Creatif and Zaha Hadid to look into the potential of interactive smart fabrics

Creatif research team to revolutionise ‘smart’ fabric production.

An EU-backed ‘smart fabrics’ research team under the Creatif project umbrella will look into the potential of
interactive ‘smart fabrics’. Creatif aims to design and develop software and a smart fabric printer that can print
electronic materials containing inks with interactive capabilities.

Imagine that you could print touch sensors and interactive light directly on fabric – if your fabric could be turned into an interactive surface with different inputs and outputs printed in one go, on one surface. Creatif strives to make this imagination possible.

The European Union funded research project will involve Zaha Hadid Architects and a consortium of other partners, like British firm Base Structures, Danish group Diffus Design, collaborating with four technical and research based partners: Ardeje, France; Grafixoft, Belgium; Institut für Textiltechnik Aachen, Germany and the University of Southampton.

The team will produce three smart fabric prototypes demonstrating interactive light emission, interactive colour change and sound surfaces.

The project will enable any culture and creative industry using fabrics to replicate the creative experience of designing smart fabrics, and remove the remaining barriers to entry to this field by significantly reducing the complexity of the process and the technological learning curve required.


The culture and creative industries are a powerful motor for jobs, growth, exports and earnings, cultural diversity and social inclusion, representing 4.5% of total European GDP and 3.8% of the workforce. European industries, in particular small and medium enterprises, are increasingly faced with the need to be more productive, innovative and dynamic in responding to the changing market needs.

One goal is to create a vibrant creative technology ecosystem and increase the innovation capacity of European industries and enterprises by providing them with better tools, capabilities and foresight. A further goal is to enhance, develop and encourage creativity as an essential 21st century skill in professional contexts.