Urban Knitters on Interweaving Craft, Technologies and Urban Participation
ACM Press, New York
Technologies are increasingly reaching areas of everyday life that were previously separated from the digital world, including traditional crafts. HCI work has explored hybrid craft as activities that manipulate smart materials for interactive physical outcomes. This however, excludes the ways in which traditional crafts become hybrid through other related uses of digital technologies. This paper discusses how urban knitting, a collaborative textile craft augmenting public space, incorporates various online practices to facilitate urban participation. We conducted a survey with 40 urban knitters to identify the roles technologies play in their practices. The results illustrate how the participants use digital tools for personal inspiration, global collaboration, individual self-expression and collective meaning-making around their craft. Through discussing how technologies can re-contextualise creative craft practices, we contribute insights into how a wider understanding of hybrid craft is needed to embrace new design opportunities within this hybrid realm of urban citizenship.