means of creative expression, yet skilled technical practices still remain inaccessible to many youth. One challenge to broadening participation in this field is making high tech design more accessible. In this poster we suggest that creating e-textile artifacts, objects that sit in tension between engineering and sewing crafts, is one way for youth to craft identities that are meaningful personally and to local social groups and broader technical communities. Drawing from analysis of e-textile artifacts and presentations by two groups of youth from different workshops, we argue that the personal design and genre-crossing nature of such artifacts are key in their ability to mediate between personal legitimacy and broader identification with high tech communities.

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