Computational Craft – Bridging HCI, Textile Arts, and Game Design

Gillian Smith

Computational Craft – Bridging HCI, Textile Arts, and Game Design

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Constant Contact, 1601 Trapelo Rd, Waltham, MA 02451

Please Register

Event Details

Traditional textile crafts, as both a design domain and artistic practice, provide a rich set of opportunities for games and HCI research–exploring generative computational models for textiles, as well as new forms of interactions and experiences that reach new audiences. This talk presents two projects that integrate computer science with textiles. The first is Threadsteading, a two-player strategy game designed and played on computerized consumer quilting and embroidery machines, which examines the interaction opportunities and design constraints that arise from treating textiles manufacturing as a form of HCI. The second is Hoopla, a generative design tool for hand-stitched cross-stitch samplers, which applies techniques from game-based procedural content generation in the domain of textiles. The two projects share common threads such as bridging digital and physical spaces, and disrupting gendered assumptions associated with both computation and craft. These themes that are now informing her emerging research in using computational craft for broadening public engagement in computing.


Gillian Smith is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Interactive Media & Game Development at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Her research interests are in computational creativity, game design, computer science education, and the intersection of traditional crafts and computation. Her interdisciplinary work merges technical research in AI and HCI with creative practice in textiles and games, with a view towards addressing social issues and broadening participation and perspectives on computing.



  • 6:30 – 7:00  Networking over pizza and beverages
  • 7:00 – 8:30  Meeting
  • 8:30 – 9:00  CHI Dessert and more networking