The Future of Knitting and Crafting

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Does knitting qualify as engineering? How do we break down gender barriers between 'crafts' and 'science'? What's the future of wearable technology? And how does Lady Gaga fit into all of this?

Welcome to an all-new version of Create The Future. In this first episode of the new, revamped series our very own "mega badass engineer" Roma Agrawal - author and structural engineer for the construction of The Shard - chairs a discussion about the innovations and ancient wisdoms to be found in Arts & Crafts. Roma's guests are materials scientist Dr Anna Ploszajski and electronic textiles researcher Irmandy Wicaksono from MIT Media Lab.

Episode highlights

  • "The way that wool used to be produced in the British Isles was very small scale farms. And then local women would weave the fleeces from the sheep into yarn, and then those yarns would then go on to be sold. It was very much women's work, and actually it was specifically single women's work. So the term ‘spinster' comes from the women who were spinners.”
  • "My therapist says it’s genuinely therapeutic for people with stress and anxiety. So get out there and knit, it’s so good for you!”
  • "When we ignore that knowledge base in the Crafts, it’s engineering that suffers. We don’t find the solutions that we need. The process of making is so important for engineering.”
  • “By using digital fabrication knitting, I basically scan your body and develop a tight suit that you can wear with integrated sensors. I'm talking about the sensors you typically use in the hospital like respiration, heart rate. It allows a future - well, not that far future - where doctors can monitor you from wherever you are in, and you can go to hospital when you really need it, when it's actually necessary."

The Create the Future Podcast is available to listen on: