Constructing Connectivity: Design Research Study

  • Constructing Connectivity: Design Research Study 

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    Contribute to improving the process of stroke rehabilation

    with Jessica Smarsch

    Constructing Connectivity explores mind-body connection techniques and applies them to exercises for physical rehabilitation. We invite you to experience and learn together with us on December 9 from 13:00 - 18:00 at the Baltan Laboratories basement.

    Constructing Connectivity began three years ago as a research into the beneficial effects of textile making as both a therapy and a craft. This research led to the development of a software and wearable system in which a user could create patterns for textiles through conscious body movements.

    Led by Jessica Smarsch, this research is now being focused towards rehabilitation, particularly for people who have survived a stroke. The interesting connection between textile making and stroke is that mind-body connection is at the core of both. While textile making encourages mind-body connection, stroke disrupts it.

    In stroke patients, an eruption or blockage of blood to the brain causes brain cells to die, which disrupts communication between neurons. This lack of communication in the brain can prevent the body from functioning. Rehabilitation is possible through exercises that create mind-body connection, allowing new neural pathways to form.

    This study combines previous research and development with new scientific findings which demonstrate the benefits of stimulating multiple senses during the recovery process.

    You can find more information about the research and a video presentation of the project here.

    In this research study and workshop, participants will have a chance to use the pattern making wearable and design system, and give feedback on their experience. To empathize with a person who experiences a stroke, we will also incorporate gentle constraints that disable the use of the hand or arm. In this exercise, we will perform simple daily activities, sometimes in combination with the design system.

    During the workshop, we will film aspects of the exercises and then reflect on our experiences as a group, watching ourselves from an outside perspective. How did the experience affect us? What feelings did we experience and how did the design system play a part? The filming of this research will be viewed by the small research team. Any further presentation of the images will only be used if your consent is given.

    We are sure you can gain many new insights from this research. Maybe you know someone who has had a stroke, or maybe you are interested in the intersection of design and technology. Perhaps you are curious about mind-body connection and how it can be applied in medical settings. For any of these reasons, we are happy to meet you. Your feedback will be a valued contribution to the development of this project.

    We are particularly interested in how older adults perceive this system. Therefore we are looking for healthy adults over the age of 55. If you are very interested and do not quite meet the age request, please contact us. This research workshop will be primarily conducted in English. Coffee, tea and snacks will be enjoyed at the welcome and during our workshop breaks.

    For any questions about the content of the workshop and research, please contact Jessica at or call (06) 21 91 30 94.

    To take part in the study, please send an email to with your
    name, surname and age or call (06) 27 51 96 43. We will reply to you with more details and other
    practical information to attend the session.

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