About AdaCAD

AdaCAD is a project of the Unstable Design Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder ATLAS Institute that aims to support the requirements of what we call "experimental weaving" but that has basic functions to support all weavers.

What is Experimental Weaving?

Experimental weaving is a mentality more than a set of materials or practices. We see an experimental weaver as someone who considers structure, material, cloth, and artifact in tandem. At times, this leads us to investigate metallic yarns for teh purposes of handweaving sensors and interactive systems. At other times, it might mean adding bio-compoments to different sections of the weave to support different material changes over time. We support these by:

How Does AdaCAD Support Experimental Weaving?

Well, we aim to start by supporting the core functionality used across many weaving programs, such as designing a drawdown based on diffferent tieups and treadling, or visualizing the structure of the cloth.

  • Showing a "yarn-view" of ones draft to track the paths and intersections of different materials within a woven draft

AdaCAD is a Living Project made by Researchers

We, the developers, are not a company looking to sell our product. Instead, we found an interest in building our own tools to support our practices and want to make them usable by groups beyond our lab. Making the tools, learning weaving, and working at the intersection of craft and engineering has led us to see how craft practices (interpreted as learning from materials, cultivated skill, humble practice) can foreground new value in innovation work. Specifically, we think the deep knowledge of material and structure by fiber artists and weavers can led to new, more sustainable and symbiotic, developments of technologies in the area of soft robotics, wearable computing, and composites. Alternatively, we see how the concepts of engineering can provide a defamiliarizing lens to our weaving practices.

AdaCAD is an Open Source Project

We were inspired by open source projects like Processing, Arduino, and Open Frameworks and want to offer AdaCAD as an equivalent for weavers. It will take us time to realize this vision, but we are exited about it and always willing to support those who want to help

Related Resources
Experimental Weaving Resdiency

A mostly-annual open call for artists in residence at the Unstable Design Lab.
More Information

Open Code

Want to do some creative coding within AdaCAD to realize some new designs?
Fork AdaCAD on GitHub


Curious To Read some of our Research on Experimental Weaving and Smart Textiles:
Read Craftspeople as Technical Collaborators Read the Original AdaCAD Paper