Loom

Goal

Making history tangible and interactive.

My Role

Design, Development

What it's all about

Loom allows visitors to experience the art of spinning yarn for themselves. Using the original, historic loom as our guide, we created an interactive station that mimics the process of spinning yarn in a less complex representation. The visitor is digitally immersed in the process of creating yarn, guided by a chatbot that reacts to their real-time input. An AR-Overlay visualizes the movement of the original loom, connecting visitors to the past. Ultimately the visitor creates their own virtual cloth, based on their unique interaction data.

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The experience

At the start of the experience, the user is welcomed by a chatbot that introduces them to the station and explains the different interaction elements. These elements are simplified replicas of the original machine, in order to keep the experience playful, and allow the user to learn the steps of weaving in a short period of time. By repeating the same sequence of interactions the user can weave their own unique digital piece of cloth.

The result

After several successful sequences, the user is prompted to look at the cloth they created. A final screen displays the total weaving time and the amount of correctly executed sequences. The digital cloth is created by displacing the vertices of a plane with a noise function, and an alpha map is dynamically applied to create the holes.

The process

By starting with very rudimentary prototypes, we were able to quickly flesh out how the elements should work together. Early user testing of the UI and loom model prototypes allowed us to continuously integrate and test feedback with every version. Due to these numerous iterative steps and improvements in functionality, we were confident that our final model was truly user-friendly.

Conclusion

At the end

Within five months and through the cooperation of a great team, Loom was designed and built as a student project for the Tuchmacher-Museum, a historic cloth-making institution in the German city of Bramsche. The end goal of this project was to preserve the historic knowledge of cloth-making and create a starting point for a new exhibition concept for the museum.